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Al Dente is a pizzeria, spaghetteria, and Italian restaurant in Krakow's Kazimierz district, but it's not like one of the many "Italian" restaurants in Krakow. Their dishes are 100% original traditional recipes prepared by their Italian chef, and they specialize in cuisine from the region of Sardinia, importing several ingredients directly from the region. On the weekends, Al Dente serves fresh seafood and fish prepared in the traditional Sardinian way. Their pizzas are prepared using only the original Italian ingredients by their Italian pizza chef. In addition to the wide selection of dishes, the restaurant also offers a selection of the best Sardinian wines. The list includes few kinds of the full bodied "Cannonau" (red) and few kinds of "Vermentino". These wines are not easily found in other restaurants, and they may be a wonderful discovery for the wine-lovers that live in Krakow or just come here as tourists!
Editor & Krakow Local
I strongly recommend this restaurant.
We've been there recently and food was excellent. On Thursday they have fresh seafood. I've tried mussels and grilled tuna. Delicious. My husband ate Chef's appetizer and pizza with Parma ham. I was amazed by the look of the plates. They looked more like art than food.
I could descend into the cheap abuse that "snowmuncher" offers as literary criticism but I choose instead not to swim with the bottom feeders. I do however question his accuracy concerning restaurant reviews and actually, just about anything else, since he cannot even do me the courtesy of getting my name right. Heigh ho!
Nevertheless I stand by my review of the restaurant. It was well-spotted by 'SM' that I am not a teenager. That much at least, unfortunately, is correct. The corollary is that I have been around a bit and have eaten in quite a few eateries on three continents, over six decades.
So back to 'Al Dente'. It was alright. No more and no less. Perhaps I caught the sous-chef in charge on the chef's night off. Who knows? Who cares? The food was not bad, (pasta like doorsteps?) just ordinary, the service non-existent, the decor, so-so. It simply did not deserve the reviews I had
My wife and I ate fantastically well in Poland, whether with relatives (my parents were Polish) or in Wroclaw, Poznan or Gdansk. On other occasions I have also eaten superb food in Warsaw. This was only my second visit to Krakow and my wife's first ever visit to Poland. I wanted to impress. In general I succeeded - except here.
There are a lot of good reviews of 'Al Dente' on this site so it must just be me. I do not, repeat, do not, write bad reviews just for the hell of it. I only try to be objective and above all, honest.
Siamo stati a Cracovia per una settimana e per ben 4 sere abbiamo mangiato nel ristorante 'Al dente' un angolo di Italia in una città bellissima. Locale molto accogliente e carino. I proprietari sono ragazzi italiani (sardi) quindi la cucina è rigorosamente italiana e con specialità tipiche della Sardegna. Lo consigliamo a tutti italiani e non e come dicono loro...
Da AL DENTE ti riempi la panza e ti rilassi la mente!
I have to respond to Tom Hedinger's review below. I have lived in Krakow for 6 years and I eat out at restaurants in Krakow almost every day, so I know the restaurant scene very well. My second home is in central London and I have travelled and lived and eaten all over the world. Al Dente is one of the best in Krakow especially if you order one of the day's specials. It is not a always perfect, like every good restaurant. The service in Krakow is almost universally poor and this is because they have yet to understand client culture. Al Dente is better than average in Krakow, and much better when the Italian owners are around. Tom's comment that he gave it a 1 "to get your attention" I find spectacularly ignorant, egotistical, selfish and were it not for his writing style I would think would come from a pre-teen.
Went there last night and my date as well as myself were very impressed.
The food was great, the service pretty good; on a nice date they never interrupted us, but when we wanted to be looked after they were very quick to do so.
I read reviews here and honestly laugh at people that try to be correct but misspell a name of a dish, or insult the wait staff. Perhaps there is a reason staff were not eager to help.
I would recommend this place if you are looking for a nice meal, a quiet date, but would dissuade you from visiting if you are looking for a stuffy, old fashioned, and boring Italian restaurant.
I love Italian food and this seemed like a great opportunity both to do a spot of sight-seeing in Kazimierz and enjoy some well reviewed Italian cooking. Neither happened.
Al Dente is not in what I would consider the heart of Kazimierz. So what, one might say? And indeed if one is after the full ambiance of this district it might be unimportant if the food was spectacular. Unfortunately it wasn't.
I can't remember the first course, it was so uninvolving though to be fair my wife quite enjoyed the 'bruschette'.
We made two mistakes in ordering the second course. Firstly, having eaten magnificently at lunchtime we were not especially hungry and both ordered a second starter (i primi) as main course. This probably didn't do much for the restaurant's profitability nor the waitresse's anticipated tip. This much was reflected in the utter indifference to even a basic notion of service. We waited and we waited - in full sight of the bar, the waitress and the lethargic Lothario who was also on duty- for our starter, our glass of wine each, our second starter, my second glass of wine. We gave up on sweets and coffee.
When the Ravioli finally arrived one couldn't distinguish what the filling was (Spinach and Ricotta) but this was something of a moot point anyway since one could have paved the backyard with the pasta. Thick and tasteless. Oh dear!.
Let's gloss over the house wine (Red) indifferent and expensive because that tends to be the norm in Poland. However I always judge a restaurant, at least in part, on its house wine and quite frankly, one expected better, much better in a such a well considered establishment.
I have been coming to Poland for over twenty years and if this was not the worst meal I have eaten there it was certainly the most disappointing.
The restaurant itself is nothing special. Bland, featureless, could be in any city Europe or the States. No sense that you were in Krakow, let alone Kazimierz. Not bad, you understand, merely rather ordinary - just like the food.
It deserves more than the one star I have given it, perhaps four or five but I wanted to catch your attention. You can do so very much better in Krakow, especially if you go native.
First class food with interesting Sardinian specialities, great selection of Italian wines at reasonable prices and friendly owners and staff who know how to provide great service. We've dined here many many times during our 15 months in Krakow and have never been disappointed. Well worth the visit.
Un ottimo ristorante italiano a Cracovia! Il nome al dente è più che azzeccato e si vede che è gestito con amore da italiani. Spettacolare la pasta alla bottarga e il branzino con patate accompagnati come ci hanno consigliato da un bel vermentino sardo ghiacciato! Abbiamo preso anche la pizza ed era meglio di quella che mangiamo a casa! Ottimo consigliatissimo fateci un salto che merita!
I was not expecting much from this restaurant, as I don't expect much from ANY Italian restaurant abroad, but I must admit that this time I was positively surprised. The quality of the pasta was high, the wine was excellent and the service very kind. I rate it 4 because I REALLY wanted to have a tiramisu but they had just finished them! I wish I could stay a couple of days longer just for that, since where I live there is no chance to get a decent one!
When we arrived to Krakow, we expected everything but finding such a good italian restaurant. Sardinian food and fresh seafood reminded me and my wife our summer trips to the beautiful island and made us nostalgic! The service was nice and they also offered us an espresso and a drink at the end of the meal. We definetely recommed this place to everybody.
I was suggested to visit this restaurant by one of my friends who said it was great. Indeed, he was true. The food is really delicious, the atmosphere is very nice and the owners of the place are always there, which is a truly exceptional thing compared to other restaurants in Cracow.
I'm Italian and I work in Krakow, when a friend told me about this restaurant (it's spelled Al dente) I went to try and it was a great discovery! Finally a restaurant with the full taste of Italy, with the best pizza in Krakow or maybe in Poland and a selection special dishes from Sardinia region! The Italian owners are nice and friendly and I felt home again! It's my new favourite restaurant and I suggest everybody to try, I'm sure you won't be disappointed