In an ideal world, Hana would have been the first team mate we would have hired. We did talk about her joining us waaaay back when Taste of Prague was just Zuzi and Jan. But we don’t live in an ideal world, and Hana was not ready to leave the big law she was practicing at the time, just like Zuzi did a few years before. Fast forward five years later, and we are incredibly happy to welcome Hana to our small team. She will fit in like a glove - she loves food and other people’s company. She still does practice law a bit, though. (Remember, not living in an ideal world?)
There is something about Hana. She has a calming, soothing presence, and you just can’t help but feel good when she’s around. She’s a great listener with heaps of empathy, and when she talks, you listen. We also assume she hates being bored: she’s a well-travelled fan of food, wine and coffee, an avid skier who likes to bike and hike, and has a keen interest in architecture and urban planning. Oh yes, and movies. You know, the smart kind.
What we’re trying to say she’s busy. Or crazy. One of those two things. But never mind her schedule, she was super quick to give her tips for her five favorite places in Prague and five social media accounts, and not one, not two, but four (!) secret tips for Prague. But that’s just Hanna being Hanna. So here we go!
Five Prague favorites
Fusion of Scandinavian, pure design, and Czech food. This place pampers all your five senses: when I touch the cut crystal glass, bite into something and have a look around, I just can’t help but feel great. And I love the combination of the relaxed, casual soundtrack with the noises from the open kitchen. And when the food arrives, the tastes and the smells are totally Czech, but the sight is pampered too - I really like the plating. And the communal table on the ground floor right next to the kitchen? Love being there during staff meals - it feels like the staff is fed, family style, by an imaginary grandma. Great vibe.
I love other wine bars, too, but this one is the one that surprises me on every single visit. The last time it was Slovenian winemakers who made a wine that was, for lack of a better word, smoked? It really tasted like you’re drinking wine on a summer night next to a bonfire. It’s simply a wine bar that carries beautiful wines, and it’s outside of the historical centre, so below the radar for mass tourism.
Just the origins of this place are genius: they converted the sleaziest slot machine bar in the whole of the Letná district into a beautiful bar that does everything well: cocktails, coffee and food. I love going there for breakfasts and weekend brunches until 3pm. You won’t make a mistake if you pop in for a bite any time of the day, though. And I love the interiors: although painted black, it never feels dark thanks to the large windows that open to the street in the summer, reminding me of some famous Constructivist villas.
For me, Typika feels like a bit of Brno (Jan’s note: the capital of Moravia) in Prague, being a sister coffee shop of Brno’s Skog, which is a place I absolutely adore. Their coffee is excellent: I have bought beans from Rusty Nails Coffee Roasters home several times and never have been disappointed. And Typika is a place that the Nusle district sorely needed - there are few signs of gentrification in Nusle, apart from Nusle Beans and Espresso Bar. It’s a great place for breakfast, meetings and work, and I love the interiors - clean and pure like Eska, only broken with cut brick profiles that tie the place together. It’s just a beautiful coffee shop.
Despite the early troubles and difficulties, and the missing permits from the city authorities, the premises of the former carpentry shop are a fantastic refuge from the busy Andel area all around you. I love what the guys have been doing with the space throughout time, opening a coffee shop and a multi-purpose area that mostly serves as a gallery. And sure, while the looks are great, I also visit KCHJ to have their soufflé eggs Benedict and Florentine, just like about everyone. I have a sweet tooth when it comes to breakfast, but when I crave savory breakfast, I come here.
Five social accounts
Confession: I have an unhealthy obsession with Christmas baking. I don’t even eat the cookies most of the time. But Christmas baking is therapy. Family reunions mean baking - my personal record number of Christmas cookie varieties I made? Sixty-five.
But back to Cedric Grolet: he’s my age, and we share a passion for fruit in baking. What he does with fruits in pastry making - the colors and shapes of fruit - is incredibly inspiring. He also travels quite a bit, and I like to follow him on his voyage. He’s a big inspiration.
Antonella lives in Rome. I’ve never really lived there but visit every single year because it’s my happy place where I feel at home. She loves sugar, but in a good way. Her recipes are not always about sugar but they are simple and rely on seasonal produce. And what I find relatable is that her sweet recipes are inspired by her mom and grandma. I am the same way. (When it comes to savory food, my grandma sticks to thee Czech classics while I prefer Asian flavors.) Both of these profiles are also simply beautiful to look at. Check them out!
Spirit Magazine, Storyous and Barlife
This is where I find inspiration when I don’t have the time to explore Prague on my own, or when I want to expand my explorations beyond Prague.
The same applies here, but for architecture - great tips for short trips and getaways, with lots of gems of public and private spaces. Whenever I travel, I look at the architecture and design at the destination, and I always try to combine it with a great food experience.
(Another great resource I forgot to mention is Lukas Hejlik’s Gastromapa. It’s simply nice to sit down in a beautiful café when you take a trip somewhere you’ve never been before.)
While Archiweb is about architecture, new developments and trends, design magazine is mostly about design, so it is my go to for tips on exhibitions. But it also presents visions into the future both in the Czech Republic and abroad. And I really like their website actually. It’s cute.
Secret tip in Prague
This is not really secret for any local, but for me it’s an integral part of my biking trips: U Lasíku. I just love to chill over some savory or sweet kolache, get the raspberry soda, and just enjoy the moment. Mr Lasík may have been a wheel maker in my view: all the artifacts would suggest that. Super popular among cyclists and families with kids. Also, the best yeast buns and great breads with toppings, like the pork crackling spread, that go well with the beer on tap. Yum!
This opened literally a month ago or so. Tucked away between the Jerusalem Synagogue and the St George Church, the bar area is a refuge that is at the same time open to the park in front of it and far from the madding crowds walking through it. The film hub includes a high-tech cinema with great ventilation - you just close off the area behind the bar and you’re ready to go. I hate the huge cinemas but this art movie theatre by Mr Hronec from Film Europe is something I can stand behind. I love European cinema - it seems true and raw to me.
So this has been around for some time but I have just discovered it for myself. It’s a former factory that changes into a bar at night, and it tickles my creative fancy: it is a huge industrial, open space that lets a lot of light in. Great exhibits by artists who have their workshops in the building or elsewhere. Anything from smaller lunches to delicious soups, great wine and coffee. The first flag of gentrification of the Kolbenka area behind Karlin. I recommend it to anyone looking to escape the metropolis, enjoy the space or maybe get some work done.
Multi-purpose area with great wine and coffee. Just some r&r in Florenc, in the middle of the truly fascinating former barracks. Even if there was nothing there, it would still be a great place just to sit down and soak in the atmosphere. And I like what they’ve done with the place. Bonus: great outdoor movie theatre in the summer. I also like that no matter whether you visit the barracks just to throw a Frisbee around or go see a movie, it seems like you’re leaving the real world behind: there’s no advertisements anywhere, just quiet, and if you’re running out of ideas, you can play ping pong or in the sand pit. And the swimming pool is a fantastic venue for exhibitions.