Prague fine dining

Prague Michelin star restaurants guide

Prague Michelin star restaurants guide

So the 2019 Michelin guide for Main Cities Europe is out, and the Michelin star restaurants in Prague have been given for the year to come. Which Michelin star restaurant in Prague is the best for you?

Here’s the executive summary:

Prague has two Michelin star restaurants: La Degustation and Field. La Degustation is set menu only, Czech food for foodies with an open mind. Field is a la carte, with international touches. Four Bib Gourmands in Prague: Sansho, a casual Asian-fusion restaurant, Eska, a modern casual Czech restaurant with fairly fancy dinners in a remodeled factory in the gentrified Karlin district, Divinis, an Italian restaurant run by a Czech TV Chef, and Na kopci, a local favorite that serves French-inspired joie de vivre big-portion dishes..

Want to know more? Can’t decide which Prague Michelin star restaurant is the best for you? Read on.

Prague Restaurant Preview: Aromi, Reopened

Prague Restaurant Preview: Aromi, Reopened

Where other restaurants come and go, Aromi has been a staple on the Prague dining scene. One of the first good Prague restaurants that could be called a "destination dining” place: more than just a mere neighborhood Italian place, Aromi has been attracting successful locals from near and afar despite being located in a residential district far from the areas exposed to mass tourism. It was also the place that gave birth to Riccardo Lucque’s empire of Italian-themed restaurants and bistros. And now, after ten years of its existence, Aromi has moved to a new location, taking over the space left by Sahara Cafe next to the Vinohradské divadlo theatre.

Fine dining in Prague: where to splash on a meal?

Fine dining in Prague: where to splash on a meal?

Alright, we have a confession to make: we have been working on a small Prague foodie guide in the past few months. The progress has been slow, especially given the fact we’re working on the project during our high season. And let us tell you: it will be awesome. Just you wait. We’ll keep you posted.

We are nearly finishing with the texts, and that is why we have decided to revisit some of the places we have been considering for inclusion in the guide. We’re talking fine dining restaurants. While it is easy to revisit casual dining places on a regular basis, it gets harder with fine dining: who has the time and the money? We know we don’t. But we also know that when we travel, we like to include one or two really nice places to have a dinner at, so fine dining is a very important category and should be included in our, or just about any, guide. Here’s our small report on the state of fine dining in Prague. These are not all the fine dining venues in Prague; just our shortlist.

Prague Restaurant Preview: Field

Prague Restaurant Preview: Field

When we first heard about the Field restaurant in early November last year, we had pretty high expectations. We were fans of Ola Kala and its executive chef, Mr Kasparek: the food was great and the restaurants did seem like one of the few hidden gems in the city - we always wondered why it was not on more people’s radar given how good we thought the food was. 

Then we saw Field's website. Full screen photos. Gorgeous pictures. Ambitious philosophy. We heard the first reactions. Great sauces. Lots of fun. We knew we had to go.

Prague restaurants preview: Grand Cru

We have been aware of the Grand Cru wine bar at Petrske namesti for a long time but never really visited the place. Recently, the wine bar opened a restaurant. We have heard good comments on the food and mixed comments on the service from our friends so we though we needed to check the place out, too. And, of course, whenever something new opens up, we can’t really miss it. 

Our dinner at Alcron

We love to travel. For food. Whenever we are, we try to splash out on a dinner in a Michelin-star restaurant and put it in our plans to get a glimpse at the fine dining scene of our destination. And because we write for people who are like us and who like similar things, we paid a visit to Alcron, one of the two restaurants with a Michelin star in Prague. We visited the other one, La Degustation, a few months ago. You can read about our visit here.

We must admit that Alcron had to put extra effort into winning us over. You see, we are a bit sceptical of hotel restaurants. They often feel less personal to us. Besides that, we do like the other Michelin-star restaurant in Prague, La Degustation, and knew that Alcron had a different focus and offered a different experience. That said, we were really eager to see what Alcron had to offer: it has always been synonymous with haute cuisine in Prague. Saying “tastes like something from Alcron” has always meant something special.

