Martin's Five Favourites in Prague

Martin's Five Favourites in Prague

Here's the penultimate edition of “Prague Five Faves”, where we introduce the people behind Taste of Prague. Before we finish off next week with Zuzi, we still have to introduce Martin. 

You know, Czech has a formal and an informal “you” (think “” and “usted” in Spanish). And just like Jaromir Jagr, the Czech ice-hockey legend and Jan’s future husband (if his dream/nightmare becomes a reality), Martin hasn’t used the formal “you” in years. Yup, you had Martin at “hello”. You’re friends now. 

He also has a very interesting background (and we don’t meant that physically): How on earth does a psychotherapist with an Austrian passport born in the Czech Republic become a butcher in Prague? Is it because stabbing dead flesh with a knife gives you more job satisfaction than dealing with problems of people who are alive? Well, that’s Jan’s theory. The fact is we hit it off the instant he appeared behind the counter of the Nase maso butcher shop, and we’ve been hitting it off ever since. He’s a big guy with an even bigger heart who’s main problem is that he doesn’t call Zuzi after the tour to tell her how it went soon enough because he just wants to make sure you don’t get lost on your way to the hotel so he just takes you there. Or for a beer.

And he loves food. Having travelled through most of the world (under conditions we sometimes find hard to believe - do commercial aircrafts really have a spare seat in the back?) and eaten just about anything, Martin knows good food and spends most of his free time trying to recreate the food memories he has gathered over the years. Want to meet him on Sunday? Check out the Vietnamese Sapa market, or the new Mexican joint that has just opened. Do you want to meet him at night? Just visit a popular pub or club. Because he just loves company, and the company loves him back. 


Anna's Five Favourites in Prague

Anna's Five Favourites in Prague

Still going on strong with “Prague Five Faves”, where we introduce the people behind Taste of Prague and where we spill the beans on where we like to eat in Prague, and whom we like to webstalk. Next up: Anna.

If there is a true food nerd in the Taste of Prague team, it must be Anna, a.k.a. the Food Pioneer. I mean, how many inches wide should be the fat layer on a 10-month old Prestice pig? Yeah, we have no idea. Let’s ask Anna! She’ll know! And you know what? She will. And her stories all involve food, foraging, working at the butcher shop, or something along those lines. Many people think that we all eat too much food. Anna doesn’t just eat it. She lives food. 

And she puts all her nerdy food wisdom into practice. As a graduate of the Agricultural University, she has now turned her thesis paper into a popular elderflower soda called Divozenka, available in selected shops and cafes in Prague. You should check it out. And Silak, her beef and chicken broths, have been staples at Prague’s farmers markets, which are the places she loves the most we think. 

We met her once at the Dejvice market, the last one of the season. She said she’s closing early because she has to make the round and talk to all the other vendors to say bye and see what they’re up to. And that’s Anna. Connecting with other people through food. We like that.


Karolina's Five Favorites in Prague

Karolina's Five Favorites in Prague

We continue with the 2nd edition of our “Prague Five Faves”, where we introduce the people behind Taste of Prague and where we spill the beans on what we actually like in Prague. Next up: Karolina.

When we told Michal, the sommelier at Cafe Savoy, that Karolina would we working with us, he had to have a seat. He knew her too well, having roamed the city with her, hopping from bar to bar. He said she was perfect for us. And he was right. Yes, Karolina likes to party and we are yet to meet a person who wouldn’t want to have a drink with her, having known her for at least ten minutes. Yet she is organised and reliable. More than we are. We guess that’s what being a mom of a super cute toddler does to you.

What Jan admires about Karolina is her system of “cheat days”. While Jan just goes on a eating rampage with the will power of a three-year-old in an empty candy story without adult supervision, Karolina stays calm, breaths in, breaths out and let’s the opportunity go, instead waiting for one of her cheat days when the limits are off. Eating out with her is fun: just like Zuzi, preparation seems to be a big part of Karolina’s eating out experience. She just has a plan when she walks into a restaurant and sticks to it. And we like a woman with a plan.

Karolina’s also an unlimited source of incredibly funny stories and an open book who just loves people. Need a recharge? Just give Karolina some enthusiasm and affection, and you’ll get it back tenfold. And she’s our resident dim sum dumpling expert. A lover of Asian cuisine, she knows where to go and what to get. Just ask her. Trust us.


Jan's Five Favourites in Prague

Jan's Five Favourites in Prague

If you follow us on social media, you may have notice a big change in the Taste of Prague world: we have grown. And it’s time to introduce ourselves, which is exactly what we’ll do in a series of our “Prague Five Faves”, where the people of Taste of Prague spill the beans on what they like. 

We’re kicking off with Jan. He likes to call himself Taste of Prague’s “Supreme Leader”. Until Zuzi enters the room. Anyway, nerdy and mostly lovable - and “too nice” according to Karolina (Zuzi shakes her head in disapproval), Jan is a people person. Zuzi sometimes complains that when she walks off to the restroom and comes back, she can hear Jan’s voice, as he’s chatting to the other people in the restaurant. And it’s totally true. He just can’t help it.

Jan has a discerning palate and appreciates great food, yet shows no detectable ownership of will-power whatsoever when it comes to various types of junk foods. Nutella, French fries, burgers and pizza, you name it, he’ll eat it. the faster the better. Apart from food, he is a linguist and translator (“That’s Doctor Jan to you!” he exclaims whenever he’s fighting with Zuzi over anything and loses) and his biggest life achievements are the facts that he was an extra in Barbara Streisand’s Yentl (true story) and went to high school with Beyonce (true story too).


