What do you know about traditional Czech food? If you're not from this central European country, it's possible you don't know very much about Czech cuisine at all. Lucky for you, Prague is the perfect place to discover more about traditional Czech cuisine — not to mention Czech beer.
Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Prague, and you can head out to the many Czech restaurants the city has to offer on a Prague food tour. Whether you're looking to try traditional Czech dishes in a fancy restaurant or you're more interested in the best street food in Prague, you're sure to find something to eat in Prague that will make your trip memorable. And although Czech cuisine makes extensive use of meat, don't worry. It's not hard to find a Czech restaurant in Prague that will cater to vegetarians, so check out some of the best vegetarian restaurants in Prague while you're at it.
Visiting Prague is a great excuse to try traditional dishes of this underrated national cuisine. Here are some classic items of Czech food that you should definitely try while you're in Prague.
Roasted Pork with Dumplings and Sauerkraut (Vepřo Knedlo Zelo)
This is probably the most well-known Czech dish and for good reason. Roasted pork, fluffy dumplings, and tangy sauerkraut come together to create a hearty, filling, and flavorful dish. The dumplings are made with flour, eggs, water, and a little bit of baking powder. They're boiled until they float to the surface, then sliced and served alongside the pork and sauerkraut.
If you're looking for traditional Czech food in Prague, this dish is a must-try. And although it might not look like the healthiest meal out there, it's actually not as bad for you as it seems. The sauerkraut is packed with vitamins, and the pork is a good source of protein.
Roast Beef Stew (Svíčková na Smetaně)
This rich, creamy roast beef stew is another Czech classic. The beef is slow-cooked until it's incredibly tender, then served with a dollop of whipped cream and a side of dumplings or bread dumplings. The gravy is made with carrots, celery, onions, and pickled cucumbers, so it has a slightly sweet and sour flavor.
This dish might be too heavy for some people, but it's perfect for a cold winter day. And although the whipped cream might seem like an odd addition, it actually works really well with the gravy.
Deep Fried Cheese (Smažený Sýr)
This is a popular bar snack in Prague, and it's easy to see why. Fried cheese is basically what it sounds like — chunks of cheese that are breaded and fried until they're golden brown and crispy. It's usually served with a side of tartar sauce or ketchup.
If you're looking for something to tide you over until your next meal, fried cheese is a great option. It's greasy, salty, and totally addictive. Just make sure you don't eat too much, or you'll be sorry later.
Trdelník is a type of Czech pastry that's made by wrapping dough around a wooden stick, then baking it over an open fire. The result is a crispy, flaky pastry that's often coated with sugar or cinnamon. Trdelník can be filled with anything from ice cream to fruit to chocolate, so there's something for everyone.
If you have a sweet tooth, trdelník is definitely the Czech food for you. And even if you don't normally like sweets, it's worth trying at least once. Just be careful — it's easy to eat too much of this stuff.
Palačinky are thin crepes that are popular in many central and eastern European countries. In the Czech Republic, they're usually served with fruit or jam, and sometimes they're even rolled up and filled with chocolate or cream.
Palačinky are a great option if you're looking for something light and refreshing. And although they might not be as filling as some of the other Czech dishes on this list, they're definitely worth trying. Get some while you're on the go around town for a quick bit of energy.
Bramborák is a potato pancake that's popular in many central and eastern European countries. It's made with grated potatoes, onions, flour, and eggs, then fried until it's golden brown and crispy. Bramborák is usually served with sour cream or applesauce.
This dish is similar to latkes, which are a type of potato pancake that's popular in Jewish cuisine. If you're looking for something hearty and filling, bramborák is a great option. Just be warned — it's pretty greasy.
Goulash is a type of stew that's also popular in many central and eastern European countries. It's made with beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, and paprika, and it has a rich, hearty flavor. Goulash is usually served with dumplings or bread dumplings to further bulk up the meal.
When you look at the climate of Prague (especially in the winter), you'll understand why their cuisine tends toward hearty stews that are filling and will warm you up. Goulash might seem a little heavy and calorie-rich to some, but at least the beef and vegetables are generally pretty good for you.
Bread Dumplings (Knedlíky)
Knedlíky are bread dumplings popular in the Czech Republic and its surrounding countries. They're made with flour, eggs, milk, and salt then boiled until soft and fluffy. Knedlíky are usually served with gravy or sauce, and they can be either plain or filled with vegetables or even fruit as a dessert.
If you're looking for something filling and satisfying, knedlík is a great option. It's similar to mashed potatoes, but it has a lighter, fluffier texture. And although it might not look like the most exciting dish out there, it's actually pretty tasty.
