10 Must-Try Traditional Czech Restaurants in Prague


Originally published by Emma Starr in March 2020 and Updated by Ruth in February 2023 and by Vanessa M in February 2024

You came to Prague to enjoy some traditional Czech food, and you’re not leaving without finding it.
It’s not difficult to scout out some inexpensive restaurants, but where to find the truly best spots for some good ol’ schnitzel?

Prague – the city of cheap beer, friendly people, historical buildings, and traditional Czech restaurants. Think beef goulash, fried cheese, and savory slices of pork tenderloin.

Try to control your mouth from watering, and instead just make a reservation for one of our favourite restaurants. There are traditional establishments scattered all throughout the city, from popular tourist spots to hole-in-the-wall local watering holes.

The culture of Prague can be seen in the historical architecture and keeping the traditional cuisine alive with Czech restaurants that keep the old-time charm. Here we have compiled the best traditional Czech food restaurants in the country’s capital for you to explore on your next holiday. Try to save some room for dessert.

1. La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise

First up, we have La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise, an 8-year-old extremely popular restaurant. This gourmet location is extremely upscale and can be seen through its multiple-course feasts offered. As a patron, you have the choice of two different tasting menus depending on your current mood. You can choose old-style classics with a modern twist, or try an international menu.

The shorter six-course menu is based on the 1894 Marie Svobodova cookbook and uses some substitutions like choosing rabbit instead of beaver for some meat offerings.

The twelve-course menu adds plates that have been created and influenced by the Executive Chef, adding to the old-school dishes. Each menu is accompanied by seven amuse-bouches, which are seven single-bite hors d’oeuvres.

For solely traditional Czech delicacies, you can choose the first six-course menu and enjoy fresh and seasonal dishes. The chefs here prepare every dish with high attention to detail and add unique flavours to complement the traditional Czech tastes. The staff here is always friendly, professional, and elegant, creating an opulent atmosphere for a fancy dinner date. The venue’s setting with dim lighting and wooden details enhances the high-end vibe.

practical information
address: La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise Haštalská 18 110 00 Praha 1
Open: Mon-Sun: 11:30 – 14:00 & 18:00 – 00:00
website: La Degustation
Call: +420 733 332 771
price range: $$$$

2. Lokal

Lokál on Malá Strana. Just a few steps from the Charles Bridge. Picture sourced from Wikimedia Commons. Author: Michal Kmínek

Another popular Czech food restaurant is Lokal. The best part about this restaurant – the patrons are the namesake. You’ll find many locals coming to dine here, which usually reflects high-quality and true Czech ingredients and combinations of flavors. The always-busy restaurant is usually packed with natives and provides a high-energy and animated atmosphere.

With multiple locations throughout the city, you can head to whichever spot is closest to your apartment – or your next bar. The original one is on Dlouha street, which some argue has the best offerings. The more recent pop-ups have renovated classic Czech pubs into new Lokal locations, creating a modern environment in an old building.

The focus of all the pubs remains consistent – traditional Czech dishes paired with the famous Pilsner beer. We recommend trying classic dishes such as beef tongue, head cheese, schnitzel with potato salad, or beef goulash. If you’ve managed to save some room for dessert, sample the “vetrnik” – a traditional pastry and dessert popular at all times of the day.

The interior of the pubs has a laid-back and nostalgic feeling, with wood carvings, simple decor, and comfortable seating. You won’t find the upscale vibe of La Degustation here, but you’ll find the charm and cosiness of an Irish pub. For those who want great traditional food in an unpretentious atmosphere, this is the spot for you.

practical information
address: Dlouhá 33, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia
open: daily 11 am – 12 am
website: lokal
price range: $$

3. Na pekarne

by Andrea Nguyen – Wikimedia Commons

For the next Czech restaurant on our list, you might have to do a bit of travelling. Na pekarne is a little outside of Prague but is definitely worth the journey. Head to the small village of Cakovicky and find this gem of a restaurant, run by Mr Fric, a famous chef. The whole ambience here brings an aura of nostalgia, with simple decor and a brief menu.

The daily specials are etched on a blackboard, offering seasonal dishes that get the flavours spot-on. The owner usually buzzes around the restaurant, chatting with customers and explaining the dishes to curious visitors. In the warmer weather, you can sit outside and enjoy a chilled beer with a cold appetizer.

