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Restaurace Pod Spilberkem: A local place below the Spilberk Castle
This is a local place with a smoking and no-smoking section except it is probably hard to escape as it is not that large inside but either way there were no tourists here just countless locals getting together for a meal.
Favorite Dish: For some reason my stomach turned on me a bit and I was not able to enjoy my pork disk but Kim had an almond crusted trout dish that she really enjoyed. The portions are large here so if you want a full meal you will not be disappointed.
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Cerna Hora Sklep: Czech food from the Black Mountain
Cerna Hora (Black Mountain) is the name of a Czech brewery which also has a chain of these wine cellar type of restaurants. This particular restaurant is on the main square of Brno (Svobody namesta), and has tables in the "cellar" as well as tables outside. My friend (now living in Brno) and I were served. I had the traditional Czech Pork steak with chips (french fries) and salad, we drank Cerna Hora beer. We did have to look for the waiter, but when we were served he was very informative, offering me suggestions of Czech food. He offered me an English menu.
Favorite Dish: I tried the local pork steak with salad and chips (Frech fries) with Cerna Hora beer.
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Pivovarska Brno: Starobrno Beer Fresh From the Source...
Immensely popular with locals and visitors, the Starobrno brewery restaurant should be a must-visit, especially in the warm weather.
While it's hard to actually recommend the hangar-like main restaurant with it's clamorous, echoey atmosphere, and the more traditional beerhall might be a bit too gruff and smoky for some, the real attraction is the huge terrace...and of course, the beer.
From late March onwards, the terrace, situated at the front of the building looking out over Mendlovo Namesti (not much to look at, granted) is packed with people from all walks of life, gathered here around wooden picnic benches to delight in Brno's famous brew.
There is a small play area for the kids, so the atmosphere is usually friendly and communal in spirit...there's also plenty of dogs around aswell!
The food is traditional Czech, where sheer quantity sometimes compensates for overall lack of imagination or quality. However, most dishes on the menu have been selected for their compatibility with the beer, and it's hard to think of anything that compliments it better than a shared pork knee with friends.
There is occasional live music and other events going on throughout the year - check out their website for details. Some English is spoken here.
Favorite Dish: The pork knee is delicious, served with mustard, horseradish & traditional dark Czech bread.
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Stopkova Plzenska Pivnice: Czech pub, franchise-style.
The Pilsner-licensed pubs are coming! Spreading across the Czech lands like a plague of Starbucks...sorry, locusts. Stripping murky local pubs of their tattered tablecloths and nicotine-stained paintwork, tearing the heads off surly and lazy barstaff, leaving a trail of clean, pleasantly air-conditioned super-pubs in their wake, staffed by eerily professional uber-barmen in leather aprons.
From the moment you spot the iconic stamp of the Pilsner Urquell brewery, you can be fairly certain of what to expect - a freshly renovated take on the traditional Czech beerhall, replete with dark wooden panelling, nostalgic photos of ancient beertrucks, and a copper vat topped bar where a man will stand, apparently lost in tranquil but determined devotion to his duty - pouring big foaming mugs of lovely Pilsner beer.
I always enjoy watching a Czech bartender pouring his beers, that sense that he honestly believes he has a duty of care to both the beer and the person who's drinking it. If the pub was on fire, he'd probably carry on pouring out the flagons and bowling them across the counter to the waiters, who would escort the beers calmly outside to a safe distance from the blaze, until the tank was dry. Then they could save themselves.
Stopkova, part of the Kolkovna chain which also has pubs in Prague and Bratislava, is one such place. Only a thirty second stroll from Namesti Svobody, in one bright flash of franchise funded renovation, it has become one of the better pub restaurants in Brno's very center.
That's not to say it's a particularly vivid or original pub going experience; it's not, and like Starbucks, if you visit one in your town, the vibe will be pretty accurately replicated in a branch on the other side of the globe. But what it does offer is a decent environment to enjoy a few beers, and enjoy some decent Czech grub.
