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"Balaton" has been around a long time, certainly over thirty years, and is something of the elder statesman along the popular Grodzka Street, where restaurants can change often. Its staple of good, basic Polish-Hungarian fare at a decent price, and in healthy portions, makes this popular with locals and visitors alike. The dish to try is "Placki 'po Wegiersku'", a splendidly rich Hungarian sauce smothering Polish-style potato cakes. Expect the occasional Hungaro-gipsy music recital and a low-key but cheerful service. Its open from 9 am until 10 at night.
Editor & Krakow Local
Jest takie miejsce w Krakowie, co się Balaton zowie. Pyszne placki ziemniaczane, paprykarzem okraszane. No i tokaj wyśmienity do obiadu smakowity!
Nie trzeba jechać nad Balaton, by skosztować dobrej kuchni węgierskiej w Krakowie: smaczna i sycąca zarazem. Obowiązkowo z tokajem!
Excellent 'placki' !
amazing. The venison goulash was one of those meals you never want to end. Recommended
Best goulash I have ever eaten. Lovely staff as well.
My partner is from Krakow and whenever we visit this wonderful city this restaurant is a "must visit". Like others here we go for the placki and goulash, (wild boar my personal favourite). Simply outstanding!
Just three words for anybody looking for fantastic food - Go Here Now!
Agreed - absolutely superb. Filling, delicious food here every time!
Quite simply the best placki with goulash I have ever eaten. A simple, modest setting for wonderfully fresh cooking. Thank you.
Incredibly good food - just go!
I have eaten at Balaton 5 times in two visits. I can not get past the goulash soup it is so good.
Balaton is without a doubt one of the finest restaurants in Europe for hearty, delicious food. If you want really great potato pancakes this is the best of the best. While we have an apartment in Krakow, we also live in Arizona. Balaton is the first place we visit on our trips back to Poland. When in Krakow, do NOT miss this restaurant. Just save us a place at the table.
Fabulous food, great authentic Hungarian music too. Great price... cannot fault this restaurant ! :)
Simply fantastic - the Potato pancake with Goulash especially recommended!
Just one tip - don't eat anything for about half a day before - the portions are very generous indeed!
Yes, a pleasant eaterie with good sized portions.There was some confusion among the waitresses as to whether the food was polish or hungarian...!!!
Don't leave it too late to dine though. We went at 21:30 and felt a tad rushed as they were winding down.
Extremely good food and huge portions making it good value for money. Very pleasant waitresses, giving friendly efficient service. Not the smartest of restaurants but by no means as scruffy as some book reviews suggest.
We visited this place on our first night in Krakow after reading about it on this site and we were not disappointed. The food was excellent and the waitress, Asher, was really great with us. We enjoyed it so much we went again for our last night. Great food in a great place at a great place. A must visit!
Great Food at a great price. This restaurant comes highly recommended, the goulash was great and was only surpassed by the 'Beef in gypsy style'. If you are in Krakow you MUST visit this restaurant.
Just try their potato cake (placki) with goulash sauce - delicious!
Good hungarian food what is cheaper than Budpaest I think. Leczo was not the same I got used to at home but still good. Today we gonna go back and try their goulash.
If I had one day in Krakow I would eat here, even though it isnt Polish, the dishes are amazing. My friends who have eaten here still tell me how their mouths water thinking about the potato pancaked. This place is classic. The interior looks like hardcore communism but the food is unbelievable. SUPERB!
my wife val and our 2 friends june and alan from cramlington/ashington had all agreed that we would go to the balaton for the ghoulash, we thought it was a really great dish, very tasty with the right quantity of spices, a very substantial amount meant we just managed to finish a truly authentic offering, from a very friendly and curtious staff, the red wine wasnt bad either. We then ventured into the town to be entertained by a tremendous blues band in the celler of the jazz club next to paparazzi were we warmed up with mad dog vodka's for the boys and cognac for the girls, brilliant and that was only one of 7 excellent nights in krakow.
We were actually planning to go to Pod Aniolami, however it was closed for refurbishment. This was the restaurant next door.
If you want a large portion of food and not too fussed about taste then this is the place for you. The service was good and the meal cheap. Inside lacks atmosphere. Even if you choose a non smoking place, be prepared to have your clothes smelling of smoke.
Visited this restaurant on the last night of our holiday. Service was excellent but food was average - nothing to rave about. Ordered a carafe of chardonnay from the wine list but not what we were given - wine was a pale brown colour and totally disgusting. Restaurant did try to rectify this problem but do not appear to know their wines!
Three years ago we were in Kraków with my wife on honeymoon. We had a lunch in Balaton restaurant there. I know the Hungarian kitchen well - but this one was not so original. Seemed like some Polish vandering a lot in Hungary during the 80's would founded a restaurant ten years later basing on his vague memories ... We have a bottle of quite good welshriesling from Eger/Bükkalja wine region from Hungary, but the food was terribly fat, my wife got a big mouth-herpes because of her disgust...
Buona cucina ungherese e servizio (come sempre a Cracovia) ottimo. Consigliato a chi vuole provare qualche piatto diverso dalla cucina polacca.
i dined here on recomendation,the goulash soup was warm not hot,the main boar dish was not boar in the slightest-more like stewed steak i know this after myself working 20 years in the food industry -so you could say i know my food.very dissapointed.
My boyfriend and I ended up at the Balaton on our first night in Krakow as it was the only place out of about 5 other restaurants where we could walk in without a reservation. It was such a good find! The food was delicious and very generous portion sizes for really cheap price. Would reccommend the soups - especially bean, which arrived in huge bowls hanging above flames!! The veal goulash is excellent, the meat just melts in your mouth! An excellent first meal out.
can't agree with any of your other reviews. we had lukewarm fish soup,I did not rate the goulash at all and the wine was worse than poor.one saving grace was the service, it was excellent and consequently allowed us to leave our almost full plates with indecent haste. can't imagine we will be back.
Excellent!! Huge plate of piping hot goulash, great beer and wine and liquers, fab desert, oh and the starter of smoked salmon - huge helpings, tasty food and great service at such reasonable prices! Very highly recommended if you want really good food at good prices. Full marks Balaton!
Great food and superb value for money. The goulash and potato cakes are just what you need after a hard days sightseeing. Excellent service and friendly staff. Can't ask for more. A Cracow must !!
Balaton is a great place to stop for a bite to eat. The staff is excellent and the food is delicious. At lunch I usually get the mushroom soup with bread (some of the best mushroom soup I've had in Krakow) and it's great on a cold day! At dinner the Hungarian appetizer can be a bit of an adventure for some, but I definately recommend trying it. I've spent 3 months in Krakow and, despite it's touristy location, this is one of my regular stops.
Can't believe nobody hasn't raved about this place already. The service, setting and food here is of the highest order. Try the soups - all of them are great with a special mention going out to the fish soup. Then try their fantastic pork goulash with potato pancake. If there's a better goulash in Krakow then I'll eat my hat!