We recommend trying the beef with a creamy and tasty vegetable sauce, a dish called svickova. Split the plum jam ravioli for dessert with your date, and you’ll be satisfied leaving this cute and cosy village.

practical information
address: Kojetická 36, 250 63 Mratín, Czechia
open: Wednesday – Saturday: 11 am – 10 pm Sunday: 11 am – 6 pm
              Monday – Tuesday: closed 
website: Napekarne
price range: $$

4. Kolkovna

restaurant kolkovna – By Tiia Monto [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Back in the city, Kolkovna is a chain of Czech restaurants that bring in both the locals and the first-timers. Even though there are city-centre locations, you can also head to one of the spots in the less-visited areas in the neighbourhoods surrounding the tourist centre.

You can grab a Kofola, a Czech soda, or one of the few beers they have on tap, and try out the beef tartare. Even though this dish is quite foreign to many of us, tartare is considered a delicacy to Czech locals. The raw beef is seasoned with shallots and served with bread slices, and pairs well with a deep red wine.

If you’d rather have something to pair with a Pilsner lager, there are other traditional dishes which will work perfectly. As you sit at one of the long tables or at a two-person booth seat in the laid-back atmosphere, try and decide between the roasted duck, roasted pork knee, or beef in cream sauce. We wish you luck.

practical information
address: V Kolkovně 910/8, Praha 1
open: daily 11 am – 12 am
website: KOLKOVNA
price range: $$ 

6. Restaurace Mlejnice

Czech Beef Goulash. Picture sourced from WikimediaCommons

If you’re in Stare Mesto and are too tired to walk any further, head to Restaurace Mlejnice for some traditional Czech dishes. Even though this is a touristy area, the interesting decor with pictures and implements hanging from the walls and the ceiling makes it a fun and eclectic place to grab some dinner.

The booths and tables scattered throughout the rooms with exposed brick around the bar leave many places to sit and have some privacy while enjoying your meal. Part of the fun of Mlejnice is the task to find it – the restaurant is located in a hidden alley and can try to relieve the influx of tourists.

The staff is always friendly, and the food is consistently tasty. Try the goulash on bread or steak for the main dish, and pair either of these with a crisp Pilsner.

The only issue we have here is that it doesn’t take reservations, so if you’re headed here during peak dinner time on a weekend, be prepared to have a little bit of a wait. Trust us, the wait is just a build-up for some of the best goulash in the city.

practical information
address: 14, Kožná 488, Staré Město, 110 00 Praha 1, Czechia
open: daily 11 am – 11 pm
price range: $$ 

7. Restaurant Mlynec

By DXR – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51022139

A Czech restaurant that combines traditional flavours with modern decor and a flavorful twist, Restaurant Mlynec uses its unique concept with a convenient location to consistently remain popular among locals and tourists over the years.

The atmosphere, with large windows, contemporary designs, and a perfect view of the Charles Bridge makes for a great spot to grab some dinner, watch the sunset, and glance at the thousands of people crossing this pedestrian pathway over the river.

The dishes here are presented beautifully, with colourful creations arriving arranged in aesthetic combinations. We recommend getting the six-course offering with the paired wine, so you can be sure you’re getting the best flavour combinations possible. Some of our favourites on this menu are the veal tartare with mustard seed and rice, the foie gras with pistachio and orange, and the sweet fried chocolate fondant dessert. Say no more.

practical information
address: Novotného lávka 9 110 00 Praha 1, Česká republika
open: Mon – closed
             Tue – Fri 11.30 – 14.00 / 17.00 – 22.00
             Sat-Sun 11:30 – 15:00 / 17:30 – 22:00
website: MLYNEC
price range: $$$$ 

Booking.com Search Flights Image

8. Restaurace U Pinkasu

Up next on our list, we bring to you Restaurace U Pinkasu. The interior of this restaurant makes you feel like you’re just relaxing at Grandma’s house, with unpretentious decorations, plain wallpaper, and minimal wall hangings. That’s what we love about this place though – normalcy. You won’t find any kitsch decorations, fancy modern decor, or expensive cocktails.

You’ll get the basic stuff – but it’ll be done extremely well. The pork dish with red cabbage is mouth-watering, the prices are more than reasonable, and the schnitzel is an always-popular choice.

With outdoor seating during warmer weather on the street, this is a perfect spot to go with you and your friends, sit outside with your beer or wine, and people-watch before it gets dark.

practical information
address: Jungmannovo sqr. 15/16 110 00, Praha 1
open: daily 10:00 – 22:30
website: UPINKASU
price range: $$

9. Sisters Bistro v Dlouhé

Czech garlic soup at restaurant

Czech garlic soup at the restaurant by JIP – Wikimedia Commons

The restaurant is located right across from Naše Maso, at 39, Dlouhá 727, Staré Město, 110 00 Praha, Czechia.  Sisters Bistro is a hidden gem amongst the plethora of Czech restaurants dominating the city. They are open daily from 8 am to 8 pm.

