Paneria is a popular fast food chain and has a number of shops dotted all over Prague. They are the perfect place for an early breakfast as they open 07.00 or 07.30. They specialize in Italian style sandwiches, bread rolls, baguettes, croissants. The sweet-toothed can choose from tantalizing strawberry tarts, cherry turnovers or apple strudel. Pick up a ready-made Panini for a picnic along the Vltava river embankment, or grab one of the tables inside and connect to free WiFi. Paneria is also an ideal spot for lunch. Their fresh salads, wraps and vegatarian dishes are sought after by tourists and locals alike.
The aroma of fresh bread rushes towards you when you enter Bakeshop Praha. This is one of the best places to tuck in crispy croissants, real French pain au chocolate or bagels topped with sesame seed. Sit on the high stools in front of wall to ceiling windows and enjoy an Americano. Borrow the newspaper to catch up with the world news, but only if your Czech is up to date. In summer you can enjoy your breakfast al fresco, either on the benches lining the cobbled pavement or on the little square across the street. Bakeshop Praha is a bakery with a difference.
Palacinky or pancakes, French style, are very popular in Prague. They feature on all menus of restaurants and cafes and are a delicious snack or dessert. One of the best places to savor these pancakes is at the Easter or Christmas Markets. They are served hot with a choice of fillings, always sweet. Forest fruit with whipped cream or fresh pineapple with ice cream are just a few fillings that are impossible to resist.
Langose is an acquired taste. One thing is sure, this typically Czech treat is quite filling. Langose is reminiscent of pizza but far less sophisticated. It is made of dough that is deep fried and slightly greasy then this delicacy is topped with a big dollop of tomato ketchup mixed with lots of garlic and then liberally sprinkled with grated cheese. Instead of the savory topping you can try nutella. The chocolate melts on top and makes your langose quite difficult to eat. You will find langose stands at the Easter and Christmas markets on Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.
Old Town Square is one of the best spots in Prague to find Old Prague ham stands. At night with the lights on the trees and the whole square take on a magical quality. Prague ham, Prazska sunka in Czech, is well-known for its succulent flavor. The ham is brine cured, smokes and boneless. It is grilled over an open fire at stands that are set up at the Easter and Christmas markets. Be aware of the fact that Prague ham is sold by the gram. In fact a notice board tells this, but many tourists don’t pay attention. Indicate how many grams you would like to have. If you don’t, you get a big chunk which might cost as much as a three course meal in a chic restaurant.
When the temperature drops, mulled wine stalls appear in many squares and streets of the Nove Mesto New Town) and Stare Mesto (Old Town) districts of Prague. Mulled wine or svarak in Czech is the favorite winter drink according to locals and tourists. This time of year the Christmas markets are in full swing. This is where you will find several stalls selling svarak. It is a mixture of red wine, citrus fruits and spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla. Instead of lemons or oranges the Czech variety of mulled wine often uses apples which, gives this hot drink a special flavor.
Even though trdelnik is not of Czech origin, this filling sweet is tremendously popular. This traditional pastry originated in Hungary. It is made from dough that is wrapped around a wooden or metal stick, then roasted over an open fire and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Ground almonds or other nuts are often added. They are best when just prepared and still slightly hot. Part of the experience is that you can watch the process of trdelnik making. When demand is high you will have to wait some time before your trdelnik is ready to be eaten. Don’t hurry the vendor because partly done trdelnik is not good to eat.
Jan Paukert Lahudk�tv�s an institution in Prague. Located on Narodni Street, you are bound to amble along on your way to the National Theater and the Vltava River. Make it an early morning walk and stop here for a traditional Czech breakfast consisting of chleb�y. Chleb is the Czech word for bread and chlebicky is the diminutive. This 'little bread' is an open-faced sandwich, but not just any kind of open sandwich. Each single piece is a true masterpiece. Rounds of crusty white bread but soft inside are topped with any number of ingredients arranged in an arty fashion. The bread is spread with soft cheese or potato salad. Garnish includes roast beef, ham, salami, smoked salmon, egg and gherkin. Jan Paukert Lahudk�tv�ncludes a deli counter, lahudky, a sweet shop, cukr�a, and a cafeteria, j�lna, serving full meals accompanied by excellent wine.
When the leaves start falling, burcak stalls burgeon like mushrooms. Burcak is the first wine of the season and on sale everywhere in Prague and the Czech Republic. Burcak is partially fermented wine made from grapes from Moravia, a region in Eastern part of the country. It looks like cloudy orange juice and tastes like lemonade. But be warned; its alcohol content is between 5% and 8%. Burcak is very popular, partly because it is supposed to be good for your health. It is rich in vitamins, especially vitamin B and certain essential minerals. This golden liquid is sold during a limited period of time; from 1 august to 30 November.
The sausage stands at Wenceslas Square are an institution. They are greasy, they are noisy but above all they serve food people crave for. Spicy sausages and Frankfurters sizzle on the griddle. With a hunk of brown bread they are meal in itself. A big plop of mustard and a plastic glass of premium Czech beer complete your culinary masterpiece. Hot dogs are also very popular and if you are not the meaty type try a cheese sandwich with oozing mozzarella cheese. At Christmas time the sausage stands are an excellent place to sip mulled wine. Pay first, get your food and wedge yourself a spot at one of the stand-up tables.