Prague tips

The beginner's guide to beer in Prague

The beginner's guide to beer in Prague

You know what they say: ”The best Czech wine is… beer.”

Of course, this is disrespectful of the beautiful Czech and Moravian wine production that we are so fond of, but the undeniable fact is that the Czech beer culture is one of the strongest unifying themes in the Czech national identity. While ”Czech Republic means beer” may sound as a cliché, it is mostly right. We Czechs actually do love beer and drink a lot of it. And the Czech beer culture is unique in several ways. Beer is to Czechs what wine is to the French - just walk into any restaurant and order their “house beer”, and it will be cheap and good. It’s the default beverage. A no brainer.

So you should have a beer in Prague. Make it several beers. Not having a beer in Prague would be a mistake even if you think you don’t like beer. Honestly, don’t diss beer until you had a tank Pilsner Urquell (more on that later) on a hot night. It might be a game changer. We know it has been for many guests of our Prague Foodie Tour. We’ve had many beer converts on our tours actually.

The following is a short guide to beer in Prague. Of course, this is in no way comprehensive or exhaustive - most travelers don’t spend more than three nights in Prague, so this mostly for them. The idea here is to get you introduced to the world of Czech beer and get some basic lay of the land, teach you what you should drink and where, what to look for and what to avoid in your Prague beer experience. So let’s do this! Na zdraví! (Which obviously means Cheers in Czech!)


Hana's Five Favorites in Prague

Hana's Five Favorites in Prague

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!


The new Prague Foodie Map is here! Bigger, fatter, badder.

The new Prague Foodie Map is here! Bigger, fatter, badder.

So the day has arrived and we are happy to announce the third itineration of what our moms, and the voices inside our heads, say is by far the best food guide to Prague - the Prague Foodie Map.

This version did not come easy to us. Originally scheduled “before Christmas”, it took us over half a year to finish. And let us tell you, a lot of things can happen in six months on Prague’s food scene, which has led to many, many, many rewrites. This was the first full version we wrote as parents, and in many way, the process showed. But at the end of the day, we feel that writing the guide as parents has added a completely new dimension that the guide lacked before. (And no, we’re not talking about sleep deprivation.)


The 2018 Prague Food Scene in Review

The 2018 Prague Food Scene in Review

Confession: we have been bitching about Prague food scene’s development probably for a better portion of 2018. Not enough places are opening, some great places are closing, and where’s the innovation? While Prague lost a Michelin star and a Bib Gourmand award in the spring, the world lost Anthony Bourdain and Jonathan Gold, and generally, the mood here at Taste of Prague was fairly low. (Only to be lifted by the shenanigans of JJ and Lola, the two newest members of the team.)

But looking back at the year, things look a bit more rosy now in hindsight, thanks mostly to what can be described as a strong finish. (And the pills may have finally kicked in too.) 2018 was a year that has solidified some of the trends we have had seen before. People in Prague like to go out. A lot. Booking great restaurants for our Prague food tours has become a game of long-term strategy, and booking for last-minute enquiries nearly impossible. Don’t believe us? Look at Instagram videos from Dva kohouti, which opened in December. It’s been hopelessly full from opening up until Christmas. Whatever the concept, people seem to jump on it, at least for now.

Also, 2018 saw consolidation, as two new groups seem to have emerged to challenge the market-leading, and, in a way, defining behemoth that is the Ambiente group. Czech diners want common sense, quality and transparency if they are to spend top dollar, and seem less prone to jump on hype. So when an all-avocado restaurant opens, the logic of opening a restaurant based on produce that is in no way local and has to travel the world to get here is questioned online, and when a new rotisserie chicken place opens and serves chickens from a large, industrial chicken farm, they are called on that, too. That said, both of these places seem to be prospering at the moment, so we’ll see if this awareness manifests itself only online, and not in… ahem… real life.


Marketa's Five Favorites in Prague

Marketa's Five Favorites in Prague

The story of how Marketa became a member of Taste of Prague is complicated, but ultimately with a happy ending. We eyed her for some time about two years ago, but as we agreed on everything, she gave us the happy news: she was pregnant... and nauseated around food. Great. That's about as bad as health conditions for a food tour guide get. But the best things come to those who wait, so we waited, and ultimately Marketa joined us as a mom of an adorable baby girl Violka.

Anyway, Marketa is awesome. A former HR executive, she is genuinely interested in people. A professional disease? Does she build a secret database of our guests that she will use to kick start her own global HR powerhouse some time in the future? Not sure about that one, but the fact is that she can keep happily chatting with the guests for hours after the tour is over, much to the delight of her husband who's babysitting at home. 

She's also super funny and eager to please, and if it were her way, she would pour everyone a glass of Champagne in every stop we visit. (If you're reading this, Marketa, you can't, okay? We don't have the budget for that. We went through this already.) Anyway, if you're in her group, consider yourself lucky. We know we do consider ourselves lucky having her around. Below are her favorite spots in Prague and her favorite social media accounts. 


12 things you should know before visiting Prague

12 things you should know before visiting Prague

If you ask us, vacations start once you book the flights, and the joys of research start right away. Problem: today, you can Google pretty much everything, and information seem to contradict each other. Case in point: have you tried to google child vaccination? Yeah, exactly. The link you click the first will set you on a path through a rabbit hole, and you’ll end up no smarter after two weeks of research. Solution: you’re joking, right? When it comes to Prague research, we’re the solution. The following should set you on your path through the right rabbit hole. Oh, we mean Prague trip research. 

Here’s the twelve things you should know before you travel to Prague. 


