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Taste of Prague Foodie tour

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Have any fellow CH'ers done this tour? If so, is it worth it?

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  1. I'll take the liberty of posting the link to their site:

    http://www.tasteofprague.com/prague-f...

    Prague has some great food and there's a good bit of info on this site. But that price doesn't sound bad at all for what you get. I hope others weigh in.

    1. If you have limited time in Prague this may be a good option, although by Czech standards this is terribly expensive. Some research on Chowhound, and other sites, a free map from your hotel and you could do something similar likely for a quarter the price or less.

      I know these tours are quite popular in Italy, there are several contributors on the Italy board who run similar types of operations in Rome/Florence and the reviews from people who have taken them are generally very positive.

      The only bit that caused me concern on their website is the part about advice on the best jewelry/souvenirs/etc... I wonder if the tour has a mandatory stop(s) at such shops; this is common practice on tours I've taken in Turkey and was always fairly unpleasant for me.

      Given this I'd be interested to hear feedback if anyone takes the tour.

      5 Replies
      1. re: vanderb

        I didn't see anything about making stops at jewelry stores. I will have almost 3 full days in Prague plus another half day. It's my first time visiting. I've already gathered together a small list of eateries from past discussions on here that I should visit. At first the price seemed high, but then again it is a 4 hour tour. Now I'm undecided. I will have to take a good look at the link to their blog they provided me and see if there are good options listed there and just use that as my guide.

        1. re: vanderb

          I also saw the jewelry reference. We had this in Turkey and Israel and a couple we simply didn't go in but others were fun and informative.

          1. re: vanderb

            Hi, this is Jan, the co-owner of Taste of Prague. I've found this thread by total accident when researching the web.

            Thank you for your opinion. We actually think the price is right. Firstly, we limit the group size to four. We believe we provide a small, unique and personal experience. We are foodies ourselves and we hate the big groups. The downside is, you cannot benefit from economies of scale. Secondly, you could not possibly recreate the experience we provide with research and a free map. We visit the kitchen of La Degustation, the Michelin-star Czech restaurant (really the best restaurant in town) before their opening hours, see the kitchen, talk to the chefs, see their training centre and taste some of their food. We get behind otherwise closed doors. We also get tasting sets in other restaurants that would otherwise be unavailable for anyone just walking in from the street. We are really local foodies, know the owners and they know - and we dare say like - us and what we do, and they help us. We get special treatment and we transfer that treatment to our guests.

            About the jewelry and souvenirs: we never visit any of these places on the tour. You pay top dollar, so we do not need to have back-hand deals with anyone, and we are strictly against that (otherwise sadly common) practice. Instead, we try to provide an alternative to the cheap tchotchkes you can buy here in Prague (Russian dolls, anyone?) and instead try to point our guests to something that is truly authentic and meaningful. Also, many of these local designers are so small that they would not even afford to pay commissions. We are proud to be independent.

            Anyway, thank you for the comment! We understand your concern - tourism industry here in Prague does not have the best reputation among locals and many times for good reason. We think our tours are really nice and priced well for the value you get. Is it the cheapest tour? No. But do you get something extra out of it? You bet!

            Thank you again,
            Jan

            1. re: Tasteofprague

              Thank you Jan. I had emailed you earlier in the week and you replied back saying that you would be out of town on the dates I wanted to do the tour. I really was going to sign up for it and now after reading your comment I'm more sad I won't be able to partake in this wonderful adventure. But I will survive :-). If you could point me to clothing shops for men (preferably items made in the Czech Republic) that sell inexpensive clothes I would be greatly obliged (I've already read that clothes there can be more expensive than here in the states; true?).

              1. re: smaointe

                Hi!
                We're really sorry about the unavailability! There's always next time, right?
                Inexpensive clothes here? That is going to be tough :-) Major brands are usually more expensive here. That is why we recommend local designers. At least you will get something unique.
                You should definitely check out Botas 66, the Communist-sneaker-turned-hipster-favorite. They have a new, dedicated shop near the TV Tower. Very cool. Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/botas66com.
                Molo 7 (https://www.molo7.cz/muzi/) is an online shop that allows you to see what's available here. Two really cool shops are DenimHeads and Basmatee. Not really the cheapest options but uber cool street and denim wear. For something more sophisticated, have a look at Le Premier or Jozef Sloboda. The owners of all these are great and will help you with further exploring!

          2. I am also considering this tour on our October trip. I did the Culinary Backstreets Tour in Istanbul. We would never have found some of the places we went on our own. Restaurant suggestions they gave were spot on. I thought it was very worth it and they did not give a sales pitch except for some of food stalls and they just brought us back to the stalls if we wanted to buy some spices or the traditional candies etc. Look forward to feed back from people and if you do the tour please report back. Thanks.

