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Jun 7, 2011 11:27 AM

one night in Prague and Budapest

I realize that I am on a whirl wind trip but... I recently asked for recommendations for one night in Vienna. Thanks to those that responded I am pleased to have a reservation. If I could ask the same question for Prague and Budapest and add that as it will be mid June if there is something out of doors it woul be a bonus.

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  1. I would be pleased to help you but you need to tell me more about what you're looking for. At this time of the year, if the weather is nice, lots of restaurants have outdoor seating on the sidewalks all over Prague. There are also many pubs with beer gardens where you can have the odd bite and a pint of beer.

    If your main criterion is the outdoor seating, I suggest walking around and picking a spot that looks nice while expecting OK to average food. Please don't do this on the main squares or main touristic thoroughfares. If you like it there, order drinks only and double check your bill. These places have lived off non-returning tourists for a long time.

    If you want a guarrantee of good food and a perfect spot, there are a few restaurants by the river, which are good but quite expensive. First up is Kampa Park - they serve mainly fish and they used to be the best restaurant in Prague long time ago. Unfortunatelly they kept the prices but haven't changed their menu an awful lot. But they have perfect river views. The same group owns a bigger restaurant by the river called Hegertova Cihelna, serving burgers and fries and other international / American fare. They are cheaper, more casual, should be good (never been there but the reviews are OK) and also have a nice view. Both are on the Mala Strana side of the river.

    There is one more good restaurant with some outdoor seating and with perfect view from the Old Town side and it is called Mlynec. A while ago they used to serve exciting fusion cuisine but they changed to Czech cuisine about a year ago. The food isn't that exciting any more but should be very good nonetheless. Of course, on the Old Town side, there is also the Michelin starred restaurant at the Four Seasons hotel, which has a small terrace with a narrow but nice view of the river. I've been there a couple of times but I was not overly exited by the food in comparison with other Michelin starred restaurants abroad.

    Please note that as a Prague resident, I've been to these restaurants personally either a very long time ago or never at all and thus I can't vouch for them. But they have a very good reputation and certainly very good views and that's what you would be paying for.

    10 Replies
    1. re: sasicka

      As Sasicka said, without knowing more of what you're looking for (fine dining? casual? wine? beer? etc) it's hard to make a suggestion, but I'll try anyway.

      If I could have one meal in Prague - with money being no object - I would probably make it the traditional menu at La Degustation. It's a multi course tasting menu with many amuse as well and an optional wine pairing consisting entirely of lovely Moravian wines that you won't find at home (unless for some reason you live in the Czech Republic, which I doubt.) The meal will last well over 3 hours and will provide you with as much to think about as to eat.

      If money were an object I might choose Lokal, a casual hall serving Czech food cooked really nicely, as far as I could tell, plus really really good, cold unfilted Pilsner Urquell by the barrel.

      But if I were to find myself in Prague TONIGHT I would probably try to have dinner at U Zlateho Tygra. It's not easy to get a seat but the kitchen is turning out rock solid old school Czech food and the unfiltered Pilsner is the best. Plus you'll probably meet some real characters.

      I talk about all three in excruciating detail in this thread:

      Plus there are tons of photos from all three at the blog Tasty Trix, which you can google.

      (These are not the thoughts of a local but rather someone who spent 6 days in Prague earlier this year eating as much as he possibly could)

      1. re: kukubura

        FYI, none of these three have outdoor seating, so if that's the deciding factor then that might be a problem.

        The outdoor place in Prague where we had the best time was probably Klasterni Pivovar, a brewery up in the Strahov Monastery. They brew their own beer, which is excellent (of course) and the food is great too. More touristy than the three I mentioned above due to it's location inside a tourist site, but still really great. There was a place with outdoor seating in the monastery that had a stunning view of the entire city as well, but it looked REALLY touristy. Better to eat at Klasterni Pivovar and then walk over and enjoy the view on foot, I think.

        On the other side of the castles there's a winery (Wenceslas Winery?) where we sat outside with a view of the city and shared a carafe of Frankovka. I don't know about food there ( think there was also a restaurant but we went to the "self serve" bar, I'm attaching a pic.)

        And it doesn't get much more outdoor than the sausage stands on Wenceslas Square. Depending on how much pivo you drink with dinner you might find yourself needing to go there.