(Nearly) Licking Fingers at La Degustation

La Degustation is a special place for us. You see, we met online. Before we even met in person, we chatted about our favorite places to eat in the city. Jan actually always wanted to go to “La Degu” but never had the chance, so he suggested a dinner there as the setting for the first date. Zuzi freaked out: “OMG, I don’t even know the guy and we’re going to have a date at La Degu?” So she bailed out, making up they had a closing at work (she was still a lawyer working for big law). In the end, we settled for something less fancy and quicker. Didn’t matter, really. We obviously hit it off. 

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We did go to La Degustation some time later to celebrate Zuzi’s birthday. In the meantime, La Degu became the first Michelin starred restaurant focusing on Czech food. We absolutely loved it: the food, the atmosphere, everything. Yes, it was pricey but we felt it was definitely worth it: familiar Czech tastes but with a modern presentation. 

Now we have decided to visit La Degustation again to celebrate our fifth anniversary. (Feels like the twentieth, Zuzi likes to say.) We were a bit nervous: we have been recommending it to our guests but have not really eaten there for nearly two years. Would it be still good?

We were lucky to get the table right next to the kitchen (totally by accident - no hidden perks there). La Degu changed its layout about a year ago and now has an open kitchen with a central table where all the dishes are put together in plain sight. It’s a great spectacle: you can see the chefs preparing the dishes and the whole scene looks like a Formula 1 pit rather than a kitchen. No talking but instead total focus on the food. Everybody knows exactly what to do. 

What we have always liked about La Degu was its relaxed atmosphere. Unlike some other Michelin star restaurants we visited, it does not feel stuffy at all and you don’t have to worry about using the wrong fork. Mr Sahajdak, the Executive Chef, wants a dinner at La Degu to be fun (he even said he wanted the guests to lick their fingers), and we think they have achieved that.

So how was it? We absolutely loved it again. The reasons why we would recommend La Degu are simple. They try to use only Czech ingredients, especially for their Czech tasting menu. They have a purchasing officer who calls the Executive Chef every morning and tells him what he found that day on the markets and in the farms. Mr Sahajdak then creates the menu for the day. Their dishes are also based on old Czech recipes, especially those found in the 1894 cookbook by Marie Svobodova, a Czech Julia Child before there was Julia Child. 

They work with seasonal products only. They have a rule that no ingredient should be on the menu twice, with two exceptions: butter and salt. All the dishes made perfect sense to us as Czechs: local flavors fine-tuned to perfection in a stunning form and with modern presentation. 

We had the more extensive menu paired with Czech wines. The sommeliers do actually suggest Czech wines first, and they do have great wines, including limited editions that are rarely seen elsewhere. The number of sommeliers matches that of the waiters. Besides the wines, La Degustation pairs the cheese course with an IPA beer by Matuska, a Czech microbrewery. The dessert (bread ice-cream) is also paired with smoked grape juice, one of the highlights of the dinner by itself.

We really liked all the courses. Our highlights included the smoked beef tongue with yellow pea and apple, which had fantastic texture and rich flavor; the perfectly cooked peeled barley, herbs and horseradish side that came with the chicken course; the melt-in-your-mouth poached trout with kohlrabi and almonds, and the “skubanky” course (absolutely amazing combination of silky potato dumplings with pork cracklings and kefir dressing), and.... you see we can't actually agree which dish we liked the best.

For us, La Degustation fills a very big void on the Prague culinary scene: Czech cuisine approached in a playful and modern way. A visit to Budapest shows that the Hungarians are not afraid to update their traditional dishes. On the other hand, Czech food tends to be presented mostly as pub dishes - greasy and in huge portions - served with lots of beer. We think that's a shame because La Degustation shows that a modern approach to Czech classics can in reality produce exciting results.

The only downside was the final bill :-) But still, comparing La Degustation to other Michelin star restaurants in Berlin, London or you name it, the experience was worth every penny. 

We know where we will be celebrating our twentieth anniversary…

La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise

Website * Address: Hastalska 18, Prague 1 * Phone: (+420)222-311-234 * Open daily from 6pm