Czech Traditional Restaurants
With cheap student pubs being closed and substituted for more profitable hotels and shops, it is becoming hard to locate a genuinely authentic Czech restaurant or pub in the historical centre of the city. Many Czechs do not frequent “authentic” eateries, and prefer the more cosmopolitan food of other countries to boring sauerkraut. Consequently, historic venues with a “traditional” Czech atmosphere have turned touristy—although they are still lots of fun, great value and liked by local people. Expect nice rustic areas, a smoke-filled ambiance, surly waiters and fairly good, affordable cuisine.
For best traditional Czech cuisine head to the following restaurants: Pilsner Restaurant Municipal House; U Sádlů; La Degustation Boheme; CzecHouse; U Maltézských Rytířů, Mlýnec, Malostranská beseda, Čestr, Potrefená husa, V Zátiší.
La Degustation Bohême
You may take pleasure in excellent Czech cuisine at the La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise restaurant, which boast prestigious Michelin star. Team of chefs and pâtissiers prepares three tasting menus consisting of seven courses supplemented with seven amuse-bouches. Come to best traditional meals of Czech culinary art from the end of the 19th century inspired by masterful techniques of the culinary personality Marie B. Svobodova.
Location: Haštalská 753/18, Old Town. Open: Mon-Sat 5pm until midnight. Rated: Expensive (Michelin quality for real gourmets). webiste
U Maltézských Rytířů
This restaurant on the ground floor and in the cellar of a charming house provides one of the friendliest and most reasonable home-cooked Czech meals in central Prague. The atmosphere makes you feel as if you’ve been invited into the family’s home for a cozy candlelit dinner.
Location: Prokopská 10, Lesser Town. Open: Mon-Sun 1pm-11pm. Rated: Moderate. website
Part of the successful Ambiente chain of “inventive” restaurants, Lokál has championed the “Slow Food” movement here in the Czech Republic, turning out quality, reasonably priced Czech plates – think livers, fried cheese, svíčková – in a trendy space, with free-flowing Pilsner and a lively, upbeat pub atmosphere.
Address: Dlouhá 33, Prague 1-Old Town. Open: daily 11am until 1am. Rated: Moderate. website
The restaurant has a middle-age decor, with suits of armour and weaponry on the wall. The kitchen produces outstanding tenderloin, hearty soups and other burly fare, but with a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’. The food is really excellent and the portions are big.
Location: Klimentská 2, New Town. Open: daily 11am-1am. Price range: Cheap to Moderate. website
In a small, unpretentious house on Lesser Town, off the beaten tourist path, but just a stone throw from Lesser Town Square, almost overshadowed by the beautiful Schonborn Palace (today the home of US Embassy) you can find this little oasis called “David Restaurant”. This stylish restaurant with family atmosphere serving traditional Bohemian dishes.
Location: Tržiště 21/611, Mala Strana. Open: daily 11am until midnight. Rated: Moderate. website
The U Šumavy Restaurant
This eatery represents a great selection for people who wish to sample affordable Bohemian cuisine in the centre of Prague. Set in a country cottage style building, eager locals rush in for the lunch dishes that bear a striking resemblance to their grandma’s cooking. The roasted duck is tasty, along with other chicken, beef and pork specialities.
Address: Štěpánská Three. Main courses from 120CZK to 200CZK. Opening Times: Mondays to Fridays from 10:00 to 23:00, and Saturdays/Sundays from 11:00 to 23:00. website
This is a very popular spot and is a short walk from Wenceslas Square. It serves the usual Czech dishes, sometimes with great aplomb. Ribs hee stand out, as well as the duck. At times, the kitchen falls well short of expectations. But with a boisterous group, low prices and Pilsner Urquell straight from the tank, the misses don’t matter so much. (Tip: be careful about “extra” tourist charges.)
Location: Politických vězňů 13, New Town. Open: Mon-Sat 11am until midnight; Sun 11am-11 pm. Rated: Inexpensive. website
This is not far from the Dejvická metro station but worlds apart from most pubs when it comes to food service. There are some creative items on the menu, including an appetiser spread of pork cracklings (with decent bread) and goose liver rolled in almonds, cooked in red wine. It is better, indeed, than many three-star restaurants. Czech owned and operated by the Budvar brewery. Oh, and with Bud on tap, naturally.
Location: Wuchterlova 22, Dejvice. Open: daily 11am until midnight. Rated: Inexpensive.
