Viennese food emporium returns to Prague with extravagant delicatessen

The House of Julius Meinl Gourmet is tucked into a cozy ground-floor space in the same neo-renaissance building The Julius Hotel occupies.

Julie O'Shea

Written by Julie O'Shea Published on 07.06.2023 17:00:00 (updated on 07.06.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

House of Julius Meinl, founded by the storied Julius Meinl family, retail pioneers, and creators of the Viennese food emporium Julius Meinl am Graben is back on the Czech market. Following the successful debut of its boutique hotel last year, the House of Julius Meinl decided to expand its Prague offer with the recent opening of a small delicatessen and specialty shop.

Located five minutes by foot from Wenceslas Square on Senovážné náměstí, the House of Julius Meinl Gourmet is tucked into a cozy ground-floor space in the same neo-renaissance building The Julius Hotel occupies.

With picnic season upon us, House of Julius Meinl’s deli counter should be your first – and last – stop. Here you’ll find a hearty selection of meats and cheeses from Italy, France, and Austria to stock up on, including Prague ham and fresh sausages. Pack your basket with delicacies, such as caviar, as well as sweet confectioneries, like Godiva chocolates. Choose from a wide pairing of top-quality wine, champagne, and spirit imports from across Europe.

The Prague location, which quietly opened last fall, is essentially a pared-down offering of the Julius Meinl am Graben flagship store in Vienna; its shelves display around 1,000 products meant to pique the sensibilities of local gourmets and sourced especially for the Czech Republic. The selection is continuously upgraded to reflect the changing needs and shopping habits of the city as well as the season, with certain products trucked in specifically for special holidays like Christmas and Easter – or even your birthday!  

The intimate Nové Město store offers a range of quality oils, jams, coffee, and teas. Eggs, milk, and butter from Austria and Ireland are also delivered regularly. House of Julius Meinl prides itself on offering its loyal customers products and brands not normally available at the city’s traditional supermarkets. 

Brexit left a huge dent in the specialty and comfort food offering on the Prague market in recent years, making independent grocers that can deliver unique products to a ravenous public more in demand than ever before. House of Julius Meinl sees a grand opportunity to help sate the eclectic appetite of a city that has long come to depend on high-quality food choices. 

The timing could not have been better. Since its opening, the store has reported a steady stream of regular local customers as well as delighted tourists and hotel guests.     

The family-run company, now in its sixth generation, oversees the production of many of its own specialty items, including those famous Mozart chocolate balls and a rich assortment of specialty products. A trip to a House of Julius Meinl store, staffed with a bevy of professionally trained food connoisseurs, is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. Uniquely selected or personally customized hampers can also be ordered and delivered weekly to Prague from the Julius Meinl am Graben store in Vienna.  

The House of Julius Meinl Gourmet’s small-scale concept is by design. The company attempted to go big nearly a decade earlier, with the opening of a three-story department store – its first large-scale food venture outside Vienna – at Gurmánský palác in the Prague city center. The store offered between 15,000 to 17,000 products, which company reps now acknowledge might have been too ambitious for Prague at that time. The city was still recovering from one of the worst economic recessions it had weathered in recent years, and shoppers weren’t willing to splurge on gourmet food items just yet.   

The idea now is to creep in slowly, test the market waters, and see what the public is ready for before possibly expanding further. Indeed, the House of Julius Meinl Gourmet settled into its new home without any kind of big advertising push and pleased company execs by growing its customer base organically through word of mouth over the last six months.

The fact that it now has two thriving businesses – the delicatessen and the hotel – has given House of Julius Meinl reps a glimpse at what a long-term future in Prague holds. The Julius Prague offers 168 accommodation spaces, from traditional guest rooms to suites and studios in an effort to cater to both short-term and long-term guests.       

The Meinl Family’s business activities were founded in 1862 in Vienna by Julius Meinl, an entrepreneur who was born in a small town in Bohemia’s Karlovy Vary region. His retail business quickly grew to be one of the biggest retailers of the then-Austro-Hungarian Empire as well as the largest importer of coffee and tea in Central Europe.     

This article was written in association with Julius Meinl am Graben GmbH. Read more about our sponsored content policies here.

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