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Prague: ARTĚL Style

Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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Dining & Drinking

As Good as it Gets Kolache in Karlín

Published on February 04th, 2016 in Dining & Drinking

  • Czech Koláčky (photo courtesy of Simply Good facebook page)

  • Frgál with quark cheese and blueberries (photo courtesy of Simply Good facebook page)

  • Moravian kolačky (photo courtesy of Simply Good facebook page)

  • Many other baked goods on offer (photo courtesy of Simply Good facebook page)

  • Many other baked goods on offer (photo courtesy of Simply Good facebook page)

  • Simply Good storefront (photo courtesy of Simply Good facebook page)

 

I have a confession to make: I am not a great fan of kolaches (kolačky), traditional Czech pastries with a sweet topping, sometimes dusted with streusel, that are somewhat of a national treasure. (Many of my readers may be more familiar with American kolache, like the legendary savory variety popular in Texas or the New York version with strawberries and icing).

 

Well made and fresh kolaches can be delightful, but more often than not you encounter ones that have gone a bit stale from sitting around and that is never a good thing! A number of vendors at Prague’s weekend farmer’s market usually sell fresh-baked kolaches, but one bakery whose offerings of this Czech classic never disappoint is Simply Good in Prague’s up-and-coming Karlín district.

 

The trick is to arrive early because they tend to sell out by lunchtime. Varieties include traditional plum jam, quark cheese, and poppy seed—my hands-down favorite. You will occasionally find a version from the Moravsko-slovácký region which is more of a filled bun, and frgal, a Moravian specialty that is a larger and flatter take on the kolache; personally I think it resembles a big fruit pizza.

 

 

 

Left: Moravian kolačky  |  Right: "Frgál" White Cheese & Plum Jam  (photos courtesy of www.simplygood.cz)

 

 

Aside from the more traditional Czech baked goods (Simply Good also has a variety of Czech coffee cakes and strudel) the ladies here make a mean chocolate cheesecake, apple pie, brownies, lemon pound cake, and hefty scones.

 

A small display of locally-made products like the homemade syrups that a lot of Czechs use to flavor their water are available, as are seasonal products like Christmas bread (vanočka) and cookies (cukroví). The Christmas cookies sell out shockingly early in the season—as of this posting they are already gone. If you want to try them I suggest marking your calendar for October!

 

I am not really sure what makes this place so special—the building is very no-frills, blink and you’ll miss it. But everything is baked fresh and preservative-free and the friendly staff are very enthusiastic and proud of their product, as they should be. Is it worth the raves from the local foodie set? In the end the proof is in the kolache, which is divine!

 

Just a few stops from downtown Prague by tram, Simply Good is a perfect escape from the busy center for a coffee and cake break.

 

 

Simply Good

Sokolovská 146/70, Prague 8
www.simplygood.cz
tel 776 789 635
hours Mon–Fri 10:00–17:00
metro B to Křižíkova
tram 3 or 8 to Karlínské náměstí

 

 

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