A hundred years ago there were dozens of small brewing houses across Bohemia and while the majority no longer exist, there's one that continues brewing its own dark lager even today. A pub, restaurant and brewery in Prague called U Fleků which is as quintessential to the tourist experience – at least as far as beer hunters are concerned – as seeing Prague Castle and Charles Bridge.
On Tuesday night, smokers in pubs and restaurants around the Czech Republic enjoyed their very last cigarette. On May 31, observed around the world as anti-tobacco day, tough anti-smoking legislation which took years to push through finally came into effect, banning smoking in bars and restaurants as well as public places such as theatres and cinemas. So what do Czech pub owners think of the new legislation?
The Prague restaurant Eska has been included in Michelin’s Main Cities of Europe Guide for 2017. The restaurant, located in the busy district of Karlín, received the Bib Gourmand award for places with “exceptional good food at moderate prices”. There are currently seven restaurants in the capital that boast a “Bib”, while three others have retained their one-star Michelin ranking. I asked food critic Petra Pospěchová what she thinks earned Eska the prestigious spot on the Bib Gourmand list:
The Czech food scene has become increasingly colourful in recent years with small ethic eateries popping up around Prague. Foodies now have their pick of Indian, Arab, Vietnamese, Turkish or Armenian restaurants and increasingly Czechs heading out for a quick lunch are opting for a taste of foreign cuisine. One such eatery in Prague’s Vinohrady district offers Georgian specialties. It is a family enterprise revolving around mum and businesswoman Manana Toidze known to everyone as Pani Mančo or Mrs. Mančo.
The Prague restaurant Eska has newly received the Michelin guide’s Bib Gourmand ranking, which is awarded to places with “exceptional good food at moderate prices”. Eska is part of the Ambiente restaurant group and is located in the capital's Karlín district. Three restaurants in the city, Alcron, La Degustation and Field, held on to their highly prestigious Michelin stars in the latest edition of the world-renowned guide.
Every year Prague City Tourism highlights selected attractions aimed at drawing more visitors to the Czech capital. This year the accent is on “slow tourism” promoting the city’s cafes, restaurants and the best of Czech design. To find out more I spoke to Kateřina Pavlítová, Marketing Director at Prague City Tourism.
Czech finance minister Andrej Babiš has weighed into the debate about his flagship measure, electronic cash registers. At a conference in the eastern city of Olomouc on Wednesday the minister said that more restaurants opened than closed in December last year after the introduction of his measure to counter the gray economy and tax fraud. He added that restaurant turnover had risen by 100 percent. Many other associations and groupings argue that pubs and restaurants closed ahead and after the introduction of the so-called EET measure. A grouping of local councils argued that 700 pubs closed for good as a result. Babiš gave no specific figures during the conference.
Prices in Czech restaurants have risen on average by four crowns following the introduction of finance minister Andrej Babiš’ flagship electronic cash registers at the start of December according to the daily Dnes. The price increases differ across the country with the steepest rises of around 10 crowns in the central Bohemia region, the paper added. The findings are based on a survey of around 4,000 restaurants focus on the price of the main meal. Besides the introduction of the so-called EET, prices of some staple foods and drink, such as beer and cheese, have also climbed during December, the paper said.