Candlelit Dining, Vegetarian Panini, Belgian Mussles: Prague's Josefov District Offers All

The Josefov district is right in the heart of Prague. Pariszka Avenue is the main shopping street with lots of restaurants whose tables spill out on to the pavement on balmy summer evenings. Venture into side streets and you will find culinary delights from simple sandwich bars to chic dining.   

When you are in a romantic mood Zlata Praha offers a candlelit degustation menu that will impress. Are you craving oysters? Barock serves them with bubbly champagne.  Les Moules is specialized in mussles,  prepared the Belgian way with onions, celery and cooked in wine. Their Flemish French fries are a true treat and a good accompaniment to the main courses.

Roast duck with red cabbage and apples is best eaten in Lokal. Wash it down with Pilsner Urquel, the best Czech beer.  If you haven't eaten goulash served in a bread bowl, you haven't been in Prague. Sample this in Bohemia Bagel Masna and you will know why everybody raves about this filling dish.  'La Formule du midi', the lunch menu, of Chez Marcel has the look, the feel and the taste of Paris.

The Josefov neighborhood is known for Dim-sum Chinese Dim-sum, Indonesian fried rice or American Bagels, Belgian chocolate or Italian coffee. Here is a list to help you find your favorite restaurant.





La Casa Argentina
Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone

It is difficult to say which cuisine is better for carnivores; Czech or Argentinian, the portions of meat are huge. La Casa Argentina consists of several rooms, each showing different aspects of the country: a seamen's tavern, Buenos Aires piano bar and the Iguazu Falls. La Casa Argentina means grilled meat and succulent steaks. Their sizes range from regular (big) to huge (as big as doormats). True carnivores fall for the rib eye or the beef tenderloin. Non-meat overs also have a good time because the fresh fish - tuna, red mullet, tiger prawns - are irresistible. The pasta dishes and salads will appeal to vegetarians.

Recommended for Josefov's Best Restaurants because: The lively buzz, the huge portions and the succulent steaks turn your meal into an unforgettable experience.

Local Expert tip: Come on a Saturday or Sunday evening to catch traditional South American dancers.

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Lokal's unique selling point is the beer, Pilsner Urquell kept in special beer tanks and served the classic way with a thick creamy head and a full balanced flavor. Lucas Svoboda, the master beer tender, will tell you everything about the subtle flavors of Czech beer. Chef Marek Janouch's meals are a perfect accompaniment to the beer. Prague ham with spicy horseradish sauce followed by fried cheese with tartar sauce is just one example from the menu. The interior of Lokal is interesting although not to everybody's taste. It resembles a long corridor, seating is on wooden benches, and remember it quite common to share your table with 'strangers'.

Recommended for Josefov's Best Restaurants because: The roast duck with red cabbage and apples will make you come back again and

Local Expert tip: Join Lukas Svoboda's School of Draught Beer and learn everything about beer you have always wanted to know.

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Located close to Old Town Square, Kozicka is an unpretentious bar and restaurant. It is popular with foreigners and Czech alike. Crowded at time, Kozicka always delivers top service. All important Czech beers on tap; Staropramen, Gambrinus, Krusovice and Pilsner Urquell, the King among beers. They also have a good variety of cocktails and shots. Be sure to try Becherovka, a herbal bitter from Karlovy Vary, a famous spa in the Czech Republic. Kozicka, meaning little goat, is hidden in a cellar with brick arched walls and sturdy wooden furniture and decorated with goat sculptures. If you are not a big drinker, ask for half-liter mugs instead of one liter.

Recommended for Josefov's Best Restaurants because: Kozicka Bar and Restaurant is one of the best places in Prague to wind down while gulping Krusovice beer.

Local Expert tip: Be sure to ask for the 'poledni menu', the fixed lunch menu because tourists are often given the a la carte menu with higher prices.

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Located in Josefov, the former Jewish district of Prague, Nostress café and Restaurant is the perfect place to sip Italian coffee while sampling Belgian chocolates or ciabatta with mozzarella and prosciutto ham. On the other hand if you like to feast your taste buds on an oriental meal, Dim-sum or tiger prawn are your best choice. Dim-sum are Chinese-type dumplings served with spicy red and green curry sauces. The desserts are a symphony in taste. Who can resist passion fruit mousse with pineapple salad or chocolate mousse with pistachio cream and biscuits?

Recommended for Josefov's Best Restaurants because: Nostress is one of the few restaurants in Prague that serve Indonesian fried rice with chicken and shrimps.

Local Expert tip: Next door is Nostress Gallery presenting contemporary photography of young Czech artists.

