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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

Where to Have Czech Cuisine in Prague

Published on August 06th, 2015 in Dining & Drinking

  • Lokal - Lunch buffet (photo courtesy of Lokal facebook page)

  • Na Pekarne - Svíčková (photo courtesy of http://napekarne.com)

  • Kastrol - Goulash with potato pancakes (photo courtesy of www.restauracekastrol.cz)

  • Cestr - Prime Rib (photo courtesy of http://cestr.ambi.cz)

  • Nota Bene - Roast goose (photo courtesy of Nota Bene facebook page)

  • Nota Bene - Beer tasting set (photo courtesy of Nota Bene facebook page)

  • Krystal - Steak (photo:Ondřej Horák, courtesy of www.krystal-bistro.cz)

  • La Degustation - Rabbit with beetroot and mustard (photo courtesy of La Degustation facebook page)

 

I first discovered Czech food aficionados Jan and Zuzi on their Taste of Prague tour (see Prague's First Foodie Tour), an experience that I highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a fun afternoon of strolling, tasting, and talking about Czech culture. Their beautifully photographed blog is also a favorite of Prague foodies, myself included, for its great dining and drinking tips and occasional interviews with locals, myself included! (see Meet a Local: Karen of Artel Glass).

 

This post originally appeared on the Taste of Prague food blog on October 9th 2014. See here to read the full-length post.

 

Lokal

Lokal is a concept of the Czech pub as envisioned by the Ambiente group of restaurants. While the first (and best) one opened five years ago on Dlouha street, now there are five Lokals spread around the city. The latest three have revived classic Czech local pubs and pushed them a bit forward. The focus has not changed, though: Pilsner Urquell beer from tanks and traditional Czech dishes. This is a good place to order the classics: schnitzel with potato salad, goulash or fried cheese, or local specialties for the braver such as as beef tongue, tripe soup, kidneys or headcheese. For dessert, try a Czech classic, "vetrnik" or "rakvička". It’s not a restaurant, it’s a pub: don’t expect pleasantries from the staff but efficient, quick service. Reservations for evenings are highly recommended.

 

 

Dlouhá 33, Prague 1, Old Town
http://lokal-dlouha.ambi.cz/en/
tel 222 316 265
hours Mon – Fri 11:00 – 01:00; Sat 11:00 – 01:00; Sun 11:00 – 24:00
metro A to Staromestka or B to Namesti Republiky

 

 

Na Pekarne

Requires some travel but trust us: it’s worth it. Many foodies from Prague make weekend pilgrimages to this place in the small village of Cakovicky and you will understand why. Owned and run by Mr. Václav Fric, a famous chef and a force of nature, this is a shrine to Czech cuisine. For us it is like visiting grandma's, except you won't have to help with the dishes. Also, if you're really interested in trying a particular Czech dish, make a reservation several days ahead and ask for it. The chef/owner is usually all around the place, boozing up and chatting with the customers. Our favorite dishes? Go for “svíčková” (beef with creamy vegetable sauce and dumplings), wild boar with hibiscus sauce, and plum jam “ravioli” for dessert.

 

 

Kojetická 36, Čakovičky
http://napekarne.com
tel 315 602 615
hours Wed – Sat 11:00 – 22:00; Sun 11 – 18

 

 

Kastrol

Calling Kastrol, a sister restaurant of Na Pekarne, would be daring, but they do Czech meaty dishes really well, and you'll get great beer, too. Besides, you won’t believe the bill is correct (yes, it’s very reasonably priced). Kastrol is the place to visit to get far from the madding crowds of the centre. The local atmosphere and genuine food are the perfect mix for what might just become the experience of your trip.

 

 

Ohradské náměstí 1625/2, Prague 5
www.restauracekastrol.cz
tel 607 048 992
hours Open daily 11:00 – 22:00
metro B to Lužiny

 

 

Cestr

Carnivores will love this place! Cestr has an in-house butcher and even displays whole sides of cows in the steak room. The menu rotates the beef cuts served, and offers a nice combination of Czech-inspired dishes prepared in a modern way. Cestr uses local and seasonal ingredients only and the dishes simply make sense given the season. Besides, they have tank (unpasteurized) beer on tap. Our favorite dishes? The signature beef steak tartare served with potato chips and fried capers, or any of the plentiful slow-cooked roasts or stews. Also, this is not a place to skip dessert. Whether you choose the beer ice cream, semolina pudding, sweet buns filled with poppy seeds in vanilla and rum cream we are sure you will love it.

 

 

Legerova 75/57, Prague 1, Wenceslas Square
http://cestr.ambi.cz/en/
tel 222 727 851
hours Mon – Fri 11:30 – 23:00; Sat 12:00 – 23:00; Sun 12:00 – 22:00
metro A/C to Muzeum

 

 

Nota Bene

Visit a restaurant, and get a beer point for free! If craft beers are your thing, this non-smoking venue is a must. The restaurant does not have a permanent menu but they always cook along the lines of classic Czech cuisine and vegetarians will not leave hungry, either. The beer point serves meaty pub classics, think sausages and the like. Sometimes they let you wait for the food, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because you have to go through the six beers on tap in the restaurant and seven in the beer point, right? Reservations recommended. Tip: If you don’t know which beer to go with, start with the small tasting set.

 

 

Mikovcova 4, Prague 2
www.notabene-restaurant.cz/
tel 721 299 131
hours Mon – Fri 11:00 – 23:00; Sat 12:00 – 23:00
metro C to I.P. Pavlova

 

 

Krystal Mozaika Bistro

Krystal, a popular Karlin-based eatery, mixes Czech cuisine with French influences. Their small snacks to go with beer scream countryside for us: pork lard spreads and pates and the like are always a crowd-pleaser. We were never big fans of the interiors but we do respect their cooking and how Krystal tries to marry Czech classic approaches with modern techniques. We like that they sell many of the things they create, too (pates, spreads and similar). Their seasonal versions of fruit dumplings, which don’t skip on butter (that’s important!) are one of the best in town.

 

 

Sokolovská 101/99, Prague 8, Karlin
www.krystal-bistro.cz/
tel 222 318 152
hours Mon – Fri 11:00 – 23:00; Sat – Sun 12:00 – 23:00
tram 3 or 8 to Krizikova

 

 

La Degustation

La Degustation serves two menus: a shorter, six-course menu based on the classic Czech 1894 Marie Svobodová cookbook, and a longer, twelve-course menu that adds dishes inspired by the Executive Chef. Seven amuse-bouches complement both menus. They also take great pride in Czech wines, so pairings are a welcome option. The dining experience is more than just the food: the open kitchen where the seven chefs complete the dishes shines into the dining room, thus becoming a theatre stage of sorts. Not the cheapest venue but definitely worth every penny.

 

 

Haštalská 753/18, Prague 1, Old Town
www.ladegustation.cz/en/
tel 222 311 234
hours Mon – Sun 18:00 – 24:00
metro A to Staromestka or B to Namesti Republiky


 

 

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