Away from the madness of Prague, a little bistro will warm the cockles of your heart
Spižírna 1902 appears to be one of those cafés for the fashionable of Prague, which is surely how we found it – through Instagram. It takes a step away from the fashion for distressed wood and open brickwork. Instead there are murals of meadows and polished tables. And the food and coffee? They’re superb.
According to their Facebook page, the vegetarian, vegan and dog-friendly Spižírna 1902 was the brainchild of three friends who rather fancied the idea of running their own bistro and bakery. They’ve certainly done well.
Set back a few streets from the delightfully odd Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord at Jiřího z Poděbrad on Korunní, it’s easy to find, even though doesn’t scream about its presence from the street.
It’s a bit harder to work out which door to enter through.
We managed to find a bit of a lull in the service when we visited in mid-afternoon. It wasn’t long until a small crowd pushed through the door, but we’d been served by then.
Because of our timing, we only have the the brunch menu to choose from. This is more than enough, and Anička pops over to peek at the cakes while we wait for our first dish – bramboračka.
Bramboračka is a traditional Czech potato soup. Even though it’s a broth, this can often end up quite stodgy (which is perfect for a winter night). Spižírna’s, however, is light and full of flavour.
Our coffees arrive; a latte and a flat white. The latte is delicious. It’s creamy and holds the taste of the coffee the whole way down the vacuum-flasked glass. The flat white has a bit more of a kick to it, and the foam and crema have mixed perfectly.
Now, no matter how cool and relaxed your trendy hipster eatery is, the one thing you must do is serve everyone’s course at the same time. And if you can’t, then apologise for the delay and you’ll receive a nice: “Sure, that’s grand.”
In Spižírna 1902 they don’t manage either of these things. I’m left sipping on my coffee for ten minutes, and Anička has finished her amazing open egg mayonnaise sandwiches by the time my salty cauliflower pancakes come out the hatch.
The pancakes are totally worth the wait; they’re crispy and crumbling almost before the fork touches them.
There’s a certain joy in placing deep-fried cauliflower into your mouth. Just like there is in covering it with cheese – add fat to this decidedly boring vegetable and it becomes the most exciting thing in the world. I just wish I hadn’t had to watch Anička eat while I’m sitting there like a numpty.
Finally, we begin to tuck into the raspberry loaf. It’s moist, full of berries and the taste of autumn. If there’s one thing the founders know how to do, it’s bake. This is brilliant.
Spižírna 1902 hasn’t been around that long yet – it’s only three months old at the time of writing. Their menu changes every day and with the bars their hopping with ease at the minute, things can only get better for them.