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The Exploding Pants Czech Food And Drink Guide

Everything you want to know about Czech Food but were afraid to ask!

Maybe you’re planning to travel to the rather wonderful Czech Republic? Maybe you’re just a glutton who is hungry to learn about food as well as being hungry to eat some? Maybe you got lost on the internet because you searched “exploding pants” ( I’m not judging you ) but whatever the reason I think you’ll enjoy this comprehensive ( possibly amazing ) and informative guide to Czech food and drink guide!

I’ll be covering just about everything you could want to know about this delicious cuisine. Look out for an upcoming post where I’ll be recommending 15 traditional Czech foods you really need to try.!

Czech Food

“Dobrou chuť”

– Said before eating in The Czech Republic meaning “good taste.”

Before I visited The Czech Republic I had no idea what the food here was like. It’s worth starting this pants exploding Czech Food and Drink guide by stating that without doubt Czech Food is absolutely delishious and the beer is some of the best in the world.

Czech food is hearty, filling, and comforting. This is cold weather food. This is food that wants to lay down a layer of fat to keep you cozy through the dark march of winter. Czech foods wants to hug you, and it will. It will also notch your clothing sizes up a few digits. But it’s worth the calories because Czech foods are delicious.

It is meat and carb heavy and comes in massive portions. You might need some climbing gear…. Some of it’s fried. Sometimes it’s cooked in lard, sometimes both. I heard that yearly, vegetarians are rounded up and whipped through the streets with rashers of streaky bacon… alright not quite that bad but don’t expect a lot of vegetables and salads. This is winter is coming food minus the ice zombies.

Czech Food And Drink Guide
oooooh saucy

Is Czech food healthy?

Not really. As previously mentioned it’s mostly big chunks of meat on a plate alongside a big portion of carbs and vegetables about as common as unicorns. In fact, The Czech Republic has been ranked no.1 as the world’s most unhealthy country according to a World health organisation report.

The Czech Republic is the most unhealthy country in the world, according to a new study.

Researchers analysed World Health Organisation data on alcohol consumption, tobacco consumption and the prevalence of obesity in 179 countries.

– The Standard Newspaper

There are other factors such as the large amount of alcohol consumed ( beer is big in Czechia ) and the high percentage of smokers but still the food does play a big factor. That said, Czech foods are absolutely delicious. You’re on holiday. This isn’t the time for dieting! You didn’t want to live forever, right?!

Is eating in Prague cheap?

Eating in Prague and the rest of the Czech Republic is very reasonable. It’s not Asia or South America cheap but compared to Western Europe, The UK, and North America then it’s extremely good value for money. Expect to pay around £8 ( $11 ) for a main meal and a bit less for breakfast. Beer is very cheap ( more on that later ) and widely consumed.

What to order? Hmmmm…. ALL OF IT \0/

portion sizes

I was continually surprised at the size of the servings in The Czech Republic. The food portions are HUGE. Some of the starters could pass for mains. Occasionally I wasn’t sure if to eat the food or climb it. One time I lost 2 Sherpas on an assent of a gigantic slab of meat. It never failed to surprise me how big the portions are.

Dumplings

Much of the time your carb of choice will be Czech Dumplings. In czech called Knedlíky. This is an integral part of the Czech food experience. The most common type are bread dumplings ( houskové knedlíky ) are steamed yeast dough. These have a pillowy soft texture and chew and are perfect for mopping up the rich sauces. There are also potato dumplings ( Chlupaté knedlíky ) and sweet dessert dumplings ( ovocné knedlíky ) stuffed with fruit! Dumplings are an important part of Czech cusine. Many a Czech relationship has begun with the words, “hello baby, I love your dumplings.” ( probably )

OK. Czech food is delicious but what else is there?

The Vietnamese food in The Czech Republic is outstanding and authentic. Did you know the Czech Republic has one of the biggest Vietnamese populations in the world outside of Vietnam?

 the Czech Statistics Office estimating that there were 62,842 Vietnamese residing in the Czech Republic in December 2020.[Nguyen, the most common Vietnamese surname, is now the 9th most common surname in the entire country.

– Wikipedia

There’s a large “Vietnamese town” called Sapa on the outskirts of Prague that is well worth a visit. Stepping foot here is like taking a step into Vietnam. You’ll find businesses, shops, and many restaurants. Great Vietnamese food can be found anywhere though!

