The days of surviving on dumplings, brown sauce, and mediocre lager are long over. As the ebb and tide of trends go, an invasion of trendy containers brimming with beverages, food, and more and are being spotted along Prague’s hilly landscape.
The low muffled sound of up-beat electronic music pound gently as you turn a dusty corner around what looks like a construction site. Wedged between Prague’s main bus station and a train station, is Manifesto market, a place of stark contrast to the surrounding environment. Not only a place for drinking and dining, they host live Djs and outdoor films, while venders selling artsy paper and sunglasses also operate a container. Manifesto is also Prague’s first no-cash space, so have your card ready.
Drink choices abound. Vinohradský 12° and Únětické 10° pale lager can be found on tap in 2 containers, one being located right by the entrance. Almost every container sells some sort of alcoholic beverage, quite often from the home country of their cuisine; for example, you’ll find Tsingtao and Corona in bottles. ‘Bar’ container has an impressive list of artisanal cocktails, and wine choices are abundant. Doubleshot, a Czech coffee roastery, pulls espresso and coffee drinks.
If you’re feeling more adventurous than on tap pale lagers, the main on tap lager container has a selection of Czech craft beer in bottles, with some co-operation from Bad Flash. At the time of our first visit, this was a poor selection of Zihovec bottles arranged in a manner reminiscent of a lahůdky (a Czech style deli) circa 1995. On our second visit, the selection was beefed up a bit, but still confined your choice to Zihovec.
For dining, a stunning variety of dishes and cuisines are all within a short wait and flick of your credit card. You’ve got the super trendy Poke Haus, serving deconstructed Hawaiian sushi with Tarantino-esque names, and Argentinian street food from a Michelin star chef at Gran Fierro. Došas serves Indian vegetarian street food, and Meat Vandals specializes in well…nicely grilled, marinated, tasty cuts of high end meat. Angelato and Ollies can satisfy a sweet tooth, with cakes, macaroons, and famed ice-cream.
Czech cuisine is not forgotten, although to our puzzlement, these containers are pretentiously named using Scandinavian vowels. CHLØBÍČEK makes up-scaled versions of the Czech staple snack chlebíčky, with supposedly a more Danish influence. You’ve got CK Knödelrei serving Czech classics like duck and potato dumplings with sour cabbage, and bottles of hangover inducing Staropramen.
On our visits, we couldn’t resist trying poke and were much impressed; it’s fully understandable why Poke Haus seems to be by far the busiest box. We’ve also tried a pastrami from Meat Vandals, and while the pastrami meat itself was very nicely done, we missed more of the tartness supplied by some pickled veggie and the flavors that traditional rye bring to the sandwich. Also, at close to 200 czk, within a second being handed our freshly made sandwich, we could imagine the hunger in our bellies afterwards. We also tried the fries from FÆNCY FRIES, and despite being a greasier spectrum of french fries, enjoyed them very much.
It’s truly great to see grungy corners come to life, and the container concept offers flexibility and a lack of permanence that can do some businesses good. Nevertheless, one wonders how sustainable something like Manifesto is; it’s clear that some vendors are raking in a serious amount of card transactions, while others are pining away. Manifesto sees itself as a space where anything can happen, a home to culture, and a space where all sorts of different people come together. But considering what a pricey adventure a visit is for your wallet, it seems more apparent that this is a space that’s accessible to the affluent.
We wish Manifesto well, and think it’s for sure worth visit. Take the metro B (yellow) or C (red) line to station Florenc, or trams 3, 8, or 24 to Bílá Labuť and Manifesto is just a short walk away.
|Únětické Pivo 10°||10°||Únětický pivovar||Lager|
|Vinohradská 12°||12°||Vinohradský Pivovar||Lager|