Here’s a roundup of openings, discoveries and foodie goings-on in Prague over the past month or so. I’ve been in Poland for a while, so it’s a little bit late, but here you go!
My favourite find this month was the new Mozaika Burger & Co on Nitranska. It opened a couple of months ago, or should I say reopened after renovation. This used to be Mozaika, which was always well known for its burgers and it looks like the owners have decided that focusing on burgers is the way forward.
The place got mixed reviews on Twitter and my expectations weren’t that high. But I finally got around to checking it out, and I was really impressed. Everyone loved the lean, peppery beef and soft, slightly sweet and oddly square buns – which I was a bit sceptical about at first. But it only took two bites to bring me round.
This is the chicken burger, which was juicy and full of flavour (I loved the coriander pesto!) the beef burgers were messy to eat, but worth it. They also have a beer by Matuska, one of my favourite breweries, made especially for them to compliment the burgers. It’s hoppy and easy to drink (maybe too easy at 60kc per 0.5l)
Mr Banh Mi
I’d never eaten it before, but when I tried my first one at this new opening on Rumunska in Vinohrady, I discovered that the banh mi sandwich is an amazing thing. Invented during French colonialism in Vietnam, it’s basically a hot, fresh, French baguette filled with Vietnamese flavours and spices. Mr Banh Mi has pork, meatball, chicken and tofu versions, and I’m finding it hard to choose a favourite.
It seems that this is Prague’s first good, central banh mi place. Everything here, I’m told, is home made. They also have pho and other much-loved Vietnamese dishes, but I haven’t managed to get past these glorious sandwiches yet. Let’s just say I’m here a lot.
Staying with the fast food theme! Whenever I’m in Berlin my first stop is for currywurst, so you can imagine how happy I was when I heard about the opening of Currywurst Brothers in Prague. This little stand behind the Kotva shopping centre is, I believe, the only place selling it here, and their currywurst tastes much like any I’ve had in Berlin. So if you have a craving, you know where to go!
Maso & Kobliha
Chef Paul Day has opened up a pub/butcher’s shop right next door to his famous Asian-style restaurant, Sansho. Maso a Kobliha (“Meat and Doughnuts”) is still in the “soft opening” phase, building up its menu, with English-pub-style food made with much more care than in your typical English pub, using fresh meat from the Real Meat Society. Their Facebook page seems to be the best place for updates.
As if there hadn’t been enough good new restaurant openings in the area around Namesti Miru this year, here’s another one: Ari’s Restaurant opened up on Slezska in September, with mostly Indonesian food at the moment, prepared by award-winning Indonesian chef Ari. I’m told there will be dishes from around south Asia on the menu from October. I haven’t been yet, but most reviews I’ve read have been very positive about the food, less so about the ambience.
This newly-opened, friendly little deli in Nusle makes and sells its own fresh cows’ milk mozzarella (plus lots of other cheeses) for very decent prices, proving that good Italian food in Prague doesn’t have to cost a fortune. It seems to be already gaining a big following among the city’s Italian residents, and you won’t get a warmer welcome anywhere. They don’t seem to have a website, but check out their Facebook page.
My favourite pivoteka (beer shop) Beergeek, near Jiriho z Podebrad square, has opened up its long-awaited pub nearby – so you no longer have to cram into the shop’s tiny seating area if you want to drink their beers. The new pub is five minutes’ walk away at Vinohradská 988/62. The variety and quality of beer is as good as you’d expect, and the atmosphere is better than at other nearby (draughty, silent) pivotekas. A great night out for real-life beer geeks (I know a few who’ll be here regularly!)
Few people were surprised by the news that the swanky, pricey food hall at Mustek is closing down after just a few months, reportedly because of a lack of consumer interest. Who would’ve believed that there’d be no demand for overpriced basic groceries and imported tinned food?
If there’s something new I should know about please leave a comment or get in touch on twitter! And don’t forget to show me your pics if you’ve visited any of the above :)