-- This is one of the world's most fascinating
cities, filled with history that stretches
from the Middle Ages through the "Velvet
Revolution." You can eat heartily
here, but take care with your choices,
otherwise it may seem like you're wading
through a perpetual sea of brown gravy
towards a never-ending pork cutlet. These
tips should help your culinary activities
be as balanced as your tourism.
NIGHT-- Meal One
-- Nebovidska 6; 257-320-308: Start
your journey by crossing the famous
Charles Bridge and turning left
into the winding streets of Malá
Strana ("the Lesser Town")
where you'll find this famous dining
landmark. The decor is eclectic
kitsch and every table is nestled
into its one intimate corner. But
the food is superb, with traditional
Czech cuisine elevated to high art.
All of the various duck dishes are
superb, as is the wonderful roast
rabbit with lingonberry sauce. Save
room for the palacinky crepes for
dessert and look at the framed photos
of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman
who dined here when he was shooting
Mission Impossible in Prague.
MORNING -- Meal Two
Savoy -- Vitezna
5; 257-311-562: This glorious coffee
house dates from 1893 and has all
the art nouveau flourishes you would
expect. It's in perfect condition
because its stained glass windows
were plastered over from 1939 through
Now it's a place to
sit and enjoy one of their prodigious
breakfasts, each named after a different
The French Breakfast
is a French baguette, fried sweet
toast with maple syrup, grilled
sausage with french fries, Prague
ham, boiled egg, French blue cheese,
butter, homemade jam, croissant,
grapes, fresh orange juice, café
au lait. Rest afterwards is required.
AFTERNOON -- Meal Three
medvidku -- Na Perstyne
7; 224-211-916: You have to experience
an authentic Czech pub at least
once and the food here is better
than most, while the ratio of tourists
to locals is a lot lower.
Make sure you go to
the pub on the right, not the higher-priced
and stuffier restaurant on the left.
Once there, place
a coaster in front of you to indicate
you're ready for some beer [if you
wish], glance through the menu and
write your choice on the pad the
waiter gives you.
Everything is hearty,
everything is good, but the stuffed
pork loin with red cabbage and dumplings
will keep you going for a while.
NIGHT -- Meal Four
trh -- Tynsky Dvur
5; 224-895-447: After all this heavy
food, you need something lighter,
so seek out this well-concealed
seafood restaurant in a tiny square
behind the famous Tyn Church. Dine
on impeccably fresh oysters, eel,
sole, turbot – just about
any fish that's in season. They
cook it simply, but superbly and
your stomach will thank you. Your
wallet will also be thinner: fresh
seafood is very expensive in Prague.
-- Meal Five
Obecni dum -- Námestí
Republiky 5; 222-002-763: This grand
café is part of the magnificently
restored Municipal House, another
triumph of art nouveau: giant windows,
copious chandeliers, mirrored walls
and gold trim. You'll feel like
you've gone back 100 years and are
a member of café society.
The food is limited, but the pastries
and coffee are excellent, so have
something sweet, sip a café
au lait and dream.
-- Meal Six
Slavia -- Smetanovo
nabrezi 1012; 224-218-493: End your
visit with some modern history along
with excellent goulash and decadent
cream cakes. This art deco café
was the meeting place for Prague's
intellectual and political élite
for most of the 20th century. Milan
Kundera said it was his favourite
place to eat and Václav Havel
pronounced it an important part
of his life as well. The prices
are reasonable, the rosewood and
onyx decor is striking and the sense
of history is palpable.
NOTE: Some of these
restaurants may be 'big splurge'
and some may require reservations.
It's probably best to ask your concierge
about them or ... more fun, seek
them out during the day and asked
to see their menu. It's all part
of the fun of being a traveller.