In recent decades, Prague’s restaurant scene has flourished, consisting of a mix of innovative restaurants, juxtaposed with those that serve traditional dishes with a modern twist. With so much to visit, it’s so easy to get sidetracked by touristy spots in Prague claiming to serve local food. Want to know where to start? Keep reading to find out where to eat like a local in Prague.
Breakfast & Coffee
Serving up breakfast all day long, the Malá Strana’s neighbourhood’s Café Savoy is the perfect Sunday brunch spot. Housed in a restored 19th century cafe, its decor is just as impressive as its fare. With a variety of different combos, like the Continental or the English Breakfast, I went with the classic Savoy Breakfast (pictured), which comes with Prague ham, organic Emmental cheese, a soft boiled egg, toast, house bread, butter, homemade jam, a slice of nut marble cake, and a hot chocolate. I also tried their latte and it was perfect. If you have time, come back for dinner – their entire menu looks delicious.
Tip: After brunch, stay in the Malá Strana neighbourhood and shop local: Head to ARTĚL Design Store for handmade glassware and knick knacks that make great gifts. The Chemistry Design Store, which doubles as a gallery that sells art crafted from Czech artists, is where I bought plenty of souvenirs. Similar to the Parisian counterpart, Shakespeare and Sons Bookstore and Cafe makes for a welcome downtime activity, all while enjoying a cup of coffee. And if you’re hungry for dessert, along with the obligatory Trdelnik, make a stop at Bake Shop near the Franz Kafka museum to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Cafe culture is budding in Prague. With close attention paid to how the coffee is made, which machine is used, and the kind of atmosphere it is enjoyed in, EMA Espresso Bar, Kavárna Místo, and Můj šálek kávy excel in the craft. Along with using Czech roasters, they also make breakfast and sell a variety of sweets.
If you make it to Naše Maso, you’re either a local or you’ve done your research and uncovered Prague’s ultimate foodie gem. Always bustling, navigating this tiny space is part of the fun. Make your way to the line nestled between patrons enjoying their meal in close quarters and order your food at this butcher’s counter while admiring the meat behind the glass display. Then, wait for your number to be called – hopefully, you’ll snag one of their small tables – and enjoy! Known for having the best beef tartare in the city (it rivals those I’ve had in Paris), their special of the day when I visited was roast beef served with mustard, pickles, and bread – I ordered both and savoured each until the very last bite. As I mentioned, they’re primarily a butcher shop so you can take your food to go or home to cook.
Right across from Naše Maso, Sisters Bistro dishes up typical Czech open-faced sandwiches, perfect for a quick lunch on the go. Try their beetroot & goat cheese or Prague ham sandwich topped with potato salad, gherkins, and a slice of hard boiled egg.
Tip: Nearby Lokál, which is also a part of the Ambiente restaurant group along with many eateries on this list, is a traditional brewery pub with a contemporary spin. With a late night menu made up of homemade, quintessential Czech dishes served alongside pints of beer that come straight from their visible tanks, you’ll definitely experience local Prague here.
On my first night in Prague, my partner and I were very hungry, so we opted for Eska’s five-courses tasting menu (at around €25). The catch? The chef chooses each one of your dishes (you can, of course, order your own meal à la carte). I love a good food adventure, so clearly, I obliged. Specializing in terroir cuisine that calls for antiquated cooking techniques, we began our five-course meal with a smoked beef tartare accompanied by their in-house bakery’s grilled bread. This was followed by poultry hearts – which I was apprehensive to try for the first time – in a delicious onion, wine, honey, and thyme sauce. I ended up liking this one a lot! Next was the star of the night (pictured), creamy fermented red wheat topped with mushrooms and an egg. Fourth, was a smoked fish, dried egg yolk, and kefir soup with ash-roasted potatoes inside. This typical dish was very rich and perfect on a cold autumn night. By the fifth course, I was full, but the farm chicken with Jerusalem artichokes, black trumpet mushrooms, and kale was too good not to finish, setting off an impending food coma. Eska is that good.
Čestr, which translates to a type of Czech cattle, is a must for meat lovers. Serving in-house matured beef, their homegrown cuisine is never a miss – whether you’re craving a T-bone, prime rib, or charcoal-grilled steak. Want to enjoy Čestr at home? You can purchase their aged beef here as well.
Nestled on a small street located just a stone’s throw from the Old Town, Mistral Café boasts typical Czech food in a lit, modern setting, which is heavily contrasted with the usual, dark pubs that serve traditional grub. On our visit, we opted for one of the country’s most iconic dishes called Svíčková. Traditionally eaten at Czech weddings, Svíčková is basically beef sirloin doused in a creamy vegetable sauce with a side of cranberries and homemade dumplings. It was my first time eating a dish like this and what stood out was how all of its unlikely ingredients blended effortlessly.
Tip: Several other spots I’m bummed that I didn’t get the chance to try are: Sansho, a “whole animal” restaurant with mouth-watering pork belly that combines local and Asian fare, along with their sister restaurant, Maso a Kobliha (all about meat). Another is La Dégustation, a fine dining experience with a €90 minimum price tag, which boasts refined Czech cuisine in a tasting menu format. If you’ve tried these places, let me know in the comments – I’d love to know what you thought!
What’s your favourite traditional dish or restaurant where you can eat like a local in Prague? Let me know in the comments below!