Those interested in winter sports and World War II history will certainly be drawn to Liberec, Czech Republic. In addition, there is a formidable culinary scene – we check out the 10 best restaurants in the city.
The name Kavárna bez konceptů translates to ‘coffee shop without concepts’. If that’s so, then perhaps no coffee shop should ever have a concept. It’s a little oasis of peace and calm in an already laid-back city. If you sit there for long enough and enjoy your coffee, sandwich or cake, you’ll see people from all walks of life come through. There is often families with young children, high-schoolers with friends, old men with their dogs, skiers on their way back from a day-trip. The cafe also constantly changes the artwork on their walls, giving local artists a chance to exhibit their work. Plus, it’s generally agreed that they have the best coffee in the city. If the Husova location is full, have no fear. They have their ‘student cafe’ just up the road on the university campus.
Kavárna bez konceptů, Husova, Liberec, Czech Republic, +420 485 111 947
Come November, American expats go looking far and wide for ways to make their Thanksgiving dinner even a shadow of what it would be at home. Those who can get to Liberec have no such problems, and not just at Thanksgiving. Chicago Grill’s native Chicagoan owner takes extreme pains throughout the year to find the best and most authentic ingredients from across Europe. The result is fantastic burgers, fajitas, ribs and turkey dinners. The lunch specials, burgers and cheesecake flavors are always changing and evolving. You never know what exactly to expect, but you can trust that it will be delicious.
Chicago Grill, Na Perštyně 241/5, Liberec, Czech Republic, +420 481 026 309
You could scour the country and you still wouldn’t find a more typically Czech place than Svijanská hospůdka u Lva. All the beer choices come from Svijany, the local (and much loved, even throughout the country) brewery. This is one of the few places besides the brewery itself where visitors can choose between the different varieties of Svjiany. Secondly, the menu has all possible Czech options, from Czech goulash to beef with a cream sauce and beef tartar. Have a Svijany and enjoy the kitsch around you and the company of old Czech men. These men have been coming for a quiet drink every week for the last 30 years.
It is probably already clear that Liberec’s options are not limited to Czech pubs. But when Masa Buka řecká taverna opened, it still managed to fill a gap. The white and blue tiled interior makes visitors feel like they’ve just stepped onto a Greek isle and the food will only intensify that feeling. They have all the Greek favorites, like tzatziki and hummus for appetizers, fresh seafood, moussaka, lamb and pasta dishes, in addition to a great wine list. Want to go a little bit further? Try the traditional Greek ouzo. In addition to this, Masa Buka does what most Czech places do not yet do by giving every table a complimentary basket of bread and olive paste.
When Restaurace radniční sklípek opened just at the end of 2014, it was an immediate hit. The name translates to Town Hall Cellar, which is exactly what it is. The town hall, in addition to being at the center of the city, is a very impressive building and another symbol of Czech pride. Next, it was the Svijany brewery that bought the space and it is now the only place besides the brewery itself where visitors can get Svijany’s beloved brews straight from the tank. Add to this the decor, which is a perfect mix of old Czech pub and fancy downtown establishment, and you have the perfect beer hall.
When the weather’s nice, all of Liberec is outside. One feature of the city is its reservoir, next to which is Restaurace na Liberecké přehradě, where much of the city gathers on sunny days throughout the year. The food is what you can expect to find at a sporting event. Think sausages, fried langoš, or the Czech vegetarian favorite, fried cheese – but you’re not there just for the food. Instead, soak up the laid-back spirit of the town in a gorgeous setting, with the sun shining on your back.