May 2006


potrava i pivo

One thing that is inexpensive in Prague is food—assuming you are not in the tourist areas.

By the time we got to our pension’s front door, MT had been awake for well over 30 hours and was in no real condition to go too far—we ended up eating at La Rustica (Donská 11; 101 00 Praha 10), a small Italian restaurant located quite close to where we were staying. MT had a Risoto with chicken and a Coca-Cola Light while I had a tri-color pasta with chicken and a half litre of beer. Total price for this meal: 276 CZK, which I rounded up to 300 CZK, or about 10€ (US$12ish).

Try finding a meal for two like this for $12 in the US. You’d be hard pressed to unless you went to Fazoli’s—but then if you were in Fazoli’s one couldn’t order beer, and one would be eating at Fazoli’s, a restaurant I ridiculed in my old restaurant guide as being worse than dry pasta shoved in a bottle of store bought pasta sauce. Realistically Fazoli’s only advantage lies in the unlimited drink refills, something unheard of in Europe—for any beverage.

Of course, finding a meal like this for 300 CZK in the tourist areas of Prague is fairy challenging, if not impossible. MT and I managed to do lunch for 360 CZK (20CZK tip) in a small restaurant that was about two blocks from the Charles Bridge, but away from the flow of tourists. Without planning to do so we both ordered Pork Goulash with Potato Dumplings and a half litre of beer each. The portions were plentiful and the beer, unsurprisingly, was less expensive that cola: 30 CZK got you either 0.2 litre of cola or 0.4 litre of beer at this particular restaurant.

Later in the afternoon, after wandering around Prague more, we went to achieve one of MT’s rather specific goals for her visit. We went to the Globe Bookstore where she picked up a copy of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and headed over to Café Slavia where MT read her book, whilst drinking two bottles of iced tea and eating a cream puff. I had a piece of chocolate cake with two cups of tea. Total price: 300 CZK.

We haven’t had dinner yet tonight, but we’re planning on eating at one of the restaurants near our pension. The food is good, plentiful, and inexpensive.

For the moment though, we are relaxing.

Dinner Follow-Up: We didn’t wander too far for dinner. We ended up at the Barracuda Café mexická restaurace (Kymská 126/2; 101 00 Praha 10). Much to my surprised, the table next to us was filled with five young people speaking English: An Australian guy, one British guy, another guy, a girl, and one Chi-Omega who grew up somewhere near Chicago. The latter loves The OC, has watched only one episode of Lost, and, shortly before we left the group was talking about what each country’s “drink” would be, plus how to say one particular phrase various languages. She announced that in “American it is thank you.” Ultimately I was still puzzled as to how these people found what I thought was an obscure neighborhood restaurant. Then I realized that there is a youth hostel on the block—I hadn’t noticed it before because before it had been a vacant store front. MT had noticed it when we arrived though. Dinner was ok, but they don’t know the difference between a Tostada and an Enchilada. It was our most expensive meal yet, although like every other meal, our plates overflowed.

4 comments to potrava i pivo

  • mateo

    Oh, how I wish I could join the two of you for cheap, delicious meals in fabulous European cities. I guess reading about it is as close as I shall come right now.

    Oh, and as for Fazoli’s… I can’t say I’m fond of their food, but they do also have unlimited bread sticks, which ARE good.

  • B.

    I can’t wait to get to Prague next weekend. Thanks to you & MT, I’ve now made notes of where to eat while we’re there!

  • B-

    The places I mentioned near our pension are way out of the way–unless you’re staying near where we stayed. You take tram route 22 east from the center, and the ones near our pension are near the stop near the first stop at the bottom of the first long hill after Namiste Miru (sp??)

  • i’m so jealous. one of these days, i’ll break my white trash ways and actually leave the country-(and i don’t mean mexico or canada).

    i finally ate food at nicks-(i wasn’t sure if i mentioned this on my diary or otherwise). it was good, and fairly inexpensive. casa brava on the east side is good cheap authentic mexican fare. vinnie and i know one of the waiters on a first name basis. each time he sees us, he asks: “dohnday estan los neenyos?”