If you are on a health kick, Prague may not be the destination for you. The Czech Republic is known for being one of the unhealthiest countries in the world and with beer that flows like water and rarely a menu item that isn’t meaty, covered in cream, fried or all three it isn’t hard to see why.
But if it’s comfort food you’re after, this is the place. Stews, fried goodness, pastries, and thick hot chocolate are among the must-tries. Here’s my recommendation for what to try in Prague and some great places to eat.
Food and drink to have in Prague
Hands down the best thing to try! These delightful desserts are made from rolling pastry around a stick about the size of my arm and then grilling it over hot coals. The result is a hollow, doughnut-like treat sprinkled in cinnamon and sugar. They are amazing on their own, but for an extra treat try it with Nutella spread in the middle. The Nutella one was my favourite and I walked around eating it while sightseeing, inevitably ending up with chocolate all over my face and hands. Other varieties are smothered in spreads like pistachio or even filled with ice cream. A savoury version also exists (although I didn’t try it, having filled up on too many sweet versions) which come with a range of fillings like pulled pork.
A plain one will set you back 60kc (about £2). I actually filled up on them for lunch one day and heard about an Aussie guy that basically lived off of them his whole time in Prague, tucking away about seven a day!
Prague is famous for the stuff and on many menus it’s cheaper to get a 0.3L glass than it is to get water (seriously). Pilsners are everywhere and taste so fresh. I quite like beer (more than wine, I know I’m odd) so couldn’t wait to have a nice glass or five. Even if it isn’t your usual drink, if you are able to have it, I’d definitely recommend at least trying a brew while you’re there.
I was travelling on my own but really wanted to check out the local brews and found a great solution: a Beer tour! I took this one from Sandemans and it was one of the highlights of my trip. Book ahead as it is just a small group per daily tour (which leaves from the Old Town Square at 6 pm). It was a friendly group of us from the UK, US and Brazil ranging in age and we ended up having a great time. Our tour guide took us to three bars where we tried a range of lagers (included a nettle infused one and a honey one), two 0.3L in each of the first bars and a pint in the last one. At the first bar, we had a little history lesson of beer in the Czech Republic while we sipped and then it was mainly a lot of chatting at the next two!
Prague has some amazing hot chocolate! Found in many of the cafes, the best is super rich, almost pure hot chocolate. The best I had was from Cafe Louvre, a small cup of thick hot chocolate with a bowl of whip cream to add yourself. Yum!
Not just found at Christmas in Prague! I visited in March, and while the weather was unseasonably warm, there was a biting chill to the wind, and sometimes one just needs to grab a mulled wine from a street stall to keep them warm!
I’m a fan of chicken schnitzel, it is such a great comfort food. The thin meat is breaded and fried in butter, usually served with lemon to squeeze over top. I had some from Lokal (see restaurant recommendations) with some amazing potato salad to go with it.
Ok, sorry Czech Republic, but I did not like goulash! But it’s such a famous dish I had to try it and it could have been that I got it at somewhere random rather than a restaurant I knew would have good reviews (I was starving so popped in the first place I spotted). It’s was a bit too rich and salty for my taste. It’s such an iconic dish that it’s a must try for non-veggies, so go somewhere highly rated to try it.
The dish is usually made up of braised beef in a thick, gravy-like stew, served with onions and bread dumplings.
I kept hearing about this casual restaurant serving up Czech classics done right. Located on Dlouhá street, Lokal is reasonably priced and so good.
I’d recommend going for lunch. When I stopped by at dinner time it had an hour wait but was able to go right in for lunch.
Cafe Louvre is an institution of the city, having opened in 1902 and having entertained many a famous guest over its many years, including Albert Einstein and Franz Kafka.
Yet it’s surprisingly affordable, but with incredible food. I opted for the homemade gnocchi with salmon in a pesto cream sauce, which tasted fresh yet indulgent. This was followed up with one of the richest hot chocolates I’ve ever had for dessert.
Hungry after an early morning exploring, I was craving some brunch (you can take the Londoner out of London…) and found this modern little cafe not far from the old town. My chai latte was wonderful and it serves up a great avocado on toast!
To satisfy coffee cravings and your sweet tooth, go to Cafe Savoy in Malá Strana. They have fabulous pastries to fill up on, perfect if you are planning a walk up to the castle afterwards! Really Instagram worthy treats, if you don’t start digging in before getting a snap (yep, that’s what I did).
Modry Zub Long Street Food
After so much comfort food, I was craving fresh flavours one night so I popped into this casual restaurant serving street food from all parts of Southeast Asia. I went for Vietnamese Bun Nem and it was delicious.
Have you been to Prague? What food did you love? Or what would you be most wanting to try on a future trip? Let me know in the comments!