Imagine this picture; King Franz Josef, in all of his mustached and decorated glory, chomping into a juicy burger and washing it down with a beer. If mighty Franz J himself would go for a burger, we have a suspicion he’d approve of the newest establishment to give this time tested classic a go, Kaiser Franz.
Kaiser Franz got its start as many other successful eateries do here, at the Jiřího z Poděbrad Farmer’s Market. About 4 or 5 years ago, 5 friends came together and brainstormed an idea for a good business. They astutely observed how tired they were of paying a lot of money for a small burger, which then gave them an idea; a restaurant that serves larger burgers for a better price. Their first step was to get grillin’ at the farmer’s market. Today, they’ve got a burger joint that specializes in a good size burger for a fair price with a rotating tap list of Czech craft brews.
6 of their 8 taps always serve Czech microbrews. Pivovar U Vacků’s 10 ° and 12° pale lager are the house staples and one tap is dedicated to Chroust, both friends made during days spent at the farmer’s market. The Chroust tap pours whatever the current seasonal special is, and quite often you’ll find an ale or two from U Vacků or Permon. For the non-beer taps, Tátův Cider claims one, and carbonated water, the main stay of lemonades, takes the last.
For eats, you’ll find a menu of 9 burgers that come with thick cut steak fries and homemade coleslaw. Seven of the burgers are menu stables, with the other two being a seasonal specialty that’s on the menu for 2 months, and the last the fantasy of a chosen chef. Their beef comes from a local small scale Czech farm and is ground in-house. Delivered fresh every morning from Moravia, their buns are a recipe they’ve made themselves and baked by a Mom-Pop-Son bakery.
The environment of Kaiser Franz is simple, but not the overplayed take on Scandinavian design that is so common nowadays in Prague. Plywood covers the bar, and combined with the simple wooden tables and the wood tiled floors, adds a warmth to the space. After entry you’ll find on your left a psychedelic mural of Franz Josef himself, created by designers Tomsky and Polansky complete with minute details of burgers and beer that give you a chuckle. To the right, a simple heart shape is made with polaroids taped to the wall with red tape, coming full circle with the empire’s most vibrant color. Simple, but fun and light-hearted, the design fits with the message of their burgers.
Simple, like an old fashioned back-yard grilled burger, Kaiser Franz has some of the best value for money you can find. As for the beer, U Vacků’s beers are certainly not the best example of Czech handiwork out there. Chroust, a flying microbrewery, makes much better top fermented brews but also creates a few duds now and then. Regardless, both breweries offer a far better beer than what you can find in most burger joints, so to have the choice that Kaiser Franz gives with a good burger is pretty darn nice.
Even though they’ve been open just a month, tables are full on most evenings, and you can still grab a burger from them at Jiřího z Poděbrad’s Farmer’s Market during the week. We hoped we were done with the burger boom here, but we’re happy to see that Kaiser Franz has a home base on the streets of Vinohrady.
Located on Belgická Street, the closest metro and tram station is Náměstí Míru, serviced by the A (green line) and trams 10, 16, 4, 6, 13, and 22. Kaiser Franz is just a short walk away.
|U Vacků 10° výčepní
|U Vacků 12° světlý ležák
|U Vacků 11° Ale
|Chroust Age of Mosaic