(Usually) the best veggie food in town
Posted on 09 / 27 / 2013
"Karma" is the most contemporary and advanced in Krakow's veggie food scene - which all in all is rather conservative, so don't expect any avantgarde experiments here. It is considered a "hipster" venue (with a macbook on every other table this might actually have been a self-fulfilling marketing ruse), features a fairly minimalistic, stylish, bright environment and is quite well visited throughout their opening hours.
Basically, they work with the common "bar" concept, but except for having to order your food at the counter, every other aspect is handled flexibly or entirely with a proper restaurant attitude, e.g. if you wish to, you can pay when leaving instead of up-front, you don't have to fetch your food or cutlery (or return it). The staff is friendly, attentive and eager to explain the dishes on offer.
The food changes on a daily basis, but with about eight recurring "favorites" one can get a taste of their basic repertoire within a week. They definitely try to come up with something new every now and then, usually based on the season's fruits and vegetables and weather adapted. The quality is consistently high, but this fact makes the sometimes utterly boring and bland exceptions stand out even more. Many of the dishes show (near or far) eastern influences, Mediterranean food isn't rare either. Nicely spiced salads are a standard here, so are the good (sometimes excellent) cakes. Coffee is supposedly good, too.
Prices are clearly higher than in any of the other businesses, but then, none of them has anything comparable to offer (with maybe some of the Japanese dishes at "Pod norenami" being the only exception). Still worth it.
In any larger Metropolis "Karma" would be underpiced (yet somehat standard fare) - in Krakow it's the only creative veggie cuisine, and thusly, at least for some, without competition.
If you don't mind the ubiquitous Apple logo, go there.
Only main drawback for me: About half of the offer is vegetarian. Many of those dishes can be veganized, but this hardly ever means substituting with vegan ingredients, rather omitting non-vegan ones. With the warm dishes normally being limited to two soups and two main courses per day, on many occasions there is not much of a choice when coming in vegan - but at least you'll never have to leave hungry. Still, a serious, albeit easily improvable minus!
Most advanced & creative cuisine in town, tasty food (though partially re-hashed), pleasant atmo (except for applephilia)
Not entirely vegan, , costier than the rest (but worth it), macbooks & iphones not banned, yet