We love food festivals. Heck, we spent two hours stuck on the highway just to get to the Brno Street Food Festival a few days ago. It’s a great opportunity to taste many dishes and foods in one place, meet the people behind the food you love and foodies like yourself to chat, share some tips and exchange notes. For foreign visitors, food festivals are also a great place to blend in with the locals and really get as much flavors from their stay in Prague as possible.
Now, if you are planning to visit Prague this fall, you are in luck. The fall calendar is full of food events and we think it is a great idea to visit them during your stay in Prague. It may be the most memorable experience you will bring home with you. We have selected a few we would recommend:
7 through 12 October: Designblok
Not really a food festival, the Designblok is the event of the year when it comes to design and fashion, so it is definitely worth a visit. Designblok showcases young, promising local designers alongside big household names. The main topic of this year's edition is childhood. The specialty of Designblok is the choice of the venue. Every year, the organizers choose a different and interesting venue for its "super studio". This gives you the opportunity to see some famous buildings from the inside. This year, the main studios will be hosted by Grand Hotel Evropa, an Art Nouveau hotel on the Wenceslas Square, the “Dum u minuty” house next to the Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Square, and a former school at Mikulandska street. The food is provided by the Lokal pub, Cestr restaurant and Cafe Savoy of the Ambiente restaurant group. (The Cafe Savoy stand in Grand Hotel Evropa includes baristas from Muj salek kavy and coffee by Doubleshot.)
11 October: Taste Vietnam (Ochutnej Vietnam)
Two things will happen on the 11 October: Prague will vote for its City Council and senators (oh, the joy of voting…), and Hall 13 of the Holesovice market will host the Taste Vietnam festival organized by the “Confessions of Vietnamese Czechs” Facebook group. Why should you try Vietnamese food in Prague? Because it makes more sense that a foreign visitor would think, with the Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic being the third biggest immigrant group here (due to the Communist past of the two countries). The event will start at 11am and will include some local favorites: the bloggers of Viet Food Friends, or the Pho Vietnam and Madame Lyn restaurants. The program also includes a showcase of traditional Vietnamese folk costumes, a culinary workshop, live music and films. It will be fun!
12 October: Street Food Festival
After the huge success of the Holesovice Street Food Festival and the Brno Street Food Festival, the third edition of the Street Food Festival will move to the Vystaviste Trade Grounds near the Stromovka park. With the first edition attended by five thousand people, we would expect lots of people and long lines but also tons of great food and fun. Tip: get there early to try the best foods the festival can offer. At this point, the organizers are still choosing the people who will cook the food. But since true foodies organize this event, we have no doubt the food will be good. We’re pretty confident some of our friends will be there, such as “Duo Topinka”, a “punk-toast pop-up” consisting of toasts by Juliana, a famous bread baking blogger (a.k.a. Maskrtnica) and meat by Michaela from The Real Meat Society butchery, Jirka Skipp with Chez Lucie, ice-cream by Tri kopecky or B-cake cakes. We can’t wait to taste their food. You can then walk off the calories in the nearby Stromovka, our favorite jogging destination and one of the most beautiful parks in Prague, especially in the fall.
16 through 19 October: Signal Festival
Again, Signal Festival is not really a food festival but we simply could not leave it out of the list. The first edition of the “Prague Light Festival” saw some 250,000 attendants, thus becoming the biggest cultural event of the year. We have no reason to believe this year’s edition should be smaller. The festival will show many light performances and installations in the centre of Prague and turn buildings and public spaces into canvases for different light shows. You should not miss this if you are in Prague in mid October.
15 and 16 November: Prague Coffee Festival
The third edition of the Prague Coffee Festival will be held in Hall 40 of the Holesovice market, a great and interesting place to visit on its own. For the first time in its short history, the festival will be a two-day affair. Expect lots of coffee and lots of people. The organizers have not yet published a list of the different coffee establishments to showcase their skills and products, but just the list of the attending roasters is impressive: all the local favorites such as Doubleshot, La Boheme, Coffee Source or Original Coffee, along with many European favorites such as Coffee Collective, The Barn, Has Bean, JB Kaffee or Five Elephant. Expect not to sleep for days.
If you cannot attend any of the food festivals listed above, we are sorry. That said, not all is lost. If you want to experience the atmosphere of a food event, you can still attend the ever-more-popular farmers’ markets here in Prague. As the summers turns to fall and the fall turns to winter, the farmers’ markets get harder and harder to visit, and while the offer of fresh vegetables drops, the consumption of tea, coffee and and mulled wine makes up for it. Definitely wear an extra layer, especially later in the fall. We recommend the markets at Jiriho z Podebrad on Wednesdays through Fridays, and the markets on the riverside beneath the Vysehrad fortress on Saturdays. Have fun and eat and drink responsibly!