        Where did you reserve in Vienna?

        1. re: kukubura

          We just left Prague and La Degustation is FANTASTIC, really if you can afford it, it is so worthwhile.

          1. re: debbieann

            Sadly, when I am there this summer, La Degustation will be closed. I will be there for two nights and looking for restaurants of that level. Any suggestions? Thanks.

            1. re: laubowski

              There is none :-(

              That said, you still can have some great food in Prague, although not on that particular level. V Zatisi should be open and they are very good indeed. They serve Czech and international food. There is a new pan-Asian restaurant that everybody is talking about and it's called Sansho I haven't been yet, but it gets amazing reviews. Otherwise, you have Lokal (very casual, pub style and strictly Czech cuisine) and Cestr (steakhouse, also quite causal), both very good and both the same owner as Degustation. Then you have Italian Finestra and Aromi (more causal) and very fine dining Allegro (in the Four Seasons hotel, 1 michelin star). Happy eating!

              1. re: sasicka

                Thanks Sasicka. What a shame on La Degustation.

                I will check out Lokal and Aromi for dinner. I have a party of 14 people.

                Anyone else have anything to recommend?

                1. re: laubowski

                  Whoah! Definitely call Lokal well in advance! They do reserve space, even though they're casual.

                  By the way, this is the outdoor place with the view I posted a while back:

                  I don't know anything about the quality of the food. The panorama pergola was the self-serve wine bar where we had our carafe. But there are full-service restaurants also.

                  1. re: kukubura

                    Villa Richter food is OK to decent. It's nothing min-blowing and for their prices, it should be. So go there if you stroll down from the Castle, sit down for a glass of great wine and maybe a salad - this is one of few places in Prague where they actually wash the lettuce before serving it :-) they do pretty decent salads. I heard that they have decent lunch food at the Pergola bar. I would not go there for full-service, also because you loose the fantastic view, as it's inside.

                    One more thing. There is a newly opened restaurant on a boat in Prague. You get the best view possible, Charles Bridge, the Castle, the river, fantastic. You get good value for money pizza and pasta for food, nothing really outstanding, but quite authentic Italian and nicely priced. My husband has been yesterday and he was thrilled. You can get outside tables as well as in-doors by great windows if it's raining.


                    1. re: sasicka

                      I just read this post and thanks for all the info. I will be going to Prague for three nights and then to Budapest for four. Our family of six includes four "kids" ages 21, 18, 17 and 14. We live in LA and for lack of a better description...healthy foodies. I love the idea of the boat for a meal in Prague. The trick is to find something with a view, a bit of energy but interesting non touristy food.
                      I have started a list for Prague and would love any suggestions and thoughts-
                      Grand Cafe Orient

                      For Jazz and Blues
                      U Maleho Glena

                      1. re: susiefrag

                        The boat is not a touristic boat. It's actually a small-chain Czech-owned pizza and pasta restaurant where normal people go for lunch. The boat is docked and is not moving, so you can see the view that you're gonna get the whole meal by the time they seat you. I realise that pizza and pasta are not the healthiest foods but still very healthy in comparison to Prague standard.

                        Comments on your choices:
                        Grand Cafe Orient - good for coffee and a short sitdown, not for a meal. Please note, this is a very smoking cafe, so if you decide to go, go on a warm day, when they open all windows and sit next to one.
                        Celeste - don't like it, it's sort of heavy French food without too much imagination. Good location though. Not worth the price for me.
                        Ariana - word of mouth says they live off tourists, that actually no Czechs go there. Never been and never been even tempted. Can't explain why.
                        Allegro - good for healthier food on a warm evening, provided you want to pay up and you can sit outside. Otherwise just not worth it at all. If you can spare the view, you can get better food at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Essencia restaurant - very good chef there, one of the best in CZ IMHO.
                        Reduta - never eaten there, U Maleho Glena - OK to good food, not really interesting.

                        For a home-coming experience, you can try the controversial Aureole. It's sort of Asian fusion restaurant - they serve surprisingly decent sushi and some basic South East and East Asia dishes. Not in the center but you get good views from the highest restaurant in Prague. I'm not a fan personally but many people are. This is probably the closest you can get to healthy high-end food in Prague but it's not Czech in the slightest.