Prague Markets and Street Food to Keep you Warm
You’ll see all the options below at the Prague Christmas Markets and to a lesser extent at craft markets and fixed food concession stalls during the year. Everything below is explained along with many other tips on my Prague Christmas Markets Walking Tour. Where I mention that it is a “Pay by Weight” option then be sure to have a quick read of my Pay By Weight post to understand how this works.
Old Prague Ham
Old Prague Ham is cooked over an open wood fire hence in the winter, this will be the warmest (if a little smokey) place to stand. Funnily enough I’ve found that food served in the markets is not particularly hot. You normally get one of more slices of bread and you should be able to take whatever condiments you want from large “squirt” containers. Remember that this is served /100g so check the Pay By Weight post. Expect to pay @CZK100 per 100g.
The Czech style is to serve the sausage separately with slices of bread but more and more I see the typical Western long roll with the sausage inside especially in the all-year fixed concessions. I’ve now written a post about Prague Hot Dogs. There are usually three types of sausage on sale, the dark red (almost brown) sausage is Klobasa which is the most common and very nice if eaten with horseradish. The second is the light red sausage called Paprika and will have a slightly spicy taste. My own favourite is the white Bavorska which is the herb sausage. In the Czech style you would expect to take mustard and ketchup. In the Western “long-roll” they may also offer sweet cabbage as a topping to make it look more like a “New York dog”. Expect to pay @CZK70.
It is pronounced like “langosh” and at first glance it looks a bit like a pizza. In fact the dough is fried and when you order one you’ll be asked if you want garlic (in Czech Garlic sounds like “chess-neck”) or not. I always say yes and so a spoon of chopped garlic sauce will be the first thing put on the bread followed by a liberal sprinkling of grated cheese and then a squirt of tomato ketchup. Usually served whole, not sliced and eaten by hand. Expect to pay @CZK160. There is now a dedicated post about Langoš.
The ingredients are simple enough, grated potato, egg, flour, garlic and marjoram. I wrote a separate post on Bramborák and how to make it yourself. It’s fried into a thick pancake and can be eaten by hand or using a knife and fork if hot. It’s greasy. You usually find Langoše and Bramborák served at the same place because of the fat fryer needed for both. Expect to pay @CZK60. Bramborak is pictured at the top of the page.
I’ve now written a separate Halušky post with different options and how the Czech and Slovakian styles differ. In Prague as street food this is Gnocchi served with smoked pork and sweet cabbage. Commonly an option at places selling Old Prague Ham as small pieces are chopped up and added to the Halušky. You will not want much of this i.e. maximum 150g because it’s filling and can become a little chewy if there’s not enough bacon or sweet cabbage. I often combine 100g of Halušky as a topping on a Bramborák (described above) for a filling snack around CZK150. Remember that this is served /100g so check the Pay By Weight post. Expect to pay @CZK55 per 100g.
This is what Czechs call chestnuts and is pronounced like “cashtanny”. You either eat them while they are hot or take a couple out and hold them as a little hand warmer. They usually get served in a cone with 7 or 8 pieces and should be priced around CZK90. TIP: You’ll need strong fingernails to get the shells off and also put your gloves in your pocket while you’re eating otherwise you’ll lose one of them!
This is chips as in “fish’n’chips”. In Czech it’s called Hranolky. It requires the fat fryer so look for this at the fixed concessions or at the Langoše-Bramborák stall. Don’t expect any salt and vinegar as the Czech style is to eat with either ketchup or mayonnaise. Expect to pay @CZK40 or more if they are described as “American Wedges”.
This is the cake that looks like a cylinder. It has a summer version with ice-cream but it’s a popular winter snack. In the winter, if they try and sell you one that’s on the rack then say you’ll wait for a fresh one. Ask for it with cinnamon and it has to be served hot so at first you can hardly touch it but don’t worry it will cool down fairly quickly. My tip is to buy a hot chocolate first so as the Trdlo cools you can tear strips off and dunk it. Perfect as a dessert. Expect to pay @CZK60 for a basic trdlo i.e. with cinnamon. Things like chocolate spread and jam will be extra.
Street Food Mix’n’match
There’s lots of opportunity to mix and match food so my advice if there’s more than one of you to order different food. If queues put you off then in December try Republic Square as it’s a lot less busy than the Old Town Square. Don’t be afraid to try Old Prague Ham on your Langoše or another popular one is to buy a hot dog in a roll, take out the sausage and replace it with a chicken shish-kebab. Then eat the sausage on the side. And if you want a hot drink to go with it then check the Six Hot Alcoholic Drinks. Have fun.