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Les Moules is simply one the best Belgian restaurants in Prague. The delicious and fresh meals are marvelously well presented. The kitchen specializes in moules, mussels. The mussels arrive from Denmark within 12 hours from fishing and are always of the best quality. Prepared with onions and celery and prepared in wine, Chef Pavel Veltrusky cooks your mussels the Belgian way. Eat them with pommes frites and your taste buds will be on holiday. If you don't crave mussels, try rabbit waterzooi, the most famous of Flemish stews. Bring the children because the kids' menu will make reluctant eaters into gourmets; poached salmon or grilled chicken with French fries are hard to resist.

Recommended for Josefov's Best Restaurants because: The beer sommelier will advise you which beer goes best with your meal.

Local Expert tip: The only restaurant in Prague where you can choose from 100 kinds of Belgian beer.

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Bohemia Bagel Masna
Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone

If you have eaten enough schnitzels, sausages, sauerkraut and dumblings and you crave for 'home food', Bohemia Bagel is the exact place to go. The peanut, butter, jelly bagel will certainly tickle your taste buds. Breakfast is served all day. Why not have Full Mony, fried eggs with bacon, sausage, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, at 11 am. It will give you enough energy to go on a shopping spree in the Josefov district. Everyone knows that shopping makes hungry. Therefore come back at 4 pm for a Caesar salad with grilled chicken breast, or maybe celery and carrots sticks if you are on a diet.

Recommended for Josefov's Best Restaurants because: Traditional goulash served in a bread bowl is more like a Czech meal than bagels.

Local Expert tip: Between 12:30 and 1:30 reservations are recommended because Bohemia Bagel is a favorite among tourists groups.

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Chez Marcel
Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone

Chez Marcel has the look, the feel and the taste of Paris. A young crowd sits around the tables laid with red and white checkered tablecloths in the two brightly painted yellow rooms. The menu is stuffed with French favorites such as snails a la Provence, warm goat cheese with honey and steak tartare for starters. The main courses are equally mouthwatering; coq au vin, white wine saut� mussles or beef tournedos. Go for the duck breast with caramelized red onions in port wine sauce if you like to eat Czech food prepared by a French chef. Familiar desserts include chocolate mousse and tarte tatin.

Recommended for Josefov's Best Restaurants because: 'La Formule du midi', the lunch menu, is too good to be true.

Local Expert tip: Relax in a authentic Parisian brasserie in the heart of Prague.

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As a break from shopping in chic (and expensive) Pariszka street, Barock is a heaven of peace. The menu takes you on a journey with specialties that are inspired by culinary art from the occident and the orient. Lunch al fresco in summer or inside where mood lightning enhances the romantic atmosphere. Let culinary art from the east seduce you; chicken wok with fresh vegetables accompanied by sweet and sour sauce and Basmati rice. If your taste is more European, be tempted by Norwegian salmon with grilled vegetables and vierge sauce. There is no better way to end your meal than with vanilla, coconut and passionfruit crème brulee.

Recommended for Josefov's Best Restaurants because: Taste the subtle flavors of Occident and Orient, without even leaving your chair.

Local Expert tip: Come to Barock on a Sunday afternoon to sample oysters served with champagne.

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Paneria is a popular fast food chain and has a number of shops dotted all over Prague. They are the perfect place for an early breakfast as they open 07.00 or 07.30. They specialize in Italian style sandwiches, bread rolls, baguettes, croissants. The sweet-toothed can choose from tantalizing strawberry tarts, cherry turnovers or apple strudel. Pick up a ready-made Panini for a picnic along the Vltava river embankment, or grab one of the tables inside and connect to free WiFi. Paneria is also an ideal spot for lunch. Their fresh salads, wraps and vegatarian dishes are sought after by tourists and locals alike.

Recommended for Josefov's Best Restaurants because: Vegetarians who love Italian style food will find Paneria Maiselova heaven on earth.

Local Expert tip: Assemble your own special Panini menu and choose from your favorite Panini, cheesecake or spring salad. Wash it down with Fanta, Sprite, Bonaqua or CocaCola and save money.

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Zlata Praha Restaurant
Photo courtesy of InterContinental Prague

Situated on the ninth floor of the Intercontinental Hotel, Zlata Praha is dining with a view. The panoramic windows of this rooftop restaurant offer striking views of the Vltava River, and the spires and rooftops of the Old Town. In summer restaurant tables spill out onto the large terrace. Whether you come for a quick lunch or a romantic candlelit dinner, you'll be impressed by tantalizing Czech and gourmet international cuisine. Try the crispy roasted Czech duck or grilled lamb cutlet with garlic butter,and be sure to leave room for dessert. Hardly anyone can resist yeast dumplings filled with nougat.

Recommended for Josefov's Best Restaurants because: Candle-lit dining makes Zlata Praha into the most romantic dining experience in Prague.

Local Expert tip: The eight-course degustation menu is heaven on earth

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Meet Marianne Crone

Marianne Crone divides her time between her home in the Netherlands and an apartment in Prague, the city where her son, daughter-in-law and grandson live.

Now retired, Marianne is still an...  More About Marianne