Monday, November 21, 2011

Prague, Czech Republic - Where to Eat

Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that, besides walking around a new city, all I ever seem to do on holiday is eat and drink. My long weekend in Prague was no exception. Here I have put together my favorite eating spots:

Old Town (shown above): In the center of the historical Old Town, you will find a market with stands selling great local fare. Pork is the most famous meat, cooked in various different ways: pork knuckle, sausages, even prosciutto di Praga. Another key staple is potatoes, usually cooked with onion and, you guessed it, pork. Not to be missed is the delicious sweet bread called Trdelnik, which is rolled into a thin strip and wrapped around a long stainless steel 3 inch thick cylinder. It's covered in a sugar syrup and rotated over the heat source. After it is browned and the sugar syrup is a bit crispy, it is rolled in a sugar, cinnamon, nut mixture and then slipped off to be eaten warm. Yum!

Various potato, pork and goulash dishes at the market

Prosciutto di Praga, the smell of the wood fire is amazing

The largest pan I have ever seen in my life: potatoes, onions and pork cooked over a wood fire

I had to sample some of course

Sausages and chicken skewers

Yes, we tried this too

Become hypnotised as the Trdlnik spin round and round, become an addict once you taste it
Bakeshop: A fabulous and informal cafe, take a break from the tourists and eat amongst the locals who come here for light soups, salads, quiche and other prepared foods along with to-die-for cakes, cookies and sweets, as well as sourdough bread made from their very own yeast, which they have named Bertha. (Yes, they gave their yeast a name!) They use all local and seasonal ingredients. Believe me, your biggest dilemma is going to be what to order. Check out these pictures.

Cafe Savoy:  An all day cafe, perfect for stopping in at any hour. They serve traditional Czech dishes as well as amazing bread, and even have their own in-house patisserie (complete with a glass observation wall so you can watch the baking action) that makes some delicious cakes you can order by the slice. There is a great wine list and they serve my favorite tea: Mariage Freres.  An art nouveau gem and once a decadent coffeehouse dating back to 1893, Café Savoy was a favorite haunt after the Velvet Revolution. The Savoy has since received a face-lift, but has stayed true to its Art Nouveau past. The 7-meter high neo-renaissance ceiling with sparkling chandeliers transports you back to the days when Prague boasted one of the highest standards of living in all of Europe.

How beautiful is the ceiling in the Cafe Savoy?!?

We ordered a "light" afternoon snack around 4pm called the Platter Savoy:

roasted Prague ham, delicate frankfurter and merguezi (lamb sausage), housemade cabbage, buttered potatoes, housemade ginger mustard and bread

Of course followed up by Mariage Freres tea and some homemade sweets!

Tahitian Vanilla Cheesecake

Love the ambience!

V Zatisi:  Our favorite place for dinner, great interior design, lovely dark and romantic dining rooms and some pretty delicious food. While we were there, Michelin Star Master Chef Mahavir Kansval presented a special Indian dinner set menu as well. There is also excellent service here, which is something I thought was lacking in Prague restaurants in general. We had a rich and decadent porcini mushroom, parmesan and truffle oil arborio risotto as well as a lovely fillet of sea bass.

Kampa Park: A perfect perch for a drink smack on the river and overlooking the famous Charles Bridge. In summer they even have an outdoor champagne bar. We were wrapped in warm wool blankets that they provided for us, as it was November, but when in Prague, you just have to have a cold Czech beer or some lovely mulled wine, and this view can't be beat. Though I didn't dine here, the restaurant at Kampa Park always receives high reviews (again dining room with the same view), and even Matt Damon ate here when he was filming the Brothers Grimm.
A Pilsner Urquell and some mulled wine overlooking the Charles Bridge at Kampa Park
**The Michelin starred Allegro at the Four Season Hotel was closed for renovations during our stay, but comes very highly recommended. Pin It

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