Farmers Markets

These are really popular and mostly take place on the weekends although you’ll find some during the week. The most well known is one held down by the river on a Saturday morning/afternoon. This one was high on my list to visit. I put a lot of yummy things in my face. It’s called naplavka market.

What to drink in The Czech Republic

“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.”

– Dave Barry

The Czech Republic, is of course, famously and rightly known as a beer drinking nation. It’s both cheap and delicious but it’s not the only choice! In this section I’ll be mainly be exploring the famous Czech beer but also some other drinks that are well worth trying on your visit.

Czech Beer

Beer is an important part of Czech culture. and take their beer very seriously. The price of beer has even been a campaign issue during elections! The Czech Republic is by far the largest beer drinking nation in the world by a massive 78 percent according to The Czech Beer Alliance

The average Czech drank 191.1 liters of beer in 2018, nearly double the amount of the next highest nation, Austria at 107.6 liters per capita.

Across Europe, beer consumption was up by 1.2% in 2018 compared to the previous year.

– The Czech Beer Alliance

This consumption works out to 468 beers per person per year… That. Is a lot of beer.

Czech beer is extremely good and very cheap too. It’s typically served cold in a glass with a thick creamy head of foam. The amount of foam depends but more on that further into the article. It typically comes in either light or dark brews with the lighter brew being the most commonly drunk. The thick creamy head is to keep the air from the beer and thus it stays fresh and tasty.

Czech Food And Drink Guide
Pivo ( beer in Czech )

The most popular beer in Czech Republic

By far the most popular beer in the Czech is Pilsner Urquell which you’ll find served pretty much everywhere. It is by far and away the most popular beer served in The Czech Republic.

Pilsner Urquell is the world’s first golden pilsner, the source of inspiration for all pilsner beers since 1842. It inspired a worldwide brewing revolution – over 70% of all beer drunk today is in the pilsner style. The beer is still crafted with complete integrity.

– Pilsner Brewery

The golden pilsner style was invented and first brewed in 1842 in the town of Pilzen where it is still made to the exact same recipe and with the same methods today. Pilzen is a simple day trip from Prague. You can visit the brewery and take a tour.. I’ve not personally been on this tour but heard good things about it.

Three ways to enjoy Czech beer.

Probably unknown to many tourists are the three ways you can order beer in the Czech Republic.

Hladinka

This is the standard pull of beer. You don’t have to specifically ask for this. If you order a beer in The Czech Republic this is what you’ll get unless you specifically ask for one of the other styles. This is beer with at least an inch of thick creamy foam on top.

A beer a day keeps the doctors away…. or is that apples?

Šnyt

This is a small amount of beer with a large amount of foam on top. Šnyt is 2 parts beer and 3 parts foam. This is a beer for when you have either a big meal or you simply don’t want to drink a lot of beer.

Czech Food And Drink Guide
OK, just a quick one.

Mlíko

This Czech beer pour is all foam. Mlíko translates to milk. It still tastes of beer but much sweeter and light. A good beer to have with a dessert or simply just to experience it!

Czech Food And Drink Guide
If you’re putting this kind of milk on your breakfast cereal then you probably have a drink problem… maybe.

How cheap is a beer in the czech republic?

As already mentioned the beer is very cheap in The Czech Republic. How cheap is the beer?! In fact often a beer is cheaper than water in the Czech Republic. The average price of a in a pub or restaurant ( at the time of writing ) is 45 czk which equals £1-58 or $2.18! The Czech Republic is a paradise for beer lovers or if you’re a raging alcoholic.

Becherovka

This is a traditional alcoholic Czech drink. Becherovka is a herbal liquer either drank as a shot or mixed as part of a cocktail. It’s made in a town not too far from Prague called Karlovy Vary. You can even vist the Becherovka musem there! I personally didn’t enjoy it much but it’s an interesting experience. You should definitly try it at least once! And hey, you might really enjoy it!

Burcak

This is a seasonal Czech drink. You’ll only find it in September/October. Burcak is sometimes called young wine. It’s the very first fermentation stage as the grape juice begins to ferment. The taste is fruity and sweet. It’s almost like a very light wine cider. I absolutely loved the stuff and brought it wherever possible. It’s very low in alcoholic content and easy drinking. If you are in The Czech Republic at the right time this is a must try.

