Se Sebou is the Magic word from Coffee to Vegetarian Indian Meals

Whether you are rushing for your train, running late for a meeting or so absorbed by the sights of Prague that you don't have time to have a sit down meal, do not despair. Dotted all over the city you will find take outs, from just a coffee to sandwiches or from pizzas to full vegetarian meals.

If you are an Indian food lover, pop into Dhaba Beas, 100% vegetarian, but  also much appreciated by carnivores. If you haven't tasted bratwurst with a big dollop of mustard, washed down with a large mug of Czech beer you haven't been to Prague. They are best eaten with a heap of sauerkraut while leaning on one of the stand-up tables on Wenceslas Square. More stylish are chlebicky, open-faced sandwiches, Jan Paukert at Narodni Street is one of the best delis to get them from.

When you are on your way to Wallenstein Garden and then on to Prague Castle, get a strong coffee and apple strudel from Metro Café next to Malostranska Metro Station. This will provide you with enough energy to continue your walk up to the castle.

It is easy to find take outs in Prague. Simply look for the words káva s sebou or se sebou, Czech for take out coffee or take out. Here is a list to help you find the best.


Pekarstvi v Karmelitske Cafe
Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone

As soon as the doors open, locals come in to get their fresh-baked bread or sit in the caf�ipping strong coffee accompanied by scrumptious pastries. Join them and take a seat near the window to catch a glimpse of locals hurrying to work and tourists looking for the Infant Jesus in Mary Victory Church opposite. Order chlebicky, open sandwiches topped with cream cheese, ham, egg and gherkin or palacinky, crepes filled with warm forest fruit and whipped cream. When weather is too beautiful to sit inside, take your meal out and climb Petrin Hill on the other side of the street. Settle on a bench in the sun and enjoy your breakfast al fresco.

Recommended for Take Out because: Be sure to try kolac pastry with a dollop of fresh prunes or strawberries.

Marianne's expert tip: Strong sweet coffee with fresh pastry is the perfect breakfast snack. There are many more delectable pastries in the display case. If you don't know what to order, simply point out your selection.

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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.

Recommended for Take Out because: Very popular at lunchtime, yet you will never have to wait because service is fast.

Marianne's expert tip: Assemble your own special Panini menu and choose from your favorite Panini, cheesecake or spring salad. Wash it down with Fanta, Sprite, Bonaqua or CocaCola and save money.

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Bakeshop Praha
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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.

Recommended for Take Out because: Everything you need for a picnic lunch from sesame bread rolls to fragrant coffee.

Marianne's expert tip: Once you have tasted Bakeshop's walnut sourdough bread, you will come back every morning and miss it when you are back home again. Freshness is their key word, yesterday's bread or pastry is not on sale. Firstly because there is a large turnover, secondly because all pastries and bread are prepared and baked on the day you eat it.

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Ovocny Svetozor Sokolovska
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Do you fancy ice cream for breakfast? Ovocn�ozor is one of the best places in Prague to satisfy your wish. Ovocny Svetozor is famous for its fruit cakes, cheesecakes, cream cakes, pancakes, waffles and ice-cream. But also for its tasty sandwiches, croissants and freshly brewed coffee. They have several outlets scattered about Prague and there is always one right where you are. A very special shop is the one in Sokolovkska street near Florenc metro station. The interior is decked out in a London-theme in fiery red colours. The walls are decorated with London street scenes, red double decker buses and phone booths as entrance to the toilets. Does your strawberry tart or honey cream cake taste like the one you had in the coffee bar of your hotel? Ovocny Svetozor supplies cakes and ice-cream to various hotels, pastry shops and restaurants throughout Prague.

Recommended for Take Out because: The perfect spot for banana-strawberry flavored ice-cream that tastes heavenly.

Marianne's expert tip: Ask any Prague resident where you can eat the best breakfast and the answer will invariably be Ovocny Svetozor.

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Tucked away behind My Department store and Narodni Trida Metro station, Dhaba Beas offers vegetarian North Indian dishes. This cheerful place is very popular at lunchtime. Come early or late if you want to avoid queuing up. Dhaba Beas is self-service and you pay by the weight, 100g is less than $1. Eat as much as you like at a very reasonable price. The big bonus is that all dishes taste authentic, liberal use of chili pepper. Every day the menu is different. Choose from two kinds of dhal, two kinds of vegetable dishes add to this raita, sweet or salty lassie and you have a meal you will never forget. One hour before closing everything goes at a 30% discount. It is potluck because Beas is a popular place.

Recommended for Take Out because: This is the best place in Prague for samosas and pakoras, washed down by a mango shake.

Marianne's expert tip: Chefs from North India prepare authentic Indian dishes from North India, 100% vegetarian, no eggs, no fish no meat. Come for a full meal or just for a snack.

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Prague 02 Vinohrady

Czech people are carnivores. Finding a vegetarian restaurant in Prague is a Herculean task. Loving Hut is paradise for vegetarians and also for vegans. All dishes are produced environmentally-friendly and are very healthy. Their fake meat is the best you have ever sampled. The array of food is impressive, wanton wrappers, vegan sushi, bamboo lover and if this all Greek to you, simply have a look at the menu because it features photos of all dishes. Be sure to sample pho, fill of exotic flavours. This tasty Vietnamese noodle soup with thinly sliced onion, lime juice and bean sprouts tickle the taste buds.

Recommended for Take Out because: One of the best vegetarian take outs in Prague, also suited for vegans.

Marianne's expert tip: Loving hut seems an average Asian-cuisine restaurant. Almost! Even though all meat dishes look like meat, they do not contain one single ounce of meat. This is your perfect choice for a vegetarian restaurant in Prague.

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Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone

Starbucks needs no introduction. Not only is this coffee at its best, it is also the quantity that counts. Small is large, medium is larger and large is huge. This is where you go when you are thirsty or where you want to rest your feet after a day of sightseeing. Starbuck on Wenceslas Square is very central and a good pit stop while shopping. If you are not hungry or thirsty just go in to buy a collector's mug. When craving muffins, carrot cake or just a sandwich Starbucks is your place. Czechs are early risers which is reflected in the opening hours; 7 am to 11 pm.

Recommended for Take Out because: Everything you are craving, Starbucks has it, no further recommendation needed.

Marianne's expert tip: One of the best places to drink English breakfast tea, sweet