Magical Listicle Tour 3 – Breakfast

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The third of these short guides to places in Prague is about the most important meal of the day – breakfast. While researching this topic through conversations with locals, I have discovered that small and sweet breakfasts tend to be the order of the day for Czechs. This explains the many bakeries in the city. If I were to take a wild stab in the dark at the reasons for this, I would guess that it may have something to do with the fact that under Communism there wasn’t a lot of cane sugar and coffee. Instead, there were substitutes for both. After the Velvet Revolution liberated the country, everyone had a sugar rush and developed a sweet tooth.

It’s not a perfect explanation, but it’ll do for the purposes of this article.

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Christmas Breakfast in Scotland, prepared by my dad

Personally, I prefer bigger breakfasts with a lot of meat, some fruit, and a bit of variety. For this reason full Scottish breakfasts, like full English but bigger and with added haggis and square sausage, are my favourite. I am also partial to American style breakfasts as they tend to have a good mix of sweet things and meat. I decided to try out a few places in Prague, both sweet and savoury.

Donuter Donuts (Prague 3, Zizkov, near Husinecka tram stop)

 

For starters, a sweet breakfast.  Located at the lower end of Zizkov going along the main tram route, this one is hard to miss. If you’re ever hankering for a donut, they are open daily from 8am till 10pm. As necessary for a donut shop, they have coffee.

A good call if you’re looking for something pleasant to start the day.

Mikro Farma (Prague 3, Vinohrady, Namesti Jiriho z Podebrad)

 

Now, this is what I’m talking about! Mikro Farma is one of my favourite restaurants in Prague. It won its way into my heart with a steak sandwich in my last guide and it delivers on breakfast too!

The place is a deli/farm shop and everything tastes like it has been made specially for you. The homemade bread was perfect. In a country where most bread is brown and fairly tough, at Mikro Farma it is white and soft. My breakfast came with bacon, sausage, tomato, beans and eggs. For some reason, good bacon is hard to come by in the Czech Republic. Mikro Farma delivers.

My fiancée had a breakfast sandwich which was presented in a newspaper wrap. Normally I’d think that a little hipsterish, but because the place is amazing we can forgive them a little showmanship.

Cafe Savoy (Prague 5, Mala Strana, Near Ujezd tram stop)

 

This breakfast was something else entirely. My parents were in town and so my fiancée and I took them here as it seemed other worldly. Here is the ceiling.

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This place is ornate but not so much as to be crass. Instead it belies the simple elegance of the 1920s, when the First Czechoslovakian Republic was booming. This breakfast was magical.

Hardly keeping to my character at all, I stretched out and ordered a French breakfast. Meat, potatoes, and eggs. But that is not all.

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French toast in a sizzling hot pan topped with seasonal fruit.

This place is a bit above the price range of a local salary for an everyday expense, but would be quite fitting for a special occasion. The price is more than made up for in the service, which is efficient, a little courtly, and with a small touch of pageantry to it. Below find other pictures of other breakfasts.


So Prague can definitely do breakfast. Not listed here because I can’t find the pictures but very worthy of a mention is the Las Adelitas (Prague 3, Vinohrady, Lucemburska) Weekend breakfast menu. I had a breakfast burrito there and was delighted. My fiancée had pancakes. I found a picture just now.

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So, thet’s me now written something every day for a week. I have a bunch more ideas so intend to carry on. Let’s make this a month, people!

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Magical Listicle Tour II – Food

The second of our Magical Listicle Tours involves eating. My fiancée and I (more on that later) have a tradition on Thursdays of going out to eat. It’s a good way of doing something different every week as well as showing our love for each other by paying on different weeks. Here are some of our favourites!

Kredenc (Husinecka)

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Ahhh, steak! Steak is good, as any meat eater will tell you. This place has amazing steak at a pretty affordable price (more if they get your bill wrong!). Located in the fashionable, if with a rough reputation, Zizkov, this restaurant offers a number of different steak options and a decent selection of drinks. The staff are friendly and it’s perfect for nice occasions.

