Written by local experts Adriana & Matěj
Adriana and Matěj Halouskovi are travel bloggers behind the successful blog Czech the World.
Matěj was born in Prague and has lived here his entire life and Adriana moved here 6 years ago.
We have traveled to more than 60 countries, but if we could tell you what place we know the most, it is our city.
The historic city of Prague, often referred to as the „Heart of Europe“, is renowned for its architectural marvels, meandering river, and ancient bridges. Yet, beneath the surface of its postcard-perfect vistas lies an indulgent world of gastronomy waiting to be explored.
Dive with us into this culinary adventure as we chart out 17 street food delights in the city that you simply cannot miss.
1) Smažený sýr – Fried Cheese
Imagine a fairly thick slice of fatty cheese, usually Edam, Eidam, or Camembert, coated in a crispy mixture of eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs, and subsequently fried to a golden hue. The result is a delicious piece of cheese with a crispy outer layer and temptingly melted cheese inside.
In restaurants, fried cheese is typically served with fries and tartar sauce. As street food, the fried cheese is placed in a bun. This dish is a wonderful combination of textures and flavors – crispy, soft, and cheesy all in one.
2) Bramboráky – Potato Pancakes
Bramboráky are traditional Czech potato pancakes. Picture coarsely grated potatoes mixed with flour, egg, garlic, and spices (with marjoram being indispensable), which are then fried in a pan until golden.
The outcome is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Bramboráky are irresistible due to their crispy crust and rich potato flavor, often served with garlic, herb dip, or ketchup.
3) Párek v rohlíku
Essentially, this is the Czech version of a hot dog. The sausage is boiled or grilled and placed into a rohlík (which is a typical Czech roll of bread or soft bun). What makes it exceptional is the way the bun is prepared – hollowed out inside, and the sausage is inserted, giving you the perfect bread-to-meat ratio. You can add mustard or ketchup. Onion is usually not a part of párek v rohlíku. It’s a popular, quick, and tasty meal on the go.
4) Trdelník (by tourists called a Chimney cake)
Its history is complex, as versions of it exist in various Central European countries, though it’s heavily marketed to tourists as a traditional Czech snack, its origins can be traced back to Transylvania, Romania. Anyway, if you like sweet stuff, you will like trdelník.
Trdelník is a sweet pastry made from rolled dough which is wrapped around a thick wooden stick or spit and then grilled over open flames. It’s turned continuously until the dough takes on a golden-brown color. Once off the grill, it’s brushed with melted butter and then rolled in a mixture of sugar, and cinnamon, resulting in a sweet, crispy exterior and a soft interior.
In recent years, especially in touristic areas of Prague, Trdelník has been adapted to serve as a cone filled with ice cream, chocolate, and other fillings. But remember – if you want to try the original version – it is the one with 2 holes rolled in sugar and cinnamon.
Langoš is originally a Hungarian dish but has found its way into the culinary traditions of neighboring countries, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Serbia. And us – Czechs we love it.
Langoš is a deep-fried flatbread made of a dough containing flour, yeast, salt, and water. The bread is soft on the inside with a crispy exterior. It’s typically served warm, making it soft and slightly chewy.
Once fried, Langoš is often brushed with garlic (or garlic butter) and can be topped with grated cheese, ketchup, sour cream, and sometimes ham or sausage. There are also variations where it’s treated more like a pizza with various toppings.
In the Czech Republic, Langoš is a popular street food, especially during festivals, and outdoor events.
6) Pivo – Czech beer
In the Czech Republic, beer is more than just a drink; it’s a cultural institution. Pubs and taverns are central to Czech social life, and beer often accompanies meals or gatherings. The saying, „Pivo je tekutý chléb“ – „Beer is liquid bread,“ encapsulates the idea of beer being as staple and nourishing as bread itself.
While beer might not fit the traditional definition of „street food,“ in the Czech context, it does hold a place as a communal beverage that is enjoyed in outdoor markets, festivals, and beer gardens, much like street food in other cultures. Its ubiquity and the ease with which it accompanies various foods, from traditional Czech dishes to snacks, gives it a „street food“ essence in the heart of Czech culture.
