We recently spent 3 months living in Prague, which gave us a great opportunity to experience different restaurants all around the city. Some of these places are traditional Czech while some of them are definitely not. We loved trying the various cuisines available throughout this lively city!
Even though we’ve got dollar signs next to each one to let you know how expensive they are, it’s still all relative to Czech currency. Just about any place you go to will still be cheaper than a half-decent restaurant in the States!
Disclaimer: These are in no particular order.
1. Lemon Leaf – $$
We love Thai food, and there are several places in Prague we visited for it. Lemon Leaf is one of our favorites. It’s a cool atmosphere, you can call in your orders and have it ready by the time you get there, and the price for the food is excellent. This place can get busy sometimes, but it’s worth the wait!
Located in Prague 2 – New Town
2. Pasta Fresca – $$$
We were in a random deli when we overheard some college girls yapping loudly about their new favorite restaurant, Pasta Fresca. We looked it up, liked what we saw and decided to visit it with our Italian roommate, Alessio. Who better to verify the authenticity of Italian food than him? It’s just around the corner from the Old Town Square, so it’s a great place to eat after touring that beautiful area. It’s got kind of a date atmosphere, so bringing your special someone here is a great idea. They took our coats and put them into a closet, then took us past about a dozen two-person tables upstairs before leading us to the cool below-ground dining area. It’s all built into stone with towering wine racks and incredible food. It’s on the more expensive side of Czech dining, but it is still cheaper than anything we’re used to in the States. We shared a bruschetta appetizer, we each had a large meal, Shelly had wine, and Jimmie and Alessio had a beer. Our total? Around $40 USD. Calling ahead for a table here is a must too.
Located in Prague 1 – Old Town
3. Butcher’s Grill & Pasta – $$$
We visited Butcher’s with some coworkers and their girlfriends one weekend. We had no idea what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised when we walked through the front door. It’s really more of an upscale steakhouse, even something you might see here in Texas. The decor and atmosphere is pleasant and the food was fantastic. This was probably the most expensive place we visited, but we were lucky because it was a “company expense.” Appetizers, thick steaks, wine, beer… this place seemed to have it all and at about $120 for 5 of us it was quite a deal. Kind of difficult to find and get to via public transportation, but if you need a good meal you can’t go wrong here.
Located in Prague 1 near Florenc
4. The PUB – $
This is a bar we went to with our coworkers that is a fairly large chain. They have about five locations in Prague alone, then several more in the Czech Republic as well as in Germany, Slovakia, Austria and Romania. They’re really unique because you can have several friends sit at a table, with one beer tower in the middle of the table and a couple of spouts. You plug in your name via a small keyboard on the beer tower. Then, whenever you want a drink, you put in your number and pull the lever to refill your glass. It keeps track of how many you’ve had and makes it easy to pay. The coolest part is that your table is competing with the other tables as far as amount of beer consumed. Then they take it another step further and the PUB you’re in competes with the other locations across Europe! It’s all displayed on a large projection across one wall, and the competition makes for a fun atmosphere.
Located all over Prague.
5. The Globe Bookstore & Cafe – $
If you’re looking for a cool place with a heavy American expat community, here’s your answer. You’ll find many college students here talking loudly about their drunken exploits from the previous night, or quietly sipping hot lattes while they read a book. The Globe has many events during the year: trivia, free movie screenings, live music, and during football season they’ll play NFL games on a projector, . We’d often go there to work on blog posts and eat some delicious food. Missing a dish from back home? They’ve probably got it. An abundance of outlets, free wifi, excellent food and coffee, and familiar American accents make this a great place to check out.
Located in Prague 1 – New Town
6. Bohemia Bagel – $
Bohemia Bagel is another American-style restaurant. They have great bagels of course, and come to find out, bagels are very hard to come by in Czech Republic. In addition, we went a few times for a much-needed American brunch. We typically went to the Malá Strana location in Prague 1 (very near the Charles Bridge) but the one in Holeševice is much bigger and not as crowded.
Located in Prague 1 Malá Strana and Prague 7 Holešovice
7. Plzeňský Restaurant Anděl – $
Don’t let the difficult Czech name scare you away. If you’re looking for a traditional, but nice Czech bar and restaurant then definitely go here. One of our Czech friends said that it’s so popular, it doesn’t just go by one name. It might be called Plzeňský restaurant, Plzeňska Anděl, Anděl Plzeňský restaurant, Plzeňský Restaurant Anděl and so on. Beer is cheaper here than just about anywhere else. For a half liter of Pilsner Urquell (Jimmie’s new favorite beer), it’ll only cost you 42 kr, or about $1.60. Czechs love beer. They also have tons of other liquors and wines though too. This bar/restaurant is unique in that they have a two-lane bowling alley downstairs.
