Český Krumlov is one of the Czech Republic’s most visited towns, and for good reason. It’s on the UNESCO list as one of the best preserved Renaissance towns in the world, and when you get there, you’ll see why immediately. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that a lively culinary scene has grown up to serve the thousands of people streaming through. Here are our ten favorites.
Papa’s is far from the only restaurant where you can sit down and enjoy a table by the Vltava River, but it’s certainly one of the best. While their menu has an international flair, it is mostly focused on Italian cuisine. You can come here for a delicious pasta dish, or a tasty pizza with Spanish ham and arugula. Their specialty dish is turkey breast baked in a pastry crust, with spinach, blue cheese sauce, and mustard cream sauce. You’ll always have a good time when you come to this lively and upbeat restaurant.
After you’ve had your meal, we recommended that you head to Apotheka Café Bar for a post-meal cocktail. They have the best cocktail list in the city hands down, and beyond that, they’re always willing to play with the ingredients to create something new for you. They take real pride in their drinks, this is the kind of place where you’ll really enjoy watching your drink get prepared. It’s designed to look like an old-fashioned pharmacy, so everything inside looks very classy and antique. All in all, you’ll love the ambiance, drinks, service, and pretty much everything else about Apotheka.
Le Jardin has long been recognized as one of the best restaurants around. You can find it at the Hotel Bellevue, one of the most beautiful hotels in the area, so it’s no surprise that they would have a luxurious restaurant to match the spirit of the hotel. The menu is a delicious mixture of Czech and French cuisine, it is concise but has more than enough tempting options. One great thing to try is the kulajda soup, a traditional soup from the South Bohemian region (of which Cesky Krumlov is a part).
If you’ve spent enough time traveling in the Czech Republic, you’ve probably come across more than one Švejk Restaurant, and no, it’s not a chain; it’s just that Švejk is an important enough character in the Czech literary canon that he’s worthy of having restaurants everywhere named after him. He was a soldier in World War I, so the restaurant is decked out with old-time decorations and a beer tap that’s busier than most. You’ll find a calm, comfortable restaurant, solid Czech food, and the least pretentious atmosphere you can possibly imagine.
The view from the castle | Petr Kratochvil/Public Domain Image
Although the restaurant U dwau Maryi only opened in 1990, the building itself dates back to the Middle Ages, something you might be able to guess if you’re familiar with Slavic historical linguistics, as the name is an old form of Czech meaning ‘at the two Marys’. Their menu features old-style Czech cuisine, with a special Old Bohemian Feast that you and your friends can all share, in both meat and vegetarian forms. Their vegetarian menu is actually the longest section on the menu, something that the herbivores among you might enjoy after a couple of days in the meat-heavy Czech Republic.
If you get hungry or feel like a rest in style while you’re wandering around the castle complex, you can stop at Krčma Markéta, which is located on the castle grounds. This feels like a trip back through time, as they’ve decorated it as though it was the Middle Ages. They even have a (carefully tended) open fire in the restaurant, and many of the meals are cooked right there in front of you. For drinks, they carry wines from two small, family-owned Moravian breweries and beer from the local Eggenberg brewery.
Cesky Krumlov is heaven if you love crepes because there are five little MLS Creperie corners throughout the town, and it’s easy to stop in just for a quick crepe to go. You can also stay for a sit down breakfast or lunch, and you will love their fresh, hot crepes with a wide array of toppings both sweet and savory, plus their homemade drinks to go with it. Another thing you can get here is the trdelnik, a Transylvanian import that has recently become a hit among Czech locals and tourists alike. Not to be outdone, MLS also has pizza, gyros, and various baked desserts on the menu. You simply can’t go wrong here.
It’s easy to find a vegetarian section of the menu these days, but it’s not so easy to find a full vegetarian restaurant, and that’s where Laibon stands out from the crowd. Although their menu offers a decent mix of cuisines and styles, the ones that come up the most frequently are Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. For a relatively local and truly delicious option, though, go for the Bryndzove halusky, a Slovak dish made up of halusky (like Slovak gnocchi) and Bryndza, a typical sheep’s cheese with a unique flavor. Tea lovers will have a second, possibly more, difficult choice in front of them when they look at the tea menu.
If you come to Restaurant Konvice, the restaurant at the charming Hotel Konvice, in the winter, you’ll get the best of Czech cuisine, fun live music, and helpful service. If you come in the summer, you get all of that plus a seat on the terrace, giving you a magnificent view over the gorgeous center of town. The prices are surprisingly reasonable for such a luxurious place, and the meals are always prepared from the freshest ingredients. For a treat, check out the Bohemian cuisine section of their menu, and try either duck or rabbit, both served as they have been for centuries in the region.
Krčma v Satlavské Ulici is a true ‘tavern’ (which is what ‘krčma’ translates to). With stone walls, wooden tables, and an open grill pit where they’ll cook your meat fresh, this place is a real journey into the past. Your meal will come on a wooden plate, looking just as they might have cooked it a few hundred years ago. This tends to be a very popular place, though, so it’s a good idea to make a reservation in advance. This is more of a full experience than just a meal, so it’s definitely something you won’t want to miss while you’re in town.