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Restaurance U Provaznice: Bustling Beer Hall in the Old Town
So you're in Prague and want to have dinner in a beer hall. You're not likely to have much of a problem. The good example we tried was a place called U Provaznice, a couple of blocks south of the Old Town Square. It is crowded, noisy, (relatively) untouristy, and a bit crude. It's communal seating and competition for seats can be as fierce as New Yorkers jockeying for the next taxi. Service is brusque but not rude, though they don't tolerate people who order slowly. Best to order a beer ("Pivo, prosím") quickly and get on his/her good side before asking for the English menu. Lots of smiles, pointing, and a few well-placed Czech words/phrases will get you tasty food -- and of course, good beer.
Favorite Dish: I went for the brewery duck with blue kraut and sliced potato. Sara tried some soup and an interesting looking chicken-vegetable dish on skewers and covered in a paprika sauce. Very tasty!
The first beer was a bit disappointing. It was Pilsner Urquell, but the sour aftertaste clearly indicated I got a brew from a bad keg. Our table-mate recommended I try the Gambrinus next. Good call, and very good beer!
U Provaznice: Central, cozy and honest
Our favorite spot in Prague; even if quite centrally located and refurbished as a tourist attraction trap, this place is simply perfect for a beer and an outmeal. Superfriendly staff.
Favorite Dish: Beer and beer-cheese !!!!!
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U Provaznice: A central safe bet
This place has a good central location, friendly staff who speak good English and good food, without being too touristy. It's also rather good value. Menus in English, German and Spanish. Seems like a fairly safe bet and is used by Czechs and foreigners alike.
The interior is fairly nice, with faux antiqued walls, some frescoes, nice and bright.
Note that a visit to the toilets costs extra - you pay a couple of crowns to the lady attendent. Something I always think is a bit cheeky...
Favorite Dish: Had an 'Old Prague Platter' which is shared between two people. It's basically a mixture of grilled meats and potato dumplings. A worthwhile intro to Czech cooking.
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