Tweet The year is 2002, Euro and USD over 30CZK. New in my Prague life. Adapting, meeting new people. Drinking a lot of beer, 6-8 pints the average on a weekday, who knows how much at the weekend. In those crazy days going to a hospoda and having lunch for less than 100CZK was par for the course, and it wasn't at all hard to find places where the price for half litre of dvanactká was 20CZK.
Now, in 2008, Euro at 25CZK and the Greenback at 16CZK. Almost six years in Prague. Adapting to my new home and getting to know the new nieghbours. I still drink beer, but much, much less than back then. Occasionally things get a bit out of control and I have 8 pints in one afternoon. Nowadays having lunch for 100CZK is a nice remembrance, and I can consider myself lucky if find a place where to have a pint of dvanacká at 30CZK. Or no...
Libeň, for reasons that are evident to those who live here, is not on the must-see list for visitors. The area around Palmovka metro station is no exception, despite the attractive baroque Libeňský Zámeček, the interesting Art Nouveau structure of the local Sokol and the surprising church of Sv. Vojtěch, built in wood.
At about 200m from the chateau, in Nam. Dr. V Holého is Restaurace U Rokytky, a real neighbourhood place if there was ever any.
What will welcome you won't be very encouraging. A bar with some tables in front, very smoky and with patrons who seem to live in beer and cheap liquor. The main room, however, has an atmosphere more akin to a family friendly place than to a corner hospoda. It is spacious, luminous thanks to three very big windows, and very clean.
The price for beer is also almost a relic. 20CZK for a pint of very well drafted Svijanský Rytíř, while a pint of Gambrinus 10° next door will cost you 25CZK, and guess which is the better brew. They stock the whole line from my household brewery, and the most you will pay is 25CZK for half litre of Baron 15°.
People who have been to U Rokytky out of the lunch hours have told me that it is a pretty pleasant and quite place, at least in the afternoon; very nice to sit and enjoy any of the very good beers that Svijany brews.
The service is efficient, prompt and professional. But don't expect any smiles or effusive welcomes. The tab, as it is traditional, is kept on a slip of paper on your table. At the end of your meal or evening, don't bother to get the attention of the waiters to pay, just get up and pay to the cashier by the door.
It isn't difficult to reach. Just take tram 24 from the centre, or 10 or 25 from other places in Prague. Get off at Palmovka and walk following the tram to Nám. Dr. V. Holého. There turn right and go towards the smokestack. Right opposite, you will find this nice culinary skanzen.
Restaurace U Rokytky
Nám. Dr. V Holého 7
Praga 8 - Libeň