While strolling through the cobbled streets of Prague, you’ll notice small enclaves where street food abounds, especially in the Old Town area. After reading this guide to the city’s street food, you may never set foot in a restaurant in Prague again!
This hearty dish is perfectly suited for cold winter days. Traditionally Czech and Slovak in origin, halušky is comprised of either thick, pillowy noodles or small dumplings made from flour and finely grated potatoes. After the dumplings or noodles are cooked, they’re strained and added to a dish with various toppings, such as bacon, boiled or fried cabbage, onions, cheese, or butter. It’s not a light dish, but it’s a “one-and-done” kind of meal, as you likely won’t need to eat for a while afterward.
If you’re perusing the offerings at the local food stands, you’ll see large hocks of ham slow roasting over a flame. Shop owners will shave off slices for hungry patrons and serve them with hunks of rye bread and mustard. It’s a great way to get a taste of local Czech culture, not to mention a sufficiently warming meal during a long day of exploration.
Prague’s most famous pastry is actually not of Czech descent. Trdelník were originally known as Kurtsoskalacs in their native Transylvania, but, this is one transplant that has stuck. These rolled pastries are dusted in cinnamon sugar or left plain and glazed with butter. Unlike most street food on this list, trdelník can be found throughout the city, in shop windows and on street corners.
However, it’s best to get these pastries right after they’ve been freshly baked, preferably right in front of you. Visit in the summer and you’ll find that trdelník take on a new twist — vendors will treat the hollow pastries as a makeshift cone and fill them with ice cream. No matter the season, it’s always a good time for a trdelník!
Like trdelník, sausage (klobásy, in Czech) abounds in the city of Prague. Much like the hot dog stands of major American cities, sausage carts are popular among residents and visitors alike, and a long line will often form in the late afternoon as workers and students make their way home, eager for a snack. There are a variety of klobásy based on the type of meat and seasoning you prefer, but the sausages are typically served up on white buns or (more traditionally) on slices of rye bread. There are a multitude of toppings to choose from — including ketchup, hot sauce, sauerkraut, and mustard. There’s no better way to feel like a local than by grabbing a bite at the nearest sausage stand.
One of the best ways to warm up on a long winter stroll around the city is by indulging in a cup of mulled wine. When colder weather strikes, mulled wine stands pop up in every nook of this charming city. Called svarak in Czech, the hot sweet drink temporarily surpasses beer as the locals’ favorite beverage during the Christmas season. A mixture of red wine, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla, citrus fruits, and apples, this Czech treat produces a unique flavor and warming effect, and is the perfect pick-me-up after a long day of exploration and shopping.
Fried Cheese Sandwich
Head to Wenceslas Square and you’ll spot this tasty treat, though stands selling fried cheese sandwiches also crop up outside of dance halls late at night, eager to tempt hungry party-goers. While the sandwiches may look like a lot like a Western chicken or fish patty, they’re entirely vegetarian, as they’re actually just thick slabs of cheese. After being breaded and fried, these sandwiches are stuffed into a white bread bun and topped with a dollop of mayonnaise that rounds out this tasty Czech treat.
Potatoes on a Stick
These curly confections are masterfully spiraled around a skewer and deep fried, providing the perfect snack for sightseeing. With the consistency of a potato chip, they’re a delicious and cheap dish that can be found at most food stands around the city. Perfect for munching on the go, you may want to buy more than one as they’re just that tasty!
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