Firstly, I realise that I hardly ever actually write about Prague. Secondly, I’ve been here for over a year already (how did that happen?) and have managed to discover a lot of great places to eat and drink (even if hard liquour is currently banned… grr!). I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite restaurants. They’re guaranteed to be interesting, wonderful, delicious and most of all – very affordable – especially if you’re just visiting, heh. So, here we go..
PRAVĚK – Cavemen!
If you’ve never wanted to bang a rock on a table to catch a waiter’s attention, you must have experienced amazing customer service. For the rest of you, now is your chance. At Pravěk, where the walls are decorated with animal skins (hopefully fake, who knows) and the atmosphere designed to make you feel as if you are in the Stone Age, this is how you let the staff know that you want to order. The staff will hobble over to you in their revealing skins and face paint, make a brief grunting sound and bring you your beer (in a stone-like mug) or meaty dishes.
On weekends, you’ll even be treated to a show – expect darkness, dancing, dry ice and face paints. Once, when my friends and I were the only customers, we were given the show in English – “We must find virgin to sacrifice!” It’s not for the feint-hearted, but it’s definitely a laugh. The staff remain in character throughout, and you can’t say it isn’t original. Well, there are three such restaurants in Prague (owned by the same people), although it’s the one on Sokolska (near I.P.Pavlova) that I’ve been to. The food is good, the portions hearty (three veal steaks for 199) an the prices fair (between 150 and 250). Expect a lot of steak, ribs and other meats, although they also serve salads and some lighter things. They have delicious cold mead (honey wine), too.
THE PUB – Beer on tap!
PUB actually stands for Pilsner Unique Brewery, and it’s Pilsner you’ll get (although they also sell a couple of other brands). We discovered this chain recently, when my family were in town, and they loved it. The main draw is this – there are massive beer pumps on the table, so you can pour your own beer. The machine in the pumps will keep track of the beer for you, and at 38 Kc for half a litre it isn’t bad at all. Better still, there’s a button on the pump that summons a waiter to your table, meaning the service is always efficient.
On top of that, they serve great food. I had the classic duck, cabbage and dumplings for around 180Kc (a touch pricey but not really), while Jeff had delicious spicy goulash and my brother had a plate of ribs. Everything was under 200Kc, I think, and the atmosphere is great. If you’ve ever dreamed of having beer on tap, this is the place for you. Again, there are a bunch of these, but the one we went to was near I.P.Pavlova in Prague 2. They also have these in Germany and Austria, and all across the Czech Republic – in fact, there’s a big scoreboard on a screen overlooking the bar, showing you who is currently in the lead for litres of beer consumed at their table!
KRAKORA – Pumas while you eat!
Krakora’s website boasts food, a beer garden, and two pumas. That’s right – PUMAS. The wild cats. Unsure of what to expect when I arrived, I was firstly amused by the “stoner bunny” cartoons painted on the bright yellow walls inside. There’s a nice vibe in there – long wooden tables and benches, a small beer garden… and there, in the beer garden, there’s a large cage. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of space and things to do. And there are THREE pumas. As you drink, you can hear them growling and prowling around, fighting and hugging each other intermittently.
Sometimes the owners take the pumas for walks in Riegrovy Sady, so you can even catch them there. We even managed to touch one of them as they were taken for a walk one night. They serve plenty of good beers – Démon, Master, all under 30Kc, and nice food too – burgers, steaks, some good stuff! Even a nice veggie burger. It’s somewhere just off Italská, so you can reach it from Husinecká or Italská. On Thursday nights, there’s a Couchsurfers meeting.
RADOST FX – Stylish veggie food and clubbing
A classy café and a stunning lounge (very boudoir or something, at least that is what I might say if I knew anything about styles) serving beautiful vegetarian food. You might
turn up your nose at the thought of a meal without meat, but eating meat in every meal is frankly unhealthy and you shouldn’t knock veggie food until you’ve tried it. They have pizzas, burritos, pasta dishes, hummus, sandwiches, thai curries and burgers that are beautiful and every bit as fulfilling as a meat dish. There are also some lovely cocktails (once prohibition ends) for later on. Sometimes bands play, but the real night life comes later on, because downstairs Radost FX is a popular nightclub. It’s pretty cool there, although it can be quiet and full of slightly creepy guys (but show me a club that isn’t).
Radost FX has a claim to fame, too – Rihanna used it for her video for Don’t Stop the Music. In fact, the tram that goes past and a corner shop nearby also appear in the video. So, there you go – a pretty cool little place, with meals from 150-200Kc on average. I usually have the homemade ginger lemonade as my drink (40kc), and I recommend – well – any of the burgers, really.