First time in Prague and would like an eastern european, roast duck with red cabbage sort of meal
I've read about Myynec and V. Zatisi as options. Any thoughts or other recommendations? Thank you!
Mlynec and V Zatisi are the same group. Out of the two, I'd recommend V Zatisi - I'd say the food is better. In Mlynec, the food used to be light and Asian-fusion and unexpectedly they've changed it quite recently.
If you want a real up-scale impression of Czech cookery, go to Degustation Boheme Bouregoise, they serve small and elaborate dishes inspired by Czech cuisine (they have 2 menus, one Czech, the other international). This one is more modern cuisine and modern atmosphere - dark tables, dark decor, dark everything and the kitchen drowned in light. V Zatisi on the other hand is more classical - comfy chairs, white tablecloths, nice quiet decor.
If you want to have a gastro-pub experience, there is no better place than exactly opposite Degustation, the restaurant called Lokal (which means "local pub" in Czech). Lokal also has excellent beer (in the end it comes down to quality of storing and pouring). There is another location across the river in Mala Strana too. I love this one, as soon as it stops being so damn hot here, I'm going there for dinner! Lunch is good too but fills up fast.
I really wouldn't bother with any other restaurant for Czech food, certainly wouldn't go to U Medvidku or Mlejnice, those are very touristic spots and very authentic for the early 1990's Czech cuisine / bus group experience ;-) Of course, there are other restaurants serving Czech food, some of them even quite good, but I think these offer the best results here in Prague and also give you the best value for money ratio.
By the way, a dish that I can't stop thinking about at Lokal is the prague ham with horseradish cream. They change the menu daily, I believe, but if they have that get it. It's not hot but the ham is silky smooth and the cream is very memorable. Lokal figures heavily in my trip report on CH: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/779519 and in my wife's blog: http://tastytrix.blogspot.com/2011/04...
Lokal is loved also because of its retro feel. In Eastern Germany they call it the Ostalgy ;-) Ham with horseradish cream has been a starter in every Czech and Slovak communist restaurant. You could not have a wedding without this starter. You could not have a wake without this starter. We had it even at most family gatherings and Christmas dinners ;-) Of course, as with everything in Lokal, they show you your favorite food memories from childhood and then make them perfect by dramatically improving taste and quality (in comparison with the disasters that were served during communism). That's why locals go there - it's memories of food as it should have been :-)
I noticed you're a local in Prague and I would like to get some information about the biers and tours of the breweries from you. Please send me a private message if you can or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've created a list of places to try but any one that we must try? We're looking to hang out mostly in restaurants that the local eat and drink at. We need pub recommendations. I've noted that Lokal at the top of the list.
Finally, any must see attractions besides the typical tourist things? Thank you
This is what I have so far, please respond with your thoughts.
Pubs/ and possible Food:
Duende, Karolíny Světlé 30/277 11000 Hl.m. Praha-Praha 1.
Klasterni Pivovar Strahov
U Zlatého Tygra (the Golden Tiger) in Prague's Old Town.
Lunch/Dinner, all meals really:
Cafe Louvre for breakfast
Bio Zahrada for breakfast
Lokal, is this better for lunch or dinner?
Mlejnice, is this a tourist trap? Worth going for beer only?
Ichnusa for Sardinian delicatessen
Kampa Park for the Fish
Česká Kuchyně, a cafeteria-style restaurant
Sapa is a Vietnamese area to try for the food.
U Betlémské Kaple- good local
Hospoda U Novaka, very good local place
Klášterní Pivovar Strahov, the brewery at the Strahov Monastery. Are there other brewery tours in Prague? We live 3 hours from Prague so we will definitely return for the Pilzn tour but this first time, we want to stay in or near the city to see the sights.
Other than the jewish quarter, Charles Bridge, are there other must see attractions in Prague? For this one, I don't mind the crowds. Just not for my meals.
I can't speak to places I haven't been, of course, but you've got a lot of great options there. Ceska Kuchyne was fun and inexpensive but the food can't compare with the other place we ate. It's a step up from Polish Milk Bars but still has that cafeteria feel. But it's recommended for how complicated it is - or does not everyone enjoy weird complicated stuff when they're on vacation?? ;)
U Zlateho Tygra is definitely a place to eat if you can. Their kitchen is turning it out for real on the old school Czech cuisine. We had great sausages, rare roast beef and that killer steak tartare. But be forewarned: Getting a seat can be very difficult. You need to have patience, a couple of words of Czech, and an adventurous attitude.
As for brewery tours, I don't know how many breweries there are in the city. Most places take great pride in which brand of beer they're aligned with: Pilsner Urquell, Budvar, Gambrinus, etc... According to the notorious Radek Pilsner Urquell is the best, followed by Budvar and the rest earned a dismissive "feh." Tygra and Lokal are P.U. shops, Hospoda U Novaka is Gambrinus (which I liked, regardless of what Radek said), plus we had Budvar and others elsewhere. The difference even among the same beer brand is in the freshness of the deliveries and the maintenance of the equipment. The shiny gear at Lokal is obviously cared for very well. Watching the bartender at Tygra was also amazing: He pours beer like he's conducting a symphony!
U Medviku has a brewery but as has been said elsewhere they've gone overboard making themselves a tourist destination. But still, could be worth a look, at least for a beer.
The only place we went to that brewed their own beer (that I'm aware of) is Klasterni Pivovar Strahov and it was awesome. They had a seasonal beer in addition to their amber and dark beers. I'm sure the seasonal beer will be very different on your visit.
On the beer topic, the only thing at Sapa that wasn't imported from Asia was the beer: Even though there are great Vietnamese beers they all stocked Czech bottles!
As for things to do, Prague is full of them. If you like architecture, churches, etc there's ton to do. Just wandering the streets is full of interesting things to see and do. We liked strolling the Vyserhad on the way back from Sapa. It's a big beautiful park with an old church, lots of beer gardens, and amazing views.
Hey Sasicka, you would have loved the dinner I made for my wife's birthday last night: I made a pork stew braised in Pilsner Urquell and seasoned with hot paprika and caraway seeds and served in a folded potato and sauted onion crepe, with potato knedlicky and red sauerkraut on the side. All of it was 100% homemade except the sauerkraut. If I'd had time (this was all done after I got home from work) I would have slow roasted the pork but it still came out pretty darn good. Inspired by Templar's Saute at Hospoda U Novaka (although no liver since it's not her favorite)