"Knedliky Etc" has recently relauched as "Dobrou Chut'!"

You should be automatically redirected in a second or two. If not, please go to
and update your bookmarks.

Hopefully see you there!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vila Baltika

In the course of one of my many long, severely saddle-sore incurring, restaurant scouting sessions across Prague by bike (the sacrifices I make for you, dear readers…), I happened to stumble upon a little Polish bakery / café down a Holešovice side street called Vila Baltika.

My curiosity piqued, I decided to make a break in my epic cycling mission and pop in for a spot of well-deserved lunch.

The interior was surprisingly compact (“bijou” some might say), with just a tiny seating area in the corner and a little counter with fresh cakes, quiches and baskets of fresh bread out on display. There's no fixed menu as such, but rather the friendly staff there verbally run through the couple of soups and small selections of mains they have available that day (also written up on the board outside).

I still had much of Prague yet to cover on the bike and didn’t particularly want to do it with indigestion, so kept it light on this occasion with just the pumpkin soup at 50kč. This was a pretty sizeable portion, and came served nicely presented with two varieties of bread. It was pretty nice, but could definitely have done with a bit more zing. I would have liked to have some salt and pepper on hand to season it with.

Later on the same day, I popped back in the evening to see how Vila Baltika fared with its mains. The friendly staff member on hand (who as it happened, turned out also to be the owner as of two weeks) was self-confessedly surprised to see someone come in to eat in the evening, though according to their (rather charmingly incomplete) website, they stay open till 10pm each day. In our ensuing chat, he told me that he’d only recently taken over the place, and was still in the process of converting it from previous bakery to full-blown café with a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner options.

He apologized for not having all of the day’s dishes available by this point, but luckily for me the pierogi, the one thing I’d most wanted to sample at a Polish café, were still available in various varieties (as I recall, mashed potato and cheese, cabbage and mushrooms, spinach or meat). I went for the first option, and while I was waiting enquired about the small wine range they had out on display behind the counter. Apparently all the wines on offer are newly bought in from France, and (to the owner’s knowledge) in Prague sold uniquely here. In the event I ended up going on his recommendation, namely a nice glass of crisp cold Rosé d’Anjou. As there was about 0,3l left in the bottle, he politely asked if “I would mind” having an extra large glass for the same price – naturally I was only too happy to oblige.... ;-))

After a short wait (not that I minded, I had my stonking great glass of rosé to work through) the pierogi arrived. I’ve only been to Poland the once and even that was some years ago, so I can’t comment on the authenticity as a dish, but I for one thought they were pretty tasty, especially with the pieces of fried onion on top. They definitely tasted home-made to me at any rate.

Having spent most of the day on the bike with only the soup earlier to sustain me, I’d come hungry, and even after my dish of filling Polish dumplings still found I had plenty of room for dessert. As usual when it comes to afters, I went for the cocoa option with their rich and delicious chocolate cake (acceptable only because I’d burned up compensatory calories via my long hours on the bike during the day…). It was a big slice and, despite its undoubted deliciousness, too much for me to finish in its entirety.

Finally I had an espresso to round off with, and also noted that they stocked a range of Harney’s tea.

All in all, the bill for wine, pierogi, coffee and cake came to 215kč, but as I paid at the till and forgot to ask for a receipt afterwards, I’m not sure what exactly cost what. Either way, I thought it fairly reasonable value for what I’d had.

Which pretty much sums it up this week for little Vila Baltika. If you don’t mind the fact that it’s a bit of a work in process, that you may have to cosy up with your dining companions in the limited seating space available, and that the menu is a something of a “pot luck” affair, I’d definitely recommend giving the place a try for lunch if you’re in the area – at the very least, you’re certainly assured of a warm welcome!


  1. :q Thanks for letting us know - I should go and try the pierogi.
    Mr. Tango

  2. I hope that not too much is changed while it's a work in progress -- it looks and sounds great the way it is. And I'm a sucker for good pierogi too.

  3. Very nice. I wonder what the chances are that the cabbage and mushroom option is vegan. It sound's wonderful. Perhaps my own blog will feature regional vegan cookbook when I arrive.