Prague is a city visited by college students, young adults, and families alike. There is a lot of history within the city, and the sights are all fairly walkable, so you can see a lot in a shorter amount of time. What is really exceptional about Prague is the Czech foods on offer.
There are many Czech foods that you can try on your visit to the city. Food from Prague can be enjoyed sitting down at a restaurant or cafe or on the go–there are many finger food options!
What’s Special About Czech Food
A traditional Czech meal typically has at least two courses to enjoy–a soup and then the main dish (but of course, there are also many times a Czech dessert is added on at the end!).
Like much of Central Europe, the star of modern Czech cuisine is some type of meat element. In many traditional restaurants and homes, you can also find thick stews and sauces made with creams and vegetables.
You will find that even main dishes are on the sweeter side, rather than savory, which is unique compared to most European cuisines. It also would not be a Czech meal without a pint of beer, typically Pilsner!
Czechs actually drink the most beer per capita in the world, so you must join in on the fun when visiting cities like Prague.
To plan your trip to Prague and get the most out of it, here are some of the traditional food in Prague to try:
Traditional Czech Soups And Stews
Kulajda (Mushroom and Potato Soup)
One of the more indulgent traditional Czech foods, this mushroom, sour cream, and potato soup will fill your stomach and your heart up as you refuel before continuing exploring Prague.
You will notice a sweet and sour taste when sipping this rich soup topped with a poached quail egg. Typically, you can find this traditional Czech food under the starter section of a menu in Prague, but you can certainly enjoy it as your full meal as well.
Cesnecka (Garlic Soup)
Also known on menus as the “hangover soup,” Cesnecka is a garlic soup that can be prepared two ways.
The first is a thin soup base with rye bread cubes mixed in. The second is a creamy soup base with cheese toppings.
A garlic soup may not sound overly appealing at first, but this is a food from Prague that many people swear by after a long night out.
Enjoy it as a late breakfast meal, and get ready to feel reborn before exploring the city some more–just make sure you brush your teeth!
Gulas (Beef Stew)
Another food that was inspired by their Hungarian neighbors, Prague’s version of Goulash is a hearty, thick version of the strew.
The Czech foods version of gulas features a thick paprika-based stew with braised beef and topped with caraway, marjoram, and raw onion. There is also typically a bread dumpling complementing the stew as well.
If you are a tentative eater when traveling, Gulas is a safe bet that everyone can enjoy. It also pairs well with a traditional Czech beer.
For a vegetarian version, many traditional foods in restaurants will also serve a mushroom-based version.
Bramboraka (Potato Soup)
Many people from Czech will have you know that this potato soup is one of the most traditional dishes you can have. A lot goes into this dish–mushrooms, hearty vegetables, and potatoes.
When you enjoy traditional Czech food in Prague, it is important to have dishes, like Bramboraka, that might not be overly flashy but are rooted in tradition and love.
Zeinacka (Cabbage Soup)
Made from sauerkraut, this is one great food from Prague to enjoy on a cold day when you need to warm up. Besides the cabbage, this soup also traditional has smoked sausages, potatoes, and onions.
Back in the day, this was a common soup for those in rural and mountainous Czech to cook in the winter since it is full of nutrients and vitamins that would help people survive the season.
Cibulacka (Onion Soup)
Much like the French onion soup in France, the Czech version is very similar. Typically this is a beef-based stew with onions and served with croutons or a large piece of bread on top of the soup, smothered in cheese. Onion soup done like this is found around the world.
Appetizer Food In Czech
Tarak (Steak Tartare)
Steak tartare, or Tarak, is a Czech food that you may be wary of trying at first but will fall in love with after the first bite.
This is the ultimate food you have to try while sampling Czech pilsners on your trip. Steak tartare is made of raw minced beef that is seasoned and topped with an egg or sauce on top, all on a toasted slice of garlic bread.
This is a dish that was influenced by the Italian bruschetta. Typically, this type of dish is considered a delicacy and is quite expensive anywhere else in the world. But in Prague, you can find good, quality Tararak for less than $10 USD.
