Czech Cuisine: 25 Popular Dishes [+ Food Tours]

Updated at  28. April 2024 from Burak
Tschechische Küche 25 typische Gerichte, Prague

Czech cuisine is also called Bohemian cuisine.

Traditional Prague cuisine is very closely related to Austrian, Hungarian, and South German cuisine. The dishes are simple and hearty, there are many meat dishes, which are typically prepared with sauces.

Any kind of dumplings are very popular as a side dish. Dumplings in Czech is called knedlíky and there are very many types of them. Traditionally, every meal is accompanied by a soup.

People eat lunch relatively early in Prague, around 12 noon. Lunch is the main meal, in the evening there are often only cold dishes. Therefore, many restaurants close relatively early in the evening.

To let you know what Prague tastes like, we have compiled the most famous and interesting dishes and drinks for you, as well as the most popular food tours in the city. 

Bon appétit or Dobrou chut' and Přeji vám dobrou chuť as the people in Prague say.

1. Roast Pork with Dumplings and Red Cabbage - Vepřo-knedlo-zélo

Braised pork from the neck - crested - is a national dish in Prague. The roast is seasoned with caraway, coriander, marjoram, and garlic.

Bread dumplings are made from old buns cut into thin slices, soaked in hot milk and made into a dough with the addition of eggs. Then the dumplings are boiled in salted water.
Red cabbage is seasoned with cloves, bay leaf, and vinegar.

The dish is sumptuous and filling, it can be heavy on the stomach.

2. Sirloin with Sour Cream - Svíčková na smetaně a knedlíky

Tenderloin is a typical Czech dish and is prepared from beef tenderloin or other pieces of beef. Carrots, celery, parsley roots, and onions are stewed together with the meat. Then the vegetables are strained and boiled with cream. It is served with cranberries.

As a side dish, there are Bohemian dumplings, which are made from flour, milk, eggs and yeast and sliced to serve.

The dish is tasty, but powerful.

3. Goulash - Guláš

Goulash is originally a Hungarian dish, eaten there quite spicy. Lean beef cut into cubes is cooked with plenty of onions and water until the meat is soft, the sauce is bound with flour. The cooking process lasts for several hours. Seasoning is with paprika powder, juniper berries, marjoram, caraway seeds, salt, pepper, and a dash of vinegar.

Often the goulash is served in a hollowed out loaf of bread, otherwise it is served with dumplings.

Although not quite as spicy as in Hungary, goulash is also quite strongly seasoned in the Czech Republic.

4. Roast Duck/Goose with Cabbage and Dumplings - Pečená kachna/husa

In almost every restaurant, you can find this dish on the menu. Breast or leg, you can choose. The roast is very flavorful, seasoned usually with rosemary, mugwort, and a little grated orange peel.

It is served with potato dumplings and red cabbage or sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is white cabbage preserved by lactic acid fermentation and seasoned with bay leaf, juniper, caraway, cloves, and marjoram.
The dish is quite powerful and heavy.

5. Carp - Kapr

In general, much more meat is eaten in the Czech Republic than fish.

This famous carp is usually served during the Christmas season, only occasionally you will find a carp on the menus during the year.

Traditionally, the carp is cut into pieces, breaded and fried in fat. It is served with potato salad, cucumber salad, and remoulade.

In the Czech Republic, the scales of the carp are a symbol of wealth and are traditionally placed under the plate or carried in the purse.

Most Popular Food Tours and Dinners in Prague:

6. Potato Soup - Bramborová polévka

Potato soup in the Czech Republic is cooked very thick and creamy and thickened with roux.

It gets its typical taste from seasoning with lovage.

7. Garlic Soup - Česnečka

Garlic soup is made from a clear broth of boiled potatoes, into which a lot of garlic is rubbed. It is additionally seasoned with caraway seeds. Just before serving, toasted bread cubes are sprinkled on top.

8. Tripe Soup - Dršťková polévka

The tripe is boiled in salted water until soft and cut into strips. Then they are sauteed in fat with onions and garlic and deglazed with meat broth. Season with salt, pepper, bay leaf, and sweet and hot red bell pepper.

9. Goulash Soup - Gulášová polévka

Goulash soup is cooked from beef or pork, onions, garlic, tomato paste, and potato cubes. It is seasoned with caraway seeds, paprika powder, and marjoram. Goulash soup gets its spiciness from finely chopped pepperoni, it must be served very hot.

Originally, goulash soup comes from Hungary. Gulyas is Hungarian and means beef shepherd.

10. Semolina Gnocchi Soup - Polévka s krupičkovými knedličky

Creamed butter is mixed with eggs and semolina, formed into dumplings and then cooked in beef broth. To serve, the semolina gnocchi are sprinkled with finely chopped chives. Season with nutmeg.

11. Prague Ham - Pražská šunka

Prague ham is the most famous cooked ham in Czech cuisine. It is sold as a cold cut and is usually eaten cold.

To enjoy it warm as well, the rind is removed and the ham is baked in the oven wrapped in bread dough.

12. Melted Cheese - Smažený sýr

Smažený sýr translates as melted cheese. Even though the dish is not part of typical Czech cuisine, it is often served in the Czech Republic. It is breaded cheese partially filled with Prague ham. It is served with French fries and tartar sauce - tatarka.

13. Olomouc Quargel - Olomoucké tvarůžky

Olomouc Quargel is a sour milk cheese with red smear, made from cow's milk and ripened within 24 to 26 hours. It tastes slightly sour and has a spicy strong aroma. It is considered the only original Czech cheese.

