One of the most popular Czech pastries is basically cream in a roll, a bit reminiscent of cannoli. The roll is made of flaky pastry and the cream is a soft meringue cream, dusted with powdered sugar. We go for kremrole to the Kulatak farmers market at the Dejvicka subway stop. How will you find the stand where they sell them? Easy. It’s the stand with the longest line. Fortunately, these rather large versions of the pastry are available only on Saturday mornings.
Czechs love the chlebicek: a slice of baguette-like bread or toast bread with savoury toppings, it is a jack of many trades. For the best version, head over to the Sisters bistro. For a very authentic, old-school version, visit the the Zlaty kirz deli, where hungry locals leave the last bits of any efforts for a healthier lifestyle at the door and devour the chlebiceks full of mayonnaise. No matter where you go, the classic potato-salad-and-ham combo is still the undisputed king of the category.
Buchty, null, are something the heroes of Czech fairy tales pack to go when they were about to embark on a journey. We eat them for breakfast, or as a sweet snack later on during the day. We eat our buns at null, one of our favourite coffee shops in Prague. Buns are fluffy and bursting with the filling (usually plum jam or farmers cheese). They tend to sell them out quickly, so come in the morning! For a nice version in the null: Antoninovo pekarstvi.
When it comes to the traditional Czech kolache - small round yeast dough treats with sweet fillings - head over to the bakery. Sure, the place lacks somewhat in atmosphere and only has one real table, but that does not really matter: you can take the small kolache or the bigger frgale - with plum jam, farmers cheese or poppies or their combinations - to the Karlinske namesti park nearby. Ideally combine with coffee.
Fruit dumplings filled with fruit and served in a deep dish with melted butter, sugar and other sweet condiments. Cafe Savoy serve killer strawberry and apricot dumplings, but our heart belongs to the fruit dumplings at null. The dumplings have seasonal fillings (plum dominates outside of the strawberry, blueberry and apricot seasons) served with a delicious and rich side of melted butter, poppy seeds or farmers cheese, and jam made from the fruit that’s inside the dumplings.
Modern European Restaurant in Prague, Czech Republic
Just like svickova, many people can agree what a goulash is, but every pub has it’s own, specific recipe that can vary wildly. It can be a bit spicy from paprika, or it can be sweater from tomato paste, it can be served with dumplings or with bread and so on. For a good goulash in the centre of Prague, we’d visit the null restaurant in the Old Town Square, which also serves fresh Pilsner, the perfect pairing.
Traditional Czech food is Central European food, and the schnitzel is the perfect example. The perfect accompaniment? The potato salad, a.k.a. the king of all sides. The best version in Prague? The breading has a nutty aroma from the clarified butter, and the salad is a perfectly balanced mix of salty, sweet and acidic. Served with cranberries, too, and the evening menu version includes a pice of fried sweetbreads. These schnitzels can be highly addictive, so please beware!
Eastern European Restaurant in Velke Bilovice, Czech Republic
Vegetable sauce with cream contains carrots, celery and parsley roots, and involves a piece of beef pierced with speck and that it is served with bread dumplings. Your grandma’s the best, and the rest is blasphemy. Finished off with cranberry compote, this dish is a true staple of traditional Czech cuisine. The null steakhouse serves pretty solid version too. Just make sure they have it the day of your visit.
The Czechs love sausages and eat them as fast food, breakfast, and as the perfect solid compliment to beer. For the best Wieners in Prague, we go to the Nase maso butcher shop. More often than we’d actually like, we tend to order the “variace”: one classic, one beef and one Debrecener sausage, all on a paper plate with a bit of mustard and bread, the way these should be eaten.
Czech cuisine is all about soups and sauces. If there is one traditional Czech soup, it must be the Kulajda (“ku-lay-dah”): a creamy potato soup with mushrooms, dill, vinegar and a poached egg on top. A true symphony of flavours that is rich and filling. For a decent version of the same soup, visit the Imperial Cafe on the other side of the river.
Steak tartare is a Czech classic you should not leave Prague without tasting. Raw beef is cut, scraped or minced and served with condiments and an egg on top. It is eaten with toasted bread and a clove of garlic: rub the garlic on the rough surface of the toast, and put a generous portion of the meat on top. The meat taken from dry-aged Czech spotted cows is premixed with onions, fried capers, oil and cream and served with a sous-vide cooked quail egg and bread lightly roasted on butter.
There are not many Czech traditional dishes that would be based around chicken, but duck? Pair that scrumptious, juicy and tender confit with sauerkraut and dumplings, and you’ve got a staple that is an indispensable part of many Czech Sunday lunches. Just like schnitzel, duck can be found on the menu of many restaurants. Combine with fresh Pilsner for a combo that is everything: rich, sweet, tangy, salty and bitter in every bite and gulp.