From taverns touting slabs of fried mountain cheese and casks of Bohemian brews to Italian restaurants with Roman cuisine, there is a range of restaurants in the Czech city of Pilsen. Discover the best with our list.
Restaurace Na Spilce, Plzeň | Courtesy of Na Spilce
For beer lovers and purveyors of Czech cuisine, Na Spilce is a must when in Pilsen. The largest gastropub in all Bohemia, the 550-seat establishment ticks over to the aromas of packed potato dumplings, spicy Slavic goulash, and bubbling venison stews. Specialities include more experimental twists on the local cuisine, such as pork cuts doused in Na Splice’s dark-beer sauce. Inside, the decor is every inch the historic brewing house, with vaulted ceilings and copper beer casks.
While Bohemia may not seem like the place to indulge in Italian fare, Ristorante Budino will go a long way towards changing your mind. This is an authentic, old-school Italian trattoria through-and-through. It serves rustic Mediterranean cuisine of meticulously crafted antipasti, an array of fresh mains, and plenty of daily specialities, such as risottos, fresh fish and local meats.
Nestled in the tightly knit streets of Pilsen’s pretty old town, U Salzmannů still oozes with all the fin-de-siècle charm and classic Bohemian character you’d expect of the city’s oldest restaurant. The menu offers up a cascade of traditional Czech treats, such as dumplings, goulash stews and grilled pork cuts. All of these are served up in tandem with home-brewed beer and unpasteurized lager. Don’t forget to quiz the connoisseurs behind the bar on the various pouring methods on offer, each one altering the taste of your chosen tipple.
Housed in a charming 16th-century building just a short jaunt away from Pilsen’s central square, Rango offers guests some of the city’s best fine-dining Mediterranean fare. However, while serving fantastic pork-fillet pastas, seafood spaghettis and truffle-infused beef steaks, it’s the interior that takes center stage at this one. It is sprawled out between a set of exquisite belle-époque dining rooms and a series of subterranean cellars that carve their way deep into the earth below. If you’re heading in for lunch, be sure to check ahead for the specials, which change daily and with the seasons.
A curious mix of dusty beer bottles, exposed brick walls, stained timber tables, cracked violins and hanging wagons give U Žumbery its charm. The lengthy menu of inventive dishes – beef carpaccio in Italian pesto, fried sausages in chili and dark beer sauce, and Hungarian pork with sour gherkins – does well to combine culinary traditions from right across the continent. The drinks are that of a traditional Pilsen pub, offering unpasteurized Gambrinus and the Republic’s iconic Urquell too.
Visitors fresh from the fascinating exhibitions of the adjoining Brewery Museum will find their way easily into Na Parkánu. This is a traditional Czech beer joint, which sits nestled between the historic façades of the 19th-century municipal malt house on the end of pretty Veleslavínova Street. In the early 2000s the entire place underwent a massive refurbishment, giving it its current, cozy interior of dark timber panels and vaulted arches. Most people hit Na Parkánu for the beers, but the food is also great, with a huge range of smoked meats, fresh salads and classic Czech staples to enjoy.
Transport yourself back to the 13th century with a trip to this medieval-themed venue. Visitors are immersed in a historic atmosphere, with lute tunes ringing through the restaurant’s stone-walled rooms and the long timber tables of the dining hall. True to its character, Stará Sladovna’s menu is a meat-heavy feast of monarchic proportions, with roast wild boar, various cold cuts, fresh fish and earthy stews to enjoy.
Feeling a little worse for wear after that endless stream of frothy unpasteurized beers? Or perhaps you simply just can’t handle any more sprawling meat platters? If so, Anděl Vegetarian Restaurant on Bezručova is the place to go. The menu focuses on light, healthy and simple meat-free dishes, while the décor is a calm and soothing mix of modern furnishings, warm hues and pleasant lighting. There is an adjoining music bar to explore, where vinyl turns well into the night and local bands strum away to the crowd.
Touting a menu that changes daily, and plenty of Pilsner Urquell, U Mansfelda is one of the city’s great gastropubs. The interior oozes a stripped-down charm, with its wood paneled walls and white-washed ceilings. Meanwhile, the bar is done out with all the ubiquitous micro-brewery adornments: from the copper casks to the endless array of beer taps. In the summer, U Mansfelda also spills out onto its own al-fresco terrace, offering views over the pretty Safarik’s Orchards and the red-tiled roofs of the Pilsen old town.
PI.JEZ.PI fuses trendy contemporary dining with the age-old traditions of Bohemian cooking. The menu changes daily, but is laid out at the start of every week. Would-be patrons would do well to check ahead for what’s on offer – whether it be the fresh roasted chicken breast or Italian gnocchi in cream. Needless to say, there are plenty of premium Czech beers, along with a range of French, Italian and regional Moravian wines.