A Sunday Sanctuary for Brunch

Egged on by Homespun Marthy’s Kitchen

By Vanessa Karalis

It was a dreary Sunday afternoon in Vinohrady, Prague, when my friends and I discovered what would soon become our Sunday sanctuary. Driven by the disappointment of closed signs across dark restaurant windows and the rumbling rage of our empty stomachs, a glowing window which had the delicately painted words “kava-coffee” appeared as a beacon of light in the foggy haze. We approached cautiously, squinting our eyes to confirm that the “open” sign hanging on the door was not a figment of our imaginations.

Photo courtesy from Marthy's Kitchen

Sunday brunch, an American tradition, is found easily in the Czech Republic. Photo courtesy of Marthy’s Kitchen

Upon entering, we saw that the decor was quaint and colorful. The blues and yellows on the walls and chairs gave the place a subdued feeling, while brightly colored cushions and cat-shaped pillows lining the window seat gave the place a fun energy. “Dobry den,” or good afternoon, said the seemingly sole employee. He was a tall, lanky man with rolled up sleeves and a humble smile. Slightly bowing and ushering us in, he brought us to a corner table nook near a lantern in the window, warming us from the winter air.

The menus were printed on rustic paper-mache, an antique yellow page for food and green page for drinks. The waiter apologized for having no menu in English. Just before my friend attempted to decipher the menu in her broken Czech, he graciously translated it item by item. “Omelet with sausage and spinach…ham and eggs…” Our stomachs began to churn. “Crepe with goat cheese and dates…waffles with strawberries and cream…” Our mouths gaped. It was love. I ordered an espresso, which came out on a tray, lined with small tubes of sugar and miniature porcelain cows filled with cream. As is generally the case with an incredible meal, we were awed into silence as the food came out.

“Brunch places may be spotted throughout Prague, but rarely will you come across a spot so casual, affordable and homespun as Marthy’s Kitchen”

Photo courtesy of Marthy's Kitchen

A mushroom and parsley omelette is a great brunch treat. Photo courtesy of Marthy’s Kitchen

My first meal of many at Marthy’s Kitchen was a mushroom and parsley omelette with a side of arugula and mixed greens. Ten minutes later, our plates were empty after we eagerly soaked up remnants of butter and cheese with fresh bread. Leaning back on her small wooden chair, one of my friends asked giddily, “Can we bring them flowers?” referring to the chefs. “So lets not tell anyone about this place, okay?” another friend whispered. Marthy’s atmosphere is so inviting that we sat hunched around the small table for over an hour, swapping stories about the various events that played out the night before.

Brunch places may be spotted throughout Prague, but rarely will you come across a spot so casual, affordable and homespun as Marthy’s Kitchen. Marthy’s kitchen is open daily from 8 am to 8 pm and is a non-smoking establishment. Brunch items generally range from 80 crowns to 150 crowns and the menu includes various omelet and egg dishes, soups and salads, and sweet and savory crepes and waffles. In addition, the brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert menus are offered throughout the afternoons and evenings. An extensive drink menu includes cocktails, beer, and wine in addition to juices and other non-alcoholic beverages. The vibe is subdued but it is still a great place for small gatherings and get-togethers of young and old alike. This hidden gem is frequented mostly by locals, but tourists are graciously welcomed. The wait staff is extremely friendly and helpful so don’t be shy when asking for help with the Czech menu. Dogs are always welcomed so don’t be surprised if you find a furry friend looking up at you while you eat.

Marthy’s Kitchen is located at Francouzska 13 in Praha 2. Reservations are not accepted but you can call ahead of time at 608-313-438.

Vanessa Karalis is in the NYU Gallatin Class of 2016. Her hometown is Valley Froge, Pennsylvania. 

This article was adapted from an assignment for the travel writing class at New York University in Prague. 

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Categories: Spring 2014 Issue Number 1

Author:The Prague Wandering

The Prague Wandering is an NYU based study abroad webzine- the only one of its kind. It focuses on issues in contemporary Czech culture and the city of Prague, exploring beyond the study abroad bubble.

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