We have one rule whenever we travel: we visit the main sights early in the morning or late in the evening to beat the crowds, and see the other, more local things during the day. When we visit a city, we prefer to see how people live there today, and not necessarily how they lived there in the past. And Prague is no exception. Especially during the high season, we recommend getting up early, seeing the sights before all the other people get to see them, and then just walk and explore the surrounding districts. And the Karlin is a place you should not miss if you travel like us - it has a great local feel and great places to eat and drink. That is why we sometimes visit it with the guests of our Prague Foodie Tour and that is why we think it is worth a visit even during the off-season.
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!
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 Easter holidays are just behind the corner, so it's about time we talk about the sheer wonder and awkwardness of the Czech Easter holidays and arguably their most shocking aspect to foreign visitors: the famous "pomlázka".
Let’s be honest here: Pomlázka is a godsend if you run food tours in Prague (or any tours) like us. Just saw the waiter drop your entire order on the floor so you know you have 20 minutes to kill? Want to invigorate the group? Want to give a piece of information about the Czechs your guests will DEFINITELY remember? You whip out the good ole’ pomlázka. Works every time. Trust me.
Before I get to explain this old Czech Easter tradition, just bear in mind two things. (1) Tradition. Just like the Fiddler on the friggin’ Roof, you usually don’t mess with it. Until you do. So don’t judge, okay? Most Czechs have just grown up with it and never give it a second though, and only realize how strange and awkward that tradition is when they try to explain it to a non-native. And (2) the Dutch have the Black Peter, and that’s even worse. Yes, we’ll take a low bar if we can comfortably overcome it, and yes, we’re not strangers to diverting people’s attention to somebody else’s dirty laundry.
[Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.]
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.
The cafes in Prague are great, and the specialty coffee they serve is seriously good. It's easy to forget that or take it for granted. But when we travel, one of the things we miss the most about Prague is coffee. It's really that good.
It hasn't always been the case. Five yeas ago Zuzi came back from the specialty coffee workshop and the number of coffee shops we could visit shrunk to about two or three, much to Jan's dismay. Now when a new cafe opens, it is more likely to have good rather than bad coffee. Sure, they rarely bring anything very new or different to the table, but they are usually good. And it's not only about the "centre" anymore. None of the residential districts that surround it are actually lacking in the specialty coffee department.
So what makes the cafes in Prague so special? Passion. Specialty coffee seems to be a viable career in Prague, and the baristas of Prague's best coffee shops seem to genuinely like what they do. Most of the coffee shops are independently owned and can source their coffee from wherever they wish. Prague's leading specialty coffee roaster has set the prices of coffee fairly low, which means you get great bang for your buck. And at the coffee scene's core lies a community of baristas who know and continue pushing each other. And you generally don't get any attitude or scolding when you want sugar in your coffee.
It's time to reap the benefits. Here's the best cafes in Prague, according to us.
Prague farmers markets are, without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Prague. As a Prague attraction, they are authentic, genuine and popular among the locals. Prague markets are on throughout the year, most typically on Saturday mornings, with an ever-shorter pause in January and February. Visiting Prague farmers markets is a great idea for so many reasons, but primarily, they nicely show what is in season at the particular time of the year and what you should expect - and demand - on the menu in the best restaurants in Prague. We have picked the four best farmers markets in Prague we think are worth visiting. You can find more farmers markets in Prague, but we visit these four the most.
Oops, we did it again. (Oh, this never gets old. Thank you, Britney.)
Yes, we’re happy to announce that the second, updated and improved edition of our Prague Foodie Map, our Prague food guide, is finally out. Our curated selection of the best restaurants in Prague, along with best coffee shops, bistros and bars in town.
The first edition sold out in less than six months (the recommendation in the Food & Wine magazine helped). The new, second and improved edition adds more tips and Prague travel advice, mostly based on two things: (1) our own travels, and (2) the most common questions that get asked on both of our Prague food tours.
We travel quite a bit, and if you’re following us on Instagram (if you don’t, drop everything and do it now), you know it’s mostly for food. And we’ve always wanted to have a reliable, honest guide for each city we travel to, written by a local foodie. With things that only make sense to taste, and nothing more. A guide devoid of cliches and stereotypes. With tips that get you outside of the beaten path. Basically a guide a local would endorse. So we wrote one for Prague. And now you can have it, too.
Here at Taste of Prague, we have this secret competition with Vienna: we want all the guests of our food tours, and all the visitors to Prague, enjoy our city more than Vienna. Not that we have anything against Vienna. We actually love that place. But still, when many of our guests visit Prague, Vienna and Budapest within the same trip, we want them to enjoy Prague the best. It’s just the way we are. Competitive.
But some Prague visitors don’t make it easy. Their Prague stays are riddled by what we would see as traveling mistakes. (We wrote about some don'ts of Prague already.) And then they complain about Prague. And we’re sad. And angry. Yup, it’s an emotional rollercoaster here at Taste of Prague whenever someone dares criticize out home town.
To avoid that, we have put together a short list of what we think are the main mistakes we’ve seen visitors to Prague make, and how and why to avoid them. We hate to be haters, but hey - nobody disses our town on our watch!
So drop that pretzel, push away the pork knuckle, and read on. Here’s what you don’t do during your stay in Prague.
A while ago, we wrote a post about our Prague Foodie Map. So? What’s up with it?
Well, we have an announcement to make. The time has come. The map is ready. As of today, we have it ready for you, and you can find it in a few selected establishments we will reveal as we go.
It’s an extension of our blog. On paper.