Located in Prague 5 – Smichov
8. Bar Blue Light – $$
We made friends with a French couple while we lived in Prague, and met up with them one weekend here. There’s only three small rooms and it was jam-packed with people when we were there. It’s got super interesting decor, and we caught ourselves just staring at odd drawings on the wall several times. This is a Czech bar, so smoking is definitely allowed inside and with it being such a small place, you’d better be ok with that.
Located in Prague 1 – Malá Strana
9. Lokal Blok – $$
Lokal Blok was located one street over from the apartment we were renting, so we walked past it just about every single day. It’s non-smoking, modern, and has cool outdoor-themed decor. The waitstaff is very friendly too, which can be hard to find in the Czech Republic! The waiter we always got looked like Marcus Mumford’s brother. Ask for Vojtěch (pronounced V-Tech)! Their menu has influences from all over the world and the restaurant usually has a younger crowd. One of the unique things about Lokal Blok is that downstairs there is a rock climbing wall!
Located in Prague 5 – Smichov
10. Potrefená Husa – $$
There are several popular locations all over Prague, and they always seem to be packed. The original is just a few blocks from where we lived and is actually located on the Staropramen brewery grounds (Staropramen is another famous Czech beer.) It got so popular it seems, that they opened a second one right in the same area, and that is the one we enjoyed the most. They have delicious Czech food but usually with a modern twist. Their onion soup is one of Shelly’s favorites, and we never had a bad meal. They also have a non-smoking section for those that enjoy having their meal sans second degree smoke.
Located all over Prague.
11. Burrito Loco – $
Whenever we felt like we were missing Mexican food (we are from Texas after all), we’d hit up Burrito Loco. It’s a small, to-go place where you can grab a quick burrito or quesadilla which are surprisingly delicious. Their prices are cheap, the burritos are filling and there are four locations throughout Prague. We fortunately had one located just a block away, so when we didn’t feel like cooking or dealing with a sit-down restaurant, we’d oftentimes just stop by here. They also carry Mexican ingredients like tortillas and salsas for those of us with withdrawals.
Located all over Prague.
12. Cantina – $$$
We came to Cantina a couple of times as another way to help cure our craving for Mexican food. Cantina is almost always packed, so calling for a reservation is a good idea. The food is wonderful, but their margaritas and mojitos are even better. Because Mexican food is such a novelty in Prague, this is also one of the higher priced restaurants you’re likely to visit here.
Located in Prague 5 – Malá Strana
Bonus: Restaurace Čajovna – $
This might be our all-time favorite Czech restaurant. The only catch? It’s not in Prague, but in a tiny city about 45 minutes southeast of Prague called Říčany. We lived there for a week when we started our jobs, and this was our go-to spot. It’s kind of a two-in-one restaurant: the left side is a pizza restaurant and the right side is a more traditional restaurant, but they were both owned by the same people. Out back is a lush garden where people can eat and enjoy being outside if the weather is nice. They own several friendly cats who always come by and rub your leg or jump in your lap, which can either be off-putting or amusing depending on who you talk to. Their food is always spectacular, and if we could only eat at one place when revisiting the Czech Republic, this would have to be it.
Located in Říčany.
- Smoking is allowed in 99% of bars and restaurants in Prague (according to a stat I just made up). Seriously though, it’s just something you’ll have to get used to. Most of the nicer restaurants don’t allow it inside, however any normal restaurant or bar will have a thick haze you have to just deal with.
- Tipping is a growing practice in the Czech Republic, especially in touristy Prague. For a more upscale restaurant, tip at least 5-10%. In pubs or lower-scale restaurants, locals will round up to the nearest 10 with the change received from the bill.
- There’s a strong likelihood that you’ll encounter awful service in a restaurant or bar (compared to the States.) Czech’s don’t care about being overly nice, you don’t have to be nice to them, and if your waiter or waitress is rude, it’s important you realize that it’s definitely just part of local culture. Our Californian boss was the one who mentioned this to us, and we’re glad he did. Knowing this fact beforehand will just make it funny, as opposed to getting pissed at your bad service.
- Most restaurants in Prague, especially the traditional Czech restaurants, will have a lunch menu with only a few items that you can choose from. Usually, you’d order a soup (such as garlic soup), a lunch meal (usually a meat and potatoes dish), and a drink. Since beer is the cheapest, it’s not unusual for people to have a 0,5L Pilsner for lunch (even on a work day!)
- Many Czech restaurants have started using credit card machines within the last several years. For these, you’ll need a credit card with smart chip technology to insert into the machines. However, many restaurants still operate using only cash. For this reason, always carry a few hundred Czech Crowns on you!
We hope you found this useful! If you’ve ever been to Prague and have another bar or restaurant that you suggest, tell us about it in the comments section below!
Shelly & Jimmie