Rick Steves said, “Eastern Europe has been really trendy. Prague is the best-preserved city in the region … and the best beer in Europe lands on your table there for 50 cents.”
When and if you go to Prague, I have one tip and one tip only (assuming you have remembered your camera already!):
Buy this. The Prague Foodie Map. It’s a PDF guide of the best eating and drinking in Prague written by true food-loving locals with a Google Map you can download to your phone.
You’ll already have people like Rick Steves and the guide book to tell you to visit the Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and Old Town Square but you’ll need someone to tell you where to get that 50 cent beer.
Answer: Lokal. It’s a pub too with sausage and goulash but really it’s a traditional beer hall with one beer - Pilsner Urquell – on tap. Leave the little people at home. This is a place for serious consumption and dirty floors.
You don’t have to be a foodie (so done with that word!) or flush with Czech Koruna (in the EU but not on the Euro) for the Prague Foodie Map to make sense for you. It’s useful for all palettes and budgets. You'll want someone to tell you were to get a "Chlebicek" - the classic Czech open-faced sandwich after all the beer (Bistro Sisters) and where to go if you must have tacos.
Answer: Las Adelitas. It's in a basement and we did not care because it was real Mexican with a salsa bar and jalapenos and a queue to prove it.
The Google Map part of this guide is key. When you are touring a city it’s much more helpful to see recommended places in map versus list view and where you can set expectations with your traveling companions as to "how much farther." As a food lover, traveler and marketer, the Prague Foodie Map is one of the most well done travel finds I’ve actually used. The authors Zuzi and Jan really know the best eats in their city and now how to package it an way that's accessible for users. I wish this kind of thing was more available in other cities. They also cover shopping but I was less impressed with those recommendations. (Not exactly sure Prague is a great shopping destination ...)
After our first score at Sansho, an Asian fusion set menu dinner, followed up by lunch at Dish Fine Burger Bistro (where reservations are required even for lunch) we did not detour from Zuzi and Jan’s suggestions. Our two other excellent dinners were at Cestr, a modern Czech canteen, and Field, an upscale Czech restaurant focusing on local ingredients. We did other places on the guide for lunches and coffee and were never disappointed but the three places for dinner were all surprising homeruns. Who even goes to Prague for food? Now you can!
We traveled to Prague right before Christmas when the Christmas markets were in full effect (as good or better than some in Germany.) It’s truly a magnificent city and one that you can “do well” in three or four days. While the hotel options are plentiful, we stayed in the well located and new Hotel UNIC Prague which had great family rooms done up in the color purple and delicious American sized included breakfasts. There I go again with the food ...
My inlaws are heading to Prague in less than two weeks. They've already booked their three dinners. I can be quite persuasive.