Winter Prague Tips, Day 4: Fast Food and a Movie

Still cold? We continue with our perfect winter day in Prague. So far, we had breakfast and coffee, and continued with a visit to the gallery and a bowl of soup. Then we skated and played ping-pong. This is the fourth of a series of six articles.

So, we had a short ping-pong and/or ice-skating session, so it’s time to eat again (let’s agree to forget we wrote about the donuts at Maso a kobliha yesterday, ok?). Of course, you cannot eat at fine-dining establishments every night (there’s only so much foie gras and caviar one can eat in a week), so it is time to have something quick and satisfying. We have two options for you.

To be honest, Pizza Nuova is a place that can stir emotions in the foodie community, and even we don’t really agree on how much we do or don't like it. Jan is a fan. The pizza is simply good and the output is consistent. And honestly, who does not like pizza? It’s fairly cheap, the location is great and the staff is welcoming and helpful, at least most of the time. But Zuzi cannot get past the all-you-can-eat, stuff-your-mouth-until-you-pass-out concept. The antithesis of a gourmet experience, right?

The truth is that Pizza Nuova is a crowd pleaser that does invite its guests to overindulge a bit and some diners clearly go there for the sheer quantity of food you can get, especially if you wear Spandex pants. That said, nobody forces you to go for the all-you-can-eat thing: when we go, Jan simply has a pizza (pizza diavola, his favorite), and Zuzi either has the tasting plate of their cold buffet or some fish. And we’re both happy.

The other option for high-quality fast food is, of course, the Dish burger. If you have a reservation, that is. The Dish had a huge online following even before it opened its door to the public some two years ago, but the hype is justified: the burgers are well constructed, the patties are juicy and the venue has a great atmosphere, also because it is nearly always packed during the peak hours.

And a big, fat, juicy, satisfying burger is the ultimate comfort food that can become the light at the end of the tunnel on any cold, winter day. Jan, as always, has a favorite, the Smoky Dish, while Zuzi tends to go for the lamb burger and their portobello veggie burger. We always do get the jalapeño cole slaw and bistro fries with the smoked chili mayo. And Unetice lager to go with that. And we're happy.

This being winter, it probably got dark already outside, and a bit colder, too. You’re lucky that all the day’s walking is behind you now! We recommend that you escape the cold with a nice movie, preferably something that takes place in the Sahara or on the beach, to get your mind of the cold outside. You could go to a big movie theatre with a choice of blockbusters - and we have done that a lot, too - but you could be smarter than that and get a "local experience” in an independent cinema in Prague. We did write about them a while ago, but we have two specific tips.

If you are eating at Pizza Nuova, we recommend you take the no 8 tram to Kamenicka stop and see a movie at the Bio Oko cinema. The Oko, or “our reception”, as we call it because our rental apartment is just upstairs, is the natural hub and meeting point for all artsy and smart people in the area. They show great movies (most of them subtitled only, so you’ll be ok), have pimped out their seating arrangements with beach folding chairs and gutted convertibles (for that drive-in feeling) and their bar is relaxed and fun. To see their schedules, have a look here

If you have a burger at the Dish, it would be a good idea just to walk down to the Wenceslas Square (you’ll be there in no time) and head over to the Svetozor cinema. This cinema offers a great selection of new and older movies in two screening halls. Svetozor is also home to many film festivals so if you like a great documentary or movies from other parts of the world, this is the place to go. This is also an "English friendly" cinema (just like Bio Oko): if the original audio is English, it will be noted in the programme.

The Svetozor also includes a really cute shop called Terry Posters ("Terryho ponozky" in Czech), which sells vintage Czech and Polish posters for American and other movies that were shown in the Czech Republic and Poland under Communism and after its collapse - the perfect souvenir from Prague.

Once inside, make sure you stop at the bar to buy a glass of Kofola, the Czech answer to Coca Cola. Many Czechs have very fond and warm childhood memories associated with Kofola: it is often sold on tap and served in beer glasses, so even the kids had "their own beer" to drink, just like the adults. 

If you run late or Svetozor does not show a movie you’d like, just cross the Vodickova street and see if they show something at the Lucerna, the first and the oldest movie theatre in Prague, dating back to 1907. Just be careful: despite more recent renovations, it seems the seats are also from 1907, so we recommend that cinema for a shorter movie - no comfy armchairs with holes for drinks in the arm rests. 

In any case, we assume you will be warm and well fed, which are the two things you need on a cold night. Just don’t fall asleep during the movie, ok?