The food revamps the classics, while remaining faithful - at first glance, the menu is virtually the same as any other pub restaurant in town, laden with meats and poultry, backed up by dumplings, and lubricated with hearty sauces.
Expect the ubiquitous gulas, schnitzels and pork knee, supplemented with plenty of duck, lamb and wild boar. All are above average in presentation, ingredients, and price, but at least you get to appreciate the good things about Czech cooking.
Not the most innovative experience, perhaps best described as what a Wetherspoons would be like if they priced out all the scumbags. Always a good fall back option.
Other info: Credit cards and Gastro Pass accepted; English spoken; menus also in English.
Favorite Dish: The wild boar in rosehip sauce - a little bit tight on the meat, but the two slices of dark leg meat were tender and juicy, nicely complimented by the dark, sweet and slightly piquant gravy; the Carlsbad dumplings were moist and perfect for mopping up the leftover sauce, of which there was plenty - they almost made up for the disappointment of the stingy serving of pig. Four dumplings was maybe a dumpling too many - it was a man-sized plate of grub.
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
U Bílého Beránka: U Bílého Beránka
"U Bileho Beranka" is one of Brno's new generation of freshly refurbished beerhall restaurants, where you can still sample traditional Czech food & beer in an authentic location, and expect decent service and modern surroundings at the same time.
This place tends toward the more formal end of the scale, with dark wooden furniture and benches, and high airy ceilings - they could use a few plants in the main room to soften it up a bit.
However, there are plenty of nice touches, such as the lunch special until 4pm, which is a bit more expensive than the usual, but a clear cut above the rest - decent portions nicely presented, and a veggie option every day, too. The calm, English-speaking waiters also offer you a nice glass of complimentary grape juice during your meal.
The main menu offers starters such as goose livers, carpaccio, and goat cheese salad; mains include Slovakian staple Halusky, along with duck confit, beef tartar and a nice svickova.
In a town where "vegetarian option" usually means fried cheese, fried cauliflower, fried broccoli, or fries, "U Bileho Beranka" has a small but decent selection - a veggie burger with mash & onions, broccoli & mushroom lasagne, and an assorted grilled veg plate with goat's cheese.
Quiet during the day time, but very busy at night - if you want to eat, it's worth reserving a table. The beerhall also serves it's own 12 degree beer, Beranek. A smart option this end of town.
Favorite Dish: The lunch special - a bit more expensive than usual, but the quality & presentation make up the difference.
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Mamut Pub-Cafe-Bar: On Your Marks...Get Set...Drink!
"Mamut" is another pub restaurant cashing in on the "pour your own beer" craze currently very popular in Brno. Situated in a large renovated brick cellar, many tables are equipped with their very own four-way Pilsner Urquell pump. The waiter brings you over some chunky glass tankards and away you go!
Pouring your own Pilsner is not all that easy at first - you need to regulate the gas as well as pour the beer, and it's satisfying when you get it right, and a beautiful amber mug of Pilsner with a nice big frothy head sits before you, all your own work.
Not that you'll have much time to admire it though, especially if you are drinking in Mamut with more competitive types - projected on a large screen is a scoreboard which registers how many half liters each table has nailed. Teamwork sets in as you scheme and plot how to sneak up and take over the next spot - there's even a button on the pump which hides how many beers you're pouring for a few minutes!
You can usually forget a tilt at the top spot, though, as that's usually occupied by a table of about eight guys who've been in there all day. Unless you bring your own rugby team, of course...
Food wise, it's nothing special, with standard Czech options aimed at the beer-induced appetites of Mamut's clientele. Most of the dishes you see around you seem to be pretty gigantic, but the ribs we ordered were pathetic - cat's ribs at best.
Apart from that, the waiting staff seem rather chilled, perhaps because they don't have much to do with the punters serving their own beer, and the atmosphere is pretty charged and fun. Not a place for a serious, quiet conversation, especially with a gleaming Pilsner Urquell pump blocking your line of sight to other people round your table.
