My unforgettable trip to Prague during the Holiday Season of 2017 was full of spectacular moments and unforgettable memories. Being a foodie at heart, the highlight of getting to know any new destination is to know its food and culture. The Taste of Prague was all of that and more! Sit back, relax and enjoy, as I take you on the journey of different tastes, cuisines and history of Prague.
When I was researching what to do in Prague, I read something that immediately caught my attention: A walking food tour through the streets of Prague, led by locals. During the tour, you would not only visit many restaurants but also learn about the culture of Prague and anything else that might interest you regarding Czech culture. I went to the Taste of Prague website almost immediately, and sent an email to reserve a spot for us, not know that this would end up being our favorite Czech experience.
We met our tour guide, Jan, who turned out to be a super cool guy, who has lived in Prague nearly all his life and had so much to share with all of us. It was a small group – they do that on purpose in order to keep it intimate – and we had a quick round of introductions. We then moved right along to walking to the first location, which was the beautiful pastry shop, Mysak.
Here, we started our first taste of the tour, devouring a beautiful open shrimp sandwich, which is a very traditional Czech finger food, followed by a delicious cream filled pastry. We also spoke with Jan and learned about his family, growing up in a communist country and why he decided to start his business. We were enthralled.
Our second stop was a bit of a walk to a well known steak restaurant, Kantyna.
You could call Kantyna a “meat shrine”. You walk into this incredible modern space with a meat display case of dozens of meats, where you can pick your own steak. Kantyna cooks its steaks in an enormous wood fired oven, and you have high communal tables to savor your meal and enjoy some delicious beer – which we did. We tried steak tartare, duck liver pate among other delicious tidbits. Even the beer was spectacular.
Our next stop was a bit further away and we needed to take the tram. It was a spot where locals go as a hang out late week nights or on weekends. They can spend the whole evening just chatting with friends in a bar like area without music, purposely so they can carry out conversations for hours without having to shout over music. This was Lokal. Here, I learned that the average Czech may drink as many as 14-16 glasses of beer a night! Cheers!
The beer was excellent and the food was even better. We had some schnitzel with potato salad, some cheese with cured meats, served with a delicious bread baked in house, and cheese “tots” that were incredible! By this point on the tour, I could not believe I could still eat another bite. Oh but believe me, I did.
Our next stop was my all time favorite restaurant of the evening. A sort of industrial space with an open kitchen and a bakery, modern atmosphere and more communal tables. Here, I had some of the best food we tasted in Prague! I give you Eska.
It is a mix between a bakery and a restaurant. They bake around 900 loaves of bread daily and Eska even churns its own butter. I tried some of the best potato soup I have ever had in my entire life. The food was simply to die for. The staff at Eska takes every day ingredients and turns them into something memorable. If you are ever in Prague, I insist you visit this restaurant. You will be absolutely blown away by this culinary experience. We loved it so much we ended up going back the next day for a full meal!
After all the incredible food, it was time for the grand finale! Dessert!!! I never understood how people can say “I ate too much, there is no room for dessert”. Let’s analyze this: No one eats dessert because they are hungry; you have just eaten a meal and obviously you have satisfied your hunger. Dessert is for the soul! You need that sugary ending to every meal in order to feel like you are finally done. Or at least, that is how I live my life.
We ended the tour at Krystal Bistro for the typical Czech dessert called Svestkovyknedlik. I challenge you to pronounce this: Svestkovyknedlik! It was decadently delicious and served with a dessert wine. Jan also ordered a shot of “something” (I cannot remember what it was!!!), which we drank after dessert just as locals do.
Wow, this was one evening to remember! I 100% recommend the Taste of Prague to anyone who is interested in getting to learn about Prague through the eyes of locals, walking through the streets, visiting “non-touristy” restaurants and learning about the food and the every day life of a local Czech.
Jan was not just our guide for the Taste of Prague. He kept in touch with us throughout our stay and provided us with amazing recommendations on things to do while in town. Because of him, we ended up vising the Prague’s Farmer’s Market the next day – Saturday morning. Now, if you have not retained anything I have said until now, this is one piece of information you will want to write down: Farmer’s Market every Saturday Morning along the river. Imagine the freshest baked goods, cheeses, typical dishes and even mulled wine. You will find it there. Locals doing their weekly shopping, families with kids, joggers… you name it.
We left the hotel early enough to eat breakfast at the Farmer’s Market. It is needless to say we had breakfast and lunch there. We started with some fantastic fresh baked bread, cheeses and salami. We tasted anything and everything our eyes could see. By the end of the market, we had had pastas, sausages, dessert, mulled wine, freshly squeezed juices to name a few.
In Brazil, when you save the “best for last” you say that “you’ve closed the last door with a golden key”. That is what I would say about the last restaurant of our trip: Kampa Park. We spent New Year’s Eve at Kampa Park and I believe we could not have chosen a better place. Very exclusive and located along the river and under the Charle’s Bridge, it has a direct view of the city, and for New Year’s Eve, it felt like we had our own private show of fire works. The food was marvelous and the service impeccable.
We chose to sit in the River Terrace room, situated at the river’s edge. It felt as if we were directly along side the bridge but with all the beauty and comfort of a 5 star restaurant. The tables were decorated with rose petals and each guest was given a cashmere blanket to keep warm – it was winter after all. Course after course, we were delighted with delicious food. Close to midnight, we were taken to the terrace outside to enjoy the gorgeous fire works show and welcome the new year with a Champagne toast. It was here that the blankets came in quite handy! Kampa Park that night was a “who is who” in Prague, I even had the pleasure to toast midnight with the beautiful and talented Emmy Rossum.
I was surprised that Prague turned out to be such a culinary adventure. The people were warm and eager to share their love of food with us. I hope this post has opened your appetite and shown you a side of Prague that you may not have expected, and perhaps one that you may chose to explore should you decide to make the trip!