They serve up Oblozene Chlebicky, a type of traditional open-faced sandwich with various toppings and fillings. These sandwiches are far from conventional, resembling pieces of art than actual food. 

From their menu, it’s recommended you try their beet and goat cheese, one with roast beef, and one with mozzarella. One reviewer states that these were complex and balanced so describing their components is too tough to manage, just take my word that they are delicious.

practical information
address: Dlouhá 39 110 00 Praha 1 – Staré Město
open: Monday–Friday 8:00 am–8:00 pm
             saturday–sunday 9:00 am–6:00 pm
             holidays 9:00 am–6:00 pm
price range: $

10. Kantýna

Food and beer being consumed at a restaurant

Food and beer being consumed at a restaurant by Jiří Suchomel – Wikimedia Commons

Kantýna is a casual, airy eatery that prepares meals made with locally sourced meats, plus sweets, wine & draft beer. Their address is  Politických vězňů 1511/5, 110 00 Nové Město, Czechia. They open daily from 11:30 am to 11 pm.

This is a haven for all meat lovers. The best cuts of Czech pork and beef are expertly cut by in-house butchers and displayed for sale. 

Walk into Kantyna a little further and you’ll find meats being grilled to perfection or baked low and slow for guests who choose to dine in. You find a range of meats from mouthwatering spit-roasted pork shoulder, wine-braised ribs, roast beef neck, and pork belly to choose from, the harder decision is choosing what to order with it.

The Kantyna ordering system works like a traditional Czech canteen. All the food is cooked and you select what you’d like. 

practical information
address: Politických vězňů 1511/5 110 00 Praha 1
open: Mon-Sat 11:30–23:00
             Sun 11:30–22:00
website: Kantyna
price range: $$$
You’re starving and ready for dinner. Choose one of our favourites from this list and check out some traditional Czech food that won’t disappoint…

A Czech soup will help you survive during a tough winter. Picture sourced from Pixabay

Prague is home to a mix of modern and traditional cultures. You’ll find new architecture scattered throughout the ever-growing city, juxtaposed only a few streets away from the old brick buildings in Old Town.

Locals who have lived in the area for decades are spotted chatting to first-timers in the city and the younger generation just moving to Vinohrady. Vintage shops are neighbours of modern clothing stores. Restaurants are no strangers to this concept either.

Traditional Czech restaurants are nestled away in between chain restaurants, in the alleyways behind the tourist traps out in the open, and on the outer edges of the neighbourhoods. Some of these traditional restaurants are busy and popular, and you’ll find yourself among other like-minded tourists searching for the best schnitzel.

But for the most part, these restaurants give you the chance to eat like a local – and the opportunity to mingle with some while you’re enjoying your Pilsner.

10 Tips on How to Order Off-Menu Dishes Only Prague Food Insiders Know

1. Befriend the staff

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Start a friendly conversation with the servers or the owner to establish rapport. Talk about your positive impressions of Prague and your desire to experience authentic local culture and cuisine.

Their insider knowledge can lead to access to hidden menu gems that are typically only available to regulars such as daily soups made from scratch, seasonal specialties timed to harvests, or the chef’s off-menu recommendations tailored to your preferences.

A little friendliness and genuine interest in their food culture go a long way toward obtaining truly local, off-menu items. Tapping into the staff’s menu secrets allows you to eat like a local in just a couple of visits.

2. Learn basic Czech phrases

Mastering essential Czech phrases will help you navigate your Prague food adventure. Begin with a friendly “Dobrý den” (Good day), followed by a polite “Mluvíte anglicky?” (Do you speak English?) promotes effective communication. Expressing gratitude with “Děkuji” (Thank you) demonstrates courtesy and endears you to the locals.

In a city where menus may not be fully translated, these basics serve as a linguistic gateway, allowing for a more seamless dining experience. This simple effort fosters connections with locals, opens doors to culinary insights, and elevates your dining experiences to something more than just a meal – a cultural exchange with the heart of Prague.

3. Explore local markets

Tiia Monto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore Prague’s local markets and neighborhood shops for a culinary adventure. Wander through vibrant farmers’ markets, discovering seasonal treasures that provide a vivid picture of the city’s culinary landscape. Engage with passionate vendors to create connections that will transform your shopping experience into a personalized journey.

