Olympia Delikatesy a Vína

Tzatziki, taramasalata, and marinated octopus are among this Vinohrady deli's delights, but it's the authentic Greek yogurt that'll keep you coming back

This article was originally posted on the Czech Please weblog.

Prague is not exactly a culinary crossroads for international food shops and delis. If you are looking around for foreign foods to take away, quality choices are few and far between.

Sure, there are a few small Italian and Asian shops around, but if you want something a little more exotic, the options are practically nonexistent.

Take Greek food, for example. There is only one really good Greek shop that I know of in Prague: Olympia Delikatesy a Vína.* It is a small store, just off Vinohradská, not far from Flora mall.

I'll tell you right now what brought me to this place and keeps me coming back again and again: real Greek yogurt.

First, it tastes great -- very clean and light, with a slightly sour tang. No strong aftertaste. The Olympia deli usually has a big bowl of it behind the counter. It scoops out like ice cream and is so thick, it holds its shape. It is takes me straight back to the simple Greek breakfasts of vacations past. I pour a generous amount of honey over the top. It's breakfast. Or dessert. Or a late night snack.

Petty limitations like the time of day or night cannot be imposed on such a yogurt.

I don't even like yogurt. This, I love.

They also sell a different, pre-packaged Greek yogurt in container. It's not the same. I'd avoid this. They once sold this thinner stuff when they ran out of the real yogurt, and I was very disappointed.

I'm not sure if they use the same yogurt or not for their tzatziki, but it is excellent. A little on the salty side, with plenty of cucumber and garlic. It's great to eat it with a piece of good, crusty bread. There is sometimes freshly baked bread on sale, but not always.

V has a thing for marinated octopus. It is only lightly sour, with very little oil, and usually pretty fresh. She loves Olympia's version.

There are plenty of other things to choose from in the refrigerated deli case: Hummus, taramasalata, stuffed peppers, dolmades (vine leaves in oil and lemon juice, stuffed with rice), grilled vegetables, a variety of cheeses, olives and much more.

I love dolmades and often get some when I'm there. I saw that the dolmades in the refrigerated case come from a very large can, so as far as I know, they are not made on premises. I don't have the prices in front of me, but I recall it is more economical to buy the dolmades in the small glass jars they have in the back. There are also a number of other Greek specialties in similar jars, like a lentil salad.

They often have a variety of Greek honey and phyllo desserts like baklava.

I didn't get a picture of everything, but it's a pretty small space and didn't feel like explaining myself.

However, I was just searching for Olympia deli's website (which I couldn't find), and I stumbled upon this great food blog, Cuketka.cz, written in Czech. Pan Cuketka is a very good food photographer and has many pictures from the shop, including a great picture of the case and of the yogurt. The site looks pretty slick and has a lot of links to Týden.cz reviews, but I'm not sure who's behind it.

A fair amount of Olympia's small space is devoted to wine, which is fitting, considering the name of the place. Zeus had a temple in Olympia and was the father of Dionysus, the god of wine. But I have to confess, I haven't really looked at what they have.

And as far as can tell, there was no Greek god of yogurt. But if you worship the stuff like I do, Olympia is still the place to go.

* Despite the name, this deli is not connected to the Olympia restaurant in Malá Strana. And it should not be confused with Taverna Olympos, a good Greek restaurant in Žižkov.

Olympia Delikatesy a Vína

Radhoštská 1

Prague 2-Vinohrady

Tel. (+420) 224 910 341

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