If you don't fancy the beer race, there is a quieter cafe upstairs, and tables outside in the warm weather.
Favorite Dish: Only eaten here once, and the ribs were a joke, so yet to find a favorite dish.
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Hostinec U Blahovky: My Local Pub...Get in!
I'm feeling quite smug about this, and I don't care who knows it...I currently live twenty seconds from perhaps the best local pub in Brno! I'm not alone in my delight that a place like "Blahovka" exists - it is held in high esteem by almost everyone I know, and has won awards from the Pilsner Urquell brewery for it's excellent beer.
Stored in tanks on the premises, the brew is a delight - crisp, cold and perfectly poured, and if there's a better one outside the fabled gates of the Plzen brewery, I'd appreciate your recommendations.
The pub itself is hardly anything special - if you didn't know what it was, you might walk in and out again, dismissing it as just another small, dark, smoky old man's pub. Which in some senses, it is - but one that is staffed by professional barmen who clearly take great pride in their God-given duty, making sure everyone gets a perfect beer every time.
It's usually hard to get a seat inside, which might actually be a blessing to visitors not used to sitting in a densely smoky atmosphere, so it's best to pay for your beer at the counter and stand out on the street. From the first warm days of spring, there are some standing-only benches out on the pavement, and when they're used up, patrons just spill out onto the street with their beers.
It's a good atmosphere with a decent mix of people, and the relatively high prices keep a lot of the riff-raff away.
The other draw is the pork knee (Veprove Koleno) - a massive chunk will be served up on a wooden board with mustard and horseradish, and everyone just gets stuck in. The meat is beautifully soft and salty, and goes perfectly with a few half liters of beer. There are a few other bits to eat, such as balls of blue cheese covered in chilli powder and tacked to a piece of bread with a cocktail stick, but here it's all about the beer and the knee.
A must-visit for beer lovers from anywhere, and if you're nice, the barman might show you some photos of his mushrooms.
Favorite Dish: The pork knee - I've seen people react with absolute horror to the idea of eating this, but it's delicious. I'm not into fatty and gristly meat, and I'm always astonished to see locals strip a knee right down to clean bone, but digging around in one of these bad boys produces enough succulent, tender meat to keep any carnivore happy. An absolute treat.
- Beer Tasting
U Capa: Traditional Beerhall Meets 21st Century...
"U Capa" is a bright, clean, modern beerhall and restaurant situated on the corner of peaceful Obilni Trh, which offers excellent Pilsner Urquell beer and above average interpretations of classic Czech and Moravian cuisine.
The main restaurant area has a contemporary feel to it - it still has wooden panels around the walls, but in light wood, which means it isn't as dark and oppressive as some more traditional beerhalls can be. In the warm weather, there are also tables and chairs outside on the square under gigantic Pilsner parasols, and it's a lovely spot on a quiet square with Spilberk castle high above on it's hill.
The beer appears to be their main draw, stored in tanks beneath the pub (you can see them through the glass floor as you enter), which means each half-liter is as crisp, cold and fresh as it should be. However, it's not quite as good as the beer at nearby "U Blahovky" and is rather trumped by it's food.
It's pretty easy to knock Czech food, especially in a town where almost every pub and restaurant churns out the same dreary, unimaginative offerings, with varying degrees of mediocrity.
"U Capa" is one place which really makes you realise how tasty and enjoyable Czech food can be, when cooked and prepared well. Tender Rizek (Schnitzel) with creamy potato salad; saucy gulas with moist bacon dumplings; tangy, meaty ribs with horseradish and mustard, the list goes on - and each one is presented nicely and compliments the beer beautifully.
They also smoke their own meat on the premises which is a nice touch; however, vegetarians don't have too much choice other than the standard fallback options of pickled or fried cheese.
