Americans don’t have a stronghold on restaurant ratings anymore.
Typically, when I’m checking out a restaurant I’d like to eat at in Prague, I scan its yelp page (always in English) for the ratings. This has been more or less true for every country I’ve visited, despite the fact that the predominant language of the country isn’t English. Surely there are other ways to search for restaurants that are made by and for Czech people, and don’t rely on American apps.
Enter Scuk: a restaurant rating website, based not only on the opinions of loyal reviewers, but of Scuk official reviews as well. It started out as a Czech food blog in 2010, but gained enough of a following to get its Yelp-style project off the ground in 2014. Unlike its American predecessor, non-employee reviewers only can have their reviews posted if they review a number of different restaurants, to prove that they are not working for the restaurant to fraudulently boost ratings. Restaurants are only rated by Scuk official reviewers after the recommendation of the site’s users. However, even if the restaurant has not yet been reviewed by a user or official reviewer, Scuk will list the important information, such as price, cuisine, and address, so that you may go and see for yourself!
Muj šálek kávy’s Scuk page. Image screengrabbed from Scuk.cz.
On top of all that, the website is only in Czech (I managed to navigate the site using Google Translate). I like that this reviews site is more about the sincere interest in food and restaurants, rather than leaving a one off rating from a bad experience. Scuk is more about the culture and community around food, which seems to make it much like a social network. Part of this comes from the fact that it started out as a blog that connected with its readers. There are ample food blogs about Prague that are excellent (Taste of Prague, etc.), but Scuk is the only one I’ve come across that was exclusively posted in Czech. Taste of Prague, however, is run by two locals, that took the experience of an online social network on their blog and translated it into a real life business. They offer a food tour of Prague and a wine tour in Moravia, which for any foodie that does a little research, would be great, unexpected ways to tour the Czech Republic and learn about their culture.
Image screengrabbed from Taste of Prague.
However, it also seems that some of the food blogging here has transferred over to more mobile-based social media apps. The first English-language food blog for Prague, Czech Please, made an announcement on his blog in 2014 that he would be moving to Facebook and Twitter mainly to post about food. However, he still uses his blog to make larger posts, typically about where to find the best hamburger. Though Twitter still isn’t huge in the Czech Republic, Czech Please has 2,010 followers and posts regularly everyday, keeping users up to date on new developments in the food world. On Sunday there was a pop-up Dim Sum experience, and I wish I had followed him sooner to find out about it!
Rather than thinking food blogging is a Western trend, I’ve come to appreciate the food culture through these blogs and websites, which offer much more than just another tourist’s Yelp review. And trust me, you’ll be eating much better for it.
Featured image screengrabbed from Scuk.cz