These local experts not only provide fresh, seasonal ingredients but are also eager to share their knowledge, recommending dishes that highlight the best of Prague’s culinary offerings. From unique spices to regional produce, these markets showcase the city’s authentic flavors, elevating your dining experience with a touch of local charm and the joy of discovering hidden culinary gems.

4. Look for daily specials

Look for “denní nabídka” chalkboards or printed inserts with daily specials that are not on the permanent menu. These daily deals allow chefs to experiment with seasonal ingredients and locally available produce. The specials change regularly, allowing you to sample a variety of Czech cuisines.

Ask your server, “What’s the specialty today?” to get insider recommendations. An off-menu daily special paired with a local beer or wine creates an authentic and memorable Prague dining experience that highlights the chef’s talents.

5. Follow the locals

Gorlapraveen123, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Discover the true essence of Prague’s culinary scene by observing and following locals to restaurants located away from tourist hotspots. Venturing beyond popular areas reveals hidden gems coveted by discerning customers. These locally frequented establishments frequently feature off-menu treasures known only to a loyal community.

By following the locals’ dining habits, you can tap into a reservoir of authentic, undiscovered flavors. These establishments are the pulse of the city’s gastronomy, offering a genuine taste of Prague away from the tourist crowds. Immerse yourself in the local rhythm, and you’ll discover the best-kept culinary secrets of this fascinating city.

6. Ask about traditional dishes

Explore Prague’s “tradiční pokrmy” (traditional dishes) for a unique dining experience. Engage with locals and ask about these hidden gems that aren’t prominently featured on menus. These culinary treasures are a rich tapestry of local heritage, offering a distinct and authentic taste of Prague’s gastronomic legacy.

From hearty stews to classic desserts, discovering traditional dishes reveals the essence of the city’s culinary identity. By discovering these hidden culinary gems, you embark on a flavorful journey that goes beyond the ordinary, connecting with the heart and soul of Prague’s vibrant food culture.

7. Be open to experimentation

Photo by Adrienn from Pexels

Embrace experimentation to add a sense of adventure to your Prague dining experiences. Resist the familiar and be willing to try new, unfamiliar dishes. Prague’s culinary landscape is brimming with distinct flavors and inventive combinations waiting to be discovered.

Allow your taste buds to dance with the unexpected, whether it’s a new ingredient or a local take on a classic. This openness not only enhances your culinary journey but also enriches your travel experience, leaving you with memories of bold flavors and the joy of discovering the unfamiliar. Allow Prague to surprise you, and enjoy the thrill of expanding your culinary horizons.

8. Respect local customs

Navigate Prague’s culinary landscape with cultural sensitivity by following local customs when ordering off the menu. Be patient and polite, and keep in mind that unfamiliar requests may be difficult to fulfill. If a dish is not readily available, approach the situation with empathy rather than frustration.

Accept the opportunity to learn about local culinary customs and value the uniqueness of each dining experience. Respecting local etiquette not only encourages positive interactions but also provides insight into the cultural nuances that shape Prague’s dining scene. When you infuse your gastronomic exploration with courtesy, each meal will become a harmonious blend of flavors and cultural exchanges.

9. Consider seasonality

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Consider seasonality when dining in Prague to get a sense of the city’s culinary tapestry. Inquire about seasonal ingredients and dishes that highlight the current harvest’s abundance. This thoughtful approach not only ensures freshness but also reveals the best of what the region has to offer at that time.

From vibrant spring produce to hearty winter fare, planning your meals around the seasons allows you to savor the best flavors of local ingredients. Embracing seasonality enriches your culinary journey by offering a dynamic and ever-changing palette that reflects the natural rhythms of Prague’s culinary landscape.

10. Check social media

Checking local foodie groups or pages can help you discover Prague’s culinary secrets. Instagram and Facebook serve as virtual hubs where locals enthusiastically share their culinary discoveries and hidden gems. Explore visually appealing posts, reviews, and recommendations from locals who have discovered the city’s hidden culinary gems.

Participating in these online communities not only provides valuable insights but also connects you to real-time, firsthand accounts of Prague’s diverse food scene. From tucked-away restaurants to secret menu items, social media serves as your digital guide, enriching your culinary adventure with the collective wisdom of local food enthusiasts.

Embark on a culinary journey through Prague, armed with the knowledge of ordering off the menu. These tips, which range from making connections with locals to exploring markets and embracing experimentation, reveal the city’s hidden culinary treasures. Respecting customs, considering seasonality, and trusting intuition will lead you to a rich tapestry of flavors. Whether attending festivals or using social media, these insights turn dining into an immersive journey, ensuring that each bite is a discovery of Prague’s culinary soul, known only to those who go beyond the standard menu.

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