If you’ve read my previous articles you will be in no doubt that The Czech Republic is a land of deliciousness. There were so many things that I loved eating in Prague and beyond. I want to share my top 12 must try Czech dishes.
Read: Travelling to Prague
Although I ate yummy across all of The Czech Republic, I have kept my recommendations centred mostly in Prague because this is where most people will spend their time. Where possible I’ll leave links to restaurants or cafes where you can eat these recommendations.
I also tried to keep it ( with the exception of one ) to traditional Czech food. You’ll find all sorts of foods in the Czech Republic from all over the world but this is about Czech food and drink. So without further ado let’s get this list started. Strap on your big boy pants ( or skirt ) and chuck the salad.
1) Beef sirloin in cream sauce ( svíčková na smetaně )
What is Czech Beef cream sauce
The first on my list of must try Czech food is svíčková na smetaně: beef smothered in a rich creamy vegetable sauce served with Knedlíky ( Czech dumplings ) carby sponges just perfect for mopping up all that luscious sauce. A sweet and tangy dollop of cranberry sauce sits in the middle like a jewel. The sauce is known as the queen of sauces and for good reason. My face shall be its consort!
Where to eat czech beef in cream sauce
The best version ofsvíčková na smetaně I had was at a restaurant just off Prague Old Town Square called Mincova This is actually my favourite restaurant. I returned here again and again. The svíčková here was so luxurious, rich and sticky and the meat so tender. I recommend trying it here and many other things on the menu!
2) Pork Sniztel ( Řízek )
What is Řízek
Thinly pounded pork is coated 3 times in breadcrumbs before being fried in a a bath of hot oil until it’s golden crispy on the outside. This dish is served with boiled potatoes. The best version I ate of this was served with crushed buttered potatoes with bacon and spring onions ( štouchané brambory )
Where can I eat Řízek
I ate this in a wonderful place way off the tourist trail. A mountain of food at a cheap price and served by friendly staff. U Ceske Chalupy
3) Pork Sausage ( kielbasa )
What is kielbasa
Who doesn’t love sausage! Sausages are another really popular must try Czech food. Rich pork sausages are typically served with a side of mustard and some bread. You can find them served in restaurants but they are also a popular Czech Street food. The typical sausage is a coarse ground juicy pork sausage contained in a snappy skin.
Where to eat Kiebasa
I recommend Naše maso ( our meat ) for this and all things meaty. If you’ve read my previous article you’ll have seen their amazing burger and the steak tartare. There’s little room here so I would avoid it during the busy periods! They are also a butcher so if you’ve the ability you can buy at cook up your own meat feast.
4) Czech Beef Goulash ( Hovězí Guláš )
What is Czech Beef Goulash
Goulash is a thick beef stew flavoured with paprika. It’s popular across many countries and most famously associated with Hungary. It’s also extremely popular in The Czech Republic! The Czech version is generally thicker and topped with raw onion slices. It’s served with Czech dumplings which are just perfect for soaking up all the wonderful rich sauce.
Where can I try Czech beef goulash
I will once again recommend my favourite restaurant, Mincova.
5) Fried Cheese ( Smažený sýr )
What is fried cheese
Well, I think Sherlock Holmes can take a back seat for this one. It’s a block of cheese ( typically edam ) coated in bread crumbs and then deep fried. The cheese is warm and melty inside of its crispy jacket of breadcrumbs. It’s oh so good. It’s it healthy? No. Do I care? No. Often served with potatoes or french fries if it is a main course.
Where can I eat Fried cheese
I don’t have a specific place to try this. It’s so common that you’ll find it on almost every czech restaurant or pub menu. It’s pretty hard to mess up too so anywhere that can coat cheese in breadcrumbs and throw it in hot oil is gonna be fine!
6) Pork Knee ( (vepřové koleno )
pork knee for dinner
Don’t be squeemish here or you will miss out on on of the best food experiences in The Czech Republic! It never makes sense to me when people get squeemish about trying another part of the animal. What difference does it make? Ewwww eating a knee? I’ll just finish my chicken wings…
This is one of the essential absolute must try Czech dishes. Don’t leave before you try this one! This is a colossal chunk of meat the size of a small car cooked slowly in dark beer. It’s a joy. The tender pork comes with a layer of crispy decadent crackling. This was actually my favourite part. Although I didn’t manage to finish the whole thing, I did make sure to devour all of the crispy crackling. I think this goes especially well with a dark beer.
