Prague – the lovely capital city of Czech Republic, filled with culture, history, beautiful people and best of all, creative, flavoursome food. I had always assumed that Prague was known for its great-tasting beer, but the local cuisine is equally good. Everything tasted organic and home grown – I kid you not! As a foodie, I am always interested in sampling traditional dishes from different countries and cultures, and since I was visiting Prague, I wanted to taste and learn about Czech cuisine. I partnered with Eating Prague, to help entice you into Czech foodie heaven…
1st stop – Perníčkův sen
The starting point of the food tour was at a Perníčkův sen, where we met our well-trained, friendly food-tour guide, Eva. Perníčkův sen is a traditional Czech gingerbread store owned by two sisters-in-law. The warm, authentic aroma of spices filled the room, and I couldn’t help sneaking a hand into the cookie jar.
We were treated to traditional handmade Czech gingerbread treats, each with its own distinctive, exotic combination of fruit and spices. These included:
Sakrajda (gingerbread) with plum jam. (My favourite).
Koláč (round cookie) with a poppy seed filling – a traditional wedding treat
Vanilkový rohlíček (shortbread with almonds) – a typical Christmas cookie
2nd Stop: Sisters
The classic Chlebicky (open-faced sandwiches). This modern Czech café is an innovative idea brought to life by well-known Czech culinary celebrity, Hana Michopulu. Inviting, colourful, open-faced sandwiches are served on sourdough bread with organic fresh local ingredients, and made for you on the spot. These open-faced sandwiches are very filling. Eva told us that people serve full-sized ones at parties as an appetizer, and a party is not complete without them. Eva introduced me to a whole new world of great-tasting open sandwiches. Beetroot spread with goats’ cheese, boiled egg and sliced ham, and grated celeriac with homemade mayonnaise are just a few of the delicious toppings available. They were all very good and I am excited to try my own take on a grated celeriac sandwich.
3rd Stop Nase Maso
Nase Maso is an authentic butchers’ shop with traditional Czech flair. It’s across from Sisters, with a constant buzz of people. I call it a happy-place butchers’ shop!. Eva told us that this well-known establishment is always busy, with long queues of people outside the shop after working hours, waiting to order. The meat is of a very high standard –20 times better than shop-bought meat – and people are willing to pay for quality. Meat is a staple in most Czech cuisine and you’ll find plenty of carnivorous delights on the menus of traditional Czech restaurants in Prague. It’s normal to have a big piece of meat for lunch, which is by the way, the main meal of the day for Czechs. At Nase Maso, the meat is prepared with the utmost care. You have the option to choose a steak at the store and have it prepared for you on the spot. With beer on tap in the butchery, you can call it a night out too. In the evenings, the butchery becomes a restaurant serving just one table for seven, so it’s advisable to book well in advance!
I tried two types of sausages (Přeštice sausage, made from the Czech Přeštice pig breed, and bacon sausage, which is grilled on the fire and easten off a stick), as well as hot, soked Prague ham, paired with gherkins, bread, and mustard sauce.
4th Stop Restaurant Zvonice
Eva took us to a unique venue – Zvonice – a traditional Czech restaurant in true Ancient Gothic style. It is situated in a tower, with views of Prague’s Maldua River. The old tower bell is situated right inside the restaurant, hovering over one of the tables, a floor down. Zvonice is reputed to serve the best Bohemian soup in Prague. The soup we had was based on sauerkraut and enriched with sausage, potato, chanterelle mushrooms and cream. It was very filling – a meal in itself – so one serving was more than enough.
5th Stop Styl & Interier
This beautiful café is in a hidden courtyard, with a secret garden famous for its weddings. It is probably the nicest café garden in all of Prague, and inside, every designer product you see is for sale, as Styl & Interier is a design store too. I tried their Pork Belly Paté with a glass of cranberry wine. I enjoyed the paté smeared on top of a thick slice of tasty bread. It sure tasted like more…
6th Stop Cafe Louvre
Last stop – Café Louvre (Narodni 22). Here I had the most traditional Czech dish of the day: Bread Dumplings with Braised Beef and Cranberry Compote in a creamy sauce, mixed with unsweetened whipped cream. Eva told us it is a typical Czech Sunday dish. I wish I knew the secret ingredient in those dumplings. As heavy as it sounds, you will ask for more. A lovely ending to our food tour was a dessert we all know – Apple Strudel! It’s everywhere on the menus in Prague and is made to perfection here, with thin pastry, lots of delicious apple bits, and a mountain of whipped cream.
That concluded a fascinating, fun-filled food tour. Not only do you taste the best of Prague cuisine, but you are also introduced to the culture and way of life. (Eva explained to us the significance of the Old and New Town, and the difference between Bohemian food and Moravian foods.)
This tour is highly recommended when visiting Prague! For more information, contact Eating Prague. They’ll be delighted to offer you true Czech hospitality.