10 Best Things to Eat (and Drink) in Prague
#1 Pivo! Pivo! And More!
You can't visit Prague without sampling their beer. It's honestly such a HUGE part of their culture and cuisine. Every bar has their unique home brew as well as hundreds of other local varieties. For as little as $2 USD you can get a GIANT mug that will rival the rest of the world's best beers. The most popular kind of Pivo, as beer is called in Prague, is their traditional "Plzeň" (Pilsener). Although craft breweries are up and coming in this old city, they are present and have been known to curate some of the greatest flavours.
Open-faced sandwiches are a staple the world over, but in Prague, they are a historic part of Czech life. In the communist years, many of the toppings that countries like France and the UK had plentifully for their gourmet sandwiches were not available in Prague. Instead, chefs made due with what they could and created greatness from even the most meagre ingredients. Fat was necessary for people to survive in the cold winters, so these sandwiches are filled with mayonnaise, herring paste, oily ham, red salami and usually contain little vegetables. You can find Chlebíčkys at most delis or small cafes. Order a few varieties to create a spectacular assortment and share with a friend!
Koláč was one of my favourite sweet treats. Koláč is a soft pastry, filled with everything from poppy seeds to fruit, jams, nuts and even sugared cheese (basically cream cheese). They can be found in almost every single bakery in Prague, and every family has their own "secret" recipe which makes their Koláč a little different from the one down the street. Poppy seed and sweet cheese was my personal preference.
The Ttrdelník is a dessert found on the streets of Prague. Even local guides will prompt it as a "traditional Czech dish." While it is an old recipe, it is not originally from Prague. It first was served in the Hungarian-speaking region of Transylvania. The dessert became more and more popular and more and more widespread all over the Czech Republic. So much so, that over time, it might as well have originated there. This delectable sweet is made by wrapping pastry dough around a wooden or metal stick which is then placed over an open flame to slowly rotate and cook. Once golden brown it is coated with sugar or cinnamon. Watching this pastry cooking is a captivating sight, you'll find yourself sinking into a dizzying daze which those delicious treats spin. You can find stalls selling ttrdelníks along major streets and in public squares. It is the perfect thing to savour on a cold winters day!
Koleno or roast pork knuckle, is another traditionally German dish that was absorbed into Prague’s cuisine. The dish is made from an oversized piece of meat, cooked low and slow, so the meat falls off the bone. The skin is crispy, and the meat is well seasoned in located herbs. It is served along side a tall, dark beer with side of mustard, horseradish, and sour cherries for dipping.
Vepřo-knedlo-zelo is another traditional pork dish. This slow roasted pork is stewed with cabbage and served with sauerkraut and large bread dumplings to soak up all those well-flavoured juices.
A sweet treat that can be found all over Prague is Palačinky. Palačinky are similar to French crepes, but the batter is slightly different. The thin pancakes are served with jam, fruit, cream or nuts. If you’d prefer a savoury version, you can also find Palačinky with cheese, spinach, and pork.
Czechs eat sausages morning, noon and night. They are great as a side dish or entree. Czech sausages always are heavy on the garlic and have a much coarser grind than other sausages found around the world. They are dark red and have a snappy bite to them. The best way to eat Weiners is simply, served with only bread and mustard.
#9 Roast Duck
Roast Duck is something that Czech people often associate with the holidays or special occasions. It is one of the more expensive meats in Prague, but for tourists, it is worth surging on no matter what the occasion.
One of the most traditional dishes is also arguably one of the least appetizing. But don’t judge a book (or a meal) by its cover (or lack of aesthetic appearance). Svickova is a braised beef sirloin which is served in a creamy sauce with cranberry compote and bread dumplings. The meat is so tender you don’t need a knife. The fatty beef mixed with the cream makes it a very decadent meal but worth a try for an authentic taste of Prague.