it’s not every day that you eat lunch in a disused railway station. Reclaimed as an event space, Nákladové nádraží Žižkov (Žižkov freight railway station) hosted a street food festival on Sunday July 5th, and it was absolutely brilliant.
Some food festivals in the city are expensive, or horribly crowded. That wasn’t a problem here. In fact, there were very few queues and loads of free table space, which never happens.
The long weekend plus the hot and humid weather seemed to have driven most people out of town, and the streets of residential areas, including Žižkov, were eerily quiet all weekend. It was still fairly lively in this huge space, but far from busy.
We tried the beef and avocado fresh rolls from Mr Banh Mi, which were as crunchy and, er, fresh as I remembered – although I wasn’t a fan of the watery version of hoisin sauce they came drenched in.
I tried the grilled duck breast banh mi from Banh Mi Makers. (I haven’t eaten half of it in the photo – I just ordered a half portion!) I couldn’t help comparing them to Mr Banh Mi. They were about 20kc more expensive, but I’m not sure they were better. The meat was deliciously tender, but there wasn’t a lot of mayonnaise and the bread was slightly chewy.
The festival was a nice mix of well-established restaurants (like Las Adelitas) popular new upstarts (like Hot God) and enthusiastic but unknown amateurs, like these guys, who were operating Guero’s Tacos for the very first time.
Their tacos al pastor was a hit. Tender pieces of roast pork with juicy pineapple, covered in lime, onion and a very light drizzle of something extremely spicy and delicious. All very fresh. Here’s hoping they’ll be making an appearance at more festivals.
Another thing I’d very much like to see more of. The burgers from WeAre Burgers weren’t just miniature works of art, they were also completely homemade with fresh ingredients. This is their “minty peas burger”, which was something new, and I couldn’t fault it. As burgers go it was small and fairly light. The bun melted in your mouth and the meat was juicy, pink in the middle, and well-seasoned.
It’s a not-for-profit hobby operation and seems like a real labour of love. The little team was super nice and friendly, and were even cooling the customers down by spraying them with water (nicer than it sounds!)
While waiting to get hungry again, we started exploring the station and found this old military train which had been turned into a museum, complete with bunks, hospital wagon and even this replica post office wagon. It reminded me of my local post office here in Prague – I imagine this resembles the secret room where they must hide all my parcels for months before I get them.
Time for a beer or three. I have completely forgotten what the name of this beer was, which probably doesn’t mean anything very good.
The people running events at the train station also seem to be brewing their own beer.
After that, these giant kebabs looked very tempting.
Prague’s new gourmet hot dog trend was well represented, with a good few places selling them.
By this point I was too full of beer and burgers to eat another thing.
There were some ominous-looking grey clouds squatting over us, and it was time to go home. But a good time was had by all, the atmosphere and selection of food was great, and I’ll definitely be back next year.