The heat is presently boiling Prague and its people, making a stay outside very exhausting. And if we trust the weather forecast, we’ll still have to suffer through the heat wave the next week (well, the temperatures should drop with thunder storms on Tuesday). With temperatures this high, it can be difficult to imagine yourself doing anything outside, let alone eating.
The only thing we crave during these days is watermelon and salads. Unfortunately, for many restaurants in Prague salads are still sort of an afterthought. In too many places you can still find the following only: chopped iceberg lettuce, a tomato cut in six wedges, some cubes of cucumber, add a bit of salty cheese and four green olives and voila - you have a Greek salad! Luckily for you, we have some tips because a good salad is hard to find.
Imperial – The Imperial Café offers a great selection of salads. This is the place if you love your food in a Belle Epoque interior. Although essentially a hotel restaurant, Imperial has a great reputation among the locals, and their menu includes classics like the Caesar salad but done right: not with iceberg but romaine lettuce. Other salads include goat cheese salad or the endive and orange fillets salad.
La Bottega di Finestra– The sister restaurant of the next-door La Finestra di Cucina restaurant, La Bottega di Finestra, the more casual bistro, offers a nice selection of salads. You can mix whatever you like on a plate, order some bread baked in house, have their cucumber lemonade, and eat it there or have it wrapped to go.
PastaCaffe – This is a great option when you crave something simple and decent. The salad with Gorgonzola and avocado has a nice orange dressing, but we usually go for a salad with tuna, which, although canned, is of good quality. Go to the Vodickova branch or watch the Czech nouveau riche in the branch near the Old Town Square.
Muj šalek kavy– A very popular café, Muj salek kavy offers smaller meals and at least two salads in their menu. Complex, fine dining dishes? No. Quick, tasty meals? Yes. Don’t forget to have one of their ice-creams made by 2AD in Tuchlovice, a small village about 15 miles off Prague, or combine it with their delicious coffee in a cup of Affogato.
Café Lounge– Another one of our favorite cafes, this time on the Castle side of the river. In addition to great coffee, they prepare full meals for lunches and dinners. However, we return there for their grilled vegetables and goat cheese combo. Two additional perks: tap water is served without any obstructions, and their lovely garden in the courtyard offers a shady, cool environment, and an intimate contact with the medieval Hunger Wall that runs through it.
Café Savoy – Just two minutes by walk from Café Lounge, Café Savoy is slightly upscale, and we usually recommend it for a rich, plentiful breakfast. Perhaps not the lightest of meals in these hot days, but their French toast is to die for. That said, they also have a small selection of nice salads, some adding cheeses or meat to the mix.
Home kitchen – One of the most popular bistros in the centre, Home Kitchen changes their offer daily. Their daily specials usually include a salad and they are open to adjust it to the client’s tastes. In addition, their summer soup menu includes a cold soup daily. We also love their breads with different toppings.
Cestr – We can hear you say it: “Salad in a steak house? Are you crazy?” No, according to our doctors, we’re not. Čestr makes salads using locally sourced products from local farmers. In addition, they really know how to season even a plain salad: we get great responses from our guests about the simple garden salad, too. We recommend the salad with the cheese from the Krasolesi farm, or the sheep cheese salad with oregano, or the roast beef salad (obviously). And don’t forget to have a scoop of their delicious beer ice-cream.
Dish fine burger bistro – Just like in Cestr, Dish’s forte is in meat, namely burgers. However, this should not deter you if you crave a salad. They offer two salads as we write this: one with watermelon, tomatoes and feta, and another one with marinated fennel, citruses and mint. Their older salad, arugula with caramelized garlic and ricotta cheese, remains Zuzi’s favorite to this day – quite logical, given that she was born in a village known as the “garlic capital of the Czech Republic”.
Pizza Nuova– Are you really hungry and crave something more substantial? Than we recommend Pizza Nuova’s all-you-can-eat salad and tapas bar, which offers good value for decent food, ranging from salads, smoked fish, cold cuts, olives and so on to cheeses and other Italian products.
Pho Vietnam – If Asian flavors is what you are looking for, head over to the Vinohrady district for a plate of Bún bò Nam Bộ, Vietnamese beef noodle salad. Head over to the branch at Anglicka street, which offers seating.
No matter of what eatery you visit, remember the three Hs of summer: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Enjoy the sun... and the salad!