Even better quality restaurants in Brno can be hit-and-miss - superb one visit, shoddy the next. "U Capa" currently has the highest strike rate for me - as one of my new local pubs, I've thoroughly enjoyed every meal I've had there, and always look forward to eating there again.
Thoroughly recommended; even the bar staff are polite, the menu is also in English, and there's even a play area for the kids in the Square.
Favorite Dish: The beef Goulash has been my favourite so far - a really rich sauce with tender hunks of beef, with a heat to it builds nicely in the mouth and cries out for more beer. The dumplings were also very good, moist and tasty and just enough of them - I hate not having enough dumpling to mop up with!
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Restaurace Saplicek: Filling and adequate.
If you have not read my Brno overview page, I must start this with a caveat, namely that it was written in December 2010 from a trip in June 2007. I know that other tips like churches etc. will not age too much but restaurants come and go and standards vary greatly and I have read a couple of more recent and negative reviews of this place.
I rarely eat a large meal in the middle of the day, preferring to save my appetite for the evening but after a fairly strenuous days sightseeing in Brno I was a bit hungry and fancied something filling. Czech cuisine is excellent for this, consisting generally of tasty , hearty food. As you can see from one of the photos, it was not busy with the lunchtime service winding down. the service, however, was poor considering they had so few customers. I eventually managed to order a beer and perused the menu. Skipping starters, I headed straight for the mains and ordered a wild boar dish with dumpling and a side order of potato. Again, service let them down badly and it took an absolute age to arrive. Ah well, time for another beer.
The meal, as I recall, was tasty enough although I have eaten better in the Czech Republic, and it is certainly not the cheapest place I have eaten in in that country. I suspect there are better places to eat although the setting and location are great.
Favorite Dish: I would not like to suggest a favourite dish as I only ate there once as described.
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U Sojku: Avoid this place
When they started business, it was the small portions, lame food and lousy waitress. Then the portions went bigger but not better, waiting stuff seemed to be more experienced but the cutlery was often dirty. If you want to have your lunch at half past twelve, the daily menu is already gone and you need to choose from 1 (one!) substitute, usualy quite nasty. I mean, what restaurant possibly runs out of rice? One would wonder how come this place is still open. Explanation: it belongs to the neighbourhood's mayor...
Favorite Dish: nothing
U ZLATEHO MECE: At the golden sword
Despite the waitress doesn't look very happy but rather bored or/and annoyed to serve you, this is a great place for having a summer-lunch with good Gambrinus beer outside in the fresh smoggy air :) With a view on a church and... also a disguisting monstrous modern building right next to it :(
Czech cuisine: Pivnice Palava
Can confirm quality of food and also quality of beer. Place where locals go, but very reasonably priced. Language a slight problem with menu written in very poor German, but we got by. One meal based around local dragon with dragon-reconstruction on plate. As an introduction to Czech beer, this place cannot be bettered.
Pegas Pivovar (microbrewery): Don't miss out on fresh Pegas beer!
Pegas has excellent beer in both pale and dark lagers, filtered, as well as a delicious wheat! Everything is brewed on the premises so you are guaranteed a delicious memory! I tried them all and would definitely recommend you do the same. :)
Favorite Dish: The BEER! ;)
U pandura: Don't miss good beer in Brno!
They serve excellent Cerna Hora beer brewed in Moravia, both light and dark (highly recommended!). In addition to beer - a range of good meat dishes in a cozy ambience. Combine the beer with pork ribs served with mustard and horse radish - and it surely makes your evening.
Czech cuisine: Restaurace Špalícek
Big and famous restaurant at the top of the slope that makes up the Cabbage Market Square (Zelný trh).
I have been here many times since 1989 and it has changed a little but is generally good value for money.
Favorite Dish: Traditional Czech meals!
Pork, cabbage and dumpling and a plate of dumpling or Goulash.. or the non-bird Moravian Sparrows.... a bit like our English beef olives.
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Brno Travel Guide
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