Hi there! Thank you for stopping by! Whenever we travel or move to a new country, I am always interested in trying the local cuisine. I think eating is a huge part of every culture; so here is our guide to the best local food to eat in the Czech Republic.
The Best Local Food to Eat While Visiting the Czech Republic
We lived in the Czech Republic for two years, and listed below are our favorite and seriously the best food to devour while in the Czech. So, if in the Czech, seek them out; you will not be disappointed!
Appetizers in the Czech
Dark fried bread with garlic – topinky
This local Czech specialty, at first, seemed strange to me, but now I am in love with it! It is local dark bread that is deep fried; yes, deep fried and served with raw garlic pieces. It comes hot out of the pan, and you rub raw garlic on the bread and eat it fresh and hot. Okay, so maybe no up close and personal conversations with strangers… but it is worth it.
Fried cheese – smaženy syr
This local specialty was, for sure, one of the kids’ favorite things to order! If we were having a picky food day, I could always count on them eating deep fried cheese. This is typically made with edam cheese, covered in bread crumbs, and deep fried. It is very similar to mozzarella sticks but comes in a bigger and better square shape. The dip served with it is a mayo dip, and this dip is for both the cheese and the fries. Try this local food while in Czech, just once! You will be in love.
Marinated hermelin cheese – nakládaný hermelin
I was introduced to this dish in a town called Prostejov where we actually lived for two years of my husband’s basketball career. The people at the table next to us were eating it and shared it with me. Ok, They did not exactly share it with me. I invited myself to their table to investigate what they were eating. My kids were mortified, and they “shared” most likely so I would go away.
This cheese is an imitation of camembert cheese. It is soaked in olive oil, onions, paprika, and other spices until it soaks up all the flavor. It is then served with bread or can be eaten plain. It melts in your mouth, and all the flavors come out, one by one, into an amazing dance on your tongue. I just shove it in my face as fast as I can, and I have never been able to find it anywhere else in the world. Just letting you know, this dish gets the award for best local food to eat in the Czech Republic, hands down! You have try this dish when in the Czech!
Garlic soup – česnečka polévka
This was our go-to appetizer before every meal. It is also really good if you have a little cold coming on. It is a vegetable-broth base, often made with cream and lots and lots of fresh garlic. It is topped with green onions and seasoned bread croutons. It is so simple, but really tasty, and a Czech specialty. We love this and also make it at home when we need something warm and hot. It is the Czech substitute for chicken noodle soup.
Sauerkraut soup – zelnacka or kapustnica
You can call this local food zelnacka… or I call it heaven. This is a soup, just like the name, with sauerkraut, potatoes, veggies, and the Czech version of klobasa sausage served up in a creamy broth inside a hot, fresh, baked bread bowl! Ummm, do I need to say anything more? This is one local food you should not miss out on! This is especially great after a day of exploring, and if you need any ideas for exploring check out our guide to Prague!
Tartare – tatarak
Okay, so supposedly the French have the market cornered on Tartare, but I gotta tell you – Czechs have some pretty good tartare themselves. The first taste of tartare I ever had was in the Czech in a little town called Olomouc. I was hesitant at first, but after my local friends assured me I would love it I dove right it.
The plate can come with all the fixings on the side, or you can ask them to mix it up for you. It is creamy and flavorful, spiced with paprika, garlic, onions, a raw egg, and local spices. You eat it on garlic bread (topinky), and it is for sure something everyone should try once. If you are worried about the raw egg part read about how much healthier Eggs are in Europe.
Best Full Meals to Eat in the Czech
Goulash – pivovarsky goulash
Pivo is the word for beer in the Czech, so this is goulash made with, you got it, local dark Czech Beer. It is a beef-base broth with beef, veggies, and a lot of smoked paprika. Often, it is served with potato pancakes or dumplings. It is very hearty and does the trick when your crew is hungry after wandering around all day. We loved goulash when we lived in the Czech and have never found anything quite like it. We can make it at home with beef goulash mix – it is the closest we have come to reproducing it; the key is simply organic smoked paprika.
Tenderloin with cream sauce – svíčková na smetaně
This little local specialty is something you won’t find anywhere else. It is a pork or beef tenderloin cooked in a honey-cream sauce. Some places you will find it with chicken, but my fave was always the pork. I know it sounds like a strange combination, but I promise the pork is savory, balanced by the smooth cream, with a touch of sweet honey. This local dish will send your taste buds a dancing!
Potato pancakes – bramboracky
Oh, potato pancakes. What is not to love?! When you live in Europe as long as we have, 10 years and counting, you learn to love these little crispy pancakes of love. Each European country we visit seems to have their own version of potato pancakes, and the Czechs are no exception. They are normally sold as a side item to goulash or a meat dish. They are also found at street food vendors, deep fried hot, and covered in garlic or cheese. So, whether you are on the go, or having a sit-down meal, you will never be short of potato pancakes.
I always miss potato pancakes when we go to the USA; they are just not the same, but I do have a secret box recipe I can use (SHHH… don’t tell anyone!)
