Czech food has a rep for being big, heavy and greasy...which it sometimes is. The cold winters and practically every meal being paired with beer makes this food an attractive option for the place. Meals revolve around meat, usually chicken and pork, and are usually accompanied by a potato- boiled, fried, or otherwise prepared. Lunch is traditionally the main meal.
Restaurant staff is traditionally not highly paid so a tip of 10-15% is appreciated. In take away restaurants or pubs it is acceptable to simply round up the bill.
There are a few unusual things about restaurant bills in Prague. Note that taxes are always included in the price by law. Some restaurants, especially those in heavily-touristed areas, will charge a cover or "kovert" in addition to your meal charge. If this is printed in the menu, you have no recourse. But beware the restaurant that adds this charge to your bill after printing in the menu that there is no cover.
Also remember that anything brought to your table will have a charge including those items you might find free elsewhere such as bread, ketchup, butter, etc. When presented with the bill, clarify any charges you are unsure of with your server. This can help to sort out any discrepancies, and precent you from being scammed.
Czechs are proud of their beer, as they should be. They down about 157 liters per person each year- the largest consumption in the world. Internationally recognized beers include: Pilsner Urquell (Plzensky Prazdroj), Gambrinus and Budweiser Budvar (Budejovicky Budvar), but there are many wonderful beers to try within the Czech republic. For a beer brewed in Prague, try Staropramen. Expect to pay about 20-35Kc for a 0.5L beer (you can tell you might be in a tourist bar if prices are significantly higher). At such phenomenally low prices, try anything and everything to discover your favorite.
Czech wine bars (Vinanas) can also be found. They usually serve Moravian wines and spirits, including the traditional plum brandy known as slivovice and becherovka, a herbal bitter.
Kofola is a non-alcoholic domestic cola soft drink which competes with Coca Cola and Pepsi in popularity.
Last of all, don't be shy. It is customary, especially at beer halls, to sit with a group of people if there are no free tables.
Prague is no cafe society. Certainly the latent potential is there, what with the city's literary reputation and arty Bohemian image. However, you're never going to convince the majority to lounge around sipping an espresso when it costs less to drown in beer.
New cafe in Mala Strana. Sophisticated surroundings with offerings of coffee, wine or beer.
Address: Praha 5, Plaska 615/8
This is a Polish franchise that offers inexpensive coffee comes in paper cups. Prices range from 32Kc for an espresso to 84Kc for a large white chocolate mocha.
Address: Praha 1, Na prikope 3
An excellent establishment that offers coffee, sandwiches and salads, smoothies and dessert.
Address: Praha 1, Retezova 9
Friends Coffee House
Friends Coffee House is friendly and welcoming. Coffee drinks, baguettes, and alcohol are available.
Address: Praha 1, Palackeho 7
A beautiful art deco interior with photos of celebrity patrons. Amazing location, large windows, and welcoming atmosphere.
Address: Praha 1, Narodni trida 1
In the middle of tourist area, this cafe is much cooler than other eateries nearby. It is also a well-known gay hangout, but attracts straight hipsters as well.
Address: Praha 1, Rytirska 10
True French style in a Czech setting. Great breakfast and some international flair.
Address: Praha 1, Narodni 22
A lovely courtyard gallery and friendly staff makes this cafe a pleasure.
Address: Praha 3, Vita nejedleho 23
A newly restored grand cafe which dates back to 1893. Features a stunning neo-Renaissance ceiling with elaborate chandeliers. to order food from the cafe menu with The menu offers Czech dishes or French gourmet.
Address: Praha 5, Vitezna 5
Always busy, this popular spot has vegetarian options.
Address: Praha 1, Opatovicka 24
Prague is covered with options for a quick bite. Street vendors serving heavenly Czech style hot dogs can be found on every corner in the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square in New Town. These aren't your Western style hot dogs- a hollowed-out French baguettes serves as both bread and holder with mustard, ketchup, and sausage. Prices range from around 15Kc to 45Kc. There is also a larger size known as the "gigant". Note that size of hot dog relates to girth rather than length. The trdelnik is another delightful option. It is a traditional tube-shaped pastry and can be bought from vendors for about 50Kc. Pizza and kebabs are another common option. Most beer halls also serve light meals.
If you're in the mood for some Western-style fast food, major chains can be found all over Wenceslas Square. Colonel Sanders is the king and can be found everywhere, but most other chains can also be located.
Turkish fast food that is cheap and delicious. Gyros, falafels and lamb are prevalent.
Address: Praha 1, Spalena 15
This cafeteria offers Middle Eastern treats in a plain environment.
Address: Praha 1, Dlouha 33
Attached to the Atlantic hotel, this eatery has unbelievable prices. The food is set out buffet-style and features a salad bar for 20Kc per 100g with meat options around 30Kc.
