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Report on Prague restaurants, hotel, sights

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I recently returned from a 9 day trip to Vienna and Prague. I'll be posting here some of my comments on Prague, comments on Vienna are posted separately. If anyone would like a copy of my Prague file, email me at
You will note that on this occasion, I was fortunate to not be on a budget-minded trip.

During our visit to Prague we dined at Allegro, in the Four Seasons Hotel, twice, and if we?d stayed longer I?m sure we would have gone there again. We were staying at the hotel, but convenience had little to do with our experience. This restaurant is outstanding, one of the best anywhere. The chef offers amuse bouches before dinner, and little extra desserts after dinner, as if his wonderful meals needed further embellishments. They don?t. Italian-Mediterranean-Continental choices, not a bad one in the bunch. In a city full of great desserts, don?t skip it here. Creme brulee, apple strudel, zabaglione,home made ice creams, all mouthwatering just thinking about them. Allow lots of space on your line of credit for this splurge. Named Prague?s best restaurant, in the Zagat guide to Europe?s best restaurants, 2004 and in many other sources.

Bakeshop Diner Lazenska 19 Lesser Quarter. In the area between the Charles Bridge and the St Nicholas Church. Menu is sandwiches and desserts. We went there because the kids wanted great burgers and great desserts. Neither was true. The hamburgers were very strongly and oddly spiced, and the desserts were good, but pastry as good or better can be found in many places. A disappointment. Not at all expensive, but not at all worth it.

Restaurant David, In Lesser Quarter, but only a 15 minute walk from Old Town Square. A good reason to cross the Charles Bridge at night. It?s on a narrow side street, a little hard to find the first time, not far from the American Embassy. This is a simple, small restaurant with excellent traditional as well as more modern Czech meals. Wine list very well priced, so is the food. Dinner for 5 came to 7800 KC, about $300, and worth much more. Without the particular wine we ordered, we could have spent less. We would have gone back if we?d had more time.

Clementinum. Recently named Prague?s best new restaurant by Conde Nast Traveler magazine.
Platnerska 9, Old Town. Open daily. This is quite near the Charles Bridge, a little bistro with modern décor and soothing, classic rock playing on the sound system. Menu included Czech specialties like duck and ?grandmother?s soup?, and also more modern dishes. Dinner for 5 with a good bottle of wine cost 1750 KC, about $70 pp. You could also spend half that and have a very good meal. All main courses were under 500 KC. Excellent desserts.

Given that we were staying in Old Town (aka, Tourist Central) and that March is certainly not high season, we noticed that restaurants tended to be half empty and the places we ate in, not surprisingly, had very few locals in them. I don't know if it's because we chose touristy places, or because the Czech economy is in trouble, or just because it was still winter and if people do go out they tend to stay in their own more residential neighborhoods. Still, we generally ate very well indeed, and by comparison to Vienna and to my home city of New York, prices at excellent restaurants seemed moderate.

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