Hunting the Clean Golden Nectar
5 of the best beer pubs in town
When poured through meticulously cleaned pipes, at just the right temperature, Czech beer is more like an art than a beverage. Cold golden bubbles, with a white frothy beret make many a man and woman feel like clutching one another and spouting gestures of gratitude and earthly praise for the divine being that had the foresight and compassion to bring this drink to the realm of mortals. The fact that beer is cheaper than water in many establishments is obviously a factor in the weighty consumption ratio, but the truth lies in the hundreds of years of dedication to perfection that Czech brewers have undertaken.
Of course, as with the universe itself, there is always an upside and a downside. Some bars, due to greedy or just plain lazy policies, pour mediocre to very bad beer. These establishments pour their beer through dirty pipes, or even let half-poured beers sit only to be topped up and served as “fresh” to save costs. The result of this horrendous practice is a mind-numbing-brain-splitting-stupefaction of its unsuspecting customers. This practice should be abhorred and those responsible should pay heavy fines to those individuals who suffer this excruciating discomfort. Maybe in the future there will be some legislation in the Czech parliament to reign in these beer terrorists.
However, in the meantime, Chi Chi Tornado felt it to be a public service or even his duty to tell those who perhaps do not yet know, some great places to feel the love that can be poured into a glass.
U Svatého Antoníčka
Pplk. Sochora 20
Praha 7 17000
Tel. 220 879 428
One of the best pours of 12 degree Gambrinus you are likely to find in the city. Good Czech pub staples at very good local prices. Reccommended is the Španělský Ptaček (if you have to ask it's a piece of flattened steak rolled with a pickle, klobasa, bacon, and a hardboiled egg) served with a gravy over rice or with knedlik. Try it. It's actually really good. Also the gulash, a particularly hearty and thick Pilsner flavored affair served with fresh onion, is of note. Service is classic old-school hospoda (it's a bit of a time capsule itself) but the staff are freindly, in a surly way, and seem rather bemused by the italians and other tour groups that somehow increasingly find their way to this way-off-the-beaten-track jewel. No outdoor seating (although you can take your beer out onto the sidewalk for an al fresco drink) is an unfortunate minus, but the quality of the beer makes up for all the other shortcomings.
Tram: 4, 10, 16, 22, 23 (Stop: Štěpánská)
Tel. (02) 9621 6666
This large, airy New-Czech restaurant offers good meals at decent prices to compliment its delicious home-brewed beers. This micro-brew pub’s best beer is their standard wheat beer. But all varieties are always fresh and tasty, and the quick and friendly service makes it easy to stay for awhile and savor a rarity in Prague.
Metro: (Line B) Můstek
Tel. (02) 2223 2448
Prague’s first micro-brew pub prides itself on its fine beer and traditional Czech atmosphere. Although the food prices are higher than most standard Czech-fare restaurants, the beer is always fresh, and affordable. Their Koleno(pork knee) is a commitment, and something to try before you die.
Metro: (Line B) Anděl
Tel. (02) 5719 1200
In the spirit of the slogan location, location, location, Staropramen did it right and stuck a restaurant right next to its brewery in Smíchov. The result is a very modern sport bar that serves great food and beer that travels less than you do to get to it. Good prices, and more importantly, tasty Staropramen, make this place ideal for watching the Czech Republic win the world hockey finals again.
Jiráskovo nám. 1
Metro: (B line) Karlovo náměstí
Tel. (02) 2491 8691
Metro: (A line) Jiřího z poděbrad
Tel. (02) 2440 1214.
These two crippled geese serve the ever elusive and close to perfection Staropramen Millennium (now called Granat) on tap. This Czech amber ale is hearty, sweet, and downright scrumptious. Unfortunately, there are not many places that serve it on tap yet, but there will be real soon. By the way, Husa also serves tasty morsels. The ample, affordable, spinach and goat cheese risotto(yeah no shit, risotto) or the higher end ribs are especially noteworthy. MAKE RESERVATIONS!!! Potrefena Husa is always crowded and the seating at the bar can be unpleasantly cramped.
Metro: (Line A) Staroměstska
Tel. (02) 2231 3088
As is with life itself, appearances are not everything. This typical smokey Czech pub doesn’t appear to have anything special going for it. That is until you taste the beer. Old men with long stories sit at large tables and tell lies over the best-poured Pilsner in town. An unfortunate rarity these days in Prague, U Rudolfina's beer is poured from an old air tap, with no CO2, allowing for the real body of Pilsner to shine. Feel free to get involved, for if nothing else, your thirst will be quenched.
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