Chlebicky (Open-Faced Sandwich)
Another meal you can enjoy on the go, Chlebicky are open-faced sandwiches made with a variety of toppings that are savory and filling. You may find some made with goat cheese, tomato, walnut, Prague ham, beetroot, and so much more.
The bread is like a baguette, cut up to be made into these finger food sandwiches. Some places in Prague will try to modernize them with fun new topping combinations. Others will stick to traditional versions that are smothered in mayo.
No matter how you want to enjoy a Chlebicky, you won’t be mad with your decision.
Smazeny Syr (Fried Cheese)
A very popular Prague street food that can also be an appetizer. Fried cheese is found around Prague restaurants and in many homes. It typically comes with mayo for dipping.
This is a piece of semi-hard cheese dipped and coated in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs, before being fried. It is very common to use a gouda or Edam Cheese, but you may sometimes also find Mozzarella or Monterey Jack is used.
Main Course Foods In Czech
Svickova na Smetane (Beef Sirloin in Cream Sauce)
No matter where you visit in Czech, you will most definitely find this traditional Czech food on the menu. It can be on casual dining menus or even served at weddings.
This traditional Czech food is made of beef and dumplings in a root vegetable puree. Svickova is made over many hours but is the ultimate comfort food after a day exploring Prague.
This dish is a combination of sweet and savory flavors. The beef is boiled and then smothered in a puree of cream, parsnips, and carrots with bread dumplings and whipped cream and cranberries garnished on the side.
Food in Czech is usually hearty and thick, and the local favorite Svickova is no exception.
Vepro-knedlo-zelo (Pork, Dumplings, and Sauerkraut)
Vepro-knedlo-zelo is Czech’s national dish and combines all of the classic flavors of Czech cuisine that you would expect.
Made with traditional Czech food, this dish consists of roasted pork with red cabbage or sauerkraut, and dumplings. This is a classic food in Prague to try and one that won’t disappoint!
There are few places in central Europe where you cannot find a good schnitzel, and Prague is no exception.
In Prague, the schnitzel is typically made of flattened and breaded pork, compared to the traditional Viennese veal version. You will typically get this meal with a side of potatoes or potato salad, making it a hearty and filling dish.
A good schnitzel will be all around crispy while still being tender and moist on the inside.
Pecene Kolena (Roasted Pork Knee)
It would not be a traditional Cezch food list without a dish that is marinated in what the Czechs love a lot–beer!
Roasted pork knee is marinated in a dark beer for at least a day before going into the magical slow roast process.
The end result is a crispy and well-seasoned dish that is loved by locals and travelers.
Pecena Kachna (Roasted Duck)
A roasted duck meal is traditional only for special occasions. This is because duck meat was too expensive to eat all the time, so this would be something enjoyed during Christmas or a significant life event.
The Czech version of roasted duck is relatively simple, using only salt and pepper to season the meat. The duck is cooked when it reaches room temperature in order to get the crispiest skin.
FLAVORS AROUND THE WORLD
Kolache (Sweet Pastry with Fruit)
Chances are you have heard of, and maybe even tried, a kolache before. These are sweet pastries that have fruit or other sweet fillings inside them.
Kolaches are a fine example of how Czech cuisine has been interpreted and evolved around the world–you’ll find meat-filled kolaches in Texas, but never in Czech!
Of course, they are a great way to start your day by relaxing with some kolaches and a cup of coffee. But the beauty of this Czech food is that you can also take them to go if you need to.
Ovocne Knedliky (Fruit Dumplings)
A very Czech traditional food, Ovocne Knedliky is a dessert dumpling made of boiled fruits. Typically made with plums or strawberries, the dumplings are served with a butter spread and cheese curds.
Like many foods from Prague, you will almost always find them when visiting a traditional restaurant in Prague and the rest of Czech Republic.
Trying Traditional Czech Foods
Czech cuisine is filling and tasty. The dishes available can vary from a quick snack to something that will keep you fueled while exploring the different parts of Prague on your next trip.
From creamy soups to roasted meats to finger sandwiches, there is something for everyone on the menu no matter the time of day you need to eat. You could plan an entire gastronomy trip to Prague and leave full and happy!