Best of Foreign cuisine in and around Ostrava
by Roberto, expat living in Ostrava
Ahhh, October is finally here again! The Autumn happens to be my favorite season of the year and not only for all of the obvious reasons – colorful leaves crinkling underfoot, the Yankees in the playoffs (and hopefully champions again), Halloween, Thanksgiving, and oh yeah, my birthday☺ The comparable climates of Czech and New York were one of the reasons I felt so at home here from the start and Autumn vegetables like pumpkin, squash and asparagus are used in kitchens on both sides of the sea during this time of year, as well. So, I think that’s where I’ll continue with my top Czech, American, Italian and Mexican food establishments in and around Ostrava, part 3 of this 5-part blog for the Ostrava Expat Centre.
Unfortunately, American, Italian and Mexican places around here do not have seasonal menus for the most part, but I can joyfully share that the Czechs appreciate Autumn specialties just as much as we do back home in New York. And that’s where I will start this months rankings – with my 3rd place choice for a memorable Czech dining experience. Moravska Chalupa, located near Stodolni Street and the city center, is a quaint spot with great traditional meals. If I were giving points for style in this contest, the place would win hands down. While dining at this quiet hideaway just a few meters from all the trend on Stodolni, I most enjoyed that midieval feel I’ve experienced at any of the many castles visited around the country. Both the food and service are top-notch – the pork knuckle is to die for! – and they offer a terrific seasonal menu highlighted by goose, cabbage and dumplings in November, however, Moravska loses points for preparation and they’re not the most English friendly, either. Although all meals are prepared from fresh ingredients, they take just a bit too long for my taste (no pun intended), and when I asked them why they don’t have an English menu the waiter replied, with a little wink, that only Czech people dine there. Maybe they like it that way but if any of my readers start frequenting this very respectable establishment and more Expats start requesting an English menu, they may, hopefully, who knows…
On to my next choice and third place winner for Italian cuisine, Pupik. There is no website, but you can find them at Facebook. Excellent homemade pasta daily, friendly service, and fresh meals prepared by a real Italian chef – about as authentic as you can get here in Ostrava. The focaccia is uncomparable and sauces are unique. They speak a little English and the menu is mostly in Italian. Czechs can get a more detailed description but English-speaking Expats may remain further in the dark as to what they are actually enjoying so much. The place is pretty small and not appropriate for any parties, but for a true taste of Italy here in Ostrava, it doesn’t get any better.
El Amigo Muerto in Ostrava-Poruba is one of my favorite places to visit overall in Ostrava. It’s lively, romantic, open all year round, has great beer and a great selection of tequillas. The food is authentic Mexican, even if not always prepared fresh and the service is unreliable at best and, despite the high turnover in staff, nobody there ever speaks English. I definitely recommend the Mexican beans with beef but beware of the 30 crown couvert for extra jalapenos and spicy sauces to accompany your meal.
My third place choice for American can actually be enjoyed at two locations – Stodolni Street and Hlavni Trida in Poruba. Jack’s Burger Bar has it all – fresh food, authentic ingredients, friendly service and an English menu☺ Their website is under construction as I write this blog, but most of the staff speak some form English and really try to make you feel at home. The only reason Jack’s didn’t rank higher is preparation time, as I have waited almost an hour for a burger there on two separate occasions and received no explanation or apology. Otherwise, a great place for locals and Expats alike with excellent burgers and ribs.
Well that’s all for this month. Stay tuned for my top two picks in the coming two months and happy Ostrava eating experiences to all☺