At this Vinohrady restaurant, Praguers can enjoy food, drinks, and community.
There is something truly unique to be found at Martin’s Bistro. It’s not just the food, which is just shy of divine, or the atmosphere – a chic cafe interior bathed in natural light. It’s the people.
Martin, the owner, has been operating in the area since New Year’s Eve 1997, first with a bar called Hapu, which he closed down six years ago to open up Martin’s Bistro. The history with the area has allowed Martin’s Bistro to develop a close-knit community of customers and staff.
Anna, one of the waitresses there, also works as an IT manager. She started working at Martin’s during the lockdown in 2020. She had just moved to Prague and her job had gone remote, leaving her with few opportunities to connect with those in the community.
“I wanted to do something where I would meet new people,” she said, “even though I didn’t have waitressing experience, Martin was willing to give me a shot.”
Now, even as the city has opened back up, she has kept the job. “This place is like a family,” she said. “Even people who used to work here come back to say hi.”
She isn’t the only one. Martin says that he prefers to hire people who are coming from some other field or have other areas of expertise.
“My waiters, they aren’t just waiters. My bartender is not just a bartender.” he said, laughing. “The important thing,” he went on, “is that they have some other thing that they care about, that they’re passionate about. Something that they can bring to this place.”
In addition to incredible service, Martin’s Bistro also offers a unique, inspired menu. American-style marinated chicken wings, Thai green curry, and Pappardelle with Shrimp stand as a testament both to the international flavor of Martin’s ever-changing menu and to the high standards he holds for his kitchen.
Little in the kitchen is pre-made. Nothing is frozen. When they make curry, the first thing they start with is homemade curry paste. The pappardelle is bought fresh each day from a local vendor.
The menu is constantly changing. When he starts running low on one of the ingredients, Martin, an avid cookbook collector, will go to his library or his local market to find something new to replace it with, constantly experimenting with dishes until he finds something that works.
Because of this, even guests who have been to Martin’s Bistro many times before will always find something new there, including monthly or bimonthly specialty cocktails.
In addition to their dinner menu, Martin’s also offers Saturday brunch, which boasts offerings like Raclette, Pancakes with Blueberry sauce, and even Paella Valenciana. Customers can enjoy the sunshine in the outdoor seating, or can sip filtered coffee, tea, or mimosas in the bistro’s cool interior.
Be sure to check out their Facebook page, to check what new and exciting dishes will be offered!