If you’re visiting this delightful city for the first time or even the fifth time, you must spend reasonable time trying as much of the local foods as possible.
Want to know exactly what you need to look for?
No problem, here is a list of best local foods you definitely should not miss during your visit.
But first, lets read and discover some Czech cuisine history and intro in a nut shell.
Czech cuisine has developed over hundreds of years and has been influenced by Austrian and Hungarian cuisines. As all eastern Europe countries, Czech national cuisine is based on ingredients that can be grown domestically, such as cereals, leguminous plants and potatoes, which are usually served with pork, beef , duck or chicken, or, in some places, with freshwater fish.
The body of Czech meals typically consists of two or more courses; the first course is traditionally soup, the second course is the main dish, and the third course can be a dessert or compote, as long as it has enough sugar in it.
Best Foods – Side Dishes
Dumplings (knedlíky) – steamed and sliced bread-like, are one of the mainstays of Czech cuisine and are typically served with meals. They can be either wheat or potato-based, and are sometimes made from a combination of wheat flour and dices made of stale bread or rolls. Served in slices, this food item replaces bread and can be served with all types of dishes, particularly those with a sauce.
There are many other side dishes, including noodles and boiled or risotto rice. Potatoes are served boiled with salt, as mashed potatoes and because of the influence of foreign countries, potatoes are also fried, and served as French fries.
Pasta is common, either baked, boiled, cooked with other ingredients or served as a salad. Rice and buckwheat noodles are not common, but are becoming more popular. Gluten-free pasta is also available, made from corn flour, corn starch or potatoes.
Photo by czechspecials.cz
Best Foods – Soups
Soup plays an important role in Czech cuisine. Czech restaurants usually serving beef, chicken or vegetable soups with noodles or nutmeg dumplings.
Garlic soup with croutons, optionally served with minced sausage, raw egg, or cheese.
Cabbage soup made from sauerkraut, optionally served with minced sausage.
Goulash soup (gulášovka) is made from beef or pork tripe cut into small pieces and cooked with other ingredients; the meat can be substituted with oyster mushrooms.
Potato soup (bramboračka) is made from potato, onion, carrot, root parsley and celeriac, spiced with caraway seed, garlic and marjoram.
Fish soup (rybí polévka) made with carp is a traditional Christmas meal.
Photo by aedrozda
Best Foods – Meat Dishes (Main Dish)
Guláš—a stew usually made from beef, pork or game with onions and spices. There are several vegetarian varieties with cabbage or potatoes. It is usually accompanied with knedlo or sometimes bread. Czech guláš is not to be confused with Hungarian “gulyás“, which is a soup more similar to Czech gulášovka (a soup). Pörkölt is the Hungarian equivalent of Czech guláš.
Roast pork with dumplings and cabbage is often considered the most typical Czech dish. It consists of cabbage and is either cooked or served pickled
Schnitzel is a traditional Czech meat meal. The word means “sliced/cut (out) piece”. These are usually small slices of veal, pork or chicken covered in egg and breadcrumbs and fried on both sides.
Smoked meat (uzené) with potato dumplings, fried onion and cooked spinach.
Beef with tomato sauce (rajská omáčka or rajská) is served with dumplings. Dill sauce (koprová omáčka or koprovka) is often on menus too.
Roast duck or rabbit are served with bread or potato dumplings and braised red cabbage.
Chicken in paprika sauce (kuře na paprice) is chicken stewed with onion, paprika and cream.
Roast turkey with bacon (krocan pečený na slanině) is turkey larded with, or wrapped in bacon, roasted with bacon and butter.
Photo by Labedudel
Best Foods – Snacks and Street Food
Bramboráky – Those fried pancakes made of grated raw potato, flour, carrots or sour cabbage, and rarely sausage. They are spiced with marjoram, salt, pepper, and garlic, and usually sized to fit the cooking dish.
Smažený sýr, is a fried block of cheese – usually Edam, coated in flour, egg and bread crumbs, fried. Usually it’s served on a plate with salad or cabbage , tartar sauce and potatoes or French fries.
Open sandwiches, known as obložené chlebíčky (“garnished breads”) or chlebíčky, are not made from normal Czech bread, but from roll-like, bigger pastry called veka, sliced and garnished. They may be served with mayonnaise, ham, egg, fish, salads or spreads on the top. They are usually decorated with fresh sliced or pickled cucumber, tomato, red or yellow bell pepper, sliced radish, or parsley.
Klobása is a grilled greasy sausage (Resemblance to the notorious hot dot), is a very popular street food in the streets of Prague and in its beer gardens. You’ll see a few different varieties, made of different kinds of meat with different types of spices, but believe me, they all good. They’ll typically involve mustard, pickled cabbage, bread, and probably beer. One tasty, greasy klobása is all you need to fuel up for more sightseeing.
Best Foods – Sweets and Desserts
Fruit dumplings (ovocné knedlíky) are mostly made using plums, apricots or strawberries. These are whole fruits or pieces of fruit coated with potato or curd dough and steamed, then served with butter or cream, sugar and sometimes milled poppy seeds.
Kolache (koláče) is a type of mainly round yeast pastry consisting of fillings of fruit, curd, poppy seeds or doughnut. It can be small, middle or pancake sized. Fillings can be seen or hidden in the dough. To some it may look like a pizza, but don’t believe your eyes, it is a sweet and delicious pastry, a great accompany to your coffee or tea.
Pancakes are rolled with marmalade or jam and often served with ice cream.
Lívance are smaller types of pancakes prepared with yeast in the batter. They are eaten with jam or warm forest fruits.
Sponge Cake – With different fillings such as fruits, ground poppy seeds, carrots and sugar.
Strudel (“Jablecny Zavin”) – This dessert is very popular both in Czech and Austrian cultures, is a layered pastry, usually filled with grated apples, cinnamon and raisins. Its preparation includes a large plate of puff pastry that is topped with the sweet filling and then rolled in a shape of a U. After baking, the roll is cut into large slices that are traditionally served hot with homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and vanilla custard on the side.
Trdelník – Is a sweet pastry. It is made of rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, then grilled on open fire and topped with sugar and walnut mix, sometimes with cinnamon as well. Basically the pastry is pretty much the same as the famous Hungarian “Kurtosh”.
Medovnik – The most popular cake in Prague, It’s a 10 layer honey cake flavored with cinnamon, sliced and iced in many very thin layers. It is a cake that is not moist, but not dry and not too sweet. So the balance is perfect, it will make you eat the whole slice and actually enjoy it without the unnecessary feeling of the sugar rush.
Photo by Wikipedia