I’ve talked about food in Prague in past posts, from the trdelnik to the potato pancakes, but its absurdly heavy and equally delicious qualities deserved a more thorough look.
Koleno: Crisp skin, fat, and tender meat come together on this roast pork knee that is generally served as a single, enormous chunk of meat with a knife and dipping sauces. It has been marinated in dark beer and herbs and often comes with some form of pickled vegetables and Czech bread.
Svíčková na Smetaně: Bread dumplings and beef sirloin congregate under a gravy of herbs and root veggies (carrots, parsely root, etc.) and a dollop of cranberry sauce. A slice of lemon and cream garnish the plate. The dish has every flavor, from meaty to creamy and sweet to tart, that somehow manages to work together.
Tatarák: The specialty of minced raw beef with an egg yolk on tops looks nasty, but onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, mustard, and paprika save it. It is sometimes served without being mixed (so you can do it to taste) and with a piece of fried bread for you to smother with a garlic clove. Believe it or not, even with “fried” bread, this dish is refreshingly in comparison to others you’ll be having in the city.
Pivo: Beer. Delicious, fresh, locally-brewed beer. The best can be found in tank pubs (tankovna) where they use tanks instead of kegs.
Bramboráky: Potato pancakes are self-explanatory and necessary to your diet while in the city. If you’re only going to eat potato pancakes in one city (but why would you do that?), then it has to be Prague.
Ovocné knedlíky: These strawberry, apricot, or plum stuffed bread dumplings are found under a layer of butter, powdered sugar and quark cheese. They’re typically eaten for lunch or dinner (never breakfast) even though they sound like a dessert.
Krokety: These fried mashed potato balls are a heavy snack found at street vendors or as a side dish and best walked off immediately after consumption.
Vepřo-knedlo-zelo: If you haven’t yet noticed, pork is huge in Prague, and this dish is no exception. Roast pork arrives with sauerkraut and bread dumplings ideal for soaking up the excess gravy. This dish combines the three national foods: pork, dumplings, and cabbage.
Trdelnik: I’ve already waxed poetic about this treat, but just in case you missed it, it is rotisserie-baked dough that has been wrapped around a stick and sprinkled with cinnamon, sugar, and a nutty mixture. It should not, under any circumstances, be missed.
Nakládaný Hermelin: Don’t be put off by the thin white film on the outside of the soft, pickled Hermelin cheese. It is often served with beer and some sort of peppers.
Utopenci: Pickled in vinegar, onion, red pepper, and a slew of other spices, these sausages are also an excellent snack to have with beer.
Palačinky: The Czech crêpe, thicker like a pancake but not quite there, is topped with ice cream, whipped cream, and fruit.
Buchtičky se Šodó: A sweet custard sauce smothers small squares or balls of dough dumplings in this hard-to-find dish that many Czech children consume regularly.
Koblihy: The most basic of doughnuts, stuffed with jam and topped with powdered sugar, are soft and fluffy like miniature pillows.
Creamy soup, thick with potatoes and generally eaten as a starter – though it could easily constitute an entire meal.
Liver dumplings swim in a sea of beef bouillon and fill your stomach before the next course even arrives.
Smažený Sýr: Similar to mozzarella sticks, but without mozzarella and generally not in the shape of a stick, these fried-cheese patties are enough to stop your heart and make your mouth water just remembering them months later. They’re best when made with a worthy cheese, such as camembert, and served with, or as part of, potato pancakes.
A sweet treat often found in markets, this quark cheese ice cream pop is covered with chocolate.
– M. Ray Hall