            1. Turns out that the tour is not operating on the dates I will be in Prague. In any case, I have referred to their blog and I've seen lots of wonderful options (too many to be precise). Maybe the fellow CH community can help me narrow my list. I am looking for places that have good local food or just anything good in general. I prefer to be budget conscious (no more than $40 for dinner or $25 for lunch). So that leaves out the high end places like Bellevue and La Degustation. Here's what I have written down so far:

              -Lokal (Dlouha)
              -Cafe Savoy (breakfast/pastries)
              -Locanda Marino
              -Dish Fine Burger Bistro
              -Patisserie Mysak (for sweets)

              Seems like my list is short and would welcome more ideas. I don't drink wine or beer so any place focusing on that is out. What are your thoughts on a prix fixe lunch at Aureole? Thanks!

              31 Replies
              1. re: smaointe

                BTW In case you're confused about the prices I set, I'm traveling solo :-).

                1. re: smaointe

                  I used to live around the corner from this place and loved the pigs knuckle.

                  http://www.usadlu.cz/en/index.php

                  I haven't been back in a few years however.

                  Also if you like cheese get samazeny cyr which is a fried cheese appetizer. I lived it. Also if you like garlic and see garlic soup on the menu get it.

                  1. re: smaointe

                    Really enjoy Lokal but you should make a res. Also LOVED San Sho where their six course prix fixe (dinner only) was appros. US$45. Again you'll need a res.

                    There's a decent amount of info on Prague here on the Europe board.

                    1. re: smaointe

                      I 2nd the recommendation to have a reservation at Lokal, or as a single you could possibly join one of the bigger tables.

                      Not too far from Lokal is a Pilsner Pub call Kolkovna (V KolkovnÄ› 8, 110 00 Praha). It is part of a chain of Pilsner pubs but the food is IMO always good standard Czech fare and they have a very large non-smoking section downstairs.

                      Also check out the new "Gourmet alley" on Dlouha about 100 metres past Lokal on the way towards Revolucni street. When I was last there a small wine bar had opened as well as a butcher (I believe owned by the restaurant group that owns Lokal) and there were plans for many more shops and eateries.

                      1. re: vanderb

                        Although I couldn't get a res for our first or second nights, we were able to walk in and share a table for six with another couple. And they're open for lunch also.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          I've gone nuts looking at the food blog mentioned earlier. Now my list is getting ridiculously long and I'm only there for 3.5 days lol. If I go to Sansho for lunch, how much should I expect to pay (no drinks)?

                          1. re: smaointe

                            I didn't realize that they serve lunch but I see they do.

                            http://www.sansho.cz/en/signature-dishes

                            This says that lunch plate are 110 to 125 Kc. As a Czech koruna is about a nickel in US currency, you can do quite well for a ridiculously low amount of money. IIRC, our dinner for two (six courses and a bottle of wine) was about US$35. Go for it.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              I clearly wasn't paying attention after seeing their website so many times. Thanks for the heads up. Can't wait!

                              1. re: smaointe

                                I don't know if you saw my little writeup and pix.

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/971885

                                That salmon was the best EVER so if they serve it at lunch I'd sure order it.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  Thanks, this helps :-)

                      2. re: smaointe

                        Hi!

                        We would skip Mysak and Locanda Marino. Include Simply Good in your sweets list for the best kolachees in town. It's in the Karlin district. Lunch at Sansho (as somebody wrote below) is a fantastic idea. We go there with the tour, too. Dish is great, see The Tavern (their pulled pork burger marinated in Slivovitz is to die for) as an alternative.

                        Have fun in Prague!
                        Jan

                        1. re: Tasteofprague

                          I crossed out Locanda Marino earlier and added Pizza Nuova instead (per your recommendation on your blog). I honestly don't remember where I got Marino from. Thank you again for your suggestions.

                          1. re: smaointe

                            I really like Locanda Marino. Its in a nice location and has very good pizza and other food as well, especially fresh fish and seafood. Pizza Nuova - why in the world would you go to an all-you-can-eat pizza place in Prague?

                            Or you can go to Grossetto Marina on the boat on the river, they have good pasta dishes and salads and decent pizza with great views.

                            1. re: sasicka

                              That's a good point! I guess I figured they tout having really good Neopolitan pizza so I wanted to go here. Honestly, when looking for places to eat in cities I want to experience the local cuisine. But since I saw that Italian is on the rise in Prague I figured why not try pizza, which will most likely taste better than here in the states. I'll play around with my list some more.