14. Canapés - Obložené chlebíčky

Chlebíčky are offered as a snack. The thin slices of white bread are spread with butter and topped with various toppings, including meat salad, Hungarian salami, beer ham, eggs, herring, cream cheese, tartar, or a mixture of seafood or shrimp and remoulade.

15. Potato Pancakes with Sauerkraut - Bramboráčky

Raw grated potatoes are mixed with egg and flour to a thin dough, seasoned with nutmeg and salt and fried in hot fat.

In the Czech Republic, they are served with sauerkraut.

16. Pickled Smoked Sausage - Utopenci

Utopenci are a specialty from the Czech cuisine.

A decoction of vinegar and water is boiled with pepper, bay leaves, allspice, juniper berries, garlic and sugar. Then a Bohemian smoked boiled sausage is placed in the decoction together with onions cut into rings, where it should stay for at least 1 week.

The dish is offered as a snack in restaurants and beer gardens.

17. Tree Cake - Trdelník

Originally, trdelník comes from Slovakia, but in recent years it has become increasingly popular and is sold at many street stalls in Prague as a Czech specialty.

The dough made of butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and flour is spread in layers on metal bars and baked over an open flame. The layering gives the baked product rings like a tree.
Often trdelník is offered warm, filled with cinnamon sugar, chocolate sauce, jam plum jam, or with ice cream.

18. Pancakes - Palačinky

The pancake was already known in ancient times among the Romans, it was also the Roman legionaries who brought the pastry to Europe.

A very thin dough made from flour, milk, and eggs is baked in a pan and then filled with different fillings according to taste, usually with jam - džem or strawberries - jahody.

Pancakes can be found as a dessert on the menu of any Prague restaurant.

19. Apple Strudel - Jablečný závin

Even though Austria is famous for its apple strudel, it originally comes from the Czech Republic. When the Czech Republic was still part of the Habsburg monarchy, many Bohemian women moved to Vienna and brought, among other things, the recipe for apple strudel to Viennese cuisine.

Apple strudel is a strudel or puff pastry filled with sliced sweet and sour apples and raisins and flavored with cinnamon and sugar. It is baked in the oven and served with vanilla sauce.

20. Yeast Dumplings - Buchtičky

Buchtičky are sweet filled or unfilled yeast dumplings baked in the oven. Buchtičky are a typical dish from the Czech cuisine. They look like steam dumplings, but they are baked, not cooked in steam.

Usually buchtičky are filled with powidl - plum jam - or poppy seeds and served with vanilla sauce.

21. Sweet Dumplings - Sladké knedlíky

Prepared as yeast or potato dumplings, sweet dumplings are very popular in the Czech Republic. They are eaten both as a dessert and as a main course. They are filled with apricots, strawberries, or plums, the imagination knows no bounds.

The best known are apricot dumplings - Meruňkové knedlíky - which are also very popular in Austria. Pitted apricots are put into a ball of dough and then cooked. They are then rolled in browned breadcrumbs and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Švestkové knedlíky are plum dumplings and povidlové knedlíky are powidl dumplings, i.e. dumplings filled with plum jam.

22. Gingerbread Like Dough Cones - Štramberské uši

Štramberské uši are small cones formed from dough, flavored with honey and spices.

The dough and taste is reminiscent of gingerbread. They have been protected throughout the EU since 2007.

23. Beer - Pivo

Beer is considered the national drink in the Czech Republic. Beer consumption per capita is the highest in the world at 159 liters per year. Thanks to internationally known brands such as Budweiser and Pilsner Urquell, Czech beer is world-famous.

The degrees you read on beer refer to the original gravity:

  • 10° beer has about 4% alcohol.
  • 12° beer has about 5% alcohol.

If you order a beer, you say jedno pivo or velké pivo and you get a half liter glass. If you want less, you say malé pivo and get a 0.3 liter glass.

At the beer festival there are one-liter glasses or zlatavý mok, which means golden drink.

There are many different types of beer:

  • Světlé pivo - Light beer, such as Staropramen, Samson, Budvar, Gambrinus, Starobrno.
  • černé pivo - Dark beer, such as Krušovice, Regent, Purkmistr
  • Dvanáctka - Stronger, spicier beer with 12 degrees / 5% alcohol
  • Desítka - Light draught beer with 10 degrees / 4% alcohol
  • Nealko (Pivo) - Non-alcoholic beer

Na zdraví! - Cheers!

24. Herbal Liqueur - Becherovka

Becherovka is the famous herbal liqueur from Karlovy Vary. The green-yellow herbal bitters, has existed in this form for over 200 years. It is named after its inventor Josef Vitus Becher, the recipe is top secret.
The drink is popularly drunk neat and iced.

Beton is the Czech Republic's best-known mixed drink and consists of Becherovka mixed with tonic water

25. Cola - Kofola

Kofola is a carbonated and caffeinated soft drink. The taste is reminiscent of cola. In the Czech Republic, Kofola competes with Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Otherwise, the most common soft drinks are called as follows:

  • Minerálka - Mineral water
  • Pomerančový džus - Orangejuice
  • Jablečný džus - Apple Juice
  • Čaj - Tea
  • Káva - Coffee
  • Mléko - Milk
  • Cukr - Sugar

A final tip is our list of restaurants in Prague with typical Czech cuisine.

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