Thursday, February 15, 2007

Regular Favorites

What are the best restaurants in Prague? It depends who you ask. It depends how much money you want to spend. It depends on what kind of cooking you like. It just depends.

Above all, the most important factor is this: You want to return. Regularly. So, this is a list of 16 favorites, along with the reasons for elevating them to regular status.

  1. Kogo in Slovansky Dum Tuna carpaccio, lobster pasta, seafood risotto, gnocchi with cream, ham, and mushroom -- I could go on. Good service, a bright busy atmosphere, and not cheap but great value for money. Na Příkopě 22
  2. Ambiente on Manesova Carolina wings, the meaty ribs, the thick steaks, the non-classic but very tasty chicken Caesar salad, the chocolate fondue. Mánesova 59
  3. Cafe Savoy (also owned by the Ambiente group) Huge American or French breakfasts with fresh-squeezed juice and homemade hot chocolate. Goat cheese mache salad and the steak tartare. The best cafe in Prague. Vítězná 5
  4. Mozaika Unique takes on cuisines from Asia to Italy, like "tuna 'au roastbeef'" in a cozy little spot. Nitranská 13
  5. La Bodeguita del Medio Giant shrimp and juicy steaks for prices that are a bit lower than other top end establishments. The restaurant is very popular, but people tend talk more about the great mojitos and live Cuban music downstairs than the cooking. For what they do, the kitchen is one of the best in Prague. Kaprová 5
  6. Potrefena Husa Just for the bacon cheeseburger, washed down with a Hoegaarden. Vinohradská 104 and other locations
  7. Neklid Restaurant Off-beat wasabi and ginger steak (rostenka), steak tartare, totally non-standard but great "Caesar"salad, and, of course the dirt cheap prices. Unconventional recipes, off the beaten track, and not much to look at, but the chef knows what tastes good. Ruská 34
  8. Tiger Tiger (THIS RESTAURANT HAS CLOSED) Probably the best Pad Thai Gai, with lots of big fresh shrimp. The Pad Ped Gai (chicken in red curry with lime leaf) is also a knockout. They have serious competition for "best status" from the Lemon Leaf because of their sweet beef red curry with peanut and lime leaf over sticky rice. Tiger Tiger Anny Letenske 5
  9. Hanil The best value for money sushi in Prague. They also do Korean dishes and have a great spicy fried squid. Slaviková 24
  10. Casa Argentina (also owned by the La Bodeguita people) Poor service, kitschy dining room design (roving spotlights?), weak appetizers, side dishes, and desserts. But the best grilled rib eye steak in Prague. By far. Damn them. Dlouhá 35
  11. Brasserie M On the expensive side for what you get, but a great copy of a French brasserie with a real French owner/chef. Vladislavová 17
  12. Sunday Brunch at the Radisson SAS It doesn't have the nicest dining room for brunch -- the Intercontinental can't be beat for that. But for quality seafood, all you can eat, The Radisson is the place. Stepanská 40
  13. Alcron The best seafood restaurant in Prague, with a very small, intimate dining room. Unfortunately, the prices have gotten so stratospheric that it will have to be a very special occasion before a return visit can be justified. Stepanská 40
  14. Celnice, Kolkovna, or Olympia Great Pilsner Urquell and, usually, better than average Czech cooking. The service can sometimes be on the unfriendly side. Celnice V Celnici 4, Kolkovna V Kolkovně 8, Olympia Vítězná 7
  15. Fraktal The best Mexican breakfast in Prague. The breakfast enchiladas are just terrific. People rave about the burgers, too. Šmeralova 1
  16. Zahrada v Opeře (Garden at the Opera) Lots of great dishes in a modern art setting next to the National Opera. I go for the nasi goreng, Indonesian fried rice with seafood, season with lime leaf and red chilies. The Chicken Caesar comes highly recommended. Legerova 75 at the top of Wenceslas Square

There are plenty of other well-known restaurants in Prague that don't make the list for various reasons. I've been to all of these places and, for one reason or another, they don't pull me back for regular visits: Kampa Park, Mlynec, Bellvue, Alchymist Restaurant, Palffy Palac, Atelier, Coda, Staroceska Krcma Fontana, The Sushi Bar, Pravda, Barock, Red, Hot & Blues, Jama, Le Cafe Colonial.. this list never ends.


E.F. Slattery said...

Was just at Kogo for Valentine's Day, last night; everything was fantastic. :-) Great blog!

Grant Podelco said...

great blog. Just thought it might be helpful for many to have the addresses of your favorites.

Brewsta said...

Good idea, Grant. Done.