A Chef’s Guide to Eating and Drinking in Prague
With its portfolio of incredible architecture, Prague is well-known for being gorgeous. Chef Oldřich Sahajdák would like to make the case that it’s also delicious.
With its portfolio of incredible architecture, Prague is well-known for being gorgeous. Chef Oldřich Sahajdák would like to make the case that it’s also delicious. Sahajdák is credited with rebirthing Czech cuisine, taking inspiration from a 19th-century text for his modernist tasting menus. But once he gets off work, this chef seeks out sushi, burgers and traditional Czech beer cheese. Here, Sahajdák’s top Prague picks.
U Zlatého Tygra
Most people come to this traditional Pilsner pub for its literary history (20th-century novelist Bohumil Hrabel had a regular table here until his death in 1997), its architectural history (the building dates back to the 14th century) and its role in political history (Vaclav Havel brought Bill Clinton here for a pint to show him what life in Prague was all about during his presidency). But chef Sahajdak comes here for his own two reasons: “beer and cheese.” Order the unpasteurized Pilsner Urquell and a side of pivní sýr (a beer cheese spread mixed with raw onions and mustard) with toasted bread.
This watering hole hits chef Sahajdák’s three boxes: It’s located within stumbling distance from his restaurant, open late and run by close friends of his. And they serve beer from the tap using traditional Czech exacting techniques. His usual order is a bowl of dršťková polévka (tripe soup) and a mug of Prazdroj Snyt (a Pilsner Urquell with a thick, creamy, four-finger foam).
“Prague is a small town, and we all know each other,” Sahajdák says. He goes here for his chef buddy Petr Tyrichtr’s traditional Czech fruit dumplings, house-made pâtés and excellent American-style burger.
Although chef Paul Day hails from England and his repertoire ranges from rabbit curry to crab sliders, he uses only Czech ingredients.
Prague isn’t known for sushi, but Sahajdák is emphatic that this spot is excellent. It attracts a dedicated crowd of regulars, many of whom are Japanese expats.