Everything about Prague is amazing except perhaps the traditional Czech cuisine. And by traditional, I mean goulash. But it’s also such a cosmopolitan center that you’ll find anything and everything on menus throughout the city. Prague also boasts the highest number of American ex-pats of any other Eastern European city. Somewhere around 70,000. So where do these people eat? Not here. . .
Many of them, locals and tourists alike, eat in beer halls or rustic cavelike cellars with surly service, reasonably good food, and cheap. Both offer authentic Czech ambiance. If that doesn’t suit your taste, like any big city, you can find anything to eat from Asian to Zambian. After a few days of “traditional”, we went for bahn mi. A tiny restaurant in the Castle District, with an original name, serving the traditional Vietnamese dish~Mr. Bahn Mi.
Kamba Square, just off the Charles Bridge, has the charm of the old town but can be expensive for mediocre food which is what Czech’s consider “traditional”, the classic goulash. Going back to last centuries’ Communist days, every restaurants’ lunch menu offers two options, pork or chicken goulash with dumplings. Same recipe, same portion, same price. The attitude and atmosphere is pretty much the same everywhere: order, eat, pay, and get out!
Dinner is different. After a couple beers, the entire Czech dining experience will be pleasant. You’ll find an expanded menu with soups, salads, and a wider variety of entree’s. The soups are excellent. Generally, walking a few blocks away from the tourist center you’ll find better values.
When it comes to ordering off the menu, there are a few words you need to learn in the Czech language: prosím (please) and dékuji (thank you). To pay the bill you have to ask for it first. When the waiter comes over simply say za platim (I will pay). Waving your hand around saying “check please ” is not funny.
When it comes to tipping, tip where there is table service, round up, or hand your server a couple bucks(40 Koruna) on your way out. Take out? No need to tip. Most of the time it’s part of the deal.