|Eat & Drink
Prices are approximate, based on a three-course meal for one without drinks and service:
The Nut Trick When eating out in Prague expect to pay for everything - few restaurateurs are in the habit of offering a free aperitif or a liqueur. Even the nibbles carry a price tag, as you may discover to your cost when the bill arrives and you are charged more for the nuts than for the appetiser. The best advice is send them back before you order and always say no unless you are a personal friend of the manager!
Culinary Delights Eating out has never been more enjoyable in a city which now boasts more than 150 cafés, restaurants and bars serving food. No longer do visitors have to queue outside for a table or suffer slow, surly service and meals high on quantity but low on everything else. Prague is also becoming more international in its culinary habits. Italian trattorias and pizzerias currently lead the field, but hot on the trail are the Americans, the French, the Japanese, the Yugoslavs and the Lebanese.
Late Breakfast One consequence of the post-1989 American invasion of Prague has been the increasing availability of Sunday brunch. Options range from the vegetarian menu at Radost FX to the traditional ham and eggs at Molly Malone's. For a touch of spice try Red Hot and Blues, which serves up huevos rancheros, Mexican-style. Or, if the money is burning a hole in your wallet, there is always the buffet at V Zátií, with its large selection of cold cuts, salads and omelettes made to order.
Dumplings Bohemian dumplings (knedlíky) are made from bread, potato dough, soft curd or flour. Necessary accompaniments to meat dishes to soak up the grease and beer, they also come in more sophisticated guises, the best-known being fruit dumplings. The most mouth-watering versions are filled with plums, strawberries, sour cherries or apricots, with a topping of melted butter and icing sugar - not good for the waistline!
Time for Tea Like Vienna, Prague is traditionally more associated with coffee houses than with tea rooms, but the latter are proving increasingly popular, especially with visitors. Two to try: Dobrá čajovna, Address: Václavské náměstí 14, and U Zeleného čaje, Address: Nerudova 19, which serves vegetarian pizzas, salads and tofu and sells teapots, mugs, honey, joss sticks and other accessories.
Spirit of the Times? Following a court ruling in favour of the German firm of Underberg, Becherovka, the famous liqueur associated with Karlovy Vary since it was invented in 1807, will be produced in Germany as well as the Czech Republic. The dispute has cost the Karlovarská Becherovska distillery an estimated 40 per cent of the German export market and Underberg are expected to acquire a significant holding in the firm when it is privatised.
Czech Beer Beer has been brewed in Pleň since the town was founded in 1295 but the Prazdrój Bresery (Pilsner Urquell) dates from 1842. Visitors to the museum, located in a Gothic malthouse, learn all about brewing technology and have a chance to see the historic lager cellars. Beer-tasting is also part of the package, and meals are served in the Na spilce restaurant.