Czech Pride: Czechs are often recognized globally for their exceptional brewing techniques and styles. Cities like Plzeň and České Budějovice have given the world iconic brews like Pilsner and Budweiser, respectively.
Czech beer is renowned for its purity, taste, and craftsmanship. Traditional Czech lagers have a perfect balance of malt sweetness and hop bitterness, making them incredibly drinkable. The use of soft water in many Czech breweries also lends the beer a unique character.
Btw. The Czech Republic has the highest beer consumption per capita!
Read also this: Czech Beer: Insider’s Guide – All you need to know + Beer map
7) Chlebíček (Open-Faced Sandwich)
Chlebíček, literally translating to „little bread,“ is a traditional Czech open-faced sandwich. The base is usually a slice of white baguette or a similar type of bread. It serves as a canvas for a variety of toppings.
A classic Chlebíček might be spread with butter or a mayonnaise-based salad, then layered with ham or salami, cheese, a slice of boiled egg, and garnished with pickled cucumber and a sprinkle of paprika. However, the beauty of Chlebíček lies in its versatility.
Chlebíček is often associated with celebrations and gatherings. Be it a family event, office party, or any festive occasion, Chlebíček is a treat for both the eyes and the palate.
And here you can check out where to find the best chlebíčky in Prague:
8) Klobása (Czech sausage)
A traditional Czech smoked meat product. Made predominantly from pork, though sometimes beef or a blend of meats can be used, the meat is seasoned with a variety of spices before being encased.
Key ingredients often include garlic, paprika, and other spices, which give Klobása its distinctive, hearty flavor. The use of garlic and marjoram, in particular, sets it apart from sausages from other regions.
Klobása can be enjoyed in several ways. It can be boiled, grilled, or pan-fried. Once cooked, the outer skin becomes crispy and crunchy, contrasting with the juicy, flavorful meat inside. It’s often served with a side of mustard or horseradish and a slice of dark Czech bread. During festivals or in beer gardens, Klobása grilled on an open flame is a favorite treat.
Unlike its Hungarian cousin, which is more of a soup, the Czech Guláš is a thick and hearty stew. Made predominantly from chunks of beef (though other meats like pork can also be used), the meat is slowly simmered until tender in a rich and flavorful sauce.
It’s traditionally served with knedlíky, or Czech bread dumplings, which soak up the flavorful sauce beautifully. Sometimes, a sprinkle of fresh chopped onion or a dollop of whipped cream is added on top as a garnish.
Guláš is popular festival food, so you can often find stalls serving just Guláš, klobásy, and beer.
10) Pražská šunka (Old Prague Ham)
Pražská šunka is a type of smoked, boneless ham that hails from Prague. It’s known for its delicate flavor, pinkish-red hue, and succulent texture.
This premium ham undergoes a careful process of preparation. It’s first brined, and then gently smoked, often over beech wood, which imparts a subtle smokiness. The result is a ham that’s juicy, tender, and has a pleasantly mild, yet distinct, flavor profile.
Pražská šunka is usually sliced thin and can be served both cold or heated. When served cold, it’s often accompanied by fresh bread, pickles, or Czech-style potato salad. In street food settings, especially during festivals, you might find it being served warm, right off a large rotisserie, with the exterior beautifully caramelized and slightly crispy, contrasting the tender interior.
Just be careful where you buy it or at least say in advance how many grams of the ham you want:
11) Makové koláče (Poppy Seed Pastries)
Makové koláče are traditional Czech pastries filled with a sweet poppy seed mixture. The dough, often yeasted, is soft and slightly chewy, providing a delightful contrast to the dense, rich filling.
The star of this pastry is undoubtedly the poppy seed filling. Ground poppy seeds are mixed with sugar, butter, and sometimes raisins, rum, or lemon zest to create a thick, sweet paste. This mixture is then generously spread onto the dough before baking.
While the poppy seed version is quite popular, koláče can also be filled with other sweet fillings like fruit jams, farmer’s cheese, or nuts. Once baked, they can be dusted with powdered sugar or drizzled with a light glaze. Depending on the region and personal preference, makové koláče might be prepared as individual pastries or as a larger sheet cake that’s sliced into squares.
