Aside from taking a break from life, vacations are meant for indulging in food and wine. That means eating what the locals eat, drinking what the locals drink and not feeling guilty about any of it. Prague is a carnivore's dream with tons of hearty dishes full of meat, meat, and more meat. Those meat sweats that Joey Tribiani talked about...they're for real and worth every bite.
In Prague it's easy to find good food because it's right outside your door. The street food vendors are plenty and while the food is cheap, it doesn't skimp on quality. Within every block you'll see at least 3 things - 1) A place to get sausage hugged by a hearty baguette. 2) Trdelnik (a sweet pastry dough roasted over hot coals, also what I like to call Prague's version of a churro) and 3) Beer, but not just any beer, Pilsen Urquell - their local beer that is cheaper than water...no really, it is. Even though I would have been perfectly content with consuming local street eats, we dined at some great places that gave us some good taste of local flavors.
In Prague there are a few common menu items that you'll find at most of the local restaurants such as goulash, pork knuckle, baked wings, Prague ham and sausage. Even though my mind was telling me, "order a salad", my heart and stomach said, "overindulge in as many pork dishes as you can"...so I did. All of the places we ate at were equally as delicious as they other, but there are a few that stood out and are worth sharing.
- Mlejnice: This by far had the best goulash out of all the places we went to. Even though I opted for a hearty potato dish, I snagged a bite out of Matt's bread bowl full of the hearty stew and it indeed was the best we tasted on our trip.
- Lokal: This restaurant was a recommendation from a friend that was in Prague a few months before us and I absolutely love their farm to table vibe. The menu is lean and the food they serve may be simple flavors, but it allows for the quality of ingredients to shine through. If you like steak tartare this would be the place to get it because almost every table, except ours, ordered it.
- Mlynec: This was our ritual fancy dinner. We also do a nice dinner to indulge and even though we budget for nice dinners, Prague's version of an expensive dinner is still cheaper than eating at Mastro's. One big perk that I personally loved about this place is that even though it targets more of an adult clientele, the bathrooms had a changing table complete with wipes and diapers.
- Restaurace U Kroka: It's no secret that Prague is a place to get beer. While Pilsen Urquell is the common beer on tap, there are local breweries everywhere around town such as this one. This restaurant served great sausages and the best pork knuckle we tasted on our trip.
- U Tri Uzi: If you're a pate lover, their duck pate is worth the trip alone. Even though this restaurant is in a more residential part of town, it was packed with people who came for some of their specialties such as their goulash and 1 kg of mixed meats.
- Sudova Vina: This isn't a place to eat, but is a place to feel like one of the locals. It is a wine bar hidden in one of the side streets in Old Town and even though it's in the middle of a huge tourist area, everyone in the small bar was local. We went back twice not only because we loved that it was a local joint, but because 2 glasses of wine together were $4 and they poured to the brim.
Dining in Prague is a such a unique experience because there isn't a ton of complexity to the foods. It's meat and potatoes, but done really well. We enjoyed every meal we had in Prague and look forward to recreating some of our favorite dishes.