First impression of Manifesto MarketFriday, Jan 31, 2020 When you first lay your eyes on Prague, you can't help but notice how well take care of their medieval architecture is. As well preserved Prague's buildings are, so is its cuisine. The Czechs cycle through the same rotation of
Prague's newest dining hall, Manifesto, brings something new to the table. It is an open-air food market that is lined with stands from every corner of the world. There are two locations on both sides of the river, and I, fortunately, was able to make it to both.
I wasn't sure what to expect. It sounded like it was part of the multicultural food halls sensation that has been pooping up in other metropolitan cities around the globe, which I was excited for. Manifesto didn't just match my expectations but exceeded them.
Both layouts are a mini labyrinth of food stands and shops. They follow the open-air concept, which stays true to Prague beer garden roots. Only the stations had a real roof, and most of the seating area was shaded by sizeable black standing umbrellas and sleek heaters, read for any weather. The seating is welcoming to big groups or little dates.
As I took my first walkthrough, each station brought me to another country. I smelled Vietnamese broth blend with American BBQ and Indian curry. Needless to say, it was hard to decide what to eat. Where I never had a problem ordering a variety of meat in a sauce with potatoes on the side, it was more challenging to decide between tacos over pho over the hummus platter. I would recommend coming with a big friend group who enjoys sharing food so everyone can try something different.
I decided to go for the foods that the Czechs didn't specialize in to see how they held up. At the Florence station, I scarfed down a poke bowl, Indian curry wings, Minie's pancakes, and somehow was able to find room for thick-cut fries. In between all of this incredible food, I managed to lubricate my stomach two excellent amber ales. Whereas a week later at the Smichov market, I polished off four pastor tacos with guacamole.
Manifesto is helping Prague take a step towards globalization and a new way of thinking about food. Although the younger Czech generation is drawn to places like Manifesto, I did see some older groups picking through their poke bowl and sipping margaritas. This landlocked country is ready to open borders to new tastes, flavors, and fusions. That is a declaration I can get behind.
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