Those with a love of succulent meat, warm winter soups and candlelit cellars will be delighted by the restaurant scene in Prague, the city of one hundred spires. Discover the best places to find hearty goulash, roasted pork knuckle, Eastern European beef tartare and exquisitely crafted beers in the Czech capital.
Restaurant, Czech, $$$
Mlejnice is located down a small alley off of Prague’s Old Town Square and is always packed with a local crowd. The interior, complete with hardwood floors and rustic beamed ceilings, is decorated with an array of antique farm tools for a quaint, old world countryside ambience. The menu is filled with classic Czech dishes such as garlic pork and cabbage pancakes, quintessential Czech pork knuckle, and what is perhaps the best goulash-in-a-bread-bowl that the city has to offer.
Beer sampler at Pivovarský Klub | Courtesy of shanatravelpanda
Rather than serving beer to complement its food, Pivovarský Klub offers a menu of homey Czech cuisine to accompany its impressive list of 240 bottled and six on-tap beers. Guests can choose from a range of Czech Republican beers, several foreign varieties and even the restaurant’s own home brewed house beer. Customers are also able to shop Pivovarský Klub’s vast selection of rare bottled beers and enjoy them back at home. This beer-centric mentality doesn’t compromise the quality of the food, as the goulash, schnitzel, pork knuckle and bread dumplings here are well worth the trip.
Just a short tram ride from the center of the city, U Kroka is an honest and unpretentious restaurant serving some of the most respected traditional Czech food in Prague. The dining space is modern and minimal with both brick and slate gray painted walls as well as brushed metal lighting fixtures. Standout dishes include roast duck with apples, home-made dumplings and red cabbage, rabbit saddle with bacon, creamy garlic spinach and roasted potato gnocchi and marinated pork ribs in a spicy marinade with garlic and chili dip.
Cafe Savoy boasts one of Prague’s most marvelous dining rooms, presided over by a government protected, neo-renaissance ceiling dating back to 1893. The colors and intricate detail of the ceiling are illuminated by the huge windows that run the length of the space. The cafe has hosted a number of famous clientele during more than 100 years of service, including writers like Franz Kafka. Although Cafe Savoy serves delicious Czech classics such as beef steak tartare and pork schnitzel, it is most popular for its hearty breakfasts. Early morning options include the much praised Savoy omelette and a wide selection of pastries.
Nota Bene’s menu of main dishes rotates daily based on the availability of fresh local ingredients. This focus on seasonal cuisine is new to Prague, and Nota Bene is one of only a few restaurants that has embraced the use of local products in its regionally inspired contemporary menu. The restaurant is also notable for its well curated list of beautifully crafted beers, which is sufficient in and of itself to draw a healthy crowd. Exposed brick and hardwood accents dominate the simple and fresh interior of this highly regarded restaurant.
Red Pif’s is a restaurant and wine bar serving a highly refined menu of Czech and French cuisine. A daily à la carte menu is created each morning by the head chef as he selects the freshest meat, fish and breads at the local market on the way to work. As the largest supplier of fresh wines in the Czech Republic, the restaurant receives its stock from a group of small but respected wineries in France, the Czech Republic and Moravia. The interior of the restaurant has been designed by Czech studio Aulík Fišer Architekti and includes sleek wine-bottle shaped shutters within a warm yet industrially influenced dining space.
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At Michelin starred restaurant La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise guests are guaranteed an exceptional dining experience. Two tasting menus take advantage of quality regional ingredients for dishes that balance delicate flavors in innovative harmony. Each small plate is accompanied by a small taster drink of wine, beer or fruit juice to heighten the various flavors in unexpected ways. The restaurant is housed in an old building boasting classic charm, dark wood interiors and an open kitchen.
Serving flawless presentations of Czech influenced modern European cuisine, Mlýnec is situated at the foot of the Charles Bridge. An outdoor terrace seating area allows guests to enjoy the world-class dishes of this Michelin recommended restaurant while soaking in some of the most picturesque views to be found in the city. Among the exquisite items on the menu are smoked veal tartare served in a glass bowl, hot cheese salad, seasonal venison and confit of duck.