Category Archives: RESTAURANTS AND CAFES

Czech food classics

Plzensky Gulas, Copyright Week-end PragueI have to admit, Czech cuisine is not as renowned as French, Spanish, Italian or some Asian cuisine, but here in Prague, we very often keep a tradition of serving home made and fresh food.

Indeed in every hospoda (local pub, restaurant), you’ll almost never get pre-cooked meal that were just warmed up – it’s almost always home made dishes. And when trying local food (which in fact is often considered local to Central Europe and not only Czech Republic) you’ll have the opportunity to try some classics.

A soup as a starter, a Czech tradition

As a starter, you’ll notice that Czech people very often have a soup, even in hot summer months. Lunch menus which are offered in local restaurants and often called “poledni menu” are traditionally menus including a main dish and a soup. The variety of soups is endless : chicken/ beef consommé with noodles, mushroom cream soup, spinash cream soup or gulášova (soup derived from the famous guláš) are amongst the most common ones.

Don’t miss the Plzeňský guláš!

As a main dish, make sure you get to try a real classic : a beer guláš (with Pilsner beer in that particular case). You may argue that guláš is originally Hungarian, but as mentionned earlier on, we may consider that this dish is local to the whole region. This dish may sometimes be served with bits of spicy red pepper, so make sure you tell the waiter if you’re not a fan of spicy food! If you had to compare this dish to another renowned international dish, it would be to a « bœuf bourguignon » in France or an Irish stew in Ireland.

In typical Czech restaurants you’ll also have the opportunity to try the chicken or pork schnitzels, called Smažený kuřecí řízek for chicken and Smažené vepřové řízek for pork, which are very similar to the famous Wiener Schnitzel. Still, if you want to try something typical from Czech Republic and that you rarely find in other countries of the region, have a try at the Smažený sýr (fried cheese) or commonly called smažák which is often served with potatoes. It’s generally made of eidam cheese (similar to a French camembert) or blue cheese.

As far as street food is concerned, the klobása (Czech sausage) is a real classic. It is usually served on a small paper plate, a piece of local bread (Šumava) and local mustard. You may also try smoked ham which is pretty common in the country.

Czech desserts

Czech Republic may not have a lot of internationally renowned desserts, but amongst the classics, you may still want to try the medovnik which is a cake made with honey – dessert which is also popular in Russia and former soviet republics. You may also want to try the trdelník, a pastry made of flour which is rolled  and generally covered with sugar and nuts. In touristic districts, you’ll find a lot of small shops selling these trdelník and for instance on Malostranské náměstí square or on the old town square you’ll find several ones.

Potrefena Husa restaurants, Staropramen group

Burger Potrefena Husa (© Potrefena Husa)While walking in Prague’s centre, you will probably notice several Potrefena Husa restaurants. If you get in, you’ll see that they only have Staropramen beer or beers from the same group (for instance Stella Artois, which is distributed by Staropramen on the Czech market). This is simply due to the fact that this chain of restaurants was launched by the beer group.

A popular chain of restaurants

This chain of restaurants is very popular amongst the young working population (20-30 years of age), and the brand Potrefena Husa has succesfully developed in secondary cities namely in Plzen, Olomouc, Ostrava or Zlin. Potrefena Husa has now more than 30 restaurants operated in the Czech Republic.

Menus may vary depending on restaurants, but you’ll always find the Czech classic dishes (svickova, Plzen gulas, or pork schnitzel), as well as some very common international dishes such as burgers, chicken wings, grilled salmon and potato purée.

A great option for a cheap lunch

Some of the restaurants are located in the very centre – if you’re planning on going there for dinner, make sure you make a booking as they get very busy even during week days. At lunch time, you will be able to get the typical lunch menu (very common in Czech Republic) where you get a soup and a choice of 4 main dishes (one being light in calories). The soup will cost you approximately one euro, while the main dish costs from 4 to 6 euros – a great deal especially if you’re on a small budget. Still, one thing you may have to do is ask one of the waiters (who are always happy to help) to translate the lunch menu for you, as these are generally only on Czech.

Here below are some of Potrefena Husa restaurants in the centre :
Praha Hybernska – Dlážděná 1003, Prague 1 (Booking: +420 224 243 631)
Praha Národní třída – Národní třída 364/39, Prague 1 (Booking: +420 273 130 555)
Praha Vinhrady – Vinohradská 104, Prague 3 (Booking: +420 267 310 360)
Praha Holešovice – Dukelských hrdinů 696/43, Prague 7 (Booking: +420 233 931 003)

For more information and the menu, you may check Potrefena Husa website (only in Czech).

Up for an old style French bistro ? Chez Marcel is where you may want to go…

Get in “Chez Marcel”, you’ll feel like you’re in a bistro in Paris, back in the old days. On the walls, you’ll find some old style adverts (Pernod Ricard, “la vache qui rit”…).

The French bistros’ classics

In Chez Marcel, you’ll find all the French classics : quiche lorraine or goat cheese salad to start, from the simple omlette to the duck confit with salardaises potatoes or the rabbit with mustard sauce for the main course. And if you still have some room for dessert, don’t miss the famous “crème brulée”! In the restaurant, they serve wines from Bordeaux, Beaujolais and even Languedoc… the offer is not that extensive but still fair for a bistro type of restaurant. If you’re on a small budget, you can still enjoy a daily menu (soup with main course) for approximately 6 EUR. Still these menus are only valid from Monday to Friday.

Chez Marcel also serves brekafast. Still it will cost you 7 to 8 EUR which may be a bit pricey if you compare that to the local standards. You’ll probably be better off going to some small independant café such as Mamacoffee, where you can enjoy great coffee, muffins and brownies.

The service is of good quality and the menu is in French, English and Czech.