Bulvar is my favourite restaurant in Karlovy Vary. I like the food, the decoration and the handy location just around the corner from the main bus station.
Tucked into a brick cellar beneath one of the townhouses on Bělehradská Ulice, the restaurant doesn’t exactly have a huge profile, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a favourite among the locals. A certain number of foreigners must also find their way to Bulvar, because they’ve gone to the trouble of printing the menu in four languages.
Eggplant and Tzatziki
And what will you find on the menu? Typical Czech food like fried cheese (89Kč) pork and chicken dishes (around 150Kč) and steaks (around 170Kč), but also some exotic imports like Fried Eggplant with tzatziki (119Kč) or Pelmene - Russian dumplings filled with meat (149Kč). There’s also a good selection of pastas for around 130Kč and another dish that caught my eye was the Salmon with leaf spinach for 219Kč.
On my last visit to Bulvar, I had less than an hour to wait for my bus and quickly chose the old standby Fried cheese with tartare sauce and chips. Despite the restaurant being packed with locals on their lunch break, my meal was cooked and served within about ten minutes of my order being taken.
I also had a bottle of the local mineral water Mattoni for 19Kč. This is the same Mattoni that costs 55Kč at Café Elefant up at the other end of town. If you’d prefer to have a beer, your choices are Pilsner, Velvet or Dark Kozel, and you’ll get a large glass for around 30Kč. The standard wines are also quite affordable with a 200ml glass of white; Veletinské or Muller Thurgau going for 30Kč and the red Frankovka or Svatovavřinecké (St Laurence) slightly more expensive at 35Kč a glass.
The walls of Restaurant Bulvar have been stripped to expose the brick and stone and this makes a lovely backdrop for their collection of interesting old paintings and furniture. Old-fashioned light fittings illuminate weathered wagon wheels, antique clocks, a cluster of historic radios and assorted other glimpses of a time past. The furniture is all wooden, and with the brick walls and terracotta tiled floor, broken in places by colourful mosaics, the effect is warm and welcoming.
Wait, there’s more
If the restaurant looks full when you walk in, don’t give up. There’s another whole room up past the bar and around to the right. The bar itself has been constructed from old wooden doors and is lit by gas lamps that have been converted into electric light fittings.
The food and the atmosphere are enough to make you wish that it wasn’t so convenient to the bus station and that you had an excuse to miss your bus and take a later one.
Oh well, you can learn from my mistake and make Bulvar your first stop in Karlovy Vary rather than your last. Perhaps you’ll find the rain jacket that I left hanging on the stand because I was in such a hurry!
Karlovy Vary 36001