There’s no denying it. The summer holidays are over. The schools reopen. The cars and the traffic gets back. Everybody’s a bit gloomier. But don’t worry. It’s not all that bad. If you have the case of a pre-autumn blues, there are a few food-related events that will cheer you up. And yes, most of these serve alcohol. Jeez, why do you always ask about that? This is where we’d go.
Saturday farmers’ market
Let's start with the obvious: just like every Saturday, Prague's farmers’ markets will continue to make the good people of Prague happy and fat in September, too. Our choice is the Naplavka riverside market, where we go to meet friends and drink coffee by Brewbar and Kavovy klub. If you want a good choice of hot foods, then Dejvice market should be your pick, the Holesovice Hall 22 is great if you want to see authenticity, and if you want to fight for your spot in the line with an over-motivated grandma, and the Jirak is great for vegetables and as a starting point for explorations of the Vrsovice district or the Zizkov district, for example.
F.o.o.d. Piknik - 29 August
The “FOOD picnic” organized by the F.O.O.D. food magazine may be pretty much a showcase for the magazine’s big-name sponsors, but that does not mean it has to be all bad. There are a few things going for the second edition of the festival: first, the location in the Ladronka park is great and gives you the option to explore Prague 6’s Hvezda park and the beautiful Brevnov Monastery and Stresovice districts nearby. Don’t know where the venue is? Don’t worry. Download the Liftago app, put in the festival’s discount code, and you get a ride to the festival virtually for free. And there are a few stands worth going to: Rieslings by Sonberk to start you up, food by kaiser Franz, Da Emanuel and Albrecht Street Food Cirkus, pates by Congrady, plum jam delicacies by Dobrá povidla, sweets by Petite France and Nos Macarons, and coffee to go by Kávový klub. And if you get bored with the food, just continue on to the Story restaurant to a proper meal via the Hvezda park.
Náplavka Street Food - 29 August
If you haven’t had enough food at the Naplavka farmers’ market this Saturday, you can just cross over to the other side of the river via the railway bridge or - for an added dose of romance, take the boat that is part of the Prague public transport - and visit the Naplavka Street Food festival to fill up. We’ve tried hard to find out what stands will be present… with very little success. But hey, it’s Saturday, there’s a boat ride involved… and if there’s nothing you see you like, drink and eat that feeling of emptiness away with wine and charcuterie at the Wine Food Market nearby. That’s what we would do.
STREET FOOD JAM - 30 AUGUST, 13, 27 SEPTEMBER
Oh, Street Food Jam. We’ve been spending more money than we planned there since they opened. That is a real complaint, actually. But the organizers of the Street Food Festival have been going strong and keep coming up with a small gathering of stands every second Sunday in front of the undeniably weird Cross club. Not all of them are winners in our book, but the atmosphere is relaxed and we’ve managed to stuff ourselves up there the last time we were there. Always a good assortment of food from all around the world.
Prague Ice-Cream Festival - 30 August
Sometimes we wish we were small kids again. If only to get free entry to the Prague Ice-Cream Festival this coming Sunday. Sure, there will be an elephant in the room: Angelato and 2AD, our two favorite ice-cream makers in Prague, will be missing. Still, Puro Gelato and Amato will be there, which made our list of the best ice-creams in Prague, and then lots of generic, big-brand names like Haagen Dazs or Carte D’Or. Yup, the lineup may not sound exciting, but if you like ice-cream and/or have kids, this might be your thing. Bizarrely, Banh Mi Makers and a few other food stands will be there. Obviously, you can’t eat just ice-cream, whether you’re a kid or not.
Food Parade - 5, 6 September
The Food Parade has become a staple in Prague’s September food calendar, and the 5th edition is again coming to the fantastic Troja Chateau, the venue that also hosts our favorite Prague Drinks Wine festival, on the 5th and the 6th of September. The chateau has a fairly large English garden, which is good, because they have lots of restaurants participating, incl. some Prague favorites like the French La Gare and Bucherie and Bistrot M, MyRaw Café if you’re into that thing, and many others. Add foie gras treats, burgers, sushi, Mexican and Asian food, and you’ll walk away stuffed. Coffee by Doubleshot, wines by Premier Wines.
Vinice na Kampe - 10 through 13 September
The “Vineyards on Kampa” festival that started on 10 Sept and will continue until 13 Sept is a great opportunity to taste some nice Moravian wines without the stressful three-hour drive along the infamously unreliable and congested D1 highway there and back. What we like about this festival is that they don’t have to have every single wine made in Moravia but only a few good winemakers, incl. Karen Hora, which is a winery we regularly visit as part of our Moravian wine tours, Mr Volarik, the 2014 Winemaker of the Year, or the Kolby winery that have to work extra hard to shed their historical baggage (they were bought by the Czech lottery monopoly’s chief for his personal pleasure, but that’s beside the point). Add French cheeses by Fransyr and pastries by Votre Plaisir with a few other products, and we could spend a day or two at this event.
