Two trips into Czech Republic equaled out to a lot of food and drink! This is typical for me as I always intertwine food with my travels. It is a great way to engage all senses while visiting any country.
My travels through Czech Republic have taken me beyond Prague which I am grateful for. Oh yes people, there is a whole other country beyond Praha! I suggest to hop a train, hire a driver or take an organized day trip to cities outside the capital. You can learn a lot about Czech and eat-drink at the same time.
From trying Trdelník to having a ‘Grog in Prague’ my very EXTRA comprehensive food journal of the Czech Republic!
Czech Goulash and Dumplings
Not all goulash and bread dumplings are created equal in Czech Republic, just saying. I have tried it several times and each time was like tasting a totally different dish. Goulash is a meat stew (typically beef) that is seasoned with local spices like fresh paprika. The white dumplings are boiled bread and have the consistency of a heavier American Wonder bread. I enjoyed the Carlsbad Dumplings better which are firmer than the typical white dumplings.
So what to do? I have realized that like any other country, there are two types of traditional cuisine sold in restaurants- One catering to tourists and one for locals. If you are looking to try a nice goulash, go into the neighborhoods and away from the tourist trap areas!
One of the best Goulash and Carlsbad Dumplings I tried was from Café Louvre which is less than a 10 minute walk from Old Town. It is also a few minute walk from U’Fleku, so you can do both in one trip!
Vietnamese Food in Prague
On my second visit to Prague and after visiting all the sights, I started to notice a lot of Vietnamese restaurants in the regular neighborhoods. I was curious so I spoke to a local who was born and raised Czech and the owner of a cafe by Prague castle. She explained that Vietnamese food in Eastern Europe has been common for a long time due to communistic ties. When the walls fell (so to speak), Vietnamese food was the first ethnic cuisine that the Czechs tried. They went mad for the different flavors, so many pho restaurants started to open in local neighborhoods.
I loved the story so much that the next day, I walked to Pho Vietnam Tuan & Lan and filled myself with a big bowl pho! There are several pho restaurants in Prague, if you google or check on Yelp you will find the listings.
Trdelník is what other countries call ‘Chimney Cakes’ and like the Goulash with Dumplings, not all are created equally. I first tried Trdelník back in 2015 while visiting Cesky Krumlov. It took me awhile to try it because a lot of Trdelník in Prague, at the time, were sold by street vendors. The bees and flies loved it! Do you understand what I am saying? I wanted to try it but not. I found an indoor café in Cesky Krumlov that sold them, with no insects, and I was very happy. The next day, I stumbled across a café in Prague that sold them too- even better.
Now-a-days there are many trendy places in Prague that sell Trdelník, other than the bee swarmed street vendors. Consider yourself lucky!
Foie Gras Torchon by the Charles Bridge Tower
There is lovely restaurant on the other side of the Charles Bridge Tower that serves delicious Czech and International cuisine, along with a nice selection of wine. This lovely place is Restaurant Pod Vezi. It is in the ‘tourist trap’ area but this is a nice touristy restaurant- I would not steer you wrong.
We had just finished climbing the tower of Charles Bridge, which I strongly recommend, and came across Restaurant Pod Vezi. The food and drink menu was very impressive, it was exactly what we were looking for. I ordered a white wine to pair with my Foie Gras Torchon and it was a beautiful match. Pod Vezi is an excellent find in the heart of touristy Prague!
For restaurant and room information, please visit their official website – Restaurant Pod Vezi
Sausage Skewer in Prague
If you are a carnivore, you can not leave Czech Republic without eating sausages. They are everywhere from the grocery stores to the restaurants. If you do not watch it, you may end up eating them from breakfast until dinner.
I had this delicious sausage skewer with fries at a restaurant in Old Town Square. If I remembered the name, I would tell you- sorry! What I can tell you is that the restaurant is directly across the Astronomical Clock with outdoor seating. It is one out of ten- sorry again!
Dinking my way though Czech Republic
Whether it was a ‘Grog in Prague’ or a shot of ‘WTF is this?’, I did my share of drinking in Czech Republic. I have no regrets! NONE! Czech Republic is a drinking country and they take their beer very seriously. Too bad I am not a beer drinker though!
As I just mentioned, I am not a beer drinker but I did enjoy a Gambrinus while on a Beer Crawl in Prague. I took a selfie with the beer to remind myself that once upon a time, I did enjoy a beer!
Local Trout in Karlovy Vary
I know I have mentioned in other posts about the trout in Eastern Europe. It is on the “Must Eat’ list on many platforms. I am always excited when I see it on the menu because I know what I will be ordering- A fresh whole trout, head and tail, that is cooked to perfection.
Karlovy Vary is a beautiful Spa Town outside of Prague that is known for its mineral water (see next item). I highly recommend a visit to Karlovy Vary to get out of the busyness of big city Prague.
Mineral water in Karlovy Vary
They say that the mineral water in Karlovy Vary is healing and it is used as preventative remedy for various conditions. There are many fountains to drink from and at different temperatures, all you need is a cup. The water is very hard from all the minerals, so just brace yourself for the first sip!
