The Czech Republic is known for being one of Europe’s cultural capitals. When you think of delicious traditional food and cuisine, you perhaps dream of things like the pasta and pizzas of Italy, the salads of Greece, or maybe even snails in France. But, Czech has some of the most glorious dishes you’re not going to want to miss.
Sure, Czech cuisine is still mainly focused on meat and potatoes, usually including lots of vegetables or hearty soups, but there’s so much more to these seemingly simple dishes. With that, let’s explore six of the most beautiful Czech dishes you simply have to try for yourself at some point in your life.
You can’t really get more traditional Czech food than their goulash or pork stew. In the homeland, varieties of this dish exist, usually swapping out the pork for another meat like game or beef, but either kind is served with dumplings made of bread and a darker bread.
This is a really common and popular dish you’ll find literally everywhere during the winter months since it’s such a hearty dish and is guaranteed to warm you through. For the best goulash, though, why not check out the Mlejnice Restaurant of Prague?
2. Rýžový nákyp
The traditional rice pudding, this dish is usually served as a standalone dish, a main course, and is made with rice, milk, and egg yolks, then all mixed with sugar, vanilla extract, butter, and egg whites. Meaning, it’s very sweet and very mouth-watering.
Usually, fresh fruit or raisins are added to the top, and the whole thing is baked until it is set kind of hard. If you want to be really traditional, you’ll eat this dish and then follow it up with a bowl of soup.
While this dish translates roughly as being a burger, don’t let the name trick you. Sure, this dish is made with a meat patty, but it doesn’t traditionally come with a bun and toppings as you would have in other Western countries.
“Instead, the burgers are usually made with minced pork, sometimes fish or beef, which are then shaped into traditional burger patty shapes, covered with breadcrumbs and fried. This is one of my personal favorites,” explains Lisa Samson, a lifestyle writer at PhD Kingdom.
4. Krupicová kaše
This is a popular pudding in the Czech Republic, which is ideal for finishing off your meal with a succulent tasting treat. It will leave you feeling completely satisfied. It’s a semolina pudding usually cooked with lightly sweetened milk but can be flavored with anything.
Traditional flavorings include fresh fruit, raisins, ground walnuts, cinnamon, rum, and many more. You can eat it on its own, which how it is usually enjoyed. Or you can sprinkle sugar or even butter on top to give it a little bit of something else.
The best thing about this dish? You can eat it any time of day. Many Czechs will have it as their way to start the day at breakfast or as a light afternoon snack. It’s really up to you and how you’re feeling.
5. Kuřecí kapsa
This Czech dish is another classic and is heavily inspired by German cuisine. You basically take a chicken breast and stuff it with ham and cheese, usually some herbs like parsley. Then, garnish with little add-ons like mushrooms.
The whole thing is like eating a taste explosion, and the chicken and cheese together is just wonderful. I won’t say too much to spoil it, so just try it for yourself. This dish is super easy to make at home, so give it a go!
No list of traditional Czech food would be complete without a mention of soups, and this tripe soup is a fantastic mention. Traditionally a beef soup. This dish is usually thicker than most other soups you can try, definitely classifies as hearty, is reddish to look at, and has a little spicy flavor to it, although it’s not a massive kick. More like a bit of tang.
What I love about this soup is that you can really make it your own. Typically, pieces of sausage or smoked meat are added to the dishes, and there’s usually a side helping of bread to go with it. Most commonly, you’re going to find this dish in pubs!
Interested? Why not try U Mateje’s unique take on the dish, in Prague.