Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Prague Stole Our Hearts

We spend New Year in Prague and I must say it was a wonderful trip. Besides the city being absolutely magnificent, we also ate some really delicious food. If you ever decide to visit Prague, here's a few good restaurant and food tips.

There are a few foods you should definitely try and can be found on most restaurant menus. In Prague there is a bar, café or restaurant in every street corner and most of them serve food. We found it best to avoid the Old Town and Josefov are, mainly due to the amount of other tourists and high prices. We found the Lonely Planet Pocket Prague guide very useful. It is small in size and in content, but all the restaurants and bars we were guided to by the book were very satisfactory.

One of the food worth trying is the classic Goulash soup or stew. I had mine as a soup for lunch at the Klášterní pivovar Strahov, which is the Strahov Monastery Brewery at Petrín Hill. They have been brewing their own beer for ages and it was delicious! They were very popular, but we were able to get a table during lunch time.

One of my absolute favourites is steak tartare - raw chopped beef fillet, seasoned with onion, caper, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and black pepper. Steak tartare could be found on the menu in every other restaurant in Prague. Kolkovna Olympia was the closest restaurant to our hotel and had a nice traditional atmosphere. Although it is a chain of quite a few restaurant, it did not feel like it.

Besides traditional Czech food, Prague offers a lot of other cuisines. Our guide book suggested Klub Cestovatelu, which was a lovely "travelers' café" style restaurant. The clientele was a nice mixtures of students, families and old friends smoking shishas. The menu had all my favourites from tabbouleh to hummus to shish kebab. They also had quite a selection of Indian dishes, although majority of the food was Middle Eastern. We ended up ordering so much delicacies that we really could not finish all the food and we felt really guilty about it. Klub Cestovatelu is the perfect alternative for Czech cuisine and worth visiting because of the great atmosphere.

Once we had explored Malá Strana bars, we decided to experience the Vinohrady and Zizkov areas. Although quite a hike from our hotel, it was good to see "the real Prague." We ended up having a late dinner at Mozaika, which was boasted to serve "the best burger in town" by our guidebook. I must admit the burger was a very pleasant surprise. Nothing beats a homemade burger, which is well seasoned and dressed. My Kir Royale just made the burger better.

After the burger we wondered around Vinohrady and ended up in a cocktail bar called Hapu on Orlická, which has been listed as one of the best bars in the world. Hapu is a hipstery lounge style bar and the owner mixes cocktails behind the bar and even makes his own juices. I found my new favourite cocktail, which I am quite happy about, since I am not a big cocktail drinker (GT's all the way). High Society is a mixture of gin, Campari, peach schnapps and grapefruit juice.

Prague definitely stole our hearts and I can say with confidence that we will be back some day. Perhaps during summertime. I was dying to have a picnic on Petrín Hill, but it was too cold...