I happened to have the good fortune to stay in Prague for a month. It is by far my most favourite capital city (stress on the capital city). I tend to shy away from main cities simply because they are too commercial and crowded for my taste, although I won’t deny that some of them have their merit. The reason Prague has a special place in my heart could be for several reasons. It was the first foreign city I lived in, it has a gorgeous amalgamation of history with the modern world, and the food and drinks in Prague were an amazing experience. But primarily it isn’t as ‘in your face’ as certain other capital cities. It maintains its old-world charm seamlessly with modern developments.
Now that I’m done fangirling over this city, let’s move on to the topic at hand – the food and beverages that wow-ed me during my stay in Prague.
Read more: 18 of the best things to do in Prague
Traditional Czech Food to try
The Chlebíčky (Clay-bich-key – I think – I suck at pronunciation) is an open bread delicacy with numerous vegetarian and non-vegetarian toppings and garnishes such as meat, eggs, a variety of vegetable slices etc that cater to your taste and choice. You get vegan options as well. It is marvellous how people can come up with simple concepts that cater to various taste buds and preferences. This here was one of my personal favourites as it’s filling, nutritious and healthy.
Tip: It’s perfect for breakfast or a quick snack.
The Czech Borscht or Goulash
If you are an enthusiast of history you will know that the current Czech Republic was once Czechoslovakia that has left Slovakia to fend for itself. The Czech borscht is an influence of its ancestry with Slovakia and nearby Soviet regions like Belarus and Russia. To simplify, the Czech Borscht is an extra meaty broth, a variant of the original dish from these other regions. It’s a soup that can also serve as a meal owing to the Czech tendency to lean on the meatier side. Don’t worry, it has plenty of cabbage and beets to make it healthy 😛
A similar variation to this is the goulash, a hearty stew, mostly with beef (although you get variations of meat and even vegetarian options – although that would probably make it an equivalent of the veg biryani, which most meat lovers will debate is not really a thing.) It’s usually served with knedliky or knodel, bread-like dumplings. Or you can get a serving in a bread bowl (you can eat the bowl!)
This is a sweet delicacy made of dough and coated with sprinkled sugar. The dough is wrapped around a cylindrical rod and then baked which gives it its unique hollow, cylindrical shape. It’s especially amazing to eat fresh off the oven from the stalls at the Christmas Markets. The stall I got mine from (pictured above) slathered some heavenly chocolate sauce on the insides and coated the outside with powdered cinnamon and sugar. It’s worth the sugar overload. Accompany it with some hot wine off another stall and your evening is sorted. You can read more about food and drinks in Christmas markets here.
Best restaurants in Prague
U Kroka and Radost are two amongst the various restaurants I visited when I was in Prague. While the others weren’t bad, these have lingered in my mind and it would be my personal opinion and recommendation to put them in the list of best restaurants in Prague.
I tried rabbit meat for the first and only time in my life and also sampled my first dual beer (more on that below) in U Kroka. I absolutely loved it! The rabbit was perfectly cooked, tender and delicious; it was served with gnocchi.
I was with a group of friends who all enjoyed their dishes of pork ribs, assorted burgers and a vegetarian dish (amazing descriptions, I know! But I wasn’t paying as much attention to their food as I was to mine). I remember one friend happily digging into the pork ribs he had ordered (he had recommended the restaurant in the first place).
Insider tip: If you happen to visit Vyšehrad, U Kroka is walking distance from there. You can google the location.
Radost is a vegetarian restaurant and also serves vegan options. The food is quite delicious and it also has an Asian-themed bar and a club with dance music. If you are not in a dinner or party mood, I would suggest going there for lunch or brunch.
Insider tip: The mimosas with brunch make an amazing combination. You can google the location, there are tram stops just a couple of steps away.
Prague beer and other drinks
Beer is called Pivo in Czech. I first experienced a unique beer combo here – the dual beer. It is nothing but a fascinating combination of dark and light beer. It looks appealing with its dual shade and is a nice combination of bold and bitter and light and fruity (depending on your choice of flavours). It’s a popular concept in Prague and is served in most restaurants.
Insider tip: To ask for a beer in Prague simply say ‘Pivo, prosim’ (beer please).
For the love of tea and solitude
If you are alone or need some solitude or just want to chill, and you also happen to be a tea-lover, head to A maze in Tchaiovna. It’s a little out of the way, so I’d recommend going there only if you have plenty of time to spare and want to relax. You’ll get different types of tea, you can read off of their collection of books, or meet people who usually congregate for group work and meetings.
Insider’s notes: If you’re lucky you’ll be serenaded by someone playing an instrument. And, they have a hidden entrance behind the bookcase!
For books, coffee, beer and snacks
Similarly, head to Globe bookstore and cafe if you want to catch up on some work, they have good wifi. You can chill with some coffee, beer, snacks and of course books! However, it’s not a reading library, you’ll need to buy a copy. But book lovers can browse around.
On a side note, I also met the cutest dog here called Shakal (it means jackal in Czech, apparently). You’ll find plenty of dogs all over Prague – the Czech people absolutely love their furry pets.
A mildly sweet, semi-potent, easily affordable Bohemian champagne. Enough said.
You’ll find this brilliant Czech champagne in most of the supermarkets (try Albert’s, you’re sure to find it there). It also comes in a rose flavour.
Local Finds in Prague
Bacon flavoured chips and snacks
Yes, you heard me. Bacon + chips. It was my favourite go-to snack while I was there and it hits the spot when you have the munchies. Walk into any supermarket (Insider tip: I used to get mine from Albert’s – there’s one of these on almost every street corner) to get a nice, fat bag of this (unlike Lays it has more chips than air). And it compliments a continental breakfast when you don’t have actual bacon.
My personal favourite breakfast
As I was living there for a while, it would’ve proven a lot more expensive to eat out every day. Thankfully, the supermarkets have a mind-boggling variety of things to buy, especially meat, veggies and cheese that I would not find back home. So, I loved heading out for my class after a filling protein-packed breakfast.
Another tip: Pick some Granko chocolate powder and some ham-flavoured cheese and you’ve got yourself a killer breakfast.
Prague has plenty of cafes, restaurants, clubs and bars. There are plenty of amazing things I’ve sampled and I’ve guzzled Prague beer every other day. But these are some food and drinks in Prague and some amazing restaurants that I still think about.
There’s no lack of choice when it comes to food and drinks in Prague. But make sure you sample some of these while you’re there, I highly doubt you’ll regret it.