Dobry den! or Hello!
When researching what to eat in Prague, there is no shortage of results listing Czech foods like goulash (stew), svíčková (braised beef in creamy vegetable sauce), chlebíček (open-faced sandwiches), and other fun items like smažený sýr which is fried cheese served with tartar sauce!
Fun fact: Although goulash actually originated in medieval Hungary, Czechs have put their own spin on it by serving with bread dumplings or knedliky to soak up all of the yummy flavors.
Many Czech dishes are hearty and can keep your stomach full for hours so I wanted to find a few alternatives which are still enjoyed by locals. Keep reading to find out my favorite place for goulash and other notable discoveries!
Cost: 35-169 CZK ($1.70-8.00 USD)
Specialty: Traditional Czech cuisine
Pork knuckle goulash – tender shank meat surrounded in a pool of savory stew made of pork broth, garlic, paprika, caraway seeds, onions
Bread dumplings (side order) – boiled loaf of white bread resembling soft pillows served in slices to dip into any saucy meal
Lokal serves a number of hearty Czech dishes to both tourists and locals. The casual Prague restaurant is reminiscent of a large dining hall with waitstaff back and forth taking orders or delivering food.
They have a daily menu consisting of sausage, beef tartare, fried cheese, and a variety of pork and beef items as well as a large drink menu where you will find that the beer costs the same price as some of the side dishes! The entrees that we ordered were delightfully satisfying as the protein was tender and the flavors were well married. Don’t pass on the knedliky (bread dumplings) as you’ll want it to soak up every last drop of the savory sauce.
Service will vary as I had a “normal” visit with bouts of good and bad service. While the two who dined on the left had no chance to order even when we finished our meal. What it lacks in service, it makes up for in warm, comforting food! It turns out that Lokal serves my favorite goulash of all the ones I tried during my trip. The pork was perfectly tender and the bold sauce complimented the meat while being a delicious pool for the soft dumplings.
Cost: 29 CZK per skewer ($1.38 USD)
Specialty: Fusion Tapas
Try all the food!
Homemade Ginger soda – Lightly sweetened with a spicy ginger kick, accompanied by slices of fresh ginger and bubbly carbonated soda
Spejle offers tapas with a twist! The small servings are placed along the bar for customers to select and bring back to their table. You can find a dozen varieties of open-faced sandwiches with assorted toppings, cold appetizers, warm bites, and a few dessert options. Each bite-sized dish will include a skewer (or two) that should be placed in the spherical vessel on each table to collect used skewers. At the end of the meal, the total price is based on the amount of used skewers. Spejle is a good place to sample a lot of food in a casual, modern setting. Get ready for an explosion of flavors and textures!
Note: There are no labels on any of the food. If you are an adventurous eater, this would be the perfect place to visit. If you are a conservative eater, now is your chance to step out of your comfort zone and grab whatever looks good (at least they are all wallet-friendly and in small portions)!
Cost: 115-358 CZK ($5.50-17.00 USD)
Specialty: Modern European
Potatoes in ash – Roasted potatoes (cooked in edible ash) in a pool of creamy kefir soup with scattered pieces of smoked fish. The soup is topped with dried egg yolk shavings and sprinkled with chives and dill.
Bread – Soft bread with a crispy outer crust made and baked in house
Fermented drink – Bubbly fruit juice similar to kombucha made in-house (Order red currant if available)
Eska is not a typical Czech restaurant where you will find classic Czech dishes. Instead, it is a bakery and cafe on the first floor which offers baked goods like their special sourdough bread, pastries, and coffee. The second floor dining room serves grilled veggies, soup, beef tartare, their signature potatoes in ash dish, and plenty more. If you dine-in during lunch, you will receive complimentary house-made bread and churned butter plated on a cold stone. Amazing service and delicious, creative approaches to food.
Fun fact: In 2018, Eska earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand, which is awarded to establishments for “good food at an affordable price” – MY mantra for all things gastronomy!
Before heading to any restaurant (especially those highly rated online), check out whether you can view their daily menu online & make reservations for a hassle-free visit.
Let me know in the comments which of these you’d like to try! If you’ve visited Prague before, what are the places or foods you recommend?