Prague Fashion Market - 11, 12 September
Don’t get us wrong. Our world does not revolve around food only... Okay, it kinda does, but you have to get to these events dressed, right? And we’re very particular about the choice of or stretch pants, so fashion is also very important to us. Prague Fashion Market actually combines these two passions. Primarily a festival for independent fashion designers, it also has a small but nice food section. We’re talking the best Mexican food in Prague by Las Adelitas, Raclette sandwiches by U syraku, hot dogs by Dirty Dog Street Food and crepes by Galetka will make sure you’ll never fit into that dress you like. The Zizkov Freight Transport Railway Station (where the last Street Food Festival was held) hosts the event, which is yet another reason to come.
Bohemian Bluegrass BBQ - 12, 13 September
Yes, listening to Bluegrass and eating BBQ in the Czech Republic may seem like a bit of stretch, but it makes sense to the locals. Country and Western music and all things Wild West have a fairly sizable following in Central Europe for historical reasons. Just google “Karl May” and “Winnetou” and you’ll perhaps begin to understand. Or not. Anyway, a BBQ competition and a Bluegrass festival should go well together… with the views of the Vltava river and the Vysehrad fortress? Sounds about right. The venue? Horni nabrezi naplavka on the Smichov side of the river.
Ohrada Food Fest - 19 September
If you fancy a small trip outside of the centre on 19 September, the second edition of the Ohrada Food Fest might scratch that itch. We were there the last time and it’s undeniably a small venue with only five participating restaurants, but they’re all good. Na pekarne and Kastrol, the organizer of the event, both serve fantastic Czech food (the wild boar on reshape sauce is our favorite), the Dish fine burger bistro makes the best burgers in town, Gao Den is our favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Prague, and Wine Food Market is a supplier of quality Italian products. Add beer to the mix and the atmosphere of a small village in between a huge prefabricated panel housing estate, and you’ve got a day to remember.
Prague Burgerfest - 19, 20 September
Jan is of the opinion that the humble burger is the best food for every occasion. Just ask Zuzi’s parents. If you share that belief, you should visit the Prague Burgerfest in the Holesovice Trade Fair Grounds on the 19th and 20th September. Given that this event is sponsored by Jack Daniels and Harley Davidson, you should leave your tux at home. They will crown the “best in show” burger at the event, so come hungry if you want to be a judge.
Zazit mesto jinak - 19, 20 September
The 10th edition of the Different City Experience festival will take place on the 19th and 20th September. What’s it all about? Street parties. Big ones. Usually a street or a few neighboring streets make up a few stands, close the traffic and celebrate the neighborhood. The businesses, incl. food businesses, located on the particular street tend to help, and that’s why it is included in this list. The hottest spots? We would definitely recommend a visit to the Veverkova street, because the concentration of cool on that street is super high. Senovazne namesti could also be fun, namely because of its two bars: Hoffa and Vinograf, one of our favorite wine bars in Prague. The same applies to the Plaska street with one of the highest concentration of bars anywhere. And, traditionally, the Vinohrady districts can throw some pretty epic parties. In any case, the festival, which tries to reclaim streets from the cars to the people (there is a slight political agenda behind these, although you would not know it from the parties) is a great opportunity to see what the neighborhoods of Prague and the people in them look like.
Grébovka Harvest - 25, 26 September
Yup, it’s that time of the year again. Harvest is coming soon and there is no better place to celebrate it than the Grebovka vineyard on the edge of the Vinohrady and Vrsovice districts. Sure, the wines will probably not blow your mind, but the vineyard and the park around it are beautiful and offer some of the nicest view of the southern parts of Prague. The event is also a chance to experience “burcak”, a semi-finished wine in the midst of fermentation that drinks like grape juice but is more dangerous than Jaeger bombs. It’s drunk only in Central Europe so don’t miss that opportunity. Just beware - drinking it in public may have side effects that include uncontrollable happiness, followed by public humiliation and fits of post-drinking shame. Enjoy! (And for coffee later on, head over to Cafe Jen nearby.)
Asia Food Fest - 26 September
Run by the same people behind the Bohemian Bluegrass BBQ and the Naplavka Street Food Fest, the focus of this event is - clearly - Asian cuisine. Anything from India to China to Vietnam to Japan. The venue remains the same - the Horni nabbers naplavka on the Smichov side of the river.
Restaurant Day - 21 November
The next Restaurant Day is 21 November. The festival that allows individuals to open pop-up restaurants for just one day is a lot of fun and the random points on the streets where the restaurants are located can create a fantastic itinerary for a unique walk truly off the beaten path. We hate to be haters and the logic of the entire event dictates that not all the food is a winner, but that’s entirely beside the point. This is all about fun, passion and human interaction. And sometimes you taste something and it’s awesome. Definitely give this a try if you’re in Prague. As we write this, the official map of the pop-ups is nearly empty but that will change soon.