Tip: If you plan on trying the mineral water, the best souvenir you can buy from this town are one of the drinking mugs. Since the temperatures vary of the water, buying a cup with the handle is recommended. Check around and do not buy the first ones you see. There are different styles, colors and quality of mugs. I still have my Karlovy Vary mug (photo) and it works well with my house decor.
The Ice Cream Sundaes!
If you are an ice cream lover, you have found your part of the world. There are many ice cream cafes in Czech and throughout Europe, they definitely love their sundaes.
It was hard to choose a sundae as they were all very creative and looked magnificent. Many of the sundaes in Czech Republic are decked out with wafers, chocolates, cookies, syrup and whipped cream. They are all quite devilish in a heavenly sort of way.
Czech Hotel Breakfasts
The breakfasts served in Czech Republic are similar to what you will find in Europe, give or take a few items. Depending on the country, more than likely you will be offered a buffet of local breads, sausages, vegetables, cold cuts, hard boiled eggs, cheeses, fruit, hot/ cold cereals, pastries and cheeses.
If in Czech, hopefully you will be offered the breakfast sausages which are similar to a hot dog or kielbasa. They were my favorite part of breakfasts in Czech besides the cheese wrapped in foil!
Dining Car on a Prague Train to Dresden, Germany
It was very early in the morning and I was waiting for the train to halt at the Prague Central Station. When it did, I looked up and it was the dining car- Thank you Jesus! I am not religious but that is what I was thinking. It was meant to be. I was taking a Dresden day trip to see a museum (another story) and was happy to spend the 2.5 hour ride in this swanky retro dining car.
I did not want to move from the dining car, so I slowly ate a traditional breakfast of bread, cold cuts and cheeses. Then I ordered a hot tea and sipped that slowly. When my stop came around, I left a nice tip because the servers were wonderful and I sat there FOREVER.
Steak, Fries and Green Beans for lunch in Prague
This beautiful meal may seem like a lot to eat during lunchtime but I had just come from a draining overnight bus from Krakow. My whole morning was rough and I was waiting for my flat to be available for me to crash. What better thing to do than to eat.
This heavy meal was so good on so many levels. The beef was tender, the beans with garlic were seasoned nicely and the fries very crisp. As for the name of the place, here we go again, I do not know. I was disoriented and hungry. I can tell you that it was around the corner from our flat by U’Fleku, so it could be on the street ‘Pštrossova”. Sorry!
Caffeine, Carbs and Wi-Fi
This is a typical trio that occurs frequently when I travel. If you have ever traveled with me then you know that I walk a lot, for hours even. In between those long walks I take breaks of caffeine, carbs and Wi-Fi.
It is a fun way to take a break and try the local coffee and desserts in any country. My favorite in Prague were small blueberry pancakes with powdered sugar and sour cream.
A Raspberry Tart from PAUL
I am not one for eating fruit, I know it is shocking. I do eat fruit with something like a charcuterie board or if baked. It is one my strange quirks. Although my eyes do light up with raspberries. I love them especially baked in something like this tart. This was such a pretty pastry and a tasty one too.
Paul is a French bakery chain that was established in the late 1800s and common place in Europe. For a chain, the pastries are very good and I have not been disappointed at any of the locations. Lucky for you, there are several Pauls in Prague- Bon Appetite!
Smažený Vepřový Řízek and Bramboráky
If that is too difficult to say, you can simply say “Řízek” for short and the savory potato pancakes! Czech Republic definitely loves their pork dishes. This breaded and fried pork cutlet just shows how much they love it! Řízek is similar to German schnitzel and it is absolutely delicious.
Depending on where you eat in Czech, you may see Řízek on the menu as ‘Schnitzel’. You are ordering the same thing, just the wording is different.
Dessert Pancakes in Prague
Pancakes in Eastern Europe are a very common dish for dessert or a special breakfast. They are thinner than American pancakes, similar to crepes and topped with different fruits, powdered sugar, whipped cream, syrup and if you are lucky- ice cream.
Dessert pancakes can be found everywhere in Czech as well as other Eastern European countries. They are all similar but have slight variances, especially with the toppings. They are all delicious in whatever country you eat them- Enjoy!
Pig Knuckle at the Oldest Brewery in Prague
Eating pig knuckle was high on my list in either Czech or Germany. I saw it on the menu at the oldest brewery in Prague, U Fleku, I had been taking shots and it was on. I want to ask those in the world who eating a pig knuckle is normal, how is it done? For others like me who have never tried pig knuckle, it was a learning experience. I was not sure what to eat and what not to eat. “Do I eat this part? It does not taste like something I should be eating!”, that was my inner monologue during dinner. So I did try it but honestly pig knuckle is not something that I would eat again.
Putting my pig knuckle opinion aside, U Fleku is a very happening place in Prague! It is known as the oldest brewery and has several beautiful beer halls that come alive each night. We had so much fun singing and drinking with locals and tourists- it is an amazing place to be.
