Praha Two Times / by Nadia Fallahi

Praha how I do love you so.  I was so excited to return to the Czech Republic and show Camille around the city.  We were so ready to take on Prague, making sure to cover all the best spots.  In our hunt through Instagram looking up tags and locations, I came across an Instagram account called Taste of Prague.  Instantly, our trip would go from a quick stop in the middle of the week to the most ultimate, unofficial food tour of Prague.  Simply, there was nothing I could have asked for more…well, maybe besides not getting sick on my way to the Farmers Market.

I digress.

Prague is a city so rich in culture and history.  It is such an epicenter of juxtaposition of old versus new, and every element coherently comes together to make Prague what it is.  I think it also really helped that it was, for the most part, great weather.  The fact that Camille and I were able to walk a literal 10 miles on our first full day there really does say a lot.  If you are going to Prague, you MUST check out the Taste of Prague account, and you MUST go to EMA Espresso Bar (more to come below) and buy the Taste of Prague book (it’s only $4 and it will literally change your whole trip — with complete lists on bars, restaurants, dessert spots, markets, sights, small trips, etc.).  I definitely left Prague belly full, beaming with smiles and extremely grateful to have returned to such an incredible city!



FOOD

In true Taste of Prague fashion, I have decided to separate the food jaunts by category, so it will go: restaurants, coffee shops, dessert places and markets.


Dish {fine burger bistro}

Getting into Dish was such a struggle, but we finally got to dive into their friggin’ delicious fare on our last night in Prague.  I was worried about stomaching a burger, as I was not feeling well that whole day, and we had only eaten very little things.  Anyways, after trying to go the night before and being turned away because the place was packed (they have like five tables, literally), we returned with a reservation and empty stomachs.

ToP looooooves Dish, so it was an obvious stop.  I got the Koza Nostra burger, which is a thick patty topped with goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, arugula and a fig mayonnaise — the ultimate sweet and savory for any of my Paula Deen fans out there.  Camille got a bomb salad with bib lettuce, walnuts, goat cheese and beets.  We also shared the bistro fries and honey mustart cole slaw, along with two more sauces/aoilis.  We finished the meal with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream.  To round out Prague, Dish was the most perfect spot, and I am so glad that we could get a reservation.  We should have taken ToP up more seriously when they said that the reservation was the move…

 

Café Savoy

I always tell people about Savoy and how it is the best place in Prague to ball out on brunch.  So clearly, Camille and I had to start our trip to Prague with breakfast here.  I love the environment of Savoy.  It is a super old building with incredible ceilings and natural lighting, yet the decorations are very Art Deco (which I love).  The space is grandious, and I love that you can look into the kitchen and pastry kitchen.  Even though I think the breakfast is the best time to go, we also ended up going here for a late lunch with a little soup on our last day.

For breakfast, I got the BOMB French toast and a hard boiled egg, with the lavender lemonade and orange juice.  For the lunch,  I was still not feeling too hot so I got the chicken soup, which had these little handmade raviolis in inside.  They will also bring a bowl bread basket to your table.  Eat the bread.  Ask for extra jams.  Thank me later.  Savoy is the perfect spot for a little pick me up or where to start your day, and the best part is that you probably will not spend any more than $17.  Plus, ToP is ALWAYS here.

 

Lokál Dlouhá

While in Prague, it was only right that we had some Czech cuisine.  We ended up going to Lokál, as we found it in the ToP book.  Lokál and Savoy are owned by the same restaurant group, much like a bunch of other restaurants in Prague.  I was a little hesitant when we first sat down, as I am not a fam of goulash or bread dumplings.  I am, however, a fan of the fried cheese, which you must must must have in Prague.  The restaurant was huge and felt very open, and I loved all of the little illustrations around the walls.

We were sat immediately (I mean, the place is really massive).  I ordered a delicious salad with vegetables, grilled chicken and feta cheese, and Camille and I split the fried cheese.  For not being all that excited to dig into Czech fare, it was really great, quick and simple.  Also, the wallpaper in the bathroom is so freaking cool.

Every basic study abroad betch will tell you to go here for brunch.  So naturally, we did.  However, we were in Prague during the week, rather than the weekend, so there was snow brunch to be had.  Nonetheless, we were excited to see what Radost was all about.  All of my friends know that my dream is to open the most insane fusion restaurant called Permexitalinese (bringing together Persian, Mexican, Italian, Japanese and Chinese tastes and flavors), and Radost seems to kind of do this, but a little different.  Radost is completely vegatarian, and a good amount of their menu is also vegan.

