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Eat your way around Prague

Dig into these picks for the city's best bites.

Lenka Jurášková
By Lenka Jurášková28 Mar 2024 5 minutes read
Meat in a bed of sauce on a white place at Divinis.
"Oysters" in white and green sauce.
Divinis and Field Restaurants
Image: Tripadvisor

Prague's food scene has gone through a major evolution, leaving the old-school Soviet sensibilities behind and embracing forward-thinking flavors instead. Nowadays, you’ll find tucked-away bistros, Michelin-starred innovators, and tiny spots serving exceptional takeout across the city.

But watch out: You can still fall into tourist traps, especially in the city center (hint: they display multilingual menus in Russian, English, and German). So just follow my lead to these six local gems that even chefs go to on their days off.

Splurge-worthy meals

For fine dining at its finest: Field

A plate with strips of beef and various dotted sauces.
Image: Tripadvisor

The atmosphere is casual, the interior minimalist, and the spotlight entirely on the food and plating at Field, one of only two restaurants in Prague that have earned a Michelin star. This is by far my favorite spot in the city for special occasions; the modern Czech flavors are worth a trip. Six- and 10-course tasting menus, plus optional wine pairings, mean meals last late in the evening. Join on a weekday, however, and you can sample a two- or three-course lunch for a quicker meal and a more affordable price tag (starting at around $50).

What to order: The menu here is highly seasonal and changes often, but you can expect your meal to start with warm house-baked bread, a selection of artisanal butters, and a whipped foie gras that quite literally melts in your mouth. There’s a vegetarian menu as well as an interesting non-alcoholic drink pairing, which are both rarities in meat- and beer-loving Prague. Try the pomegranate and lemon balm that accompanies a zucchini and caviar amuse bouche.

Travelers say: "We had a wonderful evening (we chose the shorter six-course tasting menu and decided to choose our own wine and not go with the recommended pairings). Every single thing was thought out and the staff was excellent." —Fiona G

For dinner with a view: Terasa U zlaté studně

An rooftop terrace in Terasa U Zlate studne.
Terasa U Zlate studne
Image: Tripadvisor

The best seats at Terasa U zlaté studně are, as the name suggests, on the terasa (terrace), where in the summer months you can step right into the gardens of Prague Castle. On the fourth floor of a 1528 building (now the Golden Well Hotel), this romantic restaurant has a skyline view that's so stunning, it could easily make do with subpar food and nobody would mind. Fortunately, though, the gorgeous location is matched by equally outstanding French-inspired dishes.

What to order: The chef here focuses on light French cuisine (complex and refined flavors, but less butter and cream) with Asian notes. Personally, I prefer the seafood dishes like cod with mussels, but both the duck and suckling pig are fantastic, too.

Travelers say: "We celebrated my 70th birthday at Terasa. The restaurant has a wonderful location tucked against the walls of the castle, perched at the top of a centuries-old building, and offering a splendid panorama of the city. The dining room is small and elegant, the service is perfection with no off-putting pretensions, and the cuisine is surprising, delicious, and extremely well presented." —Chris S

For Italian classics with a Czech spin: Divinis

A sunny dining room with brightly colored fish hanging from the ceiling.
Image: Tripadvisor

You probably didn’t come to Prague to eat Italian food, but don’t let that stop you from visiting Divinis. This homey spot is right in the heart of Old Town, and its open kitchen whips up Italian classics with Czech influences. It’s a formula that’s earned it 11 consecutive Michelin Bib Gourmand awards for "good quality, good value cooking."

What to order: Don’t miss the vitello tonnato (leg of veal in a tuna sauce) and braised veal cheeks in Marsala sauce. Pasta dishes are also memorable, including the ravioli stuffed with shrimp and the taglioni with venison and pecorino. Save room for dessert: The tiramisu and pumpkin panna cotta are both divine.

Travelers say: "Dropped in without a reservation, and they were able to accommodate us for 1.5 hours. The sea bream was the star of the tasting menu, followed closely by the calamari. The whole experience was perfect. We felt right at home and were never under pressure to finish even with the subsequent booking. We thoroughly enjoyed our evening there." —Feargal N

Casual bites

For a meat-heavy lunch: Naše maso

A butcher case with different types of meat.
Naše maso
Image: Tripadvisor

The concept of a butcher shop serving hot food isn’t new in the Czech Republic, but Naše maso sets the bar even higher. On the edge of the historic center, this tiny joint draws a savvy crowd of carnivores who come for the quality, humanely raised meats.

Scan the hanging board, order at the counter, then grab a seat at one of the four small tables. (The team is happy to chat in English about the selections here.) For a special Czech touch, you can pour your own beer from the tap in the wall.

What to order: The basic menu includes three types of sausage, a burger on a traditional Czech houska roll, and a pastrami sandwich that I’ve heard people say is even better than the legendary one from Katz's Deli in New York City. For an epic evening, book the private six-person "Dinner from the Butcher," where a table is lowered from the ceiling and a multi-course feast features an insider's commentary from the head butcher himself.

Travelers say: "My partner and I got a burger and pastrami sandwich to share. The burger was great, but the pastrami sandwich was next level. So good my partner ordered two more. Couldn’t recommend this place more highly. An absolute must-do for foodies in Prague!" —Nicole

For a traditional Czech meal: Lokál U Bílé kuželky

A floral plate with meat and dumplings.
Lokal U Bile Kuzelky
Image: Tripadvisor

Lokál U Bílé kuželky is part of a local restaurant chain that serves classic Czech dishes with draft Pilsner beer (a Czech favorite, in case you haven’t noticed). This location near the Charles Bridge is ideal if you’re sightseeing and want to have a traditional meal without landing at a tourists-only spot. Bonus: You can take a class on how to brew a perfect beer in the ancient cellar.

What to order: Leave your diet at the door. The main dishes all swim in decadently rich sauces and include a side of doughy dumplings. (Think: big bowls of goulash and braised beef in cream.) Not full yet? Ask for extra sauce and dumplings, gratis. Vegetarians can try another Czech staple: fried cheese.

Travelers say: "Good beer, dinner, and nice locals! A splendid experience, including the outstanding Pilsner beer and very tasty meals (do not miss goulash or roasted pork knuckle). Reasonable prices." —Frederik V

For a sweet treat: Kus koláče

A variety of cookies on a baking tray.
Kus koláče
Image: Kus koláče via Facebook

At Kus koláče, kolach—a classic Czech pastry that’s a bit like a doughy Danish—is turned into a wickedly wonderful affair that locals line up for. In addition to these fruit-filled treats, there are pies, cakes, and other baked sweets (about 14 types). Check the whiteboard that lists what time the next batch comes out of the oven, and peek through the window to watch the bakers prepare it.

What to order: Although the options change often, popular choices include blueberry or cherry kolaches (the secret ingredient is lots of butter in the dough). In the fall, look for a plum kolach. I love the taste of the sweet dough mixed with the slightly sour fruit.

Travelers say: "This is ridiculously divine goodness, had blueberry 'danish,' plum cake, and several others—all of it was decadently good. The best time to order it is when the pastry is warm and fresh." —Jiri B

Lenka Jurášková
Lenka Jurášková is a native of Prague and currently lives in the city with her husband and daughter. She is a Public Relations specialist with over 20 years of experience in working internationally as a freelancer for luxury hotels and cultural venues. Her passion is gastronomy, and she is an ardent traveler who loves to explore new countries and their culture, especially through food.