People will travel anywhere for good food; it’s crazy – Rene Redzepi.
Believe me when I say this is the first of many posts that will be Prague-related. Saying that I had the best time is an understatement; it was a very much needed break for both myself and my best friend. First of all, I didn’t want to come home. Second of all, Prague is an incredible, beautiful city, and third of all, the food and drink (especially the wine) are completely delicious for a staggeringly cheap price in some parts of the city.
I thought I’d start with the food because when we go on a trip, we all need to eat and do so in an array of places, tasting different cultures, agreeing to various etiquettes and trying something a little out of our comfort zone. When I was younger, I hated trying anything new. I swear I’ve smelled something – or even looked at something – and vowed not to touch it with my unpolluted knife and fork. I have mellowed since then, and I am proud to say that I opted for as many Czech dishes as I could on this city break. My palette did thank me, and I can honestly say Prague is home to some of the best food I’ve ever tasted.
SOME IMPORTANT FOODIE INFO FROM A CZECH
Don’t fall into the trap of the Chimney Cake – “trdelnik” in Czech. It is everywhere in Prague, especially the popular tourist destinations and it is not traditional Czech cuisine. It hails from the Balkans and is especially overpriced.
A local specialty is “kolace” which is a round cake filled with poppy seeds, plum jam or fruits. Traditional pastries are such as “vetrnik” and “venecek” are also recommended.
I’VE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH CZECH WINE
I’m not a particular wine lover; I’m the kind of gal who will drink it but not really love it how I love prosecco or disaronno and coke. However, I can proudly inform you all that Czech wine has changed me. Completely. Considering we weren’t on a boozy holiday, my best friend and I had a few hours each day of drinking time – taking in our surroundings, talking like there was no tomorrow, and generally enjoying our time away from it all. My absolute favourite wine is now Muškát Moravský (Moravian Muscat); it is describe often as dry and aromatic, but my taste buds led me to believe it is a little fruity too. It ticks all of the boxes, and I could drink it over and over. That’s not great for the wine headaches in the morning.
In general, if you are a wine lover, you have to head to Prague. There are wine bars galore in the city, with various bottles to choose from. Plus, the glasses are large. This week was Wine Week, and I really wish I had more time to visit more wine bars, taste various glasses and enjoy the simple wine life.
EAT OUTSIDE OF THE OLD TOWN WALLS FOR CHEAPER FOOD
The further away from the inner city you are, the cheaper the food is. During two evenings, we opted to head closer to our hotel. The first night was due to the fact it was 8.30pm and we had just arrived; the second was because it was an exceptionally long day and the twenty minute walk back needed to be broken up.
Located a stone’s throw away from Hotel Golden City – a three star hotel with fab showers and extremely great value for money – Restaurace Lavicka is beautiful indoors with a cosy, homely atmosphere and food your heart will sing for. The waiting on staff are polite and kind, never rush you (which you will find in the city) nor intrusive. We both opted for the pork ribs with bread and sauces. I wasn’t a fan of the white sauce with cheese but the rest of the meal makes my mouth water just thinking of it. The meat fell from the bone in its deliciousness.
Just a further walk towards the city, Restaurace SKLEP is another Czech local. In its dimly lit back room, it really does feel like somebody’s extended home. Again, the food here is impeccable and the dishes are big. Czechs don’t do small dishes for main meals. I ate the duck and orange with mash and, again, my mouth is watering. I could eat it all over again, right now. The cheeseburger also looked exceptional too.
A MUST FOR THE LUNCH SPECIAL
It is such a must that we went twice, for the exact same special. Café Platyz is a little awkward to find if you don’t exactly know you’re way around Prague. However, if you are patient with Google Maps or happen to stumble on this gorgeous café – it’s located near a small church – you will not regret entering! Sit in the window, like we did, for the full ambience of eating lunch in a gorgeous European city, watching the world go by.
The Flank Steak is incredible. I just can’t stop raving about Czech cuisine. It comes with small cubed potatoes, green beans, a dip and some tiny chunks of meat and veg. And the best part? It costs 155 Czech Crowns which equates to roughly £5.37. Add an Earl Grey, hot chocolate, or homemade raspberry lemonade and the total doesn’t even measure up to 200 crowns, meaning you can leave a tip too! Note: Tipping is similar to that in the UK; 10% is the standard.
CENTURIES OLD, BRITISH MUSIC & A PIECE OF CZECH HISTORY
If you’re a history buff, enjoy something a little different, and want even more fabulous food, Relief, just beside the Charles Bridge, is the place for you. It is located underneath a 13th century monastery. Religious artwork adorns the walls; the steps down to the dining area take you to an underground restaurant of its own magic. The house white wine is scrumptious, just as the Czech delicacies are tasty. Here, I ate another Czech meal consisting of a quarter of crispy duck, traditional dumplings of various kinds, red cabbage and crispy onion. And it was oh, so, good. I swear duck is my favourite meat, and now it’s not just the Chinese takeaway kind.
The waiters here were exceptionally smiley and helpful, bringing us “presents” of the bread roll and postcard variety, always topping up the flowing drinks and not being too intrusive. The ambience was very calming and we could have spent the entire evening, drinking away peacefully. I think the extra mile was making sure we had music to listen to; a playlist of Spice Girls, Vengaboys and Aqua ensued which was equally hilarious and thoughtful.
IT’S BEST TO WANDER & WALK IN FROM THE STREET
Around the Old Town Square, there are many outdoor seating areas of restaurants, which you can just wander into. The lure of blankets and outdoor furnaces are what get you; and the holiday ambience that quickly follows suit. Prices range from 90 CZK to 500 CZK (although I didn’t see much of the latter) and all the menus are standardly issued in their multiple languages, meaning it is quick to get a feel of the place. Alternatively, do what we did and see which place is busier! However, don’t be fooled too much; some of the deadly quiet restaurants and cafés have some of the best food and drinks.
A NOTE ON OTHER ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
The Czech Republic is renowned for its long and strong variety of beers. My travelling other half tried quite a fair few of them and promised me they were all as tasty as can be. I should note here that beer tastes like beer to me; I don’t like it and I can’t tell the differences between any. The sizes in glasses varied; all measured in litres – and yes, I did see a Czech man have a litre of beer one evening. Equally to the food prices, the beer changes drastically depending on where in the central vicinity you sit. Some places to try are U Supa, U Budovce and Caffé Italia. Cocktails and prosecco are also beverages to go for, especially if you head to The Dancing House, specifically the Glass House on the top floor. A glass of prosecco costs just 90 crowns! Plus, the view of the city is free.
What are your favourite places to eat in Prague? I’m definitely planning on heading back so give me all the tips!
Love, Faye xo