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Good Hungarian/Czech around Philadelphia?

Well, I think the title pretty well states my question? Anybody?

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  1. I wish that I could help you because I like Czech food. Years ago I asked a radio personality in Philly by the last name of Jelinek about Czech restaurants in the area. He knew of none. Philly only has Italian and Asian restaurants.

    I grew up in Chicago and Berwyn, IL. Berwyn had several Czech restaurants. One in particular, Czech Plaza, was near whene I lived. I still carry that restaurants business card.

    Chicago area, Iowa areas and Texas are the only places that I know of that have Czech populations large enough to support Czech restaurants. There's a small town in Texas named West with a population of about 2200 that has 4 Czech restaurants.

    I really miss being able to dine on authentic svickova and koprova.

    1. <Philly only has Italian and Asian restaurants<

      And Mexican restaurants. I'm still amazed that we don't have ONE "Spanish" - not Portugese - restarant except Amada which is upscale. I mean a neighborhood restaurant. I really miss Mallorca on south sst. It was a chain (only 3, now 2 in the US) but it was fairly reasonable. Not a neighborhood place, but more affordable than Amada and no "small plates".

      The nearest Spanish Restaurant I know is in Sommerville NJ and then on to Newark (where even the Italian restaurants are Spanish owned!)


      1. It's not really Czech but Balkan Express is supposed to be good. I think it is Serbian but their menu includes other Eastern European-type fare.

        I think it is somewhere off South Street toward Broad Street (it's one of those Street names I can never remember).

        1. Balkan Express is technically Serbian but the owner's goal is to have cuisine from every country the train called the Balkan Express travels through (which I believe would include Hungary but not the Czech Republic). It's at about 23rd and Gray's Ferry and South, the streets form a little triangle right there, near Grace's Tavern.

          If you find a poppyseed or cream cheese kolache let me know. I grew up in a Mexican/Czech neighborhood eating Czech food made by old Czech church ladies. Mmmm....

          1. not a restaurant..but may help 'hit the spot' while you continue your quest.

            Bell's Market on bustleton (above Rhawn) is a market full of Eastern European delights. Perhaps not Hungarian, not necessarily Czech but will surely have something to sate.

            Kielbasas, herrings, pickled everythings, and a whole host of prepared foods to take home.

            1. Seconded for Balkan Express. The owner was very friendly to us and, when he found out one of our party was from German, made some quite excellent spatzle.

              1. I just googled Chech restaurant Philadelphia and came up with this:

                Syrenka Luncheonette
                3173 Richmond St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19134-5826, United States
                Cuisines: Polish, Czech
                Price range*: $1-20
                Tel: (215) 634-3954

                Anyone been?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Main Line Tracey

                  Syrenka's is very, very good (IMO). Be aware that it is not a "destination restaurant" however. It's a no frills cafeteria environment with semi-grumpy service. Lots of people get take out. We loved the halupki (sp?) potato pancakes, and pierogi, which although a bit heavier than what we're used to, were delicious. And OMG, very reasonably priced!

                2. I'm a little bit late to the conversation (3 years) but for the sake of others who might find the topic as I did I felt I must comment that Czech cuisine has far more in common with German food than it does with Polish, Hungarian, or other points east. I would suggest Reiker's Meats. They sell all sorts of meats, sausages and prepackaged foods that are commonly available in the Czech Republic.


                  Vaccaro's Trattoria
                  1000 Ghent Road, Akron, OH 44333

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: tmavomodry

                    One other place to consider is Jovan's in Fishtown. There was a great review of it about a year ago in CIty Paper. Eastern European food served here, and quite reasonably priced.

                    1. re: tmavomodry

                      D'accordo ("I agree" in the language of my wife's ancestors). Czech food is more related to German and Austrian food.

                      1. re: tmavomodry

                        Thank you for the info on Rieker's!!! I stopped by today, and was like a kid in a candy store looking over the selection of wursts, cold cuts, and such! And this was shortly before closing, when they were apologizing for being out of several items! (I just made a late lunch of some delicious Lyoner.)

                        They're far enough that it requires a special trip, but I'll definitely be back!