Where to find koláče in Prague:
12) Honzovy buchty (Honza’s Buns)
Honza is a typical Czech name and also a main character of many Czech fairytales. And all these stories begin with Honza leaving the house with the buns from his mother! That’s why – Honzovy buchty.
Buchty are soft, pillowy buns often filled with sweet fillings. Made from a yeasted dough, these buns are typically baked in a pan close together so that they puff up and adhere to one another, forming a pleasing cluster of individual pastries.
While there can be variations depending on the recipe or regional traditions, common fillings for Honzovy buchty include fruit jams (such as apricot or plum), poppy seed paste, or sweet farmer’s cheese. The filling is enveloped by the dough, creating a delightful surprise in the center of each bun.
Once baked to a golden brown, these buns can be dusted with powdered sugar or sometimes glazed. Honzovy buchty offers a beautiful representation of Czech baking traditions – the emphasis on homemade, the love for sweet fillings, and the joy of sharing food with loved ones.
13) Věneček, větrník a more Czech Pastries
If you have a sweet tooth, you will love these:
- Věneček: which translates to „little wreath“, is a circular choux pastry filled with cream and topped with glossy fondant icing, usually pink or white. The choux pastry is light and airy, offering a lovely contrast to the rich cream inside. The fondant provides an additional layer of sweetness.
- Větrník: a small, round choux pastry filled with caramel-flavored cream and topped with a caramel glaze. Its name is derived from the word „větrník“ which means „windmill“, although it doesn’t particularly resemble one.
- Perníčky: These are gingerbread-like cookies, intricately decorated and often associated with Christmas. They are spiced and can be soft or hard, depending on the recipe and age.
14) Točená zmrzlina z Opočna (Soft serve Ice Cream from Opočno)
Like in much of Europe, the roots of Czech ice cream began with the consumption of snow or ice mixed with fruit juices and honey. These early versions were luxury items, consumed primarily by the nobility. Today, one can find everything from Italian gelato to American-style ice creams in Czechia. Artisanal ice cream shops and innovative flavors have become increasingly popular.
If you want to try really good and cheap one, try Točená zmrzlina z Opočna.
15) Sekaná v housce (Meatloaf in bun)
One more Czech fast food – street food is sekaná v housce. Sekaná is traditional Czech meatloaf typically made from a combination of pork and beef, mixed with eggs, breadcrumbs or rolls soaked in milk, onions, garlic, and various spices. It’s similar to other European meatloaf recipes but has its unique Czech twist in terms of flavor and preparation.
A slice of Sekaná meatloaf is often served inside a bun.
Whenever you go with friends to the pub and you are just a little hungry, you can have these snacks that are widely available in nearly every Czech Pub:
16) Utopenec (Pickled Sausages)
Pickled sausages, or „Utopenci“, are a traditional Czech delicacy that’s especially popular in pubs as an accompaniment to beer. The name „Utopenci“ is quite peculiar, literally translating to „drowned men“, and it refers to the sausages „drowned“ in a marinade, which forms the basis of this dish.
Utopenci are typically made from Czech sausages „drowned“ in a marinade made from vinegar, water, salt, whole peppercorns, bay leaves, cloves, paprika, and other spices as per one’s taste. The marinade also contains slices of onion and garlic. Everything is kept in a sealed container for several days in a cool place, allowing the sausages to absorb all the flavors.
They are a favorite snack in Czech pubs, often consumed with heaps of fresh bread and a glass of beer.
17) Nakládaný hermelín (Pickled Camembert)
Pickled Hermelín is another popular Czech delicacy, primarily found on the tables of pubs and wine bars. Essentially, it’s the Czech version of marinated cheese, standing out with its rich flavor and creamy texture.
Hermelín, a soft cheese similar to Camembert layered in a glass jar with slices of fresh onion, garlic, and sometimes with bell peppers or chili for a spicy touch. The seasoning typically includes whole peppercorns, bay leaves, and other species. Everything is doused in vegetable oil and left in a cool place for several days so the cheese can fully absorb all the flavors.
Pickled Hermelín is served directly from the marinade, often sprinkled with fresh parsley and paired with fresh bread or toast. Thanks to its rich and creamy consistency, it’s the perfect accompaniment to Czech beers or wines.
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