You need not go to Vietnam to taste mouthwatering Vietnamese dishes, because you will find Vietnamese restaurants in almost every second street in Prague. Add the many Vietnamese grocery stores, and you will understand why Prague is like a second Hanoi.
Ca kho with du’a chua, bun ca and ca tim xao tom thit - these are three Vietnamese dishes that are very popular in Prague. The first dish is slowly braised fish accompanied by pickled mustard greens, the second is a fish soup made with fine rice noodles and the third is grilled eggplant with minced beef and tiger prawns.
Enjoy authentic Vietnamese food in Prague — Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone
Why all the Vietnamese specialties in Prague? The city has been home to a thriving Vietnamese community ever since the mid-20th century. When the Czech Republic was under Communist regime, migrant workers from communist-ruled Vietnam were invited to come and work in then Czechoslovakia. After the fall of communism in 1989, many migrant workers made Prague their permanent home.
One of Prague's many Vietnamese food spots — Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone
If you are a lover of Vietnamese food and would like to do a bit of exotic shopping at the same time, then check out Sapa Market, a wholesale and retail market. Actually, it is more than a market: Sapa is a town within a town, with shops, restaurants, cafes, a school and a temple. This is where the Vietnamese community meets, shops and eats.
Most merchandise here comes straight from Vietnam. In Sapa, there is an abundance of places where you can eat true Vietnamese meals, and all are good. Just chose one that looks good to you.
Sapa is situated right on the outskirts of Prague. Go to Smichovske Nadrazi on metro line B, take bus 198 and get off at Libus stop. Sapa Market is at Libusska Street 319/126.