Pork Knuckle (Vepřové Koleno)
This is a traditional Czech dish that's made with pork knuckle, sauerkraut, and dumplings. The pork knuckle is roasted until it's tender and juicy, then served with a side of sauerkraut and dumplings.
Pork knuckle is a bit of an acquired taste, but it's worth trying if you're looking for something different. It's a pretty rich and hearty dish, so it might not be the best choice if you're trying to watch your waistline. And this one is definitely not for the vegetarians and vegans out there.
Rizek is a type of rice you'll find on the menu of many Prague restaurants. It's made with rice, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract, and it has a thick, creamy texture. Rizek is usually served cold, but it can also be eaten warm.
This dish is similar to kasha, which is a type of buckwheat pudding that's popular in Jewish cuisine. If you're looking for something sweet and comforting, rizek is a great option.
Baked Mincemeat Strudel (Linecký Strůdl)
Another one that's not for meat-free diets is baked mincemeat strudel, which is a type of pastry that's popular in Prague. It's made with a sweet dough that's filled with a mixture of ground beef, pork, onions, and spices. The strudel is then baked until it's golden brown and flaky.
This dish is similar to kugel, which is a type of noodle pudding that's common in Jewish cuisine. In fact, many of the foods on our list take inspiration from traditional Jewish meals. If you're looking for something sweet and savory, this type of strudel is a great option.
Garlic soup (Česnečka)
Garlic soup is made with garlic, potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery, and it has a rich, flavorful broth. Garlic soup is usually served with bread or dumplings to make it more like a meal.
This dish is also referred to as hangover soup to give you an idea of its healing powers. If you've been out enjoying the Prague nightlife a little too much, make sure this one is on your list of foods to try. For the best garlic soup in town, head to U Pravdů, where it is served in a giant bread bowl.
Smoked Meat (Uzené Maso)
Smoked meat is beef, pork, or lamb smoked over a wood fire. Smoked meat is usually served with potatoes and a side of pickles or sauerkraut. But, if you need to add some veggies to your meal, most restaurants have tasty (and healthier) vegetable sides.
This dish is similar to brisket, commonly found in Jewish cuisine as well. Pop into some of the local delis while visiting Prague, and don't miss the opportunity to try some of the famous Prague ham, ideally served alongside some potato salad. This classic traditional Czech food makes the perfect street food to eat in Prague when you're on the go and exploring the city and is an excellent way to experience Czech cuisine in a hurry.
Pickled Cheese (Nakládaný Sýr)
Pickled cheese may not sound super tempting, but hear us out. It's made with a variety of cheeses, including cheddar, Gouda, and Edam. The cheese is then soaked in vinegar or brine, and it can be either soft or hard.
Pickled cheese is a great snack or appetizer. It's salty, tangy, and slightly sweet. And although it might not look like the most appetizing dish out there, it's actually pretty delicious.
Pilsner Beer (Plzeňský Prazdroj)
Pilsner beer is a type of beer made with pale malt and hops, and it has a crisp, refreshing flavor. Pilsner beer is usually served cold, and it's a great choice for a summer day.
If you're looking for something to drink while you're in Prague, be sure to try some of the local beer. The Czech Republic is famous for its brewing tradition, and there are plenty of great options to choose from. Just don't expect to find anything too heavy or filling — most Czech beers are light and easy to drink.
However, if you're a fan of dark beer, you'll find plenty of options for that in the beer halls of Prague. Czech beer is about as traditional as traditional Czech dishes get, and for Czech people, beer is a way of life. Don't miss the opportunity to try delicious Czech beer as you eat your way through Prague.
Kolache is a type of pastry made with a sweet dough that's filled with a variety of fillings, including fruit, cheese, and meat. Kolache is usually served for breakfast or as a snack.
This pastry is similar to a danish. It's sweet, flaky, and delicious. And although the fillings can vary, they're all pretty tasty. Add this to your list for a quick breakfast before you head out sightseeing for the day. They are common in many of the bakeries around Prague.
If you eat meat, you'll find plenty to eat in Prague. And if you don't, you'll find there's no shortage of Prague food that doesn't require meat in the recipe. In fact, Prague is home to some exceptional vegetarian restaurants, including a Michelin-starred option. So if you're in search of delicious food and want to try at least one classic Czech dish while you're visiting, you shouldn't have much trouble whether you're a herbivore or a carnivore.
As you can tell from this list, a traditional Czech menu tends to focus on hearty and substantial meals. That's great if you're visiting during the winter or have a big appetite, but it's not so good for your waistline. That's why you should try some of the best hikes in Prague to burn off some calories so you can eat in Prague guilt-free.
No matter where you go, food is a big part of the culture, which is as true in Prague as everywhere else. Try some of these traditional Czech meals, and you'll be immersing yourself in the history and culture of this fascinating country.