Today's Brno Expat Tram joyride was fun. I did meet quite a few interesting people during the event.
While talking to some of them I realized how many of the places I like to visit are unknown (or simply out of reach) for foreigners, whatever the reason might be.
This page is my answer to that problem. You'll find here references to various cafés, restaurants and other businesses you might like to add to your itinerary. Should you fail to find a particular type of place you're looking for, just drop me an email: box at wejn dot org and I'll try and help you out.
There are three noteworthy places:
Coffee Fusion, Janská 25
is one of the three places I like to visit to get my daily dose of caffeine in the form of an excellent Cappuccino. And the experience doesn't stop with their excellent coffee. Every single thing in the café tells a story — that the owner and waiter in one person cares deeply about his craft. The café radiates atmosphere of a family owned business that's set out to delight customers. Oh, and did I mention he speaks English?
(non-smoking; open: mon-thu: 08-20, fri: 09-21; easily accessible from Malinovského náměstí)
Caffé del Saggio, Helceletova 2
is the second one. Although a bit further from the city centre, this café is worth the visit for two reasons: first, they roast their own coffee (and are good at it) and second, their unique interior and over-the-top service will take you to the time of first republic.
(open: mon-fri: 15-22, sat-sun: 14-22; take tram 4 from Česká to Všetičkova, then continue on foot in the direction of the tram on the opposite side of the street until you reach stairs, climb them up and you're almost there)
Café Bar Espaňa, Joštova 4
is the third one. I like this café for it's good quality coffee (although I gotta admit I like both Meet&Greet and Saggio better) and very convenient location.
Česká street, near which this café is located, is one of the two places typical Brno resident would select as a meeting point.
(open: mon-thu: 9-22, fri: 9-24, sat: 17-24; easily accessible from Česká)
Zdravý restaurant (Vitalité), Lidická 26
is a buffet-style restaurant that offers high quality food for a reasonable price. The best time to visit this restaurant is around noon when they have probably the widest range of foods to choose from. You can either choose one of their menus (which changes daily and goes for a fixed price) or you can go wild and mix&match ingredients to satisfy your appetite that particular day. If you decide to go wild, just remember to keep the meat on a separate plate from the rest of the foods you choose (as it has a different price). Even though the staff of this restaurant usually doesn't speak English, they are very nice folks who will take a good care of you.
(non-smoking; open: mon-fri: 9:30-18, sat: 11-15; take tram 1 to Antonínská, then go towards the "Gaute reality" building (next to city theatre), enter and proceed to the other side of the lobby)
Old Bill's restaurant, Kudelova 5
— their tagline says "the best steaks in Brno" and yes, they're right. Not only do they serve excellent steaks but they also have the best Carpaccio in Brno, bar none. My only recommendation is: if you plan to eat at Old Bill's, be sure to pick the day Zbyněk (one of the waiters) is going to be there. They have two shifts and the chef that works on the same days as Zbyněk is simply way better. Meals served by the other chef are tasty but they lack a certain indescribable magic.
(open: mon-fri: 11:29-23:59; sat: 11:59-23:59; sun: 11:59-21:59; take tram 3, 5, 7, or 11 to "Náměstí 28. října" and then continue on foot around the corner)
Koishi, Údolní 11
is probably the best sushi and fish restaurant in Brno. The food is excellent, the place is very quiet, accomodating and well decorated. And they do speak English. My only complaint is that it's ridiculously expensive. One of my well-travelled friends said that the prices are outright criminal, compared to similar-quality restaurants in other countries. Wonderful salmon, though.
(non-smoking; open: mon-fri: 11-23; sat-sun: 9-23; easiest way is to go on foot from Česká)
Hansen, Besední dům, Husova
is a very interesting restaurant. They serve food "inspired by the tradition of Austro-Hungarian Empire" which is hard to describe and very easy to fall in love with. What I find particularly striking is the contrast between look&feel of the place (it has the distinct feeling of an upscale restaurant) and the prices (reasonable). On most evenings, reservation in advance is a must: (+420) 737 364 000.
(non-smoking; open: mon-thu: 11-22, fri-sat: 11-23, sun: 11-22; easiest way is to go on foot from Česká)
Pub U Richarda 2, Údolní 7
is a small-scale brewery that serves wonderful beer of their own making and the best ribs you can get your hands on (in the city centre). All that comes at a price, though: I wouldn't count on any knowledge of English by the staff plus the place is usually soaked in cigarette smoke. And on top of that, you have to get an advance reservation to be able to get a table in the evening: (+420) 775 027 918. Still, the beer and the ribs are worth all that trouble.
(open: daily 11-23; easiest way is to go on foot from Česká)
Ever since my favourite wine bar "U Andersena" closed down, there's only one place I can recommend. And that's the café Meet and Greet mentioned above in section Cafés. Meet and Greet offers upscale Hungarian wines (many of them of "organic" quality) and you certainly won't regret going there for a bottle of Merlot (or two). On the other hand, recommending a place that serves Hungarian wines on a page dedicated to Brno (which is stone throw away from the best Moravian wineries) somehow feels odd.
Květiny u Vaňkovky, Trnitá 14
is the best place to get fresh and long-lasting flowers in Brno. Plus very few of other places sell the large-bloom roses you will find in this shop.
(open: mon-fri: 9-18, sat: 9-15; leave Vaňkovka shopping centre by the middle exit opposite of McDonalds and other fast-foods and you're almost there)
Trigger Brno, Kotlářská 51a
is a shooting range in the middle of Brno. You don't need a gun permit to go and practice there (although it's definitely cheaper with one as you don't need to pay an instructor). I like the place for it's convenient location, reasonable prices and friendly staff.
(open: daily 10-21; take a tram 1, 6 to Pionýrská, continue on foot from there, the place is difficult to find from the street — first find U kastelána restaurant, then go to the left of the building to another entry, then to 2nd underground floor)
Brno Toastmasters is a non-for-profit organization set out to make the world a better place. Oh, wait, that's too generic. Let me try again: Brno Toastmasters is a place where you can develop your public speaking and leadership skills. All technicalities aside, we are a bunch of friendly people of various ages, backgrounds and worldviews that meet once a week to have fun while working together to better our speaking/presentation skills and other aspects of our communication. I'm obviously biased (as I'm currently the president of this club) but if you find yourself free on Wednesday evening, you're welcome to join one of our fabulous meetings.
Last updated: 2012-01-14