Exploring Prague’s finest food and wine spots
There’s no end to Prague’s charm. With gothic allure and quirky contrasts around every corner, it’s a feast for all the senses. And while it’s famed for its history, beer and boutique hotels, Prague also has a culinary culture and up-and-coming wine scene that’s waiting to be discovered.
With meats marbled with fat, rich sauces and hearty dumplings, Prague is a place for indulgence, not diets. Describing something as neslány or nemasly (meaning ‘not salty’ and ‘not fatty’ respectively), is the ultimate insult here. And this outlook on food sets the tone for your Czech culinary adventure. Here are three of our favourite restaurants, just to get you started:
1. Escape the tourist traps of the Old Town by heading up towards the river, getting lost in the maze of streets on your way. Just make sure your path crosses Lokál, where cool, contemporary touches contrast with a cosy, traditional feel. This fantastic eatery boasts classic Czech meals and excellent tankové pivo, or tanked Pilsner Urquell. Though the menu changes daily, you can expect roasted pork with lashings of creamy mustard sauce served with deliciously stodgy bread dumplings. And as the name suggests, it’s brimming with locals.
2. Though slightly off-the-beaten track, we’d recommend paring a trip to Prague Castle with a long lunch at Restaurace U Veverky. Despite its charming simplicity, this traditional pub might just serve up some of the tastiest food in the whole city. If you’re visiting in autumn, wash down a rich game dish with a classic year-round staple – a refreshingly cool Budvar. For the rest of the year, seasonal ingredients make the goulash our go-to dish. Another locals favourite, we’d recommend booking in advance.
3. Sandwiched between the Mustek district and Vltava river, a fine dining feast awaits at V Zátiší. This restaurant proves you don’t need to sacrifice traditional cooking for total luxury. Bold patterns adorn the walls and low-lit lamps hang above velvet chairs. And on the menu, rustic ingredients give way to gourmet twists. Try the Bohemian duck or pan-seared Pikeperch with potatoes and apple vinaigrette emulsion. And if you’d like a break from Czech food altogether, this restaurant also offers some fine Indian dishes.
Though Prague is a place known for its beer, the fall of communism kick-started a surge in Czech wine production. And while the reds are nothing to write home about, their white wines are among the country’s best kept secrets. Discover the refreshing, sometimes peppery notes of Grüner Veltlin and the sweet simplicity of a Czech Riesling, all in some of the best wine bars in town.
1. Unassuming from the outside, Monarch Vinny Sklep is a tucked-away wine tavern that’s unmissable for wine lovers. Staff guide you through the vast collection of wines with care, sharing their expertise while keeping everything down-to-earth and welcoming. Take a seat at a wooden table and sip a glass of Sonberk from the Mikulov region. The warm atmosphere of this charming wine bar will have you staying the whole evening.
2. Rumoured to have been established by Emperor Charles IV, Vinični Altán is Prague’s prettiest open-air wine garden. Set among rolling vineyards with sweeping views of the cityscape, you can enjoy a glass of locally-sourced wine as the sun sets over the blanket of terracotta roofs.
3. Vinograf is a refreshingly-modern wine bar right next to the historical Charles Bridge. Explore its vast library of Moravian wines. Peruse the blackboards for light bites, from home-made duck pâté, to rustic cheese boards. And settle down in the relaxed, romantic atmosphere of this city-centre gem, all before retreating to your boutique hotel, Boho Prague.