I enjoy trying new foods and the Czech Republic has a lot of unique dishes. The food is quite heavy and filling, so people typically drink beer at lunch to aid in digestion. I question whether there are actual health benefits to drinking beer with your meals, but beer is super popular in the Czech Republic, so maybe they are on to something. In any case, here are some of the dishes I have enjoyed so far.
Palačinky (Czech pancakes)
Palačinky directly translates to pancakes, but most people agree that they are similar to French crepes, so you can call them either pancakes or crepes. What I find unique about Palačinky is that you can order them as a savory meal rather than only a dessert crepe. One of my favorite versions of Palačinky was spinach and cheese filled. It was a delicious breakfast to go along with my cappuccino.
Svíčková (Braised beef in a vegetable sauce served with bread dumplings)
I went out with a friend to one of my favorite cafes, Café Louvre, and randomly chose this dish to eat for dinner. When it arrived to the table, I remember saying “Why is there whipped cream on top?”. It wasn’t until the next day when my professor was teaching us about Czech dishes that I learned that I had unknowingly ordered a Czech classic. It is hard to explain the taste of Svíčková, since the sauce is very creamy despite being made out of vegetables. Another unique aspect is that the beef is topped with a lemon slice, cranberry sauce, and whipped cream. Svíčková is definitely a dish to try at least once.
Hovězí Guláš (Beef Goulash)
I ate this dish my very first night in Prague. The Czech version of Guláš is thick and hearty. It tastes very similar to a beef stew, except Guláš is always served with either potato or bread dumplings.
Bonus – Czech Lemonade
I don’t know if this style of lemonade is unique to the Czech Republic, but it is definitely different compared to classic American lemonade, so I am including it in this post.
Lemonade is the only drink I have found that is served with ice. All other drinks are typically served chilled but without ice. Also, I noticed that lemonade here is not only limited to lemons. The picture above was a grapefruit “lemonade” I ordered at a lakeside café, and it was great. Lemonade in the Czech Republic is also frequently made with sparkling water. Some of my friends were slightly disappointed, but I really enjoyed this take on lemonade since I like sparkling water and fresh fruit puree.