Where to eat pork knee in Prague
Pork’s is a restaurant that gets listed fairly frequently as a place to eat this. I stumbled, quite by chance, on this place. I can confirm this is definitely an amazing place to try roasted pork knee. They have a great menu of traditional Czech food and friendly service. I recommend this place.
7) Potato pancake ( Bramborák )
What are potato pancakes
A thin pancake of shredded potato, flavoured generously with garlic and marjoram, and fried in lard. Can be served as a main course or a starter. A simple thing but one of the most enjoyable things I had. The flavour and texture are a joy to my face. This is probably the biggest surprise of my must try Czech dishes list. It’s so simple but it was such a joy. I absolutely loved these.
Where can I eat Bramborák
I tried this outside of Prague in an awesome family run restaurant in Karlovy Vary. I don’t have a specific recommendation for Prague but it’s a really common food to find most places.
8) Pancakes ( palačinky )
What are palačinky
Simple pancakes made with eggs, flour, and milk. They are exactly the same as the pancakes made in the UK. Often you will see them served with a mountain of cream and fruit. As always the portions are belt busting!
Where can I eat Czech pancakes
I think it would be difficult to get a bad version of this since it’s such a simple dish. For what it’s worth though, I had this at U Ceske Chalupy
9) Duck with red cabbage ( Pečená kachna se zelím )
What is Czech roasted duck
Duck, scented with caraway, is roasted till its skin is crispy and served with the ubiquitous potato pancakes and cabbage.
Where to eat Czech style roasted duck
I tried this outside of Prague. I ate at Restaurace U Adama while visiting the amazing Karlštejn Castle! Friendly and helpful staff and good food.
10) Sweet Czech Pastry ( koláče )
What are koláče
It is a sweet pastry that’s popular at breakfast time but can be eaten at any time of the day! Who needs a good excuse to eat some pastries! Popular toppings are fruits such as plums or cherries.
Where can I eat koláče
You can find them everywhere. I enjoyed them for breakfast, with a coffee, at a farmers market near to where my airbnb was located.
11) Czech sandwich ( chlebíčky )
What are chlebíčky
chlebíčky are open faced sandwich: a slice of bread with spreads or toppings placed in an aesthetically pleasing way! Did you know that the open faced sandwich was actually invented in The Czech Republic?! Apparently Jan Paukert invented chlebíčky to sell in his famous delicatessen.
What’s the best place to eat chlebíčky
Hands down the best place to eat chlebicky is Bistro Sisters. They have elevated this type of sandwich to an art form. Each is a beautiful portrait in bread and they taste as good as they look. They have a wide range all placed behind a glass. The coffee here is also wonderful. There’s a dessert shop too so… you know what to do 😉
12) Beer ice cream
beer ice cream?!
Last but by no means least on my must try Czech dishes list is BEER ICE CREAM! The Czech Republic is famous for beer so why not have it in an ice cream? I saved this till last because I doubt this is typical or traditional Czech food! However, it is damn delicious! As soon as I saw it on the menu I knew it was destined to be in my face. It’s amazing. The ice cream is malty and… well… beer flavoured which works much much better than you could imagine it would.
Where can I try beer ice cream
I want to try beer ice cream! Oh wise Mr Travels Belly, I hear you ask me, where can I try beer ice cream? It’s located at Porks… Your mouth will thank me.
Hopefully you are now ready for trip to the Czech Republic! Bookmark this for a future trip and please share on social media. Have you tried Czech food or been to the Czech Republic before? Wipe the drool from your keyboard and please let me know! I always love to hear from you in the comments.
I found an amazing treasure trove of authentic Czech recipes. I’ve already cooked Beef sirloin in cream sauce ( svíčková na smetaně ) and will be cooking many more Czech Dishes. Please have a look at her site if you are curious about trying any of these dishes: Cook like Czechs
Stay safe, stay hungry, and stay away from my cakes.