                              1. re: smaointe

                                Imho the best pizza in Prague is in Locanda Marino. But the best Neapolitan pizza I ever ate was in SF :) and of course in Naples. You get nowhere near that in Prague. For most Czechs Italian food is easy carbs, thats it. It depends on you whether you want to eat good Czech food or like a Czech person. I would recommend the former :)))

                                1. re: sasicka

                                  I think that's an incredibly astute statement. Someone who lives in Prague isn't going to eat Czech all the time any more than someone from the U.S. would eat, say, hot dogs :)

                              2. re: sasicka

                                Hi Sasicka!

                                Well, we'll have to agree to disagree here :-) We actually like Pizza Nuova. You're making it sound like it's Chuck E. Cheese. Far from it. Nobody forces you to have the all-you-can-eat thing. You can just order a la carte. Still think the pizza is the best in town and the pasta dishes, the grill and the fish may not be the best but still very decent. Far superior to Grossetto Marina in our book.

                                And hey, even Heston likes it :-) http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/entertai...

                                1. re: Tasteofprague

                                  Oh my lol. My plans keep changing because I can't seem to settle on a particular place. I was just going to try Cestr, but now you're making me think I should stick with Pizza Nuova. Actually, I think I have room for the both of them.

                                  1. re: smaointe

                                    Oh... If you have to choose, make it Cestr then. Much more meaningful, we guess, and very high on our list. Skip the steaks and have the slow-cooked meats. The chicken with truffle stuffing and the trout are nice, too. Their steak tartare is the best in the city imho. Their mash potato is a must, and the beer ice-cream to finish it off. Yum!

                                    1. re: Tasteofprague

                                      Thank you! So you don't recommend the 3-course prix fixe menu?

                                  2. re: Tasteofprague

                                    If your wine trip gets canceled for some reason, please let me know :-).

                              3. re: Tasteofprague

                                I'm thinking of giving La Degustation a shot, but I wonder how long the dining experience is for the 6 course menu. I'm not interested in sitting down for 2-3 hours.

                                1. re: smaointe

                                  Here's a thread where La Degustation is talked about. I could have sworn that delucacheesemonger reviewed it but I'm not finding it. It sure SOUNDS like a long meal. If you post on that thread you can certainly find out. Or email the restaurant.

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/824482

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    I'm starting to change my mind, sorry. I've got Lokal down and Sansho for lunch. I don't have to dine out each night I'm there, but I would like a good list of standbys. I'm open to any cuisine as long as it's good and fairly inexpensive (about $30 tops, I don't drink btw).

                                    1. re: smaointe

                                      Maybe not the best place to ask, but am also open to hearing suggestions for any sort of experiences I should try out while in Prague. I'm always looking for something off the beaten path/non touristy, or things many tourists don't know about.

                                      1. re: smaointe

                                        Well, you'd be spending multiples of that to dine there!

                                        We were staying at the Imperial Hotel and ate a couple of times at Ristorante Longiano which is also on Na Parici, within walking distance of both Sansho and Lokal. Here's a little writeup I did on the place. Loved it.

                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/971170

                                        http://www.longiano.cz/

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          Looks yummy. ~$10 for risotto! I'm in. Do you think all of the dishes are good, or just what you had (pork knee)?

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            54% approval on Trip Advisor? Hmmm...

                                            1. re: smaointe

                                              I would trust me more than TA :)

                                              That pork, as I wrote, was one of the best things I've ever eaten. We also had really tasty pizza. Everyone seemed to be enjoying their food. I'm REALLY picky about risotto so would likely NOT opt for that in Prague.

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                Degustation is a very long dinner experience. Cestr is defintelly very good choice, both for cooked meats and steaks (steaks are more international). I love the beer apperitif and their beef tartare. And for desert, I love their buchticky (little pastries filled with poppy seeds smothered in vanilla sabaillon).

                                                1. re: sasicka

                                                  What's a beer aperitif?

                                2. Jan & Zuzi, the founders of Taste of Prague, are awesome. I've been following my tastebuds all over the world (35 countries so far) for years, and I've met MANY international food lovers, however Jan & Zuzi rank among the very best. Why? They dedicate their lives to offering the best to their fellow food and travel-lovers.

                                  While many food-lovers will happily enjoy a meal and be done with their 'love for food.' Jan & Zuzi take a more proactive approach. I've communicated with them via email from abroad for a food documentary project I'm filming. Although the assistance I request of them can be deemed 'challenging' by others, Jan & Zuzi are HIGHLY responsive, enthusiastic and professional.

                                  In addition, just look at their beautiful website with its stunning food and Prague photography. You can easily tell that Jan & Zuzi care about their work, their city, and their (YOUR) food tour experience.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: tastewithkevin

                                    I agree :-)