Prague is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and it serves some of the best beer. But the food, sometimes, does not match the scenery or the beer. There are a few bright spots, but for the most part anything really good is really expensive, which puts it out of most students’ reach.
However, there are alternatives. The farmers’ markets offer fresh produce, baked goods, meat, cheese, wine and more at reasonable prices. And there are restaurants that aim for a student clientele with cheaper prices or special deals.
MARKETS AND FOOD FESTIVALS
Almost every quarter has its Farmers’ Market in Prague, where it is possible to buy almost everything coming from local farmers, such as fruits, vegetables, fresh flowers or bread, and also to try more “exotic” products, such as olive oil or wine, from Czechs living abroad, like the Lozano Červenka family, producing olive oil in Spain. Prices are usually equal to the supermarkets, and quality is controlled by the Czech Republic Association of Farmers’ Markets to guarantee the best experience to the customers. Farmer’s Markets are usually open from March to December and here’s the list of the most popular locations, along with days and schedules:
Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad, Prague 3 | Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 8:00 – 18:00; Saturday 8:00 – 14:00 | Trams 10, 11 & 16, Metro A line.
Náplavka, Prague 2 | Saturdays 8:00 –14:00 | TRAM 3, 4, 7, 10, 14, 16, 17, 21, Metro B line.
As any other capital, Prague offers hundreds of restaurants: here is a selection of student-friendly interesting places where having a decent dinner will not empty a student’s wallet.
Summa Cum Laude | In the heart of Vinohrady you can find a friendly, but high quality gastronomical experience without the “expensive” part, but with international cuisine, familiar and well-designed place, and a motto: “Don’t dress up for having egg Benedict, but enjoy it like you are used to do in the finest hotels.”
Experience a new style of breakfast, from 8 am to 10 pm, find new dishes throughout the entire day, and arrange yourself for studying, working or just relax alone or with your friends | Where: Belgická 26, Praha 2 | Contact: 211 1333 129
Pizza Einstein | Pizza Einstein is one of the first pizzerias that establsihed a cooperation with ISIC Card, offering different discounts, like two pizzas for the price of one. Opened in 1998 in Prague 7 with a beautiful garden looking at Letna Square, it is now a known point for all discount and young pizza-lovers. Today you can find Einstein pizzerias in Prague 3 – Zizkov, Seifertova street, in Prague 5 – Smíchov Štefánikova street, and ultimately in Prague 2 – Vinohrady in Romanian street. All the restaurants offer garden seats during summer, and tables suitable for groups | Where: Šmeralova 3 Praha 7-Letná | Contacts: 233 372 481
Atmosphere | Think about a cafe and a pub in just one place. Atmosphere is the perfect spot not only for celebrating the end of the exam period, but also to chill out after a long school-day. Among “Atmoška”’s advantages, besides student-friendly prices, you can find free Wi-Fi, a winter garden and it is possible to reserve a table online. It has a discounted lunch menu and a rich menu for dinners, but if you are hanging out just for a beer, try fried potato slices with different sauces | Where: Karoliny Světlé 33 or Smetanovo nábřeží 14, Prague 1.
SPECIAL MENTION: BURGERS
In 2014, The New York Times elected a well-known restaurant as one of the most interesting places where to eat burgers in Europe, The Dish. From that article, many other places opened as burger restaurants, in various declinations, and the two listed below are, in fact, a little pricier than the others, since both of the restaurants offer a more gourmand interpretation on the theme “burger.”
The Dish | This trendy Vinohrady restaurant offers one of the most diverse burger menus in the city, along with an equally diverse selection of beers. When you enter, you’ll immediately notice to your right an open kitchen, where chefs prepare your burger. The menu is ample and has particular twists on the American classic. Service is professional, and burgers are served quickly | Where: Řimská 29, Praha 2, 120 00 | Contacts: 222 511 032
Mozaika Burger & Co. | This burger menu is unique for two reasons: you can have your burger served in two sizes (normal or slider) in the first place, and their homemade ‘houska’ is quite a different sort of bun than what you normally experience. The beef is cooked to medium rare, and includes two burger varieties, for a Czech take on a burger, the beef tongue sandwich is a pleasant change. They also have a BBQ pulled pork sandwich and a hummus burger. The homemade fries are fresh cut, well salted, and simply delicious, especially with their homemade aioli. If you are not that much into beer (there’s a special selection worth to try!), have a sangria: hot and spicy in winter or ice cold during summer | Where: Nitranská 13, 130 00, Prague | Contact: 224 253 011
Photo courtesy of Carolina Soldati