Czech Cuisine is to die for… quite literally! Traditional Czech recipes generally tend to be high in calories, fat, and sugar – not exactly a synonym for healthy eating but what the heck – you’re on holidays.
In general, Czech Cuisine is rich in flavor with some finding it just a little heavy. If you’ve never tried it, there are just a few things you need to know – so we said we’d do the research and compose this handy little guide of how what and where to eat when in Prague.
For meat lovers, a trip to the Czech Republic is a must! One of the first things we noticed was the wide selection of meats to choose from in most restaurants with a majority of dishes consisting of either beef or pork.
Get your day off to the best possible start with a good breakfast – Czech style! There’s no one dish that can be described as the traditional ‘Czech breakfast’, in fact, there are loads of different options to be found on the Czech breakfast menu. Some of the choices available include sliced bread or white bread rolls, some sort of meat like sausage or salami and scrambled eggs, coffee/tea, juice, butter, and honey are all served.
Like most European countries, the Czechs have lunch as their main meal of the day. Lunch usually consists of 3 courses where you’ll have a choice of soups, the main course and maybe a salad – if you’ve room for it you might even squeeze in a little dessert – if you’re feeling bold enough!
Lunch in Czech Cuisine is normally eaten between 11.30 am and 3 pm. If you’re looking for high-quality food that’s reasonably priced, the cheapest places to eat are pubs or pizzerias.
Traditional Czech Cuisine…
There are plenty of traditional Czech dishes to be found but probably the most common side dish is the dumplings, and in particular, the ‘Knedlik’. From experience, we think this is the first bit of Czech cuisine you should sample. It’s a dumpling, made of either wheat or potato flour. Then it is boiled as a roll of dough, cut, sliced and served with gravy or some other kind of sauce. More than likely these sauces will be sweet – the Czech’s just can’t get enough of their sugar!
The most popular main course dish is the ‘vepřová pečeně s knedlíky a se zelím’. Yes, it’s quite the mouthful (literally!) isn’t it! This dish is composed of roast pork with cabbage and dumplings and tastes lip-smacking good. Choose from two different types of cabbage – Moravian and Bohemian. Try the Moravian if you have a sweet tooth as this cabbage is fresh or the chef will add sugar, whilst the Bohemian is rather sour.
Another common main course dish is ‘Svickova’. This is a fillet of beef with a cream sauce, cranberries, and Czech dumplings. It is the national dish of the Czech Republic.
Czech Beer and liqueurs…
Whichever dishes you try, don’t forget to have a glass of beer! Most citizens have a glass of beer with their meal with the most popular beers include Plzen, Smichov, Budweiser and Radegast.
While the national beverage is beer, the national liquor is Becherovka, a medicinal aperitif made of many different herbs, and the good news is that it’s said to aid digestion. And when you think about it, if you’re just after a meal of cream sauces and sauerkraut, you might well be appreciative of that!
The prices really can vary from restaurant to restaurant. Like in most cities, you can find a mid-range restaurant serving a fantastic meal for a reasonable price and only get an average meal for double that price in a restaurant that’s close to the city center or near a popular tourist attraction, so please, be aware of these.
The good news is though that you should be able to find a nice place offering a three-course meal for about $300(approx) – bargain!
The hardest question visitors to a strange city often ask themselves is – where to dine? Well, we can tell you that the best quantity of quality restaurants can be found in and around the city center. Roam through Wenceslas Square, Na Prikope Street, and Old Town Square until you find something that takes your fancy.
Some popular restaurants serving Czech cuisine in Prague city center include Marie Teresie (Na Prikope Street), Pálffy Palac Restaurant, Staromácek restaurant (Old Town), Novomestsky Pivovar Restaurant (New Town) and Bily Konicek Restaurant & Club on Old Town Square.
Lvi Dvur is a fantastic restaurant located near Prague Castle and serves both Czech and international dishes – perfect if you’re with someone who doesn’t fancy one of the many rich Czech dishes. I can’t think of a better place to get a quick bite to eat while visiting Prague Castle.
So you’ve tried the traditional Czech Cuisine and just don’t like it? Don’t worry; there are loads of international restaurants to choose from also. You’ll be spoiled for choice with the array of Italian, French, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, American and British restaurants you’ll see in the city not to mention the number of fast-food joints.
The majority of the restaurants in Prague have staff that speaks English and most of the menus are translated into German and English also. You may not be so lucky in the smaller towns that surround Prague though, so you might like to take note of the following translations.
“Medallion” – A piece of meat that’s cut flat
“Spis” – Grilled meat and vegetables on a spear
“Svickova” (pronounced sveech-Kova) – Marinated beef
“Veprove Knedliky” – Basic pork dumplings
“Teleci Kyta” – Leg of deer
“Beefsteak na Kyselo” – Beef steak with a sour creamy gravy
“Cesnekovy Polivka” – Garlic flavored soup
“Kapr Peceny s Kyselou Omackou” – Carp with a sour cream sauce
Know before you go!
Tipping is not essential – it’s your own choice but the least you can do is round up the bill. Most leave change on the table. Ready to dine in Prague…
So now you’ve read this article I hope you’re excited about sampling some scrumptious Czech Cuisine and beer. Whatever your individual interests are when visiting Prague; you’re sure to come across a restaurant that you’ll love! What’s left to say? Only – “Dobrou chut” (Bon appetite).