Finding myself lost in translation, I thought I had ordered a quesadilla of sorts, filled with lettuce, cheese and avocado, only to realize upon seeing my plate that I was getting a giant salad with these lavosh cones.  It was massive but delicious, and I also split Edamame with Camille.  I was not terrible hyped on Radost, but I would consider visiting again to try this infamous brunch.  

 

Las Adelitas

As if eating Mexican food was not a strange enough concept in Lisbon, just imagine how I felt about going to eat it in Prague.  ToP said that Las Adelitas was the best Mexican food in Prague, and I would have to agree.  We went to the location in Old Town Square (there are a few of them). The restaurant was cozy, and the staff was very welcoming and helpful.  We were sat immediately and eager to see what the hype was about.

We got some fruity (and actually really good) drinks and dishes.  The portions were just perfect.  I got carne asada tacos, which came with four mini tortillas, guacamole, salsa picante and beans.  It sounds like a lot, but the plate was so well balanced and the size was spot on.  Leaving LA and its Mexican food has been pretty heard (although, not as hard as the sushi because I have not had any out here because too sketch), but this helped to make it a little better.

 

EMA Espresso Bar

EMA is constantly featured on ToP, so when Camille and I were lost and ran into a mall to find Wifi, we were excited to find that EMA was so close to where we were.  We went right over to the coffee shop, excited that we were going to try something from ToP!  You can only imagine my extensive excitement to find that ToP had their own book!  The book gives you all you need to know about Prague with lists upon lists of places to eat at and sights to see, along with interviews and a foldout map of Prague with every places in the book numbered.  This was the major turning point in our trip, and I cannot stress enough about getting this book (it is literally $4, so just do it, dammit!).

I ordered a cappuccino, and Camille got a flat white.  There was also some delicious looking treats, but we did not get any (sadly).  EMA, unfortunately, does not have Wifi, so we started delving more and more into the ToP book and map.  EMA is definitely worth visiting, as the coffee was really good and the staff is so friendly.  Also, it is a spot that ToP guarantees will get you extra likes on Instagram, should you take the perfectly aesthetic photo to post.

 

Coffee Room. 

All week, we knew that we HAD to make it to Coffee Room.  We also knew we HAD to get the avocado toast.  Beyonce ToP, when you look up Coffee Room. on Instagram, almost every photo features this avocado toast.  We finally made the trek over to eastern Prague, determined to get the avocado toast and see what the hype was all about.  Much to our dismay, they only serve the avocado toast (and other delectable looking items) until noon.  FML.

However, it was still fun to see Coffee Room. in person and grab a quick coffee (and croissant.  and lemonade).  Coffee Room is pretty far east in Prague, so it is good to start around there and hit the Farmers Market Prague and Zmrzlinář on the way back to central.

 

Zmrzlinář

While I may never be able to pronounce this, I do know that it means “ice cream” in Czech.  The fact that the café/shoppe was called this made trying to find it a liiiiiittle difficult, but luckily, we could get to it.  Zmrzlinář is pretty new to Prague (not even in the ToP book -- all over their Insta-- it's that new), yet the place was packed after we sat down.  The staff was so friendly and helpful, trying to help translate anything we did not understand and letting us try basically every flavor.

After a serious decision, I wanted to know what the “Kaki” flavor was since I could not figure it out.  The girl (who was stunning) behind the counter pulled out her phone and looked up a photo of the fruit to best explain it to me — lo and behold, it was persimmon!  Instantly, I knew that I HAD to order it. (Shoutouts to Potomac and Persimmon Tree Road).  The flavor was fresh, light and sweet but not too sugary — literal perfection.  The space is also pristine and has a lot of natural light, so you literally felt as airy as the ice cream.  TYVM ToP for tipping us off to this spot.

 

Sweet + Pepper Days

After a long day of disappointment and rain, we decided to stop into Sweet + Pepper Days for a little dessert before going out.  There were not many other people inside (as it was almost 9:30 PM about), but the little coffee shop/restaurant/dessert jaunt was so cute and inviting.  I mean, the door literally had “DOGS FRIENDLY” and “FREE WIFI” on it, so why would we not stop in?

