Maurer’s Selection GRAND RESTAURANT: Czech Republic’s best guide to dining in the land of castles.
Boasting it’s rich history as a medieval trading centre, Prague was glorified as a city where spice merchants and beer brewers would come to make deals and celebrate a melting pot of cultures. But, the exaggeration shouldn’t be so heavy on the past, till this day Prague continues to attract travellers and workers from far and wide, making it a unique mixture of culinary experiences. From a comforting ‘svíčková na smetaně s knedlíkem’ to vegan Vietnamese rice-paper rolls, you can find an abundance of exquisite food hidden in all corners of the Czech Republic. Yet, with such a large range of options, comes a greater difficulty in deciding where to make your next foodie escape. Luckily, Maurer’s Selection Grand Restaurant (Maurerův výběr Grand-restaurant) publishes an annual guide to the best of feasting in Czech Republic.
Equivalent to the Michelin of Czech, Maurer’s Selection is one of the most prestigious awards in hospitality, making any award winner an immediate A-list restaurant. Their mission is, “to independently evaluate individual restaurants throughout Prague and the Czech Republic so that we can present you with tried and true establishments… To fight against bad food and unpleasant waiters. Not only to criticize the bad, but also to cultivate the good.” The evaluation is both voted by the general public in a nationwide questionnaire as well as guest experts invited to weigh in their opinion.
The rating occurs throughout the year and in December the TOP 10 are announced at The Maurer’s Grand Restaurant Selection Awards Ceremony, whilst the TOP 100 are published in their Guide. Last year’s ultimate winner was Spices Restaurant and Bar, became renowned for their mouth-watering Asian cuisine and have since gone on to feature in a number of news articles (in Czech). Yet, Maurer’s Selection isn’t exclusive to expensive restaurants in Prague; the second place was awarded to Kristin Hrádek, a humble hotel and restaurant in the Děčín XVIII region in northern Czech Republic.
Not only is it a fun and delicious excuse to go out, but influencing the forefront of gastronomy in Czech Republic is easily accessible to anyone. Simply by voting on the Maurer’s Selection website, texting in via sms, downloading their mobile app or attending special events you can review your favourite restaurants. There are four categories to rate: food, waiting experience, interior and price, which are then averaged for a final absolute mark of the restaurant. But, beware of the Czech rating system, where 1-5 represents best to worst. An old high-school habit of the Czechs where 1 is excellent and 5 means fail!
The project behind Czech’s largest gastronomical competition was founded in 1996 as “Gourmet” („Gurmán“) and in 2002 official launched Maurer’s Selection GRAND RESTAURANT.
Since then they have released a number of publications including 14 annual guides to the best restaurants in Czech. But the treats don’t stop there, with an annual GRAND RESTAURANT Festival in late January, showcasing an exclusive list of restaurants nation-wide at an affordable price. This year the Festival took place at 93 restaurants across Czech Republic, exhibiting both unique tastes and traditional recipes. They are also the creators behind Prague Food Festival every May, which will be celebrating it’s 10th year Jubilee this year.
Pavel Maurer, the mastermind behind the projects, also posts weekly blog articles for Czech readers to keep up to date with the world of hospitality, or you can read about his “Don’t Eat Dumb” Philosophy. nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Maurer isn’t the only one who’s passionate about the development of Czech’s gastronomy. Maurer’s Selection is partnering with Taste Waste to promote a “greater thoughtfulness of our planet.“ The organisation hopes to reduce waste in food by encouraging people to be creative with their food wastage. Their other partners also include Czech foodie magazine Apetit and coffee pioneers DeLonghi, to ensure that everyone can enjoy the culinary culture that thrives throughout Czech Republic.