For information and location, please visit their official site – U FLEKU
Street Food at Prague Castle
There are several spots around Prague that you can find wonderful street food such as this! I have seen set ups like this in many touristy areas but this one was at Prague Castle. We had just finished walking the castle grounds and saw the set up, actually we smelled it first. The aromas were as incredible as the visuals.
There was so much delicious food from sausages, meats, potatoes to tasty vegetables that my head was buzzing. I settled on a Klobasa, sausage Kielbasa, with a side of pickled onions and cabbage, basically kraut. My goodness, it was great!
Apple Strudel- It all started here
I have tried Apple Strudel in the United States but it is very different in this part of the world. This very Apple Strudel in Prague started my obsession of eating it throughout Germany. I was doing a month of traveling in Germany after Czech, so I ended up eating a lot of “ApfelStrudel”.
How could you not love this apple strudel that is sprinkled with powdered sugar, drizzled in caramel sauce and a side of ice cream? There are many places in Czech that sell apple strudel especially in the tourist area. I am sure I had this dessert in one of the restaurants in Old Town Square.
Pork ribs with Red Onions
As I mentioned, pork is served a lot in Czech Republic and they do it very well. These pork ribs were pretty intense and had a very bold natural flavor to them. The condiments of red onion, mustard and horseradish added to the strong flavors- I enjoyed it very much. I had these ribs at Café Louvre in Prague a few years ago and have not seen it on their current menu. I would still go to the restaurant because their other dishes are terrific.
One of the best restaurants we tried was Café Louvre which is less than a 10 minute walk from Old Town. It is also a few minute walk from U’Fleku, so you can do both in one trip.Very good ribs and excellent goulash!
Cheesecake at Pilsner Urquell Brewery
Cheesecakes in other countries always taste different from the American version. I am not saying which is better, it is just different due to the cheeses other countries use. I will still eat and enjoy it- I like cake!
This lovely cherry cheesecake I ate at the restaurant located inside the Pilsner Urquell Brewery in Plzen. Although this version was not as sweet as the American style and the consistency was denser, this cheesecake was still very good.
For restaurant and brewery information, please visit the official website – Pilsner Urquell Brewery
Unfiltered Beer at Pilsner Urquell Brewery
I am not ashamed to say that I am not a fan of beer but I do appreciate it. Over this past decade, I have been to a few breweries and understand how important it played in societies. I will try a beer every now and then in the right circumstances. Like this time when I was offered an unfiltered beer straight from the keg at Pilsner Urquell. I drank about half of it and gave it to someone else…
The brewery tour is quite fascinating though and I enjoyed it. There is a nice restaurant on property, so you can catch a bite before or after your tour.
For restaurant and brewery information, please visit the official website – Pilsner Urquell Brewery
Fried Cheese at Restaurace U Salzmannů
This dish of battered and deep fried cheese slices is a common meal through out Eastern Europe. I have tried it in both Romania and Hungary as well. Eating deep fried cheese dates back to the Communist time of Eastern Europe. Battering and deep frying cheese was an inexpensive way to feed families so it became a common dish and quite nostalgic.
U Salzamannu restaurant is worth the visit for a bite to eat and a drink. It is the oldest in Plzen and also has a guesthouse above the restaurant.
For restaurant information please see their official website – Restaurace U Salzmannu
Americano, Donut and Conversation
Tucked away in Sternberg Palace inside Prague’s Castle is Café NG Sternberk. I found it while being my typical culture vulture self and checking out the incredible art collection inside Sternberg Palace aka The National Gallery. The café is located through the main enterance in the courtyard by the restrooms. It is was like finding a secret hidden gem!
The owner Lucie is a sweetheart. We spoke for a good amount of time talking about Prague, her journey that lead her to opening up Café NG Sternberk and whatever came to our minds. All while I was partaking in a jelly donut and sipping an Americano. It was a great couple of hours getting to know locals over bites to eat.
Chinese Food at Čínská restaurace Shang Hai
Just like the Vietnamese food in Prague, I was curious about the Chinese food. I always wonder how other countries interpret another cultures cuisine. Over the years, I have found that Asian/ Indian food is the best to check out from country to country.
I came across Shang Hai Restaurant, in a neighborhood behind Wenceslas Square while in Prague. It was a hole-in-the-wall type restaurant and I know that those are the best! The restaurant was mixed with locals and a group of Chinese tourist, it was perfect. I ordered the Red Chili Beef because it was unfamiliar, as I have never tried it back in the States. I was warned that it was very spicy, it was spicy but so very good.
*Que Depeche Mode ‘Personal Jesus’ song…
These little cheeses are very common throughout Europe and may be served during hotel breakfasts. They are very similar to Laughing Cow cheese triangles but have a variety of flavors and consistencies. I loved trying them throughout Europe and spreading them on my bread.
This generous plate of cheeses was given to us during breakfast in Plzen and it is possible that we ate them all- Fat Americans!
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