Kofola

Kofola is a carbonated soft drink invented in the former Czechoslovakia during the soviet era when Coke and Pepsi were scarce luxury items. Today it’s wildly popular and served on tap ( which tastes the best ) in many pubs and restaurants. Although invented to rival Coke and Pepsi it’s not actually a clone of those drinks. It has its own taste which is slightly herbal with a lemony citrus twang and a hint of cola flavour. I really enjoyed it. I generally don’t enjoy carbonated soft drinks because they are too sweet for me but this I enjoyed. If it was available here in the UK then I would be tempted to drink it.

Czech coffee

The Czech Republic has a surprisingly excellent coffee culture! There’s plenty of wonderful cafes and coffee shops of all kinds. The coffee was wonderful. I was surprised at how good the coffee is almost everywhere. If you are into coffee then you’ll be spoilt for choice at the selection of artisan coffee joints. It’s not all great beer in the Czech Republic but also fantastic coffee too!

Czech Food And Drink Guide
My favourite drink!

Czech food and drink guide – what else do I need to know?!

The last part of the guide will talk about some important stuff you might need to know that dosen’t fit into the food or drink section. I cover such things as tipping in the Czech Republic and what things you might need to be aware of or look out for.

Tipping in Czech Republic?

It’s always tricky when you’re in another country to know how much to tip or even should you? So should you tip in the Czech Republic? Yes you should! Don’t be stingy! It’s easy to work out. Just round up the bill to the next hundred Koruna or if that seems to little or maybe you’re in a fancy place then tip around 10 percent of the bill.

Czech Republic food scams and what to avoid

Beware the ham! IF you’re not careful you might get caught out by this HAMbush…

Around Prague’s Old Town Square you will see places selling ham. You should probably avoid them. Not only are they expensive in the first place but they will try to scam you. The prices are listed per 100g. If you don’t specify how much ham you want they will slice you off an absolutely enormous chunk of meat. You’ll end up paying a fortune for it. Be wary of the Old Town Ham Scam!

Beware the tourist traps. In any big city around the world. You’ll get charged much more if you’re sitting in a prime tourist spot and the same is true in the Czech Republic. For example most of Old Town Square’s restaurants and cafes should be avoided. Just walk away a little and you’ll find some gems. However, there is one on the corner that serves amazing food at reasonable prices! In fact, it was my favourite restaurant in Prague. It’s called Mincovna and I highly recommend it.

Many a Czech food and drink guide will list the Trdelník as a traditional Czech Food. However, it’s not Czech. ( Although not everybody agrees ) this sweet pastry probably comes from Hungry. It’s not that they don’t taste good but you should be aware that you are not trying something Czech. So in the words of Ice-T “ya gotta CZECH yoself before you wreck yourself” I think we can all agree with that. He does also say in the song that “shotgun bullets are bad for your health.” this man is a font of wisdom!

Czech Food And Drink Guide
Not traditionally Czech food but who doesn’t want cake on a stick?!

Last but not least: Will my pants explode?!

Yes, they might. It’s possible because you ate too much delicious Czech food but worth the risk!

And so our gastronomic trip comes to an end…

And here we here we are, stuffed full of information, at the end of our journey. We shared some smiles and learned some things. I certainly hope you enjoyed reading this and found it useful. If you’re interested in The Czech Republic or planning a trip there you might be interested in my last post: Travelling to Prague

Initially this was going to feature 15 delicous traditional Czech foods you should try but I soon realised this was already long and it would make much more sense for them to exist as two separate articles. So if you are planning a trip or just interested in Czech food, please look out for this one soon.

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Until next time. Stay smiling. Stay hungry. Stay safe. Happy travels and good eating!

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18 Comments

  1. Even though the Czech Republic is one thr most unhealthy countries in the world 🌎, the Food Explora in me will love to indulge and explore the food culture. Thanks for sharing a very interesting read.

    • It’s well worth it. The food was so good. Pure comfort. Unhealthy as all hell but then most of the things that are super delicious tend to be, right?! 😀 Thanks very much for your time and comment. I’m happy to know you enjoyed this and found it interesting.

