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Prague Help?

My husband and I and our two children (ages 5 and 7) will be traveling from London to Prague for my birthday weekend in March. We're meeting up with two of my American girlfriends and we will be running the Prague half marathon during our stay. We're very much into food and our kids are pretty adventurous, but a nine course tasting menu like Degustation is not in the cards. So, 'hounds where would you send us for a few good lunches and dinners? We'll be staying right by the Charles Bridge. Ideally places that takes bookings as we'll be a larger party. Lokal? The Golden Tiger? La Bella Canzone (as per Kukubura's post) for a good pre-race meal? Thanks for your help in planning a great weekend!

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  1. Golden Tiger is out with kids, I'm afraid. That will not fly, I'm sure. (maybe I'm wrong? Honestly, if you're kids are like I was when I was a kid and you could pull it off they'll be talking about it for the rest of their lives... But if could also be a disaster...)

    Lokal might be fun but definitely call ahead and check on the smoking situation. The food is awesome and if your kids are adventurous they'll love it.

    The courtyard at the Klasterni Pivovar would definitely be fun with the kids if the weather is nice. Plus you can then hike up Petrin Hill (but the Funicular might still be shut down as it was for us last March.

    And of course Wenceslas Square for sausages and fried cheese.

    La Bella Canzone was lovely but I'm not sure if its right for you. It's out of the way and the food is not Czech, so on a shorter trip it might not be worth it. And you won't need Italian for carboloading with all the knedlicky around...

    Loved Hospoda U Novaka, a little past the opera house. Same kind of pub atmosphere, great food, but much less chaotic than the more centrally located ones. Could be a good pick. Let us know how it goes!

    4 Replies
    1. re: kukubura

      Also, Czesky Kucyne will be great for the kids. Solid, old-fashioned food, kind of funny, overly complicated cafeteria-style ordering system, tasty desserts.

      Back to Tygra (which I spend altogether too much time thinking about) I wonder how it would go if you went right when they opened. You'd probably get to hang out for a while before they kick you out to make room for regulars. It's almost not the kids that are the problem so much as needing 6 seats.

      1. re: kukubura

        Thanks so much for these suggestions - I'm going to be in Prague with my parents in a few weeks and Lokal or Hospoda U Novaka sound perfect!

        1. re: biondanonima

          Just a thank you - my parents and I thoroughly enjoyed Lokal, although I would definitely say that if you are a non-smoker you MUST be sure to reserve non-smoking. We exited through the smoking section and even the 10 seconds it took us to walk through were too much. The food was plentiful, traditional Czech - lots of pork, lots of sauerkraut. The fried cheese was by far the best thing we ordered - don't miss it!

          1. re: biondanonima

            We did miss that cheese! Dammit! Glad you enjoyed it. DId you go anywhere else?

      2. If your kids and friends like beef, Cestr is excellent. It's very relaxed, so I don't think kids would be a problem there.

        1. Lokal is great and they change their menu a bit every day. They also have an English language menu. They do have nonsmoking sections but I would call ahead for reservations as they book up at peak times. Actually, any of the Ambiente Group restaurants are a good bet. The Golden Tiger is tricky enough for tourists much less a larger party with children so I probably wouldn't try it. Check out the Expatscz website too. Brewsta does the restaurant reviews and it has good info for non Czech speakers.

          1 Reply
          1. re: baybridget

            Regarding Tygra (because I have such a fascination with it) it can't hurt to swing by and poke your head in. It's extremely centrally located so it's not like you'll be going out of your way only to be disappointed. Who knows, maybe the stars will align!

          2. Hi actarheel,

            I can indeed recommend Lokal, where half the seating is non-smoking.
            A real treasure where large parties are definitely a bonus for sharing various dishes is The Pind, an astonishingly authentic north-indian place. Must book though!
            Very fine as well is café Le Louvre, for simple food and very serious cake eating, if those are the carbs you run on.
            I have yet to find a decent italian and tend to avoid everything near Charles' bridge.

            1. You might want to give Sansho a shot.

              We had a meal there recently that ranked in perhaps the top 3 we've had in Prague. Very reasonable for what you get, IMO.

              Also, we like U Male Velryby for a couple glasses of wine and a nosh.

              Enjoy the run!

              1. Lokal might be good with kids and a big group. Arrive early or reserve. They are completely non-smoking for lunch and a part is non-smoking for dinner.

                Sansho is indeed very good but it's not Czech. Its South East Asian cuisine has very homey vibe, but there is a set menu for dinner and you cannot choose other than if you are having a dessert or not. And its a lot of food in one go. Of course, it's not easy to get a table there, so advance reservations are a must.

                Go to the Grossetto Marina pizzeria. It's on a boat and the kids are going to like it. You are going to like the view. They serve decent pizzas and pastas and are not too expensive. They should be able to accomodate larger parties with a couple of hours notice.

                For a very foreign experience and a fun night, you can go to the Brasileiro (also Ambiente group), where they bring a lot of meats on pits to your table and you signal with flopping a red and green disc if you want more or not. They have good coctails and cute fun waiters :-) It's not a culinary highlight but it's great for group celebrations because of its great ambiance.

                There is another place near Charles Bridge, that is OK. It's not overly touristy and has decent food, not perfect, but decent. It's called Kocar z Vidne (Coach from Vienna) and serves Austrian cuisine. It's in a hidden courtyard just off the bridge on the Mala Strana side.

