Drink in the Sights and Flavors
Czech cuisine may not suit everybody’s taste. Meats, starches and grease make up the bulk of most traditional meals in the country. A favorite meal consists of roasted pork, sauerkraut and dumplings, drowned in jugs of beer. Expect to eat many dumplings and drink lots of beer if you dine on the local savors during your visit.
If you’re feeling lucky, try the potent “koleno” (pork knee). Vegetarians may have to settle for “smazeny syr” (deep-fried breaded cheese) or just drink more beer.
Pilsner Urquell and Budvar are two of the country’s most famous brews but cannot rival the Czech Republic’s best-selling beer, Gambrinus. In general, all of the country’s lagers go down well with any meal.
Expect to find more pricy venues in the heart of Mala Strana Quarter, or Lesser Town; however, Stare Mesto Quarter, Old Town, is quickly catching up.
Coffee houses crop up everywhere in the Golden City. Cozy cappuccino cafes and java joints haunt the city’s nooks and crannies, and there’s always a good spot to stop and have a mug wherever you choose to roam for the day.
While Americans favor a hearty breakfast, Prague locals, like most Europeans, prefer a light breakfast and a mid-morning snack. The main meal comes at noon between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., and most restaurants keep these business hours. Dinnertime begins at 5:30 p.m. and extends to around 11 p.m. If you’re used to a large late evening meal, plan ahead, because not many restaurants serve dinner past a certain hour in the evening and 24-hour places haven’t gained popularity.
If you have a certain restaurant in mind, get there early. Most establishments are small holes-in-the-wall and tend to reach full capacity quickly. Call ahead and make reservations. Though the restaurant may be full, individual tables may be long and half-empty. Don’t be shocked if strangers join you at your table.
Traditionally, Czech people linger at the dinner table for hours in deep conversation, even once the dishes have been cleared. If you like to dine and dash, you may have to ask for your check.