Prague has a popular dining concept, whereby, rather thank picking up meat from a butcher shop, diners order and eat at the butcher shop. Who would have thought?! Clearly, I (or rather, Dan) was super interesting in trying this out in Prague. I initially thought that waiting, ordering, and eating at a Prague butcher shop would be stressful and confusing, but it turned out to be super easy and ridiculously delicious! We went back for a second night!
For our first foray into butcher shop dining, and at the recommendation of our fabulous Ceský Krumlov tour guide, Naše Maso. Naše Maso is very famous (read touristy) and is located inside a small mall close to Prague’s Old Town. In short, Naše Maso is a normal-looking butcher shop with a few standing tables in the shop and some standing bars just outside of the shop – nothing fancy at all!
As instructed by our tour guide, we got in line upon arrival to order our dinner. The line moved much quicker than I anticipated. We did not wait more than 10 minutes to place our order, and we were outside of the shop when we arrived.
Naše Maso serves both hot, cooked meat treats – think burgers & sausages – as well as cold delicacies, such as deli meat sandwiches and steak tartare. Naše Maso also serves beer from a tap on the back wall, as well as a few non-alcoholic beverages. An English menu is clearly displayed above the deli counter.
For our dinner at Naše Maso, Dan and I split an order of steak tartare and, seriously, it was amazing!! Like really the best steak tartare! Naše Maso’s steak tartare was served with 5 pieces of toasted bread and a traditional clove of garlic to rub on the bread, which you definitely want to do! Honestely, we probably could have eaten one order each, but we had another dinner stop later in the evening…#seconddinner. If you are not into steak tartare, Naše Maso is very well known for its burgers, which are served on the rare side.
To get the full Naše Maso experience, we complimented our steak tartare with a paper glass of wall-tap beer, which was surprisingly pretty tasty!
Having had such a delicious meal at Naše Maso, we decided to try a second butcher shop for dinner on our last night in Prague (big deal!!). And, conveniently for us, there was a great butcher shop just around the corner from where we stayed that had been packed with locals every night of our tour – Kantýna! Unlike Naše Maso, Kantýna was quite large and a bit upscale – yet still very reasonably priced and owned by the same restaurant group (maybe why they were so good).
Since Kantýna is larger, than Naše Maso, ordering is a bit different. The first thing one sees when entering Kantýna is a butcher counter with an open cold section, home to sausages, meat for steak tartare, a few sandwiches with fresh deli meats, and lots of cuts of beer and pork. However, and better than Naše Maso, Kantýna also has a hot bar just in the next room. When we visited, the staff suggested that we check out the hot bar first, and then return to the cold counter. At the hot bar, you point to what you want and its handed to you on a tray on the spot. If you go with cold meat, you receive a table number and someone will bring you your food at your table. In either case, you pay at a cash register when you are done – everything is recorded on the cutest receipt.
LikeNaše Maso, beer is served from a tap on the wall. However, at upscale Kantýna, you drink from a proper beer glass!
Once again, unlike Naše Maso, the dining area at Kantýna is huge and consists of large shared wooden tables. Very central Europe! We had no trouble finding a spot for four people!
The food at Kantýna was equal to Naše Maso in my opinion, but the hot food was a really nice touch. For my meal, I ordered pork schnitzel with hot potato salad, which was 100% delicious!!! I would LOVE to have this meal again!! Below is my half-eaten meal; it was too good.
Dan, and our friends, ordered the steak tartare (notice a trend?), and it was terribly, terribly delicious. As in our previous steak tartare dinners, Kantýna’s steak tartare was served with a bit of garlic to rub on the bread.
We also split an order of one of my favorite dishes – beer carpaccio! We ordered the beer carpaccion after seeing our dinner neighbors order it… Kantýna’s steak tartare was served delightfully thin and topped with a pesto/olive oilish mixture, black peppar, and a mayonaise sauce. Definitely amazing!
And finally, to round the dinner out, we also ordered some house-made sausages. Yep, multiple sausages! We couldn’t help ourselves – everything was so tasty!!
After our delicious meals, we were too full to even contemplate dessert (although we did later order some fried cheese…). In any case, eating dinner at butcher shops in Prague was a unique and fun concept that was not difficult to execute. I can’t believe we almost missed it – thank goodness for the recommendation of our tour guide!
STEAL OUR TRIP
Naše Maso: Dlouhá 39, 110 00 Prague 1. Closed Sunday. Open other days from 8h30 – 22h. Very casual; no reservations except for the “butcher’s table,” (see below). Credit cards accepted. The staff speaks English, and there is a English menu. Naše Maso also offers a “butcher’s table” dinner Monday – Wednesday at 19h. Tickets must be purchased online in advance, and they sell out early! This restaurant is very touristy; check out Kantýna to avoid tourists.
Kantýna: Politických vězňů 5, 110 00. Open daily 11h30 – 23h. Reservations not necessary except for the “butcher’s table” (keep reading). Like Naše Maso, Kantýna also offers a “butcher’s table” Monday – Saturday, which tickets are apparently easier to purchase. Credit card accepted. Staff speaks English. Way more locals here than at Naše Maso.
ON A BUDGET
These butcher shops were not expensive at all. For example, the steak tartare and two beers at Naše Maso was about $12 USD – and it was amazing tartare. Both Kantýna and Naše Maso are great places to have a high quality dinner on a budget!