Yes, we grudgingly admit it: although we always talk about the hidden beauties and tastes of the Czech cuisine, the wonders, demands and delicacy of Czech pastries, and the unspeakable glory of Czech beer, there are other cuisines in the world apart from the Czech one. If you've joined us on a tour, you know that we talk a lot about the presence of Vietnamese cuisine and, by extension, Asian-fusion cooking in Prague, which has had a big influence on the home cooking of the Czechs in the past few years, too.
But yes, sometimes even we have the feeling that we have had one or two schnitzels too many in the past days, or that we can't bear the thought of another goulash. And we do understand that foreign travelers may at times feel homesick and crave something they know from home. If that time comes, you know what you need - a nice, juicy burger. And although Prague was not always a great place for burgers, it has definitely become one recently. So whenever we feel the urge to enjoy a lovely patty of ground beef in a perfect bun, we visit one of the three venues below. There are, of course, other great joints for burgers in Prague, but we love these three the most:
Opened in the early 1990s, Bohemia Bagel was the first place in Prague where especially US expats would congregate and mix with the locals. The place has moved several times and now does not attract the crowds it used to some nearly twenty years ago, becoming a local place instead. The interior is surely dated and has seen better days. However, their burger is still one of the best in the city - juicy patty, a slice of cheddar cheese and lovely, crispy bacon to finish it off. Served with fries and a bottle of Heinz ketchup. This place is great if you're visiting the National Gallery and want to have something filling before you explore the Stromovka park that leads up to the Troja chateau and the ZOO. We definitely recommend this nice, relaxing walk, and the burger that precedes it.
Opened about a year ago on the edge of the Riegrovy Sady park above the National Museum (which has the best view of the city, in our opinion), this place became a sensation, with a relatively long waiting list. The reason? The Lokal Burger, formerly a pop-up stand that attracted crowds at local venues and friendly bars with their home-made burgers. Now they present the burgers in the Tavern Bar at the Vinohrady district (about a 10 minute walk from the TV Tower). They offer a regular beef burger, but done right, and a pulled pork burger with a grill sauce made of Czech plums and Slivovitz (Moravian plum brandy), both served in a steamed bun. Yum! If the weather is nice, we recommend a stop at the nearby beer garden in the Riegrovy sady park. Buy a beer in a plastic cup for once, sit on the grass and enjoy the view. You're welcome. Open Tue to Fri from 5pm to 10pm, and Sat from noon to 10pm.
Opened a few months ago by a Czech food blogger and former F&B manager, the Dish became an immediate success, so much so that it's really hard to get a seat without a reservation (just like the Tavern). Anthony Bourdain famously said no burger has ever been improved by a brioche bun. Well, it's clear he's never eaten at the Dish because their brioche bun is just perfect. The patty is delicious. The menu includes nearly ten burgers, including two veggie burgers, a deer burger, some burgers inspired by foreign flavors (a Caesar burger etc) and some seasonal burgers. The venue itself is nicely decorated, referencing the visuals of the 50s in the US, but not too much to hide the fact that the Dish is a modern eatery, just about ten minutes from the National Museum (behind the Vinohrady Theatre). Our tip: order their rosemary fries with the smoked paprika mayonnaise. You've never had mayonnaise like that one. As we said, there are other burger joints in town, but we love these the most. Please let us know