Prague Food – It’s Filling
Coming to Prague for a few days and want to know what Prague food is like? Want to know which you absolutely have to include as part of your trip? then my top 6 Prague food meat classics (and one dessert) are below.
Beef Sirloin (in Czech – Svičkova na Smetaně)
I’m not giving any secrets away by saying this will be two or three slices of baked beef sirloin. No vegetables though. This Prague food will be served with sliced bread dumplings, the meat will be covered in a creamy thick sauce and on the meat will usually be a slice of lemon. On the lemon will be cream and on the cream will be Cranberry jam. If you want to say it in Czech it sounds like “Svitchkova na smettan-eay”.
Pork Knuckle (in Czech – Vepřove Koleno)
There’s a bit of variety when it comes to Pork Knuckle and especially when it comes to price. In Czech the “koleno” is the knee joint but some places seem to think they can get away with the ankle. It’s a question of the amount of meat because the true Czech Koleno will have 300-400g of meat on it. The other variant is how it is presented. The true “koleno” will be spiked at both ends above a board and you’ll be expected to cut bits of meat off onto the board where they’ll be condiments like ketchup, horseradish and mustard waiting. You’ll need to order vegetables separately and in my experience with this kind of Prague food, roast potatoes goes well with it.
There will not be a Prague food menu in the city that does not have some reference to Goulash. Just note that we have several kinds but they can be broken down into Beef Goulash or Pork Goulash (Pork is more popular with Czechs). Goulash is usually served only with sliced bread dumplings but a restaurant can offer different types of dumplings including Karlovarsky (Herb dumplings) or Bramborovy (potato dumplings) or Bramboračky (potato pancakes). The goulash itself can be cooked and presented in different ways but personally I prefer the dark goulash served with raw onions. You can also find “goulash in bread” where a round loaf of bread is hollowed out to hold the goulash.
Moravian Sparrow (in Czech – Moravsky Vrabec)
For this Prague food you must like Pork and you must like a bit of fat on the meat. It’s my personal favourite and I expect it to be served in a certain way. Pork baked until it’s falling to pieces served with sliced potato dumplings, red and white sweet cabbage. Remember that there is no gravy or sauce with this meal so the cabbage (zeli) provides the moisture and it’s ideally accompanied by a large beer.
Ribs (in Czech – Žebrák)
If I had a pound for each time I’ve heard people say that there is “zebra” on the menu then I would have eaten for free these last 10 years. Czechs like Pork Ribs, usually marinated (smoked or with a pepper marinade) and cooked to the point that it’s falling from the bone so it’s not expected that you will eat it with your hands. There is no recognised side dish with this meal. You may have potatoes or possibly grilled vegetables or a salad.
Again it’s a pork dish but with a difference. Uzená is smoked pork that can be served in slices but more usually pieces. The side dish is Spinach which has been reduced to a mass of green on the plate and also some fried onions in most cases. It’s one of the only classic Prague Food dishes that does not come with dumplings.
For the pork knuckle and a nice “beerhall experience” I recommend U Vejvodu in the Old Town. I could recommend separate places to try but to be honest, many of the others above can be found at my favourite local restaurant called U Pivrnec. If you are looking for a few other places to try Prague food then look at my Recommended Czech Restaurants page. And if you are intending to take a beer or two with your meal then take a look at the Czech Beer page.
Let’s not forget my dessert tip. My favourite Czech dessert is Livanec which are small thick pancakes (as opposed to regular pancakes called palačinky). Livanec is always served in a portion of 3 or 4, surrounded by a sea of fruit sauce (usually raspberry) and a serious serving of double cream. It’s a real diet buster but if you are walking around the city then you’ll burn it off.