Three nights in Prague, Three nights in Budapest
That's our time frame. We're looking for recs with good traditional food, atmospheric decor, perhaps an outdoor terrace, and of course, good beer. My wife and I travel extensively, and chowhounders never let us down. Please offer your best opinions
Onyx, Costes, and for more casual Hungarian fare, Bock Bistro in Budapest. Degustation in Prague. We were there last fall and greatly enjoyed all of the above.
You want traditional food and atmosphere and great beer? Make your way through the craziness into U Zlateho Tygra in Prague. It's a smoke-filled pub that is jam-packed with locals even though it's in the center of the tourist district. And the beer is the best.
Less traditional in atmosphere but very traditional in food and beer is Lokal. Also highly recommended.
Our outdoor courtyard experience was Klasterni Strahov Pivovar up near the castle in the monastary. They brew their own beer and have a nice interior courtyard. There's a restaurant nearby with a great view but it looked more like a tourist trap. Klasterni Strahov catered to tourists but also seemed really solid.
Budapest would have to be:
- Borsso Bistro (has an impossibly nice terrace)
- Csalogany 26
- Borkonyha wine kitchen
Trade either of these for Rosenstein if you wanted a traditional old style hungarian-jewish meal.
Prague ought to be
- Sansho (has a terrace, very good beer but the spanish wines are better)
- The Pind (indian, indeed indian, not czech, with a terrace and very good beer)
- Coda (for the location) or Chagalls (for the food)
Trade either of these for Degustation, if price is not an issue and if you like this type of food.
The summer has been much hotter than normal so far, and the traditional cooking of either city does not fit that weather so well. The beer does of course.
I'll second Borkonyha (wine kitchen). Food is very good, wines (glass/bottle) are outstanding. This is an informal place that gets a lot of good press. You can sit outdoors if the evening is cool or indoors with air conditioning. The veal neck is one fine meal. Maybe consider a lunch if you want to kick back, graze some apps, drink some seriously good Hungarian wines. Staff is competent, fun and engaging.
i was in both places for 3 nights in may. we really liked csalogany 26 in budapest. it's on the pest side. nice menu, 4 courses with wine for under $50us. and they make an effort. recommended. i also ate at bock's bistro. also good. a little more full of themselves but it was all good.
in prague, we ate at lokal. pretty good but no a/c and it can get really hot. very low key. just realize that people go out to eat and spend the entire night out. a 3 to 4 hour meal is common. i saw people go thru an entire pack of cigarettes in 1 meal. the place that we really enjoyed was hybernia. terrific food and an outdoor patio. very big, lots of seating both inside and out, and they respect reservations. it doesn't get much play on this board, we found it out from a local, highly recommended. the tartare was better than at lokal and the smoked knee was terrific. my wife and i liked it so much we ate there twice! good food, cold beer, and a patio. and mostly locals.
strongly dissagree with hybernia. it's a cheap place with no real food culture. to compare it with lokal, they have slightly lower prices but they use lots of powdered and pre-packaged stuff, nothing is made from scratch, not even mashed potatoes, ketchup is everywhere and yes, lots of locals like it because this is how they're used to eating. also, it's the headquarters of the socialist political party and not only you're eating with them, you're financing them.
if you want, lokal has a non-smoking section, you just have to ask for it and reserve in advance (2-3 days should be enough, you can do it by internet). lunch is totally non-smoking.