“In Israel, we like to invite people, and we like to cook for them, it is part of our DNA, we are pleased when people have fun.”
Paprika is a Middle Eastern street food restaurant near I. P. Pavlova. Small, cozy bistro with smiling staff. You have to count on the fact that there will be a bit of a fight over the lunch and if you do not go for a takeaway meal, you will not go wrong with a reservation.
Vegetarians and vegans, as well as meat-eaters, are welcome. Fixed menus are typical Israeli dishes such as hummus, falafel, sabich or fried eggplant, shawarma, gyros, kebab or shakshuka, a dish made by eggs cooked in tomato-paprika sauce with onions. There is also homemade pita bread. Everything is fresh and made from the best ingredients, many of which are imported directly from Israel.
Moreover, you can also buy some goods such as biscuits, tahini, spices, bread, etc. The menu is at first look a bit confusing, and you may not understand all the ingredients, so we recommend you to get advice from the staff, which is incredibly friendly and helpful. Meals can also be prepared in the form of catering. In the bistro, you can often find the owners themselves, Yadin and Gala, behind the bar or the kitchen. These smiling and friendly co-owners will introduce you to the secrets of Israeli cuisine. They both know Czech, but we recommend speaking to them in English for a better conversation. Paprika has been opened since July 2017, and it does not lack in customers. Yadin and Gal have been looking for larger spaces for some time.
What is the story of Paprika?
Yadin: “Gal and I met about a year ago. We have friends in common and found out that we lacked Israeli food in Prague, so we decided to open our bistro”.
Have you had any experience in running a restaurant in Israel?
Yadin: “No, food is our hobby. We cook at home.”
Gal: “In Israel, we like to invite people to visit, we like to cook for them, it’s part of our DNA, we are pleased when people enjoy themselves.”
Yadin: “I’ve lived in Europe for many years, but I always cook at home. I do hummus, falafel and other things from back home. But sometimes one wants to go out and share food with friends.
Gal: “We enjoy having people from different countries and cultures, meeting and sharing food at the same table. See the salt crystals? They are not just for decoration. It’s because there is always good energy. Seventy percentage of our customers are Czech, and the rest are foreigners, students, and tourists. The Paprika team is also international (Nepal, India, Ukraine, Czech Republic and of course Israel)”.
How do Czechs react to food, and how do you perceive the majority of the society?
Yadin: “We love the Czech Republic. I think the Czechs are very gentle and friendly people, not at all aggressive. Not everybody speaks English, but if you speak at least a little Czech, they will very much appreciate it and be helpful. People like to try new things here. In addition to the permanent menu, we also prepare small tastings and then observe the guests’ reactions. Thanks to this, we can progress”.
Gal: “The Czechs are liberal people. If you behave decently and do not bother anyone, you can live a pleasant life here. My neighbors are very nice people, old and young, all very kind”.