                For a pre-race meal, I'd go for a decent breakfast or a veggie restaurant. Most of other options in Prague are really heavy. There have been a few good Italian places but they are all closed or gone heavy now.

                1. There is a new restaurant called Nota Bene, that serves good Czech food with beer from several small breweries and it's non-smoking and kids-friendly. It's also in the center, on I.P. Pavlova square.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sasicka

                    Hello Sasicka,

                    My husband and I are in Prague right now and have two more days left. We took your suggestions and had wonderful meals at Lokal and Nota Bene. We also ate at Noi. Do you have any other suggestions? We are staying near I.P. Pavlova on Koubkova.

                    Thank you!

                    1. re: sfslinky

                      sorry, i'm not here every day :-) i hope you enjoyed your stay nonetheless.

                  2. Would love to know how this turned out!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kukubura

                      I'll let you know after next week!

                    2. Just wanted to post an update about our weekend. We had a great time, although the weather was not stellar. We had a lovely dinner at U Male Velrby on Friday night. They were very kind and everything was nicely cooked. I didn't realize how small this spot was! On Saturday, we met up with my two girlfriends who texted that they were having a drink - where of all places? Tygra! We walked over and joined them, but were quickly ushered back out as they don't allow kids. So, that answers that. My friends enjoyed their drinks, but that was all we managed. Dinner was at Lokal that night and it was perfect. Convivial atmosphere, hearty food and interesting tastes of local specialties. Just had trouble dragging my five year old away from the smoking side (as that is where they were showing hockey on a giant screen TV!). The half marathon was on Saturday morning and we enjoyed a fun post-race party of sorts at U Flecku. They were welcoming of the kids and we had a large table and enjoyed just hanging out over beers. We then went to dinner at Sansho, which was excellent. I enjoyed everything from the cocktails to the varied courses brought our way. Standout for me were the soft-shell crab sliders. They were also terrific with the kids, who devoured their calamari fritti and chicken with fried rice. Excellent meal and I would definitely recommend it. Thank you for all of your posts, which helped make our trip a success!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: actarheel

                        Sounds great! Yeah, Tygra was definitely a risk, but worth a shot. Glad you had so many great experiences!

                      2. Hello all! Enjoyed reading all the recommendations. We will be in Prague for 3 nights in June. We will have our 18month old traveling with us. We would like to eat Czech food while we are there.

                        Have noted the following places as potentials:

                        golden tiger--nixed b/c they don't allow kids (insert sad face)
                        Czesky Kucyne--Is this place still open, I can't find it on google maps!!
                        Strahov monastery resto--potential if there is time
                        Nota Bene- Thank you Sasicka for this rec.
                        Betlémské náměstí ?
                        Restaurace Baráčnická rychta ?
                        Restaurace Mlejnice ?
                        Kolkovna ?
                        U medvídků (At the Little Bears) ?

                        Would love feedback if you think my choices are on point or perhaps you can steer me in a different direction. Thanks all!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: rphmandy

                          Česká kuchyně is located on Havelská street between Wenceslas and Old Town squares. It's not good with babies because it gets quite busy with people walking about carrying trays everywhere. Also you'd have to think about carrying a tray and a baby at the same time. The food is only OK and mainly good for people who do not trust menus and want to see the food before they order.

                          U Medvidku caters mainly to Lonely Planet tourists and German seniors bus tours. Food is just OK and I'm not sure about their smoking policy. If you are here in summer you might want to try the summer beer garden for a nice afternoon beer in the sun.

                          As for kid friendly places, Lokal has a big non-smoking section and lunch is completely non-smoking. They have baby chairs. Also, there is a nice garden restaurant at Žofín by Ambiente group on one of the islands on the river (Slovanský ostrov). It has good children menu and a playyard as well as lots of space to run around on grass.

                          For another traditional pub, you might try U Pinkasu, which also has a garden. I don't know about their children policy.

                          Mlejnice - I haven't been for a while. We used to go there when we were in uni, they had good and cheap food. Now they are above student budget but we found their price to value ratio unsatisfactory. They cater to tourists now. Kolkovna - allways busy, half locals half tourists, ok reputation though I've never been.

                          Enjoy Prague!

                          1. re: sasicka

                            Most excellent. Many thanks. Our daughter is a baby chow hound. She enjoys sausage and sauerkraut so I'm thinking she will like Germany and Prague in June. Just hope she likes Cubism... ;)

                            1. re: rphmandy

                              If you're going to Germany and Prague, you'll be soon sick of the saurkraut / pork combo. I suggest you print out a few tips about the Italian eateries in Prague (and possibly in the German towns you're visiting) to get some lighter fare in, if you need it. There were some related posts recently.

                              Otherwise, in Germany you can often get a salad thrown into the meal even at the most traditional restaurants. I allways ask for a green salad (just the green leaves), otherwise you'll get some meat in it.

                              If you're going in the spring, make sure you eat lots of asparagus - usually eaten white, boiled and served with butter and ham or with hollandaise sauce.

                              1. re: sasicka

                                I'm Portuguese so lack of greenery on my plate won't phase me. I am also wondering about having our 1yr old with us in general. I know the beer gardens in Germany are pretty kid friendly. How about the pubs in Prague?