Prague’s Food Scene

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Prague’s Food Scene
Prague's dining scene has taken off in recent years. Visitors can now experience new takes on traditional Czech food as well as extreme gastronomic invention.
By Joann Plockova, AFAR Local Expert
Photo by Joao Canziani
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    Colorful Farmers' Markets
    Farmers’ markets didn’t catch on in Prague until 2010, but now nearly every neighborhood has a place to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, and fish. One of the biggest markets, with roughly 60 stalls, is held every Saturday near the Dejvicka metro station in Prague 6. But the market with the most pleasant location is Naplavka in Prague 2, set along the Vltava River. Offering smoked fish, Hungarian fish soup, bread, and more, it’s a great way to spend a Saturday morning or early afternoon (the market lasts from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
    Photo by Joao Canziani
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    Cafe Culture, Past and Present
    Prague is home to many great cafes that send visitors spinning back in time. One of the most beautiful is Grand Cafe Orient. From the layout to its bar, to its lamps and lanterns, this centrally-located coffee house is said to be the only cafe in the world designed in the Cubist style. But along with Prague's historic cafes, the city is now home to a myriad number of speciality coffee cafes. One that kick-started the scene is the always buzzing Můj šálek kávy, located in the city's foodie hub, Karlín.
    Photo by Heather Evans
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    Michelin-Starred Dining
    Prague’s dining scene has really blossomed in the last ten years or so, to the point where the city now boasts three Michelin-starred restaurants. In 2012, the first degustation restaurant in the Czech Republic, La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise, was awarded a star. This is the place to find centuries-old Czech recipes rendered anew with contemporary flair. La Degustation as it's referred has retained its star every year since claiming the first.
    Photo by Joao Canziani
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    Prague for Vegetarians and Vegans
    There was a time when you would have received stares for trying to order vegetarian food in Prague. While it’s hardly a vegetarian stronghold, the city has many more options today, and they’re growing all the time. One of the best restaurants is the aptly named Lehka Hlava (Clear Head), which combines a whimsical interior with an imaginative menu of tacos, pastas, quinoa dishes, and fresh juices.
    Photo by Joao Canziani
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    Classic Craft Beer
    If mass-produced Czech beers aren’t your thing, you’ll be happy to know that Prague has a very active microbrewery scene. One of the best known (and hence very touristy) spots is U Fleku, which has been brewing beer for more than five centuries; it serves homey Czech fare and regularly hosts musicians, including a daily accordion player. Guests come from afar to try their 13 degree dark lager.
    Photo by Miroslav Krob/age fotostock
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    Prague’s Ripening Wine Scene
    Wine has carved out at a place for itself in Prague alongside beer. Although it is the Czech Republic's more southern Moravian region that is most known for its wine, Bohemia has its share as well. One of the most interesting spots in the city is Veltlín wine bar in the Karlín district. Their offering of natural wines all come from the former Austro-Hungarian empire, which boasted a rich diversity of blends.
    Photo by age fotostock
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    Old-School Czech Cuisine
    A visit to Prague wouldn’t be complete without at least one traditional meal. For all its cosmopolitan charm, the city still has plenty of places to order goulash, knedliky (dumplings), pickled sausages, and the like. U Fleků offers hearty Czech food and beers in a historic pub-style restaurant. Lokal does the same but with fresh local ingredients and modern twists.
    Photo by Yadid Levy/age fotostock
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    Classy Cocktail Bars
    The city fell in love with cocktail culture several years ago and now boasts a range of excellent bars that serve classy concoctions to tourists and locals. Parlour, a speakeasy style bar is among the most popular. Hard to find (there is no sign), and without a menu, it's worth the initial confusion. These self-proclaimed cocktail artists will mix up a customized concoction that will hit the spot every time, and serve it in a vintage cocktail glass no less.
    Photo by Karolyne Ellacott