I got a mint tea (my absolute fave) and a slice of carrot cake (my other fave).  Camille got a coffee and slice of chocolate cake.  Each was simply delectable and perfect.  It was a great little treat before heading out for the night.  We even passed it the next day while in the car and contemplating going yet again. 

 

Farmers Market Prague (aka Jirak)

Never did I think that Central European would have Farmers Markets open in the winter, but I was so wrong.  In the ToP book, they list about six or so markets worth checking out, so we picked one on the eastern side of Prague, mainly so we could go to Coffee Room. right from there.  

The market was kind of small, and the stall mainly offered homemade sauces and pastas, meats and pastries, amongst other spices, herbs and produce.  We struggled a little as we were expecting more stalls with food ready to eat.  I ended up getting a plain crepe, and we headed to Coffee Room.  Farmers Market Prague would probably have been a little more fun if it were nicer outside, but what can you do.  I also apologize to everyone (especially the small children) for my slight lack of decorum… 

 

LIFESTYLE

Charles Bridge

Easily a huge staple in Prague, the Charles Bridge is not to be missed.  The bridge is massive and so intricately contracted.  Not to mention, the statues and other flairs are so intense and detailed.  The bridge will take you from western Prague and bring you so close to Old Town Square.  The best route to do starts with breakfast at Savoy, a quick stop at the John Lennon Wall, right across the bridge and into Old Town Square.  Charles Bridge has amazing views of Prague from all angles (you can see the castle really well from here) and is one of the best spots to get photos.

 

John Lennon Wall

Commemorating probably the most *infamous* Beatle (sorry, George is still my fave, and NME agrees), this huge wall in Prague is decorated with art and messages from visitors from all over the world.  The coolest thing about the wall is how it looks completely different any time you may see it (even in photos).  They even covered over it a few years ago with white paint to start over and invite a new generation of dreamers to come and contribute.  The John Lennon Wall is great for photos, listening to performers, signing your name and just taking in the magic that John Lennon brought to this world.  

After you finish up here and on your way to the Charles Bridge, walk down the path, across the little bridge where the water mill is, and grab a drink at the John Lennon Pub.

 

Old Town Square

Old Town Square is right in the epicenter of Prague.  I love Old Town Square because it feels like a mystical land, even if it reminds me of being at Disneyland or Epcot.  Old Town Square is full of tourists, street performers, restaurants, pubs and shops, making it a perfect place to spend a good amount of time in while in Prague.

Most people go to Old Town Square to see the famous clock, but it definitely has a little more to offer than just that.  It is really fun to walk around the area, grab a trdelnik and soak up a lil Praha lovin’.

 

Jewish Quarter

The Jewish Quarter is an area that a lot of people also recommend to visit when in .rague.  On our 10 mile journey, we walked through the Jewish Quarter.  The shops and vendors were super cute, and the restaurants around it looked great.  We just did not have a concrete plan of what to do here, so we just kind of walked through to the next stop.  Worth a visit, but probably look up exact things to see there,

 

National Museum

I have nothing to really say about this because it was so fraud.  Do not go here.  It has nothing to do with the history of Prague or the Czech Republic.

 

 

 

Denim Heads

ToP said that this was a great spot to stop at for denim, but we went, and it was, honestly, a little underwhelming.  I was kind of expecting more of a denim bar with custom fittings, but it was mainly a mens store with all different kinds of clothes.  Denim Heads is worth checking out if you are trying to fill up on some retail therapy.

 

 

Space

After lunch at Lokál, we were walking around, and I looked into the windows at Space.  I saw that they had hella Comme des Garçon shirts, so we stopped in.  The selection of clothing, shoes, bags and accessories may not have been extremely extensive, but they did have some really great items.  If we had a little more time (and I had a little more money in my pocket after balling out on Kiehl’s), I might have grabbed a couple more things.  I did leave, however, with a super cute Garçon stripped shirt.

 

NIGHTLIFE

James Dean

We might not had an insane amount of nights out, but we did make it to James Dean.  My friends and I loooooooved James Dean when we were in Prague over the summer, so I was really adamant about going back.

The upstairs is a lavish diner-style restaurant and bar.  It is full of leather booths, black and white floors and cocktail waitresses dressed like we went right back to 50s America.  The downstairs is a grotto/cavern-y club area.  Over the summer, it was always so packed (and smoke), but this time around, we had a little more room to breathe.

 

Matcha Had Me...dying over Taste of Prague and forever and ever dreaming of that persimmon sorbet.