The Two Marys
The Two Marys is Český Krumlov’s best restaurant and its worst kept secret. Tucked away on a narrow cobbled lane in a five hundred year old house with a garden that extends up the river’s edge, it’s the kind of place you wish no-one else knew about. But a place offering delicious, healthy and authentically Bohemian meals served by famously friendly waiters for equally friendly prices was never going to stay undiscovered for long.
When you enter, you have the choice to walk straight through to the garden or climb the staircase to your left up to the first floor. If the weather is good, head out to have a look at the garden. There’s a raised stone are with six or seven tables and enough space for thirty or forty people. Down a short staircase and right next to the riverbank is enough space for another twenty or so people and these are really the prime seats. Upstairs are three small rooms decorated in a peasant version of the renaissance style you may have seen at the chateau.
The menu will no doubt arrive promptly and as well as having all the meals listed in four languages, it explains the history of the building, and the idea behind the restaurant which is to keep alive traditional bohemian cuisine from the middle ages. The owners of the restaurant have about five university degrees between them and did a lot of research into what local people actually ate in the middle ages. You’ll find a lot of millet, buckwheat and traditional herbs mixed in with the more obvious meat and potatoes. The cabbage soup is little short of legendary and perhaps the best choice for your first meal is the Old Bohemian Feast, which is a plate full of small portions of all their main dishes.
Old Bohemian Feast
The Old Bohemian Feast is 125Kč per person for both the chicken or vegetarian versions, and a little more if it includes either rabbit or pheasant. The other main meat dishes range from 105-145Kč and the eight or nine vegetarian options, beginning with simple cheese-bread for 56Kč up to baked millet casserole for 106Kč. Be aware that the Žahour (sweet creamy dumplings with blueberry sauce) and the potato dumplings with poppy seed are both sweet meals. Personally, I’m all in favour of full-sized portions of sweet dishes, but you do have to be in the mood. It’s good to be aware of these ones, because they’re listed among the main meals, not among the desserts.
Delightful as a daisy
I’ve eaten at this place dozens of times and can honestly say I’ve never been disappointed. The food is always top notch, the staff are invariably delightful and the setting, whether inside or out, is difficult to top. If you sit out beside the river, you may even see someone from the kitchen run out to the little garden and cut the fresh herbs that are going into your lunch, or the daisies that will decorative your soup.
I really strongly recommend his place; it’s one of my absolute favourite restaurants in the entire country.
U dwau Maryí (At the two Marys')
38101 Český Krumlov
Tel. 380 717228