A Dreamy Fairytale
17 year old Nikita was a slighly spoiled, verifiably sheltered young guy, and when he arrived in Prague it was exactly the idealized European city he expected.
Looking back, I damn sure didn’t know much. Prague is truly a gem; the architecture, the green spaces, the culture and adventures culinary all around. It’s a beautifully breezy place.
What makes it so special?
TL;DR (click to learn)
I can unashamedly waste hours at a coffee shop. I’m not one of those of people who works on their laptop, and even a book won’t keep me occupied for the whole duration.
I pick out my beans, brew.
Savor the flavor, sipping with an overly pretentious, critical expression. Then, with a slightly delayed pause, share my assessments with the barista, who happily nods and pretends to care about my subjective commentary.
Anyways, Prague is a great place for that, and I’ve certainly wasted far too many hours of my life engaging in this precise activity.
Here are some of my favorites
Just going by cup quality alone, this is where I had my favorite tasting coffee. There were a variety of brew methods, and the baristas passionately explained and aided in selections. The downside of the place is that it’s very small, and standing room only, which can make it quite crowded. Last time I visited it was also quite hot, which didn’t entice to linger. Really it’s a takeaway spot, aimed at lunchtime professionals in the Karlin District. Regardless, I see it as a must visit.
Staffed by a team of friendly and passionate baristas, Onesip’s lively atmosphere tempts me to linger even though it’s so small. Located conveniently in Staré město, it’s a quiet backstreet in one of Prague’s most crowded area. And have I mentioned the coffee is top notch?
Last time I was there they used a variety of bean roasters from around Europe, pulling killer ‘spro shots. They also serve fantastic seasonal beverages
A peaceful offshoot of the Doubleshot roasters, this full on cafe in the Bubenec district is a relaxing destination to spend…well an entire day. Their coffee selection is excellent, and they offer a blind tasting from three different origins. Their desserts and baked goods are delicious, but I would avoid the main meals. No question it’s one of the most beautiful interiors of any shop in Prague.
It’s a photogenic spot, so please excuse all my
trying to look too cool pictures.
Tucked into a converted factory, the space oozes casual industrial aesthetic.
Looking around you’d think the food would be expensive, served in small plates, and accompanied by “i’m trendier than thou” smirk.
Thankfully, you only get 1.0 of these.
The cuisine at Eska finds its roots in old school Czech cookery, yet is constructed on broken plates with Scandinavian modernity.
The wine program is excellent as well, with prices relatively approachable, and an even more approachable sommelier who typically sports jeans and sneakers.
The menu changes fairly frequently, yet one stalwart reappears regularly. The potatoes in ash best encapsulates Eska’s ethos. The taters are reminiscent of campfire-youth-wrapped-in foil days, suspended in a delicately airy buttermilk emulsion.
It’s an intriguing juxtaposition of home cooking throwback, all the while dressed up in contemporary techniques..
The presentations here are gorgeous
Eska also has a tasting menu (which has gradually, yet steadily increased in price, but good for them they deserve the $$$) that’d offer a great chance to try a little bit of everything.
Eska’s dishes don’t always maintain consistency, and the standalone entrees are typically more thoroughly thought through than parts of the tasting menu.
Really though, it’s forgiven when considering a glass of wine and entree will set you back less than 600 Czk.
The Czechs are lover’s of meats in all forms- smoked, raw, sizzled and cut up into a sandwiches. No better place to sample them all than in this bustling butcher shop.
There’s two ways to enjoy the food here:
“Jedna”: Showing up at the shop and ordering one of their staple dishes, such as the meatloaf, cheeseburger, and tartare, all while washing it down with a beer you pour yourself.
It’s simply made, relatively inexpensive fare (~200 CZK) with focus on the meat quality, and fast, yet delicious, preparation.
“Dva”: The more elaborate option is to pursue the dinner from the butcher. Held three times a week, at exactly 7pm. It’s a curated meat feast designed to satiate those who heavily distaste vegetables.
Expect Hruškovice (pear brandy) continuously offered, and consumed by, a smiling Czech butcher.
The meats themselves are stupendous, standouts including their version of “cake“, and exquisite cuts I’ve ashamedly forgotten in the overwhelming fuzz of food coma alcoholic overload.
You can also buy smoked, raw, and cured meats to take home- it is a butcher’s shop after all. Sometimes it feels best to enjoy their offerings outside of commotion, so don’t neglect this option.
Continuing on the Czech alcohol/meat overload, there’s no better steakhouse than
Čestr. The atmosphere is upscale enough to make a celebration out of beef consumption, but not too stuffy to limit the enjoyment. The variety of cuts prepared showcases the magnitude of respect towards the animal-nothing is wasted.
Their dedication is impressive, every guest is provided with a thoughtful diagram, explaining nomneclature.