Tipping: When visiting a restaurant, the standard tip amount is 10%, providing the service and food quality were both good. If you feel that you didn’t have a good meal though, don’t be afraid of not leaving a tip at all.
The Hilton Prague´s flagship restaurant features Czech specialities as well contemporary European cuisine. This is a vast room inside the Hilton dedicated to Chef Roman Paulus’ creations. He concentrates on upscale, modern versions of classics but throws in a few twists such as an over-the-top USDA prime beef tartare with caviar. Other than the less-than-stellar view of a parking lot and office building, there’s nothing disappointing about this place.
Location: Pobřežní 1, Karlín (inside the Hilton Hotel). Open: daily 6pm-11pm and for lunch Mon-Fri noon until 3 pm. Rated: Expensive. website
This is a cheap, friendly and modern restaurant. Think farm tools (transformed into fixtures and decoration), Ferdinand beer on tap and what amounts to outstanding interpretations of Czech pub food. Plebeian fried bread is topped with grated blue cheese. Try the delicious goulash and sample ‘Seven Bullets’ beer brewed on the premises, named after the seven bullets that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The goulash is dense, with tender meat and almost intricate layers of flavour. This is the best unrefined Czech food located just in the core of the tourist zone.
Location: Opletalova 24, New Town (just off Wenceslas Square). Open: Mon-Fri 9am-11pm; Sat-Sun 11am-11 pm. Rated: Inexpensive. website
Slightly uphill from Jiřího z Poděbrad, U Palečka is a neighbourhood wine cellar with decent Czech fare. The kitchen stretches traditional recipes with caramelised vegetables and fresh paprika, building dense flavours into dishes often left to fend for themselves. You will find a nice vibe, with outdoor seating under old trees and a real sense of Vinohrady.
Location: Nitranská 22, Vinohrady. Open: daily 11am until midnight. Rated: Moderate. website
Service here can be atrociously slow or moderately quick. The room is curious, with bizarre artwork and a poor masquerade of the faux-finish technique. Tables and chairs? Very uncomfortable, but it’s quite difficult to find a more reasonably priced example of Czech cooking anywhere so close to the city centre.
Location: Provaznická 3, Old Town. Open: daily 11am until midnight. Rated: Moderate. website
U zavěšenýho kafe
A cramped front room opens into several large spaces out the back, generally full of rambunctious groups. You will find typical food (read: filling) and daily Czech specials such as potato soup. The location is uphill from Prague Castle, downhill from the Petřín Hill trails – along with the colourful and eclectic décor, these may be the biggest attractions.
Location: Úvoz 6, Hradčany. Open: daily 11am until midnight. Rated: Moderate. website
Tourists rarely, if ever, venture into this no-frills restaurant. So it is mostly a crowd of locals and a few in-the-know expats filling themselves absent-mindedly on hearty Czech meals. Food is straightforward and well-made and anything but visionary. The room is rustic and purposeful. It is pure Czech.
Location: Korunní 39, Vinohrady. Open: Mon-Tues 10am-11pm; Wed-Fri 10.30am until midnight; Sat-Sun 11am-11pm. Rated: Inexpensive.
For a breathtaking view of Charles Bridge and yummy sepcials visit Hergetova Cihelna.
Other Czech Restaurants
Address: Masná 17, Prague 1; Website: www.amosrestaurant.cz
Address: Tržiště 23, Prague 1; Website: www.baracnickarychta.cz
Address: Na Zlíchově, Prague 5; Website: www.folkloregarden.cz
Address: V Kolkovně 8; Website: www.kolkovna-restaurant.cz
Kozí 1, Prague 1; Website: www.kozicka.cz
Vítězná 7, Prague 1; Website: www.kolkovna-group.cz
Vinohradská 104, Prague 2; Website: www.potrefene-husy.cz
Restaurace Pravěk IV
Na Bělidle 40, Prague 5; Website: www.pravek.cz
Pštrossova 21, Prague 1; Website: www.solidninejistota.cz
Hálkova 6, Prague 1; Website: www.restauraceuhavrana.cz
Škroupovo nám. 5, Prague 3; Website: www.usadu.cz
Michalská 13, Prague 1; Website: www.vysmatyzajic.cz
Zlatý Strom Restaurant
Karlova 6, Prague 1; Website: www.zlatystrom.cz
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