Nebeská Vuné (Lipanska)

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This is one of those Chinese restaurants that has decided to advertise itself using pictures of the food. That might not sound like a compliment, and it isn’t, but the food was actually really quite good. More than passable and actually pretty delicious. This restaurant gets bonus points primarily because this was the first place we went as an engaged couple.

We’ve known each other for a little over a year and have been going out about that long, the engagement story is not as romantic as you might expect a person of my flowery character,   but definitely fit the relationship. Having decided I was going to propose and having wracked my brain for a good time and place to do it, I figured before our weekly dinner was as good a time as any, and I wanted to put a ring on it, stat. No waiting about. I came in from work and she was waiting for me. A simple “Hi honey, I’m home”, a mock dickaround with my shoes, and then a race through to the room. I told her she was the best thing that’d happened to me, and asked her if she wanted to make me the luckiest man in the world. She said yes, then I told her she’d made an awful mistake!

It was a good night. We ate spring rolls.

Mikro Farma (Jiriho z Podebrad)

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This a butcher/deli/farm shop in the city. It’s a cool place, located in the gorgeous Vinohrady. It’s also a great place to get steak sandwiches. Another option is to pick meat from behind the counter and ask them to cook it. I got a little jealous of our fellow patrons that night as they had something that looked truly delicious. It’s always a good place that can make you jealous of somebody else’s food while you’re enjoying something out of this world.

Thien Long 1 (Lipanska)

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There are many amazing Vietnamese restaurants in Prague, why would I choose this one, you ask? The honest fact is, because it’s closest to where I live.

That being said, as with most Vietnamese restaurants in Prague, it’s delicious and affordable. It’s an interesting piece of history related to Communism that Prague has so many of these restaurants. I am told by people better in the know than me that it’s a result of exchange trips. Vietnamese people came to the Czech Republic as one Communist nation to another and enjoyed if so much that many of them stayed. They are a fairly substantial part of the city now, and more Vietnamese people have followed.

The result is that there are many great restaurants in the city. And one part of the city is called Little Hanoi.

Little Mexico (Lipanska)

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Mexican food is one of my favourite types. The combination of flavours, savoury guac, spicy chilli, the carbs of corn tortillas. This place has been an excellent find. They make a variety of tacos there, the soft kind as opposed to the hard shell. The quality of the place has made it a regular stopping point. They also serve Horchata and Jarritos, so it’s good if you want something non-alcoholic to go with your food. They have five levels of spice. The lowest is not spicy and the highest is the spiciest. My fiancée goes for 2 and I go for 4. I’m excited for my brother’s upcoming visit as he will probably go for 5 and it’ll give me a chance to see if it blows my head off. 4 is already almost eye-watering.

Zizkovsiska (Husitska)

This one is a bit of a sneaky addition to the list, and will probably feature in it several times, as it only occasionally does food. It is however included because it is one of my favourite places in Prague for anything.

They do events throughout the week, from Czech film on Monday through to Sunday Soup. Sunday Soup is the focus here. It’s a jam session of many very talented musicians – and I occasionally shout lyrics from behind the microphone. In addition, they make soup and it can be had for the extremely modest price of 50 crowns (about £1.60 if the currency level holds and approximately $2 for yanks). Largely the soup is vegetarian too, so people aren’t left out.

The food is great, the atmosphere is nice, they have beautiful pictures by local artists on the walls as it’s a gallery, and the staff are extremely friendly. In particular, the manager is somebody that everybody in Prague should get to know as he knows more about the city and what’s going on in the creative scene than probably about anyone, and where to get cool stuff for your flat.

Unfortunately, the soup is off for Summer, but the last one is this weekend (the 2nd of July), so get on it, Prague people!

 

So, there are a few of the places I like to eat and one really, really cool place to hang out. Subscribe for more updates or just check back periodically as I’m in the mood to write these days.

Magical Listicle Tour I – Cheap

For my birthday this year I had an aim: find the cheapest night out possible in Prague. I figured it had some non-birthday applications, like for showing visitors an affordable and decent time. Fortunately, from the pubs desperate for some early afternoon custom to the drinkeries of Zizkov trying to tempt people despite the area’s bad reputation, there are several places where drink can be got for a song.

