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From swish spots to quirky boho bars bubbling up from between the historic buildings of Kraków’s old Jewish Quarter, this famous Polish city has many top cocktail bars. Here are 10 of the best.
Nestled on the edge of bustling Plac Nowy, in the heart of Kraków’s boho-beatnik nerve centre Kazimierz, Finka is an unassuming little cocktail bar. It does well to blur the boundary between quirky daytime cafe and cool after-dark haunt. The interior is done out with healthy dashes of eco-friendly design, touting makeshift-timber tables formed from up-turned builders’ crates, swinging hammock seats, recycled furniture and ubiquitous Fairtrade posters. The drinks menu is no less interesting, ranging from żurawina (cranberry) infused shots, to homemade Bloody Marys, and a particularly potent, ‘evil’ iced tea.
Finka, Klub Finka, Warszauera 1, Kraków, Poland, +48 516 442 980
A retro mishmash of antique furnishings and 1920s decorations right in the heart of Kraków’s super-cool Kazimierz district, the Absynt Cafe & Drink Bar serves up classic Polish vodka shots in a rainbow of different flavors. It also has plenty of mixed long drinks and – of course – the city’s best range of absinthe. If you’re not sure which strain of the potent brew to go for, then be sure to ask behind the bar, where the licorice flavors of the flaming Green Fairy are held in the highest esteem.
Absynt Cafe & Drink Bar, Miodowa 28, Kraków, Poland, +48 605 240 397
Something of a thinking man’s haven right in the midst of Kraków’s gaudy Szewska Street, Piec Art is part-jazz club, part-cocktail bar and part-swish drinking den. This is a spot for locals who would prefer to spend the night sipping single malts and Johnnie Walker to the off-beats of Coltrane and Charlie Parker than thumping away to Polish pop in the heady clubs next door. Expect a menu that encompasses all the classic tipples of the cocktail trade, with both the light and dark Russians, plenty of Cuba Libres for when the Latin jazz hits the stage, and other specialities, such as the ‘Bartender Fantasy’, with its fusion of Polish vodka and Malibu.
Piec Art Acoustic Jazz Club, Szewska 12, Kraków, Poland, +48 12 429 64 25
La Habana is Kraków’s gateway to the Caribbean, where a heady haze of smoke curls around stained-timber tables and ubiquitous images of Che, and salsa ticks over the on the crackly speakers while the barmen roll dice on the side. Cuba doesn’t stop at the décor here either, because the cocktail offering is predictably mojito heavy, touting plenty of fresh limes and tipples of that sort, while Poland does make an appearance in its usual guise of vodka.
La Habana, Miodowa 22, Kraków, Poland, +48 602 192 582