What to Eat in Prague – Tips from a Local Expert

on January 14, 2022

What to Eat in Prague and Where

Czech Republic is located in Central Europe at its very heart. It saw different forms of government and economic systems come and go including monarchy, democracy, capitalism and communism. All of them left a mark in Czech cuisine, which has, like a fluffy dumpling, soaked up influences from all over Europe. But there are rare dishes that cannot be found anywhere else but here. So the following list will uncover exactly that: 10 + 1 best restaurants in Prague, what to eat and a sprinkle of historical background on top.

Café Imperial and Next door by Imperial

Cafe Imperial restaurant

A good example of a unique meal would be so-called Kulajda or Svíčková that represent two important aspects of local food – love for soups and cream sauces. Kulajda is a wonderful soup made with dill, mushrooms and poached egg and Svíčková is a cream sauce served with boiled beef and dumplings. You can try both at Café Imperial, Prague restaurant owned by famous chef Zdeněk Pohlreich – Czech version of Gordon Ramsay. Even though prices are friendly, you will need to make a dinner reservation at least a week ahead to make sure you catch a table. Lunch time is not that busy and a good alternative would be Next Door by Imperial, a restaurant literally next door.

Restaurant Next Door

Back to Basics

But before I lay out the rest of my list of Prague restaurants to you, let’s take a very short dive into Czech past. Historically, a kind of plant that used to feed our ancestors the most was, surprise surprise, grain. Ancient meal “pražmo” was simply a bunch of grains roasted on a hot stone. Later on, people started making grain mashes and, as technology advanced, baking bread. It sounds ordinary, but a delicious bread should not be taken for granted. Czechs are very proud of their bread, which was historically, mostly made of rye.

Pekárna Praktika

Praktika bakery

Speaking of grain, Praktika is a Prague bakery that makes it the “old way” and uses flour ground exclusively between two stones. The name hints it is not a fancy, but rather plain and “practical” bakery. In any case, they have delicious rye bread and also awesome breakfast options, including fragrant coffee and scrumptious pastry. The bakery has three shops scattered around Prague in Letná, Karlín and Vinohrady district. But let’s not stop at breakfast time, next up on our “what to eat in Prague” list are places ideal for lunch and dinner.

Red Stag and Cukrář Skála

Times of monarchy are well reflected in dishes which used to be popular among aristocrats. Their favorite pastime was hunting for game for example wild boar, rabbits and birds. Luckily, there are great places in Prague that focus on quality meat including game. For example Red Stag restaurant near Republic Square. A fair representation of an aristocratic meal would be fallow deer from the forests of Count Sternberg. Furthermore, a selection of cheese from a high-quality local Krasolesí farm would serve as a tasty appetizer. Icing on the cake, however, is that Red Stag is situated only a few steps away from Cukrář Skála, a café that serves heavenly desserts.


Tiskarna restaurant

This list would not be complete without a place that revives recipes from the time of first Czechoslovak Republic. In the 19th century Czech people became anxious to get rid of monarchy and create their own state. An opportunity for change came up right after the World War I and in 1918 Czechoslovakia was founded. Even though that era had its own hardships, it was a time of considerable boom in culture and food. Restaurant Tiskárna makes recipes dating back about a hundred years. Give a try to braised rabbit leg or beef oxtail slowly braised on vegetables.

Zlatý kříž and U Pinkasů

Pilsner beer

Want to know about eating habits during communism? It was definitely not a time of big luxuries. After 1948 when communism started, people often found themselves standing up while eating their lunch at canteen or local delicatessen. One such place is in Jungmannova street and it is called Zlatý kříž (Golden Cross). They serve wide variety of chlebíčky – Czech open sandwiches. The one with roastbeef and caviar is highly recommended. So even though standing up might not feel as something luxurious, the above-mentioned chlebíček definitely is! By the way Golden Cross Delicatessen is round the corner from “U Pinkasů“ – the very first Pilsner restaurant in Prague. It opened shortly after Pilsner beer was invented in our country in 1842. Nowadays the vibe is a little touristy, however thirsty locals still find their way in there. And for a good, foamy reason.

Špejle, Eska and Werichova Vila

Best food in Prague

Since the Velvet Revolution which finally wrapped up communism in 1989, Prague has given birth to a number of culinary hotspots which set new trends. A good example would be Špejle in Jidřišská street serving Czech tapas – small portions of local food. Or Eska – a bakery and a restaurant located off the city center in Karlín district. The menu is full of excellent fusion and modern dishes that taste even better when served by friendly and helpful staff. They are happy to describe ingredients to the uttermost detail for you if you are interested.  And finally, go on and try luxurious desserts from IPPA Café located near Charles bridge in Werichova vila, a house of a former Czech actor Jan Werich.

What to Eat in Prague – Conclusion

So there you have it. A list of foods and places that contribute to the good local culinary reputation. As countless other cities around the world, Prague has wonderful and unique flavors worth exploring. All you need to do is a little research. In case you would like to intensify your experience by taking a food tour, take a look at our itinerary. We can provide first-hand overview of Czech culinary past & present while visiting interesting foodie spots and sights on the way. If you would like to know more about local beer or desserts, please read on.