Staropramen, Svickova & Slivovitz at Koliba – a Czech Restaurant in New York City


Every now and then I crave Czech food. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my paternal grandmother used to cook it for my sister and me when we were younger. I loved visiting my grandparents in New York City – not only because I loved going to NYC, but because it was a chance to see them and have a delicious Czech dinner.

Unfortunately, my grandparents have passed away and there are no Czech restaurants in Washington, DC. Thus, whenever I go to New York City, I have dinner at Koliba – a restaurant serving Czech and Slovak cuisines in Astoria, Queens.  A few nights ago, I had dinner at this restaurant and suffice it to say, I was quite satisfied!

After greeting the owner of the restaurant and Jacka, the friendly bartender and waitress, I sat at the bar and ordered a Staropramen – an excellent Czech lager. Czechs are fond of their pivo (beer) and proud of the fact that they consume the most beer per capita in the world. I ordered my dinner and checked out the artwork of the restaurant. The restaurant was designed to look like a Koliba or hunting lodge. Deer antlers and carved wooden figurines of hunters and animals are hung on the walls. It’s well designed and unique.

My first course was “fried cauliflower”.  I am not a big fan of this veggie but had read that it’s worth trying. The cauliflower was lightly breaded and deep fried. It was pleasantly seasoned and I liked the texture. Tasty!

For my second course, I had Svickova – One of my favorite Czech dishes. The preparation is similar to Germany’s Saurbraten (marinated beef sirloin served in a sauce) but the sauce is different. The Czech’s serve Svickova with Knedlicky – a sliced, bread dumpling. The meat is very tender and tasty and the Knedlicky are excellent when eaten with some of the sauce. Delicious!

Since I couldn’t leave without having my favorite Czech dessert, I ordered some Palacinke. These are crepes served with apricot jam. I used to help my grandmother makes these in her home.  Finally, I enjoyed a Slivovitz – a Czech style plum brandy. This digestif is the perfect way to end a filling Czech meal!

Having dinner at Koliba is now a tradition of mine. I love the well prepared dishes, great ambience and friendly staff. It brings back fond memories of my grandparents and their proud, Czech heritage. Do czech it out when you are in New York city.

Click here to view the restaurant’s web page.


About Robert Kavalek

Robert Kavalek is a travel consultant who shares his love for traveling the world on theTRAVELER ( While his specialties are Paris, Mexico and "digital overload escapes", he can advise clients on any type of vacation. In addition, he writes about travel destinations and travel tips on his blog and Facebook page. Robert has visited 31 countries and territories and hopes to check out at least one new country every year. He currently lives in Washington, DC.
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