Some of the best Czech Republic restaurants can be found in the beautiful capital city of Prague, but those in the most popular tourist areas like Old Town Prague often charge a cover in addition to the price of the meal. The great people watching and excellent views of landmarks like the Charles Bridge that come with this additional fee are usually well worth it. Czech Republic restaurants can be very crowded between lunch and dinner so consider a reservation or stick to more casual dining options. Many hotels can take care of arrangements for advance reservations and offer excellent recommendations for restaurants catering to the tourist crowd and locals alike.
Dining in the Czech Republic at hotels and resorts will often be elaborate three-course presentations of more traditional fare, while food prepared in smaller family restaurants tends to be simpler folk cuisine. If you’re stopping in at one of the many breweries or pubs throughout the country, beer snacks such as pickled sausage, pickled fish, cheese and bread are often the only foods served, but pair well with a cold beer (the national drink). When exploring the many wineries and wine bars of the Moravia region, be sure to pair a generous pour with a local specialty dish or try the smoked meats. If you don’t have time for a sit-down meal but want a quick bite in between touring museums and castles, you’ll have plenty of options from street vendors serving delicious hot dogs and franks on hearty baguettes.
Traditional Czech cuisine is filling and fattening comfort food, designed for a culture used to hard work and cold winters. Common dishes include heavy meats such as beef, pork, duck, goose, or wild game, accompanied with rich dumplings called knedliky, and a Pilsner to wash it all down. Lunch is generally eaten as the largest meal of the day and usually consists of a cup of hot soup or goulash, a starch, and protein-rich main course, followed by dessert with coffee. Food in the Czech Republic often features potatoes, cabbage and sauerkraut, legumes, and lots of garlic. Dining in the Czech Republic at restaurants in the countryside, you’ll find a much wider selection of fresh vegetable dishes, but urban areas follow the more common meat-and-potatoes regimen. Carp is the traditional food in the Czech Republic served for Christmas dinner and fish soup is popular around the holiday season.
If you’re hungry for more familiar food in the Czech Republic, order a side of “American Potatoes” with tartar sauce, or stick to Wenceslas Square in Prague for plenty of western-style restaurants. French, Slav, and other international dishes can be found throughout Prague in more formal restaurants and dining areas like those along the scenic Danube River. Remember when dining in the Czech Republic that not all restaurants accept credit cards so check before ordering if you don’t have cash. In most Czech Republic Restaurants, a 10 to 15 percent tip is not mandatory, but suggested if you are satisfied with your service. Expect to pay much less for an excellent meal at a restaurant here than many other European cities.