Prague Cuisine: A Savory and Intense Affair

August 24, 2011 by

Eating & Restaurants

An array of Prague's specialty beer and wine

Traditional Czech cuisine is not for the faint of heart; it consists mostly of a wide variety of roasted meats and sausages, dumplings, fried potato pancakes (Bramboráky), and other intensely savory dishes, all of it washed down with famed local beers (the Czechs consume more beer per capita than any other nationality), fine Moravian wines, and higher-proof refreshments like Fernet Stock and Becherovka. Veggies and fish are rarely featured as main courses, with the exception of the traditional Christmas carp, which is typically purchased on the street and kept live in the bathtub.

While outdoor carp vendors only operate in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the street is nonetheless an excellent (and affordable) place to sample the regional fare (particularly in Prague). Food carts of virtually uniform quality and pricing are dotted throughout the center of Prague and the more popular tourist districts. The menu is limited, but what these carts lack in variety, they make up for in quantity and, well, intensity of flavor.

Many visitors to the city are daunted by the size of the massive sausages hanging on display, but no visit to the City of a Hundred Spires is complete without a sausage served with light rye, mustard and sauerkraut or a fried mozzarella sandwich and a draft pilsner. All of the above can be had for five dollars or less.

Easily the most frequented food cart destination is Wenceslas Square, where the stands ring the perimeter of the square and are open well into the evening, catering to late-night revelers and tourists stumbling home from the city’s pubs and cabarets.

-John Reality

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