Our favorite places for hot chocolate in Prague

Our favorite places for hot chocolate in Prague

We don't know about you, but when the summer ends, we say good-bye to our running shoes, waste any exercise we engaged in during the summer, and just focus on a steady diet of Pho, roast pork, buttery risottos and other comfort foods. Hey, the winter's coming, and that's not the time to fool around. You need to eat. Just ask our grandmas. 
But the gloomy, dark and increasingly short days have a positive side, too: the season for hot chocolate in Prague has officially begun. Talk about a silver lining. Here's the places we like to visit for our cup of the delicious - and highly addictive - stuff.


Must-eat soups in Prague

Must-eat soups in Prague

Soup in Prague is a life-saver when the fall hits the city: many foreign visitors end up walking more than they ever thought they would, and a bowl of hot, delicious, steaming soup is the best prevention of a ruin-your-travel cold. And the Czechs love a good soup: what Czech cuisine lacks in the appetisers department, it makes up for in the soups category. According to Chef Sahajdak, the executive chef of arguably the best restaurant in Prague, Czech food is all about sauces and soups. So where to go for the best soup in Prague? Read on.


Prague off the beaten path: Dlouha street

Prague off the beaten path: Dlouha street

We’ve said it once and we will say it again: picking the right place to eat or drink in Prague’s historical centre can be tricky. The thing is, most of the venues in the areas exposed to tourism are not really frequented by the locals and you have to cherry-pick them to find the good, authentic local spots. Prague can get very touristy at times. Just wait until you get here and you'll see what we’re talking about.

Luckily, there are a few places in the centre that are exceptions to the rule. One of them is the Dlouha street. Just a few steps of the madness that is the Old Town Square, with the Astronomical Clock that the locals are careful to avoid around the full hour (if you’ve been to Prague, you understand), the Dlouha street is a refuge that offers some great places to eat, meet and great with the locals. If you are in the Old Town area, you can spend nearly the entire day in the Dlouha street and its surroundings eating, drinking and even enjoying some culture and walks. Don’t believe us? Here are some of the options.


Common mistakes when traveling to Prague, a.k.a. "It's your own fault"

Common mistakes when traveling to Prague, a.k.a. "It's your own fault"

Here at Taste of Prague, we have this secret competition with Vienna: we want all the guests of our food tours, and all the visitors to Prague, enjoy our city more than Vienna. Not that we have anything against Vienna. We actually love that place. But still, when many of our guests visit Prague, Vienna and Budapest within the same trip, we want them to enjoy Prague the best. It’s just the way we are. Competitive.

But some Prague visitors don’t make it easy. Their Prague stays are riddled by what we would see as traveling mistakes. (We wrote about some don'ts of Prague already.) And then they complain about Prague. And we’re sad. And angry. Yup, it’s an emotional rollercoaster here at Taste of Prague whenever someone dares criticize out home town. 

To avoid that, we have put together a short list of what we think are the main mistakes we’ve seen visitors to Prague make, and how and why to avoid them. We hate to be haters, but hey - nobody disses our town on our watch!

So drop that pretzel, push away the pork knuckle, and read on. Here’s what you don’t do during your stay in Prague.


Prague off the beaten path: Bethlehem Square and its surroundings

Prague off the beaten path: Bethlehem Square and its surroundings

Calling an area this central “off the beaten path” can be quite daring, but we think the stretch of the Old Town between the National Theatre and the Charles Bridge can offer a truly authentic, local experience, with many venues frequented more by locals than foreign visitors. You see, most of Prague’s visitors move between the two bridges along the river bank, which surely is beautiful, but sadly bypasses some hidden, shady streets just a block away from the river that can offer some nice culinary and shopping opportunities. 

And on top of that, this area, which takes the total of some 15 to 30 minutes to explore at a leisurely pace, is just utterly beautiful, with a nice, quiet atmosphere that can be enjoyed literally seconds from the madness that is the Charles Bridge. Just a few steps away, you have an area where you can fall in love with Prague all over again, have a breather or contemplate the day in some of the nicest cafes and bars in Prague, and talk to the owners of some of the nicest and cleverest shops in the entire city. What follows are our personal tips for the area.


Prague off the beaten path: Letna district

Prague off the beaten path: Letna district

Letna district is arguably one of the best places to live in Prague. It benefits from its location just across the river from the busy historical centre, which means you’re near it all if you want to, but not in the middle of it all if you don’t. Nestled in between two parks, the Letenský park and the Stromovka, the area is great for families: there’s always somewhere to go or something to do, and far from traffic, too. Also, the people of Letna create a lively, healthy community, as witnessed by the mayor of the entire Prague 7 district, who was voted in as an independent candidate of a purely local movement.

The Letna is spread over a hill and the plain at its top has always been a strategic point for military purposes. It was even used by Soviet helicopters that landed here during the 1968 invasion. Today, it is known for its relative affluence, a Bohemian feel with lots of art-related spots, incl. the National Gallery or the Academy of Fine Arts, and a plethora of independent galleries, and for the splendor of the ubiquitous 1930s Constructivist buildings.

It is also a great place to visit if you want to see something outside of the centre and just browse a few streets with the locals. Last but not least, Letna is the neighborhood of our awesome Prague rental apartment (if you’re reading this from the apartment now - because we set this as the load page on the computer's browser - welcome in Prague!).

Now, we have suggested a cool walk from Letna to the Holesovice district a while ago on this blog, but we thought Letna needed a closer look. Here’s our small guide to the neighborhood.