U Fleku lives up to expectations

From cool back street beer bars to the greatest tourist trap in the world — U Fleku.

The first time I came to Prague, I was on a school trip in the mid-nineties. My well-travelled history teacher pointed it out to us and said that it was the best pub in the world.

The second time I came to Prague, I was with a lot of Polish students, and we therefore spent most of the time looking for places where we could get a pint for 15 crowns or less. U Fleku was not on the agenda.

The third time I came to Prague, in 2003, I was with Bailey, and we actually got through the door. We weren’t beer geeks at the time, but it’s in all the tourist books anyway, and I’d remembered what my history teacher said. We took one look at the hundreds of German tourists, the oompah band and the sneery waiters, and fled.

This time, we were determined to give it a go, having read up on it from various beer sources and having consulted our resident Prague experts. We picked Monday during the day to avoid the madness. However, it’s never too early for oh-so-friendly accordion players and waiters bearing trays of Bechorovka. Everyone seemed to know about the “free shots” scam (they’re not free) but that didn’t stop a waiter coming round every five minutes to try again. And they’re bloody persistent, too.

Which is all a big pity, as the beer is absolutely gorgeous, definitely one of my all time favourites. I was reminded of Fuller’s London Porter, with its mix of treacly sweetness and fruity sourness. Lovely, lovely stuff. It’s a shame we could only put up with the awful pushy, sleazy atmosphere for the time it took to drink two rounds.

Boak

7 thoughts on “U Fleku lives up to expectations”

  1. For a brief moment your thread title made me think of E-ranu or U-vavu (hyphens are my own), a la shooting stars. Sorry, I’ve been drinking 😀

  2. My Favourite in Prague is;
    Restaurant Kolkovna
    V Kolkovn? 8
    110 00 Praha 1

    It’s an original Pilsner Urquell restaurant in an old mailing room with a beer hall in the celler. They have the best pork knuckle I have every experienced.

  3. The waiters really are buggers in that place.

    I loved the beer too. It went great with the goulash I ordered. Funny thing is there was a man with his obviously under age son sitting next to us, but the waiters continued to fire glasses of beer in front of the boy despite the father’s remonstrations. They just want to sell, sell sell.

  4. I visited U Fleku in 1986. Prague was a very different place indeed at that time and I came away thinking that yes, it probably was the best pub in the world. Certainly amongst the best beer I had ever drunk at the time. It was the only place in town where we came across any other tourists – a group of East German bikers. The atmosphere was relaxed, the barstaff as incredulous there as everywhere else we visited that English-speaking tourists were in the house. Even the band in the courtyard seemed completely genuine. For years it was my number one most desired foreign bar to re-visit. Then I started hearing it had become a total tourist trap and I stayed away on two subsequent visits to Prague. I’m planning to go back next summer though, and I think your review has done enough to put the place back on my itinerary – well, the bit about the beer being absolutely gorgeous has anyway.

  5. Ooh, now there’s a difficult one. If you remember it being wonderful, I’d be tempted to urge you not to go back and ruin your memories… then again, the beer was pretty special.

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