Food in the Czech Republic has been a lot cheaper than other places we’ve visited in Europe, so we’ve been eating out more and trying to experience as many interesting dishes as possible.

On our first nigt in Prague we ate at a restaurant called Lokal, which was recommended by the woman working at the hostel. I ordered fried cheese and mashed potatoes, and Laura got a meat dish with potato dumplings. Unfortunately I can’t remember the Czech names of these dishes, but they were all delicious. We also really liked the atmosphere of Lokal; itwas about what I would have imagined for a restaurant in a former Warsaw Pact country, while also providing good service (the first time we tried to order the waiter told us our selections were too dry together and helped us combine foods that would fit together better). And, while still located in the old town, it was removed from the area where most tourists visited.

Our second day in Prague we ate at the Franz Kafka Cafe. It’s an old, wood-paneled place that has better atmosphere than food. However it was fun and near the sites we had been visiting. I ordered a sandwich and Laura got a traditional Czech dish. (I figured a sandwich would be better in a cafe but in the end Laura’s food was a lot better than my uninspiring meal.)

Later, we walked through the old town’s alleys until we found somewhere to get desert. The funny thing about Prague has been that the principle streets of the old town are clogged with tourists, but the smaller more charming, side streets and alleys are often empty. Several times we stood in an alley watching what looked like a torrent of people go by without veering off the main drag.

That meant that we were able to find a nice, less touristy place for desert. It’s called Mlejnice and its locsted what may have been the narrowest alley we found. I suspect they have good food (we later discovered that it’s actually recommended in Rick Steves’ Prague guidebook), but it was late and we can only eat so many meals in a day, so we just got desert.

The crowning moment of our Czech foods experience, however, didn’t come in Prague at all. Instead, we found a restaurant while we were in Cesky Krumlov that served a meal called the “Old Bohemian Feast.” (Note: the word “bohemia” in the Czech Republic refers to the region/former kingdom of Bohemia, which used to be where the modern nation is today.

“The Old Bohemian” feast included a little bit of everything and we ordered I with two different main courses (one each if us). So, between the two of us, we had rabbit, pheasant, ham, millet casserole, potato dumplings, salad, and several things that I’d never had before.

Calling it the “Old Bohemian Feast” probably means that the meal was really just for tourists, but the whole town was touristy anyway and the food was stil fantstic. We also had a riverside table in the shadow of the castle. (It cost a total of about 400 krona, or somewhere around $20.)

Ultimately, Czech food (while not famous around the world), has been some of mine and Laura’s favorite of the trip. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that we ate out a lot more in Prague and Cesky Krumlov than in other cities. However, Czech cusine seems to be hearty and relatively heavy. It has a lot of potatoes and meats (though we saw a fair number if vegetarian restaurants and dishes). For us, that has been a delcious change and one of the things I know I’ll miss from my few days in the Czech Republic will be the food.


Written by Jim Dalrymple II

Urbanism and travel writer. Also a journalist covering the news.

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