Hi there! We are Zuzi and Jan, known in Prague food circles as Taste of Prague.
We’ve been running specialty food tours in Prague for nearly five years, and have been writing about food in Prague in English for about the same time, just as the food in Prague began to witness a dramatic growth and a spike in quality. We are also the authors of the Prague Foodie Map, a written guide through Prague’s food, bar and coffee shop scene, and we run an Instagram account under the @tasteofprague handle that has been serving many locals and visitors as a food guide through Prague updated nearly in real time.
We have asked Zuzi and Jan for some insight into the Prague food culture, have a look what they said, or scroll down for their restaurant recommendations!
WHY IS THE PRAGUE FOOD SCENE SO INTERESTING?
You may have heard Prague is beautiful, but you may not have heard about Prague food. But there’s so much to like about the food scene in Prague: the younger chefs revive the tradition of Czech comfort food while the Vietnamese community adds a dash of freshness to the mix. (Can we hear a hooray for visible vegetables?) Prague gets all the hipster trends: the burgers, the craft beers, the specialty coffee and the like, but the hype is low and you don’t have to wait in lines. The value is still great, and alcohol cheaper than water. We could easily spend a few days eating our way through Prague, and if we can, so can you. Just don't say no to beer. Dissing Czech beer in public can get you deported.
WHAT IS TYPICAL ABOUT CZECH FOOD?
Czech food is really comfort food. It’s like a blanket: you want to fall in it’s warm embrace. It’s a childhood memory. It’s something that makes you feel good and safe. It is not spicy: many sauces actually tend to be on the sweeter side, and it does rely heavily on butter. Think French cuisine, mixed with some Central European influences. And Czech main sweet dishes, like the fruit dumplings, are hard to find anywhere else.
WHAT SHOULD OUR GUESTS TRY WHILE IN PRAGUE?
You should definitely try the meat, especially the Prestice pork, which is a Czech clone of the Berkshire pig. The pot roasts with rich sauces, like a goulash or a svickova, are worth a try, too. Vegetarians should definitely try Czech mushrooms: 70% of Czechs pick mushroom every year, which makes us the world’d mushrooming superpower. Finish it all with a warm sweet meal and a shot of Becherovka. We would skip the trdelnik pastry sold in the areas exposed to tourism: they might be the most instagrammed food from Prague, we have better pastries here.
WHAT ABOUT CZECH BEER VS. CZECH WINE?
Beer is religion here in the Czech Republic, and Pilsner Urquell, the beer that 70% of all beers globally try to mimic, is it’s ultimate goddess. But you don’t have to stick to pilsners exclusively: a quite colorful craft beers movement has come to life a few years ago, with young brewers trying to expand the palates of Czech beer aficionados with happier alternatives to the classic pilsner.
Wines have witnessed some dramatic growth, too: the third country to plant pinots and Chardonnay in 1330s, Czech Republic has seen its winemaking tradition resurrected by a younger generation of winemakers. We’re a northern wine country and the wines show: expect mostly crisp, fruity and dry whites with higher acidity, or lighter, fruity or spicy reds. The most recent trend that has swept Prague? Natural wines. Definitely worth a try.
WHICH PART OF PRAGUE SHOULD OUR GUESTS DISCOVER TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CZECH PEOPLE AND THE FOOD SCENE THEY LOVE?
We would definitely visit the Karlin district, which boasts a very young food scene. You know you have a gentrified hipster neighborhood on your hands when a single street can accommodate a specialty coffee place, a former garage turned into a Poutine shop, or a venue that sells ice-cream sandwiches and gin and tonics exclusively.
See below our other favorite places in Prague!
Combine natural wines from Central Europe and France with interesting cheeses and charcuterie from the Nase Maso butchers, and add the striking visuals, and this wine bar is a clear winner.
May be a bit of a trip and the atmosphere is a bit lacking, but if food is your sole interest and you want to wander off the tourist tracks, the chef with London Michelin-star background cooks like an angel.