  2. I remember having good food in Prague. Great post. Dumplings are amazing!

    • Yes the dumplings are great for mopping up the sauces. So good. The food in The Czech Republic is amazing. I actually made some last week along with a Czech dish. I’m glad to know you have been and enjoyed the food too. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Jamie. Appreciate it 🙂

  3. we love exploring the food when on our travels. The Czech Republic is on our list and there’s some yummy things here to try, thank you.

    • Thank you, Lynne for taking the time to read and comment. I hope it’s given you an appetite for the things you can feast on while there. There is so much good food and drink to be had and at very reasonable prices. The whole place is magical. It certainly deserves to be on the list. I hope you can make it there one day 🙂

  4. Bea Bea

    Loved this article, especially the image I now have of vegetarians being whipped through the streets with rashers of bacon!! Not because I have anything against vegetarians or because I feel they should be whipped, just because it made me laugh out loud!

    When we were in Ukraine we made the mistake of ordering starters and main. Turns out the starters were more like sharing platters! Sounds like maybe the same here?

    Great blog post!

    • Thank you, Bea for your lovely comment. I’m so glad that it made you laugh!

      I guess many of the central/eastern European countries have huge portions to battle the cold weather they often have.

      Thank you for reading and commenting and your support. Appreciate it 🙂

  5. Another great post. Again, I really appreciate the humor you put in your writing. I can’t believe that people drink beer with as much foam as that third variety (mliko)! Those pours would not go over well at college parties in the USA.

    • Thank you, Paul! I really appreciate your time and comment. It’s encouraging to get the feedback. Occasionally I wonder if I should tone down the humour but people seem to enjoy it so I’ll carry on with it!

      It’s the same here in the UK. If you served that you would get asked, “where is the rest of it?” or cause a riot. Either is possible! The milko is great fun to try. It’s probably not something I would drink all that much if I lived there but great to experience it.

  6. I learned a lot reading this, I had no idea there was such a range of food and also the health issues encountered in the country. Thanks for the education!

    • You’re welcome, Molly! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I’m thrilled.to hear you liked the article and learned something along the way 🙂

  7. RJ RJ

    Another great read! Love the fun facts like the mention of Sapa. I didn’t know that! Laughed out loud when reading about the Mliko and the old town ham scam.

    • Glad you enjoyed this and it made you laugh too! Mission accomplished! Glad to share some smiles. We can always use them right?! Thanks for your support and taking the time to leave a comment. A lot of work goes into posts, as you well know from your own fine blog, so it is always great to get feedback! Thank you 🙂

  8. Natacha Natacha

    Martin, this was very interesting to read. I didn’t know anything about, luckily I had a sneek peek on IG. Never tasted the Czech beer, but I disagree… Belgian beer stays the best! 🙂 I also loved the phrase where you lost 2 sherpas! Lovely! You are so colorful in writing! Vietnam in the Czech Republic, never heard of it. And if the neigbourhood is called Sapa, I would instantly take the plane! The piece about the 3 ways to serve beer, amazing! I wouldn’t go for the one with the most foam, but would laugh when my hubby would drink it… he has a moustache…
    A very nice image of the food there. Love your stories! Continue to write, it’s always a little trip in my mind to read!

    • Thank you for such a lovely comment! I love long and detailed comments. Also thank you very much for your kind words and compliment. It’s very encouraging to keep writing.

      Hopefully one day you can both make it there and see hubby with the beer foam moustache haha

      Thanks again 🙂

  9. Great read, Martin! It doesn’t surprise me to hear about the health statistics – lots of my favourite dishes there are mouth-wateringly unhealthy!

    So many little things made me smile as I read through. I spotted pork knuckle on the photo of the menu – this was probably my absolute favourite dish when I visited Prague! I’ve also *never* seen a pint with a head as huge as the Mliko!

    Finally, thanks for calling out the ham scam. I was pretty appalled at the Christmas Markets in Prague by the “per 100g” prices – some people were getting charged 7 EU for a bowl of no more than 5 garlic mushrooms. Grim, especially when there are so many great places to eat in the city.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi, Matt! Thanks for reading and leaving a great comment. I am really glad you enjoyed this post! I appreciate your detailed comment 🙂

      The pork knuckle is great right! I really enjoyed the crispy cracking that was on it. I couldn’t finish and only at half but it was really tasty! Definitely a must have Czech experience!

      Its a shame about the ham scam in old town square. As yiu said, there’s so many great olaces to eat at. Im sure manu tourists get caught out by the scam.

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