Europe is full of cities with world-class chefs and famous restaurants, but one city that is continuing to climb the culinary ladder is Prague. We have partnered with professional travel blogger Mike Shubic of MikesRoadTrip.com, who has visited Prague several times, so he can share some of his favorite fine-dining restaurants.
The Czech Republic is probably one of my favorite countries in all of Europe. The architecture, historic sites, cultural amenities, luxurious lodging and fantastic fine-dining at an extraordinary value, makes the Czech Republic a country everyone should visit when traveling to Europe. Personally, traditional Czech cuisine is not my favorite, but in the capital city of Prague, you can find just about any type of food your palate craves. Here are some of my favorites:
The Augustine Restaurant
The Augustine Hotel and Restaurant has a fascinating history and is part of a 13th century monastery, where four remaining monks still worship. They have harmoniously merged the 700-year history of the monastery with a modern luminous interior.
The Augustine Restaurant serves some splendid international cuisine while also playing homage to refined Czech cuisine. Dining can be enjoyed both inside, or on their expansive glass-covered patio. The atmosphere matches its sophisticated food, while retaining the historical significance. Start your meal off with a signature cocktail, each of which are named for the four Archangels, paying tribute to the monastery’s raison d’être.
The hotel grounds are shared by the adjacent monastery. If you can take a tour, it’s worth it!
Coda restaurant is located inside and atop The Aria Hotel. They have two dining options — either inside, or on the rooftop (weather permitting), providing a romantic atmosphere and view of the extraordinary Prague skyline and nearby Prague Castle … it’s like a scene straight out of a romantic movie.
The impeccable culinary journey starts with the creative dishes that emulate the hotel’s musical theme. Dish plates have large painted images of well-known musicians under the porcelain glaze. The service matches the amazing views and the food is prepared to perfection.
From my experience, restaurants with a view often lack in quality, but that’s not the case with Oblaca Restaurant — the restaurant matches its modern cuisine with a beautiful metropolis view from the highest point in all of Prague from the Zizkov Tower. The philosophy is to use the best local ingredients for seasonal dishes that are both local, as well as internationally inspired. The Oblaca is one of the most romantic and impressive dining experiences in Prague. Gastronomic enthusiasts will be impressed, while romantics will rejoice.
For $1,200, those who really want to impress the one they love, can simply walk up a flight of stairs from the restaurant and stay the night in one of the most romantic suites in all of Prague. This 1-room hotel offers luxurious ambiance amplified by a very unique panorama of Prague. Guests will feel like they are in the world’s tallest tree-house, relaxing on designer furniture and its spa-like bathroom.
Piano Nobile is on the top floor of Villa Richter, a dignitary summerhouse dating back to 1832. The villa is set amongst grapevines of the oldest vineyard in Bohemia (908 AD) and is perched on a hillside just below Prague Castle. Piano Nobile combines a fine dining experience within an arched glass conservatory. During the summer months guest may wish to dine alfresco on the terrace, however either choice offers stupendous views of the UNESCO city.
The menu at Piano Nobile offers classical Czech cuisine along with international dishes. There is an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients, and the food is exceptionally well presented and prepared. The restaurant has its own wine cellar which is embedded into the bedrock of the Villa, keeping the wine well preserved. There are many Czech, French and Italian wines to choose from.
Located in the courtyard of the Strahov monastery within the Prague Castle is a historic space that offers an extraordinary dining experience within a 12th century grotto (sort of a cave or wine cellar). Patrons must find, then walk through a nondescript door and venture down a steep flight of stairs into the mouth of the cave before reaching Peklo Restaurant. The space is a bit damp and will feel cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The space originally served as a wine cellar for the Roman Catholic Premonstratensians.
The restaurant focuses on the best traditions of Czech cuisine and wine, complemented with a selection French dishes. The food is delicious, the service exceptional and the environment is as unique as it is romantic. From King Charles IV to Brad and Angelina, many have praised the magical atmosphere of Peklo. It’s an experience that people have enjoyed for centuries, which gives one pause during a visit.
While there is no shortage of outstanding fine dining restaurants in Prague serving international dishes, what is unique are vegetarian, vegan or even RAW restaurants. After getting your fill of fine international and Czech cuisine, you may want to check out Plevel Restaurant, a trendy little place in the up-and-coming Prague 10 neighborhood. Plevel (weeds in English) is a hipster’s vegetarian eatery offering amazingly creative vegan and RAW delights that even carnivores will enjoy.
When I was in Prague in the late 90s you could find a pint of beer at a pub off the beaten path for just $.25, today, you can still find a pint for not much more, around $.50. I also recall going to an Italian pizzeria, where my buddy and I ordered a caprese salad, a Margherita-style pizza, tiramisu for dessert with bottled water and we split a bottle of wine … the tab was about $5-$6 each. Even today you could get an awesome pizza at Grosseto’s and pick up a bottle of wine at a liquor store and it would only cost you $10 total. While prices have gone up a bit since the late 90s, Prague is still a very affordable European city with some outstanding dining options.
NOTE: Begrudgingly to the locals, tipping is just now becoming customary, 5% would be plenty and 10% would be on the high side. If you dine with a local and tip too much, they will likely scold you.
If you have a favorite restaurant in Prague, please leave a comment below and share your experience. If you are looking for hotel suggestions while staying in Prague, I highly recommend the following:
- High End: The Aria or The Augustine
- Mid-Level: Lindner Hotel
- Affordable but very nice: Novotel Hotel
Mike Shubic is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity. For more information on the Travelocity Gnomads visit TravelocityGnomads.com.
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