Here’s a handy guide on how to have a great night on a small amount of  money. Everywhere is within a 10-minute walking distance. The plan does require that the night is a Tuesday.

Unlike a traditional crawl of 1 or 2 drinks per place, I recommend you stay while the drink is cheap.

Ingredients

200 crowns, at least

1 woman, at least

A birthday boy (optional)

1. Soma (5 – 6)

(Budecska, closest to tram stop Vinohradska Trznice)

I found out about Soma when my girlfriend moved to a place near there last year. I had heard whisperings of the place and it’s legendary drink deal, formerly between 5 and 7. Being able to take advantage of this deal on my birthday was especially useful.

Of course, I planned the birthday crawl on pretty short notice so it turns out other people were not available between 5 and 6 on a weekday. A nice quiet start for me. It’s very rare to be the only person in a bar.

The place feels earthy. Like a “real” place, no gimmicks. Not like one of those Mickey Mouse pubs where everything has been produced in some big anonymous factory then made to look individual. A comfortable place to spend a couple hours.

10 crowns for a small beer here. It’s possible to buy 2 at a time on occasion, though sometimes the people on the bar are not as keen on that as you’d hope. A good place to warm up with a few.

2. Ananas Bananas (Before 8)

(A cocktail bar on Seifertova. 66 crowns per cocktail, and they’re fairly delicious.)

This place is open every day of the week and has cheap cocktails before 8pm. The interior is cool, dark with soft coloured light. The back room seems a bit more grunge than the front, the front is more Americana.

An ideal place for the middle of a crawl as it’s affordable yet varied. At Soma, beer is the only cheap thing on the menu, and Bukowskis has a similar issue. The good thing with Ananas Bananas is that you can have whiskey, vodka, rum, or gin-based cocktails and they are all only 66 crowns (about £2, for the UK people, or $2.40, for ‘Mericans).

The name also translates to Pineapples Bananas.

3. Bukowskis (Till They Run Out)

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(Borivojova, opposite the bowling clubs)

What Tuesday is complete without free sangria? Very delicate procedure to produce this, if you’re a bloke, anyway.

1) Be with woman.

2) Woman gets sangria pitcher from bar.

3) Bloke has to order glass of red wine.

4) Empty.

5) Refill with sangria.

The sceheme relies on you not being obvious to the bar, as sometimes their staff are more strict on it. It also relies on the woman you’re with not being snitches and wanting to share. I have had no problems with women grassing on me, nor have they been particularly territorial.

Bukowskis is alright, pretty well-decorated on at least one wall. It’s open pretty late too. My one complaint would be with their prices. Generally, standard big drink prices for small beer. I understands it’s craft beer, but this means your paying almost double, and does craft beer ever taste that amazing as to justify double the price?

Still, on cheap sangria the place is a jewel.

The Pit-Stop: Burrito Loco

(Corner of Namesti JZP, top of Vinohradska hill)

Okay, so even on a birthday, when several lovely friends bought rounds, the night’s expense ran up a little, primarily because I had not eaten dinner when I started. Who eats dinner before 5 anyway? To go home would cost valuable cocktail time.

The best bet, and between Soma and Ananas, is Burrito Loco.

I feel like Burrito Loco deserves an Epic poem. I used to live near one, and another is being built near my new place, and it reminds me of the Robbie Williams song “Angels”:

And through it all

She offers me protection

A lot of love and affection

Whether I’m right or wrong

Burrito Loco is that place you go, that’s open 24 hours, when you’re hungry. It’s delicious. While lots of people like to rally against it for not being “authentic” Mexican, those people can fuck off to Mexico because what the hell do they expect in an extremely landlocked Central European country? If they’re so annoyed they can start calling it Czexican instead and nobody with any sense will care because it’s great.

If ever you are part drunk and very hungry, now you know where to go.

and this concludes our Magical Listicle Tour.