Franz Kawka, located just a few metres from the market square, is one of the latest new venues to join Wroclaw's 'alternative' cafe craze. With so many other places doing something similar however, has Franz got enough to make it a cut above the competition?
Despite having the word coffee in their name, Franz Kawka are promoting their venue as a wine bar and bakery. The bread is allegedly freshly baked on site everyday, while Franz are also able to offer a modest selection of wine sold at reasonable prices.
The decor is a mix of the old and the new, with rustic looking brick walls and a dusty blackboard providing the backdrop for the cafe's more contemporary furniture. It's nothing particularly out of the ordinary, but it is small, cozy and welcoming. Franz's beer garden, lying on the other side of the narrow street, nestles in quite nicely and looks rather picturesque with its cloth roof and side netting.
Aside from the wine and the coffee, visitors to Franz can also choose from a selection of alternative soft drinks, as well as bottled lager from the Namysłów brewery.
The cafe's main offering food wise comes from their bakery, with a selection of both cold and toasted sandwiches available in either a baguette or ciabbata form. We ordered the tomato, rocket and mozzarella toasted baguette pictured below, which cost 11zl. The baked on site bread was certainly tasty, although on the whole it has to be said the baguette was pretty much on par with similar offerings in other Wroclaw cafes.
We also thought we'd run the rule over Franz's bruschetta, which costs 16zl. Far from being Italian, Franz's version can be considered a hybrid; the toast came topped with polish cottage cheese and smoked salmon, plus a thin layer of gouda and green salad on top of that. This interesting if not quirky concoction came together surprisingly nicely but unfortunately did little to justify its price tag.
So what's the verdict then? Franz definitely have a ideal location near the Rynek, plus they have a nice looking interior and a small but comfy beer garden. They also make great bread and offer a better wine selection than most cafes.
On the other hand however, the prices are a little above average and the atmosphere, while friendly, just appears to be lacking something. Had it opened two years ago, Franz would have almost certainly been a big hit. Today however, Franz must find themselves a place amongst a plethora of venues who all claim to be doing something different. To thrive, you really must do something out of the ordinary to capture the imagination. Despite having a few plus points, Franz haven't quite managed to achieve that yet.
Franz Kawka, Więzienna 1-4
Tel: 515 585 261, Facebook Page