Address: Praha 1, Na Porici 9
Watch your noodle or curry dishes be cooked in front of you. Chillies on the menu indicate the heat quotient, but don't be afraid if you are a friend of spice. Most places cater to the European palate which doesn't tolerate a lot of spice.
Address: Praha 3, Palac Flora, Vinohradska 151
Pubs (or in Czech "hospoda") have become a staple in Prague's drinking establishments. Not just for expats or stag parties, English-style pubs are frequented by just about everybody. They do tend to be loud and expensive, but if you are up for that, they can be fun.
Photos of prestigious poets and pubs, Guinness on draught, this is your classic pub.
Address: Praha 1, stepanska 32
A split level pub with small courtyard.
Address: Praha 1, Bartolomejska 11
Open 17:00 - 04:00
Dubliner Irish Bar
Pub/sports bar means that along with your Guinness you get 12 TV's + 2 large screens.
Address: Praha 1, Tyn 1
Open Sun-Wed 11:00-01:00; Thur-Sat 11:00-03:00
George & Dragon
Perfect location in the middle of Old Town Square. TV screens and beer.
Address: Praha 1, Staromestske nam. 11
Prague is fast becoming an international city, and as such, there are thousands of restaurants to choose from. Whether you are looking for the finest Czech specialities or something with exotic flair, it can be found in the city of a 1000 spires.
Set high on a hill, the restaurant features panoramic views of the city. Steak, chicken and fish pair with classic Czech specialities.
Address: Praha 11, Gregorova 8
Considered by many critics to be Prague's premier restaurant. Serves superb cuisine in with a view of Charles Bridge and Prague Castle. Also has a splendid collection of some of the best wines in Prague.
Address: Smetanovo Nab. 18, Old Town, Prague 1
Budweiser Budvar Restaurant
Traditional Czech cuisine is served with the legendary beer. Prices are slightly higher than other places in town, but it may be worth it for a true fan. There are several restaurants throughout the Czech Republic.
Excellent food with a lively atmosphere. This is progressive Czech cuisine at its finest.
Address: Praha 1, Karoliny Svetle 21
Telephone: (+420) 222 22 00 08
Located in the third floor of this Gothic bell tower, this elegant restaurant offers something a little different.
Address: Praha 1, Jindrisska vez
Large portions of traditional Czech food and beer can be downed as a two and a half hour show with live music and folk dancing proceeds.
Address: Na Zlichove 18
On the top floor of the Dancing House, this restaurant offers a rooftop terrace.
Address: Dancing House, Rasinovo Nabrezi 80, New Town, Prague 2
Gold & crystal chandeliers hang overhead in this uber elegant setting. Huge windows face Republic Square and at night, live piano playing sets the mood.
Address: Republic Square 5, Old Town, Prague 1
Prague Life's directory can also help you decide on the place to dine.
It shouldn't be a problem to maintain a veggie lifestyle in the Czech Republic. Though most people eat meat and most meals are meat-centric, there should be something on the menu (bez masa- meatless) to suit your needs. And there are those few restaurants that cater exclusively to the non-meat eaters. Below are a few select options, but if you are looking for more, Veg guide has more recommendations.
Healthy, tasty vegetarian offerings just off the riverfront.
Address: Praha 2, Na Hrobci 3
Open: 10:00-22:00 weekdays, 12:00-22:00 Sat & Sun
A vegan restaurant with Asian twist, there are soy and tofu alternatives.
Address: Praha 2, Londynska 35
Open: 10:30 - 21:00 weekdays, 11:30 - 21:30 Sat & Sun
Vegan northern Indian food is served on a metal trays with access to a small garden.
Address: Praha 2, Belehradska 90
Open: 11:00 - 21:00 weekdays, Sat 12:00-20:00, Sun 12:00 - 18:00.
Fun, healthy and delicious makes this a great place to eat. Ratatouille, pasta, salads, burritos with the option of tofu (try it smoked) and eggplant.
Address: Praha 1, Borsov 2
Open: 11:30-23:30 weekdays, 12:00-23:30 Sat & Sun
This may be the first vegetarian Czech restaurant in Prague.
Address: Praha 13, Donska 26/6
Open: 11:30 - 21:00, closed weekends
In the heart of the legendary Jewish quarter, this restaurant adheres to a strictly kosher menu.
Address: Praha 1, Siroka 8
Open: 12:00 - 23:00; Friday dinner only by reservation, Saturday lunch reservations only.
Shalom Kosher Restaurant
The Jewish Community of Prague runs this location in the Jewish Town Hall. The daily menu consists of kosher meat-based meals, with soup, fruit and salad or dessert.
Address: Praha 1, Maiselova 18
Open: 11:30-14:00, Sun Closed.