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A Guide to Eating and Drinking in Prague

An Assortment of Czech Dishes

Generally speaking, the Czech Republic isn’t known for haute cuisine and swanky dining. But for filling dishes at good cheap prices (washed down with lashings of beer) in a warm, friendly atmosphere, Prague is pretty hard to beat.

When it comes to 'real' Czech food in Prague, meat and game invariably feature heavily on the menu. 'Veprove knedlikv', or pork and dumplings, are a staple, while thick broths like 'cesnekovv polevka' (garlic broth) are also common.

But it’s by no means all heavy, traditional fare. In recent years, Prague has also been colonized by a variety of world cuisines, and a selection of Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Mexican restaurants have begun to spring up.

Many of these fashionable international restaurants are located in the city’s business district around Wenceslas Square and to the north of the Nove Mesto, the new(er) part of town.

More rustic places, however, can easily be found in the older parts of town. Within the Stare Mesto itself, Ramova has a couple of decent ethnic eateries, while in the heart of the Mala Strana, Trziste and Na Kampe both have a clutch of excellent spots to try out.

The southern part of the Nove Mesto also has some excellent turn-of-the-century coffee houses. Along the river, the streets around Narodni and Stepanska are great places from which to watch the world go by over a coffee and a slice of cake.

Hardly surprisingly for a country that brews some of the finest varieties in the world, the Czechs love their beer. And while Budvar and Pilsner Urquell might be the most famous, there are also plenty of others to try out.

Aside from the beer, a meal is often washed down with a strong spirit such as absinthe, or becherovka, a herbal aperitif said to aid digestion. 70 percent proof and banned in many parts of the world, it’s commonly served frozen – which makes it (a little) more palatable!

Prague may appeal more to the gourmand than the gourmet, but it’s a paradise for travelers who love a decent, filling meal that doesn’t cost the earth. And a leisurely meal in one of the city’s unpretentious restaurants is a perfect start to the long night that inevitably lies ahead.

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