Café Savoy

Vitezna 124/5, Prague 150 00, Czech Republic • +420 731 136 144 • Website

So famous for its breakfast, you actually need a reservation. Yes, for breakfast. And yes, they take them. And once you take a sip or a bite of just about anything, you get it. 

The café au lait is smooth and silky. The fresh squeezed orange juice would make Floridians swell with pride (granted I doubt the oranges are sourced from there). And the French Breakfast is like an opus on a plate. Scratch that, two plates. On one, you get buttery, flaky croissant perfection, split and stuffed with cheesy, eggy perfection. Sidled up next to a pair of link sausages, grain mustard and an inconsequential, poor excuse for a salad.

But fuck the salad, because the other plate holds a French toast from the gods. An Ultimate on a skillet, soaked to the core with goodness and then topped with macerated apricots and shredded apples, almost as if they were pulled from a strudel and placed on top. Which begs the question, if this is so damn good, why not just get the French Toast. But the genius of this order is that you get the savory and sweet at the same time. And to quote the wisdom of Lionel Richie, “Oh, what a feeling, when you’re dancing on the ceiling!” Granted, you should be careful while you’re up there, because the ceiling is really quite lovely. 

Restaurace Mincovna

Staroměstské nám. 930/7110 00 Prague, Czech Republic • Staré Město, Praha 1+420 727 955 669restauracemincovna.cz

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I’m back baby! Sorry for the hiatus to those of you who were heavily relying on someone to speak the truth amidst a sea of fake news, but my other job got kinda busy.

Excuses aside, there is absolutely no excuse for why this place is so damn good, because by all conventional wisdom, it should be touristy crap. Located right in tourist hell central, on the Northwest corner of the Old Town Square, Mincovna somehow manages to zag against all low expectations and nails it on all fronts. The setting is modern and clean (pictured), whilst paying homage to the arches and catacombs of its medieval surroundings. It’s also quite sizeable, so if you didn’t make a reservation, chances are you can just walk right in.

For a drink, I highly recommend doing as the locals and getting a fresh, ice cold stein of Pilsner Urquell. Yes, it’s basically like Coca-cola around here, meaning you can get it everywhere, except a nursery ward in the hospital, although I’m not even sure about that, to be honest.

The reason for said recommendation, however, isn’t to be a lemming, but rather because the cuisine here goes so friggin’ well with it!

Speaking of which, let me start by saying, “Pickled cheese!? Where have you been all my life?!” Shockingly this has yet to make it to the states, and I’m about to write a letter to someone, because it’s a massive culinary oversight. Now, in case you’re wondering WTF is pickled cheese, it’s not quite as simple as it sounds. It’s pickled cubes of white cheese in a mason jar with herbs, scallions, sunflower oil, hot chili peppers and pickled onions on the side. Served with a buttery, soft Bavarian pretzel.

Another must-get is the beef tartar, served with a wonder smoky mayonnaise, marinated chanterelles and topped with a marrow parsley salad, because why not? Obviously there’s toast too, but you could eat this off a plank of balsa wood and it would be incredible.

For entrees, the cauliflower pancakes, while admittedly a bit of a zag to get, are insanely good. As is the sausage, the gnocci and the brisket. The only average dishes of the lot for me are the trout and schnitzel. I’d skip those in favor of the more interesting fare.

And while it’s a bit of a classic, with not much of a twist, the apple strudel is pretty darn good too, assuming you are some freak of nature and actually have some room left in your stomach.

So, all in, I’m giving Mincovna a super strong four and a hearty thank you for proving the old adage true once again, you can’t judge a book by its touristy cover.

Aromi

Mánesova 1442/78, 120 00 Praha 2-Vinohrady, Czech Republic
+420 222 713 222 • http://www.aromi.cz

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When in Prague, the temptation is to take in one of the amazing Czech bier gardens and in all honesty, should definitely do that too. However, if you find yourself growing tired of Eastern European fare, than I strongly urge you to take in one of the best Italian meals I’ve ever had in Europe. And strangely enough I’ve been to Italy twice and Aromi is better than 95% of the meals I had in Milan, Rome, Venice, Florence and Tuscany.

From a killer wine list to an amazing olive oil served with the bread, things started off with all systems go and not a hitch followed. Everything was delicious from the antipasti to the pastas, entrees and dessert. And for a land-locked country, even the seafood was excellent.

Service was friendly and attentive, offering great recommendations and the décor is warm and elegant, yet inviting enough to welcome even the most casual of diners.

It was easily my favorite meal in Prague- well, tied for my favorite, after all, bier gardens do have their merits.

5 teeth