On the route between Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, you’ll find Havelská koruna, a local institution. It bucks the trend in this part of town; everywhere else you’ll find sandwich/baguette shops, or restaurants serving Japanese dumplings and similar dishes. The manager František Soukup takes a pride in serving only Czech food – and at very attractive prices. So, at Havelská koruna you can easily eat for as little as CZK 100 (approximately EUR 4).
The biggest local hits are beef served with rich, thick sauces and dumplings, potato dumplings filled with smoked meat, pork with cabbage, and Szeged goulash. Gourmets also relish the pork liver in onions, Spanish Bird (beef stuffed with boiled egg and other ingredients), black pudding, and cauliflower florets in breadcrumbs.
Havelská koruna is a cafeteria-style restaurant. Upon entering, you pick up a tray for your chosen dish, which is served by the women behind the counter. After the meal, you pay at the cash desk.
Originally a cheap canteen frequented by workers from nearby offices, Lidová jídelna has become a cult venue for tourists wishing to sample Czech food at local prices. And the staff at Koruna soon got used to the visitors – in their own idiosyncratic way. The oft-repeated catchphrase of one of the ladies behind the counters has become legendary. A foreign customer comes in, and recognising the usual order, the server asks: “Red, white or brown sauce (meaning tomato sauce, the creamy sauce served with beef sirloin, or gravy, as served in typical Czech dishes)?”Alicia, Avantgarde Prague