Prague's Gutbuster Breakfasts
A look at six of Prague's Full English Breakfasts
The details are sketchy. Nobody really knows how and when the English started combining the glorious elements that make up the Full English Breakfast as we know it today. If we look back to the 17th Century, the English brekkie consisted of ale, bread, and beef. Not quite the greasy, fat-filled, calorific start to a long day of farming. By the 18th century, Irish pigs had taken up residence in Wiltshire, of all places, which guaranteed a steady supply of pork for curing. Over time, local butchers developed a method of curing half pork sides in a brine solution, which was known as the ‘Wiltshire cure’. This low-salt, slightly sweet bacon was a big hit. Eating breakfast had become more elaborate and complicated by the 19th century, with rich households consuming cold joints of meat, broiled mackerel, game pies, sausages, bacon and eggs, toast, muffins, and tea and coffee for the most important meal of the day.
These days, you should expect to have sausages, eggs, beans, bacon, mushrooms, fried or grilled tomatoes, and hash browns (if you’re lucky!). I consumed six full English breakfasts over the course of six weeks to bring you this article. Some of the breakfasts were amazing, some not so good, others just plain strange. Armed with a camera to document each breakfast, I set out on the mammoth task to find the best full English breakfast in the city. Each breakfast has received a mark out of 5 (5 being the crème de la crème and 0 being the dog’s dinner of full English breakfasts).
Neo Palladium Café
Palladium Shopping Center - Ground Floor
Náměstí Republiky 1, Prague 1
English breakfast: Fried English bacon, sausage, baked mushrooms and eggs, spicy big beans, tomato, bread. One drink - coffee with milk, cocoa, or tea – 185 CZK
Open: Sunday - Wednesday 8:30 – 17:00. Thursday - Saturday 8:30 – 10:00.
Palladium’s Neo Café offers one of the cheapest ‘Full English’ brekkies from the group at 185 CZK. On paper, you seem to get you a lot for your money. I was intrigued by the ‘baked mushrooms’ and ‘spicy beans’ while reading the menu, and decided to bite the bullet and take the plunge. Neo Café’s English breakfast is a strange one: there were no traditional baked beans, but strange spicy butter beans served in an unusual, oily tomato sauce. No toast but slices of French bread! The sausages were more like frankfurters: salty and garlicky with a pretty unpleasant taste that lingered. The only saving grace was the mushrooms and the bacon: rashers of crispy bacon served under a seasoned fried egg (sunny-side up). The baked tomato was watery and tasteless, adding no extra ‘fry up points’ to this unorthodox ‘English breakfast’. Neo Cafe offers one free hot drink with the breakfast, which is a good touch, but unfortunately a free hot drink wasn’t enough to warm me to this unconventional Full English breakfast.
Key Words: Strange, cheap, one free drink, butter beans, oily, no condiments offered.
V Jámě 7, Prague 1
English breakfast: Special Potato fries, roasted tomatoes, two eggs prepared according to your wish, Heinz beans, three barbecue English sausages, home potatoes, toast, and crunchy bacon – 199 CZK
Available only during weekends (11:00 – 17:00)
I was looking forward to this breakfast. Jama have catered for Prague’s expat community in the food and beer department for years, so my expectations were high. Unfortunately, they weren’t met. The breakfast was greasy and tasteless. Greasy hash browns, greasy sausages and the unexpected greasy potato wedges (‘home potatoes’). The beans tasted like Heinz and condiments were plentiful, which was a blessing as lots were needed to eat this breakfast. My eggs were cooked over-easy without any preparation options offered, which was a bit irritating especially since the menu states that they will be cooked to your preference. One slice of white toast was served without any butter. In conclusion, an average-priced, tasteless, grease-filled experience which left me feeling pretty grossed out after eating.
Key Words: Greasy, tasteless, weekends only]
Tržište 4, Prague 1
The Full Fry Up: Irish bacon & sausages, black and white pudding, grilled tomatoes, hash browns, fried eggs & toast (300g) – 295 CZK
Open: Daily from 9:00 - Served all day!
JJ Murphy’s 295 CZK breakfast was one of the few Full English breakfasts that came with black pudding (a type of congealed blood sausage), and white pudding (similar in texture and taste to black pudding, without the blood). The (Heinz) beans were served in a separate bowl, which proved useful as the plate was pretty full. The sausages were thin and a little on the measly side, but tasty, with an herby flavour. The hash browns were a little overdone and really greasy, which let the meal down a little bit. The bacon was also disappointing. It was quite rubbery, rather than crispy. My eggs were served sunny side up, the bright yellow yolks perfect for dunking my two slices of white bread.
It was an average Full English for the 295 CZK cost; there was nothing special about, it in my opinion. If you’re a lover of black or white pudding then this breakfast might be the choice for you. Otherwise, I’m afraid there wasn’t anything else that impressed me for such a high price.
Key Words: Black pudding, white pudding, separate beans, Heinz beans, bottled condiments offered.