Dumplings – knedliky
So, I told you how I really love all food when I’m traveling, but sometimes there are one or two things that I don’t fall in love with. You know, like scorpions in Thailand or tarantulas in Cambodia… and these little knedliky just never found their way to my heart or my taste buds. They are a local Czech specialty, and I think you should give them a try. They are part dumpling, part bread. They have very little flavor, unless cooked with minced meat. I can see you rushing to taste these after my amazing description – just try them, once.
Pork knuckle – oleno
Meat, meat, and more meat! My boys learned to eat pork knee (as we call it in the Czech.) Our youngest, Vincent, was only six when we lived there and was never afraid to order an entire pork knee. He is my carnivore and fell in love with this giant hunk of meat on a spit. To be honest, all the men in my house love this dish and order it whenever they see it. It is too much meat for me, but I have to say the flavor is just over the top delicious and truly a hearty dish. The crispy skin keeps the pork moist on the inside and makes for an amazing, crispy snack that my guys always save for last. Try one; they are BIG! So, if you are not a big eater, it is always good to share one.
Local sweet food to Eat in the Czech
Honey cake – medovnik
Whenever we hear medovnik, bells go off, organs starting playing, and the sun shines directly on us! My kids give honey cake the highest award of best local food to eat in the Czech. Whenever our friends come to visit us from the Czech, they have to pay for their stay with honey cake. We have never found it served outside of the Czech.
To be honest, my boys and hubby used to order it all the time when we lived in the Czech. I thought it looked dry, and I am not much of a sweets eater, so the first year we lived there I avoided it. Then, one day, I snuck a bite of Tony’s cake. HOLY HONEY BEE! Why had I been ignoring this cake for over a year?! It is not dry; it has creamy layers between thin sliced cake. Layers and layers of cake laced with honey and stuffed with cream. OMG you have to try this!
Luckily, after thinking we would never have delicious honey cake again, I found the original honey cake company. Guess what? They ship to 36 countries YIPEEE –
you can get it here –> Honey Cake MARLENKA
Czech cinnamon rolls – trdelnik
These little babies are another of my kids’ favorite. Normally, you see them in open-air markets or around the Christmas markets. The dough is usually made into squares and then wrapped around a stick. The sticks are laid over open fire; once the dough is cooked they are dipped in cinnamon. They are best when hot off the fire; the Czech version of Cinnabon. My kids love these and will stand in line, during Christmas time, for hours. Me? I opt for hot wine, but the kids say these are not to be beat.
Apple strudel – jablecny zavin
Most people know about famous European apple strudel, and some of the very best is made in the Czech. It is a flaky pastry dough baked in layers and filled with apples, raisins, cinnamon, and sugar. The Czechs normally sprinkle it with powdered sugar and top it off with ice cream. Listen, you’re on vacation so get you some! The origins of this dessert go way back to the Austrian-Hungarian empire. The recipe has survived all those years for a good reason.
The last of our Best local food to eat in the Czech is…
crepes or palancinky
Crepes are essentially thin pancakes that are stuffed and rolled or folded over. In the Czech, they come in all shapes and sizes and you can find them on just about every menu. They come with meat or cheese, and the most popular are sweet. My kids love crepes with chocolate, fruit, and whipped cream. If you are traveling with kids, and having challenge to get them to eat, palincinky will do the trick.
Can we help you with other things while visiting Prague?
Need a list of things to do and see? Check out our Weekend Guide to Prague! Really close by the boarder is a town in Germany called Dresden, which is so beautiful and is a great day trip from Prague. You can read our guide to Dresden here.
Flights to Czech
The main airport is just outside of Prague. You can Compare flight Prices Here, from all the major airline companies.
Hotels in Prague
We use Booking.com for all of our hotel bookings, both overseas, and in the USA. If you need a recommendation for a hotel, my personal recommendations would be Apartments Wenceslas Square. We have stayed here many times, and you can choose your bedroom count; each unit has a full kitchen, too. The best part is that all the apartments are located in the center of Prague, in the Marks and Spencer building, (Photo below) and is walking distance to all the sites. Parking is scarce in Prague, but the hotel offers onsite parking with a reservation. It is also only steps from the train station and the subway. Compare Hotels Here
Need some ideas on what to do and see in Prague?
Our go to tour company is Viator.com we have used them all over the world. They have the top tours and can be trusted to only work with the best and most trusted companies. For my personal pick, 3 great tours to take are ~ For Foodies, Food Walking Tour Through Prague, The Czech Beer Tour, and For a fun night out with the kids The Mid-Evil Diner Show is a lot of fun, we really enjoyed it. Compare Tour Prices here.
Car rental in Prague
The Czech Language
Want to learn a little bit of conversational Czech before you go? A great option is the We have used Pimsleur Language Programs multiple times, to get our language skills up to par. Pimsleur is offering a free lesson for any language, just click the banner below. –>
Please remember that your passport must be valid for at least 90 days (some countries request six months) after you leave the Czech Republic. Please make sure your passport is updated or you can be turned away at the airport. Our go-to, last minute help is RushMyPassport.com.
Do you need travel insurance for any unforeseen illness or challenge? Our go-to travel insurance company is Allianz Global.
So, there you have it – my list of the best local food to eat in the Czech Republic! I hope you enjoy the Czech as much as we did. Have I forgotten any of your favorite foods from the Czech? If so, drop me a comment. I would love to hear about it.