On our free walking tour guide around Prague, we learnt that the Czechs are the largest consumers of beer in the world, drinking a combined 1.5 billion litres of beer every year. Assuming that the 70% of the population between the ages of 15 and 64 are the primary consumers of beer, that means that the 1.5 billion litres of beer is consumed by 7 million people with everyone drinking 214 litres of beer every year. Wow!
Presumably most of the drinking happens in cafe pubs like Atmosphere in Prague. With a half litre of beer setting you back an average of $1.80 to $2.30 Australian dollars, drinking in Prague is one of the most affordable activities you can do. We weren’t there for the beer though, our walking tour guide Tatiana had actually recommended Atmosphere for cheap local food so we dropped in for lunch!
We settled ourselves into the rear restaurant part of the pub, hoping to avoid all the smokers in the front pub and the outside courtyard. Don’t be fooled though – smoking inside restaurants in Prague is completely acceptable and it wasn’t long before some fellow diners next to us started lighting up. Ah well, c’est la vie – or “To je život” as they say in Prague!
Some non-beery drinks to start – an orange juice for me, and a house-made lemonade for K. My juice was out of a bottle and tasted very much like Just Juice – understandable, that’s not what they specialise in! K’s house-made lemonade was particularly refreshing, though it didn’t have much of the citrusy tartness that I like. Still, it was proved to be a good palate-cleanser for the heavy meals to come!
K ordered a Grilled Pork Cutlet, and added on a side of Grilled Vegetables on the recommendation of the waitress ($11.45 AUD in total). What I liked about the menu at Atmosphere was how clear it was on portion sizes – next to the pork cutlet, they indicated it was 200gm of meat, next to the Grilled Vegetables, they indicated 200gm of vegetables, making this quite a hearty meal.
The grilled vegetables were particularly delicious, with just the right amount of charcoal smokiness. It was a good range as well, with zucchini, eggplant, capsicum and onion all equally well-represented. The pork cutlet was quite well cooked, but the real highlight was the fragrant pepper and onion sauce – delicious!
I opted for the Honey Marinated Roast Pork Ribs, advertised at 450gm with bones included ($10 AUD). I was absolutely blown away by the amount of ribs included on the plate for the price charged. There was at least a full rack of ribs on the plate though it was chopped up into smaller pieces. You can’t beat that for value, or taste either, with a finger-licking-good sweet honey marinade. Full points to the ultra-fragrant garlic bread as well, though I kept clear of the super-hot chilli pepper that made K’s eyes water!
Atmosphere Cafe Pub offers mainly meat-heavy dishes to line the stomachs of the beer-swilling local Czechs. That’s not a bad thing, as the meat is cooked well, and the marinades are absolutely delicious. Just be aware that if you don’t like barbecue or ribs or steaks, this is probably not the place to go! If you’re a dedicated carnivore though, Atmosphere is a great place to go for a cheap and hearty meet feed.
Atmosphere Cafe Pub is located at Smetanovo nabr 327/14 in Prague, Czech Republic.