Best ice-cream in Prague

Best ice-cream in Prague

Summers in Prague can be excruciating. Especially in the past few years, as Czechia (yup, we’re using the new abbreviated name for the Czech Republic) has been getting more tropical weather from the South. As temperatures reach 30C/85F, the cobblestoned streets heat up, and air-conditioning is hard to find in the Unesco-protected historical centre. Your answer? Ice-cream. In your face, climate change!

But where to go for great ice-cream in Prague? We’ve gathered a few of our favorite ice-cream parlors and a few ice-cream purveyors you should look out for. And a few bonus tips on how to stay cool in summer Prague. Here’s a list of what we think is the best ice-cream in Prague.


Zuzi's Five Favourites in Prague

Zuzi's Five Favourites in Prague

We're finishing our "Prague Five Faves" series where we are introducing the people behind Taste of Prague. And we saved the best for last: the founder, the enforcer, the visionary: Zuzi.

"Capo di tutti capi.” "Da boss.” “The interrogator.” These are only a few things people say about Zuzi. When she’s not in the room. The truth is that Zuzi runs a very tight ship and likes to be in control of things. Because she cares. She’s not that type of person with a “whatever” attitude. Only the best will do, especially when it comes to the guests of the Taste of Prague tours. And she’s a leader with a strong - and usually the right - opinion. And she’s not afraid to voice it. You know what Zuzi thinks. As Karolina put it during one of our Taste of Prague outings: “Zuzi, you’re tough, but I have never, ever, ever thought you were a b*tch.” Wow, thank you for the compliment! (We were all tipsy.)

Zuzi is also a loving foodie with a discerning palate. Heck, she even quit her good lawyer's position in big law to pursue her passion for food. She’s known for one thing: she will not finish a dish or a cup of coffee she does not like. (Unlike Jan, who can gobble things that are less then perfect because, you know, food.) Which can mean long dry coffee spells during vacations. Or the relative lack of fruits in the winter because, hey, they "don’t taste the way they should”. Yes, Zuzi demands perfection not only from people but also from fruit.

But Zuzi also has one of the biggest hearts you will ever see, and if you’re a friend - or a guest - she will do whatever it takes to help you or make sure you’re happy, and she is genuinely happy for your success. She is the girl behind our “will not write about bad dining experiences” policy because she understands perfection takes time and effort. And that's what makes Zuzi so great: she is the perfect combination of demanding - which is great for what we do - and loving, which is great for everything.


Martin's Five Favourites in Prague

Martin's Five Favourites in Prague

Here's the penultimate edition of “Prague Five Faves”, where we introduce the people behind Taste of Prague. Before we finish off next week with Zuzi, we still have to introduce Martin. 

You know, Czech has a formal and an informal “you” (think “” and “usted” in Spanish). And just like Jaromir Jagr, the Czech ice-hockey legend and Jan’s future husband (if his dream/nightmare becomes a reality), Martin hasn’t used the formal “you” in years. Yup, you had Martin at “hello”. You’re friends now. 

He also has a very interesting background (and we don’t meant that physically): How on earth does a psychotherapist with an Austrian passport born in the Czech Republic become a butcher in Prague? Is it because stabbing dead flesh with a knife gives you more job satisfaction than dealing with problems of people who are alive? Well, that’s Jan’s theory. The fact is we hit it off the instant he appeared behind the counter of the Nase maso butcher shop, and we’ve been hitting it off ever since. He’s a big guy with an even bigger heart who’s main problem is that he doesn’t call Zuzi after the tour to tell her how it went soon enough because he just wants to make sure you don’t get lost on your way to the hotel so he just takes you there. Or for a beer.

And he loves food. Having travelled through most of the world (under conditions we sometimes find hard to believe - do commercial aircrafts really have a spare seat in the back?) and eaten just about anything, Martin knows good food and spends most of his free time trying to recreate the food memories he has gathered over the years. Want to meet him on Sunday? Check out the Vietnamese Sapa market, or the new Mexican joint that has just opened. Do you want to meet him at night? Just visit a popular pub or club. Because he just loves company, and the company loves him back. 


Karolina's Five Favorites in Prague

Karolina's Five Favorites in Prague

We continue with the 2nd edition of our “Prague Five Faves”, where we introduce the people behind Taste of Prague and where we spill the beans on what we actually like in Prague. Next up: Karolina.

When we told Michal, the sommelier at Cafe Savoy, that Karolina would we working with us, he had to have a seat. He knew her too well, having roamed the city with her, hopping from bar to bar. He said she was perfect for us. And he was right. Yes, Karolina likes to party and we are yet to meet a person who wouldn’t want to have a drink with her, having known her for at least ten minutes. Yet she is organised and reliable. More than we are. We guess that’s what being a mom of a super cute toddler does to you.

What Jan admires about Karolina is her system of “cheat days”. While Jan just goes on a eating rampage with the will power of a three-year-old in an empty candy story without adult supervision, Karolina stays calm, breaths in, breaths out and let’s the opportunity go, instead waiting for one of her cheat days when the limits are off. Eating out with her is fun: just like Zuzi, preparation seems to be a big part of Karolina’s eating out experience. She just has a plan when she walks into a restaurant and sticks to it. And we like a woman with a plan.

Karolina’s also an unlimited source of incredibly funny stories and an open book who just loves people. Need a recharge? Just give Karolina some enthusiasm and affection, and you’ll get it back tenfold. And she’s our resident dim sum dumpling expert. A lover of Asian cuisine, she knows where to go and what to get. Just ask her. Trust us.