When most people talk about traveling to Prague, not many mention the amazing food in Prague. But just what are those amazing foods, and where can I find them? Keep reading to find out.
Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is a great destination for anyone traveling around Europe. It’s filled with beautiful Bohemian architecture, and it’s easy to find fun things to do in Prague. Even staying in Prague will allow you to experience the amazing architectures first hand!
Prague has a rich and interesting history, and the city is full of lively bars and pubs. It’s also pretty cheap, making it an especially popular city for young travelers or backpackers.
But for so many of us, the best part of a vacation or a trip abroad is the food. If you’re planning a trip to the Czech Republic, you’ll probably want to know about the best food to eat and the best places to eat it. Well, here at Pilot, we love helping people plan the best trip possible, and that includes finding the best foods in a city. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about food in Prague.
What type of food do they eat in Prague?
The main type of food you’ll find in Prague is meat, meat, and more meat. Nearly all Czech dishes revolve around the meat of some kind, whether it’s stewed, roasted, or made into schnitzel or soup.
On restaurant menus, you’ll find a lot of pork, as well as beef, veal, and chicken. Dumplings are usually served alongside the meaty heart of the dish, and most of the vegetables are pickled—Czechs are big fans of sauerkraut.
Beyond these main meals, Praguers have a lot of love for café culture. A trip to Prague wouldn’t be complete without a trip to at least one of the city’s numerous cafés! Pastries, cakes, pies, desserts, and strudels can be found all over the city, so treat yourself to something sweet—you’re on vacation, after all!
What is a traditional Czech meal?
If you want to eat traditional Czech food in Prague, here are a few things you should order during your trip.
Svíčková is a dish consisting of marinated sirloin that’s sliced up and served with a creamy vegetable sauce and boiled dumplings (knedlíky). It’s one of the most archetypal Czech foods, but every restaurant and household has its own recipe. Think of it like Thanksgiving dinner—everyone thinks their mom's food is the best.
Goulash (guláš in Czech) is another classic Czechoslovakian dish. Not to be confused with Hungarian goulash, which is more like a soup, this hearty stew is packed with meat (usually beef) and served with delicious gravy and more knedlíky dumplings. It’s filling and warm, perfect food for a cold winter’s day.
Vegetarians rejoice! Kulajda is one of the few vegetarian-friendly dishes you’ll find on traditional Czech menus. If you aren’t a meat-eater, you might find yourself ordering this over and over—luckily, it’s pretty tasty!
It’s a creamy soup made from potatoes and mushrooms, sometimes served with an egg and a dollop of sour cream. Yum!
Vepřo knedlo zelo
Don’t worry, meat lovers, we’re back to classic Czech fare here with more meat. Vepřo knedlo zelo is a dish of roast pork, served with yet more knedlíky dumplings (are you noticing a theme?) and some sauerkraut.
Trdelník, or chimney cake, is one of Prague’s best-loved sweets. It’s a bit like a donut, but longer and more like a tube. The dough is wrapped around a stick, then grilled and dipped in sugar. You can have it filled with Nutella or whipped cream, or go really decadent and fill it with ice cream. It’s very Instagrammable, but it’s also delicious.
What is Prague famous for?
Traditional Czech food can be very tasty, but it definitely isn’t the most famous culinary export from this country. When most people think of Czechia and Prague, there’s probably just one thing that comes to mind: beer.
About 60 miles from Prague is Pilsen, the birthplace of pilsner beers and the spot where Pilsner Urquell is still brewed today. It was the first pale lager in the world, and all modern-day golden beers are kind of like its descendants. Czechs are pretty proud of their contribution to beer culture, and cheap, good beer has become one of the main draws of the country’s capital.
Drinking pilsner in Prague is almost a rite of passage. The city is packed with pubs, bars, and beer halls, all serving up pints (or half-liters—we are in Europe, after all) of crisp, cold beer. Local favorites include Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen, Budvar, and Kozel. Go on a pub crawl and try them all!
What are the best places to eat in Prague?
Now that you know what to eat, you may be wondering where to eat. There are many highly rated restaurants in Prague. But as is the case in all capital cities, it’s also easy to fall into tourist traps and eat in restaurants that offer mediocre food at high prices. To avoid this, we recommend eating at places that are popular with locals.
Googling the best restaurants in Prague tends to leave you with a list of high-end restaurants—La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise and Field, for example, which both have Michelin Stars. These are perfect for a special occasion, but maybe not ideal if you’re backpacking with friends. If you’re looking for everyday good food, we recommend:
- Lokál Dlouhááá
- U Pinkasù
- U Parlamentu (more of a pub, but well worth a visit!)
- Na slamníku
These restaurants all have plenty of authentic Czech food on their menu, meaning you can sample local delicacies and experience Prague the way the Praguers do.
Tours, markets, and festivals
If you want to find authentic or traditional food, it may be a good idea to take part in a food tour. There are many food tour companies in Prague. Try Eating Europe and Prague Food Tour, or look in ToursByLocals to find a private food and drink tour.
If you and your travel buddies don’t have time for a food tour, head to one of Prague’s numerous food markets. The best-known market is the Dejvice farmer’s market, which is open every Saturday from March through to November. Alternatively, check out the Jiřák farmer’s market. You’ll find a mixture of delicious street food options and fresh local produce, so they're ideal if you want to cook up a feast in your hostel kitchen.
If you’re visiting at the right time of year (and lockdown restrictions allow!), your trip might coincide with the annual Prague Food Festival. Day tickets cost about 500 Czech koruna (around 25 US dollars), which includes 300 koruna of food tokens to spend at the stalls inside.
The festival usually takes place in the gardens of the Prague Castle across a weekend in May. It features stalls from over 40 of the country’s highest-rated restaurants, making it a great way to sample a selection of Czech food.
Is the food in Prague good?
Before you plan your trip, you’ll probably be asking yourself if the food in Prague is good. Well, the answer to this is obviously pretty subjective! Czech food doesn’t have a fantastic global reputation in the same way that Italian or French food does, but that doesn’t mean it isn't tasty.
Czech cuisine features a lot of meat and starchy carbs. If this isn’t your vibe, then maybe it’s not for you—but the good news is that as a major city, it’s pretty easy to find restaurants that focus more on other cuisines.
There’s a pretty sizeable Asian population in Prague, meaning you can get some excellent Vietnamese food in restaurants around the city. You can also find Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Indian, and even tapas restaurants, so you don’t need to worry if traditional Czech cuisine isn’t floating your boat.
Visit the City of a Hundred Spires
A trip to Prague might not be high on the list of a food lover’s travel bucket list, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t fantastic food to be found in this enchanting city. If you’re a fan of soups, stews, and hearty meat dishes that leave you feeling full and satisfied, you’re in for a real treat.
For many people, food is one of the most important parts of any trip, but there are other things to consider too! Use Pilot to help you plan the best trip possible—we’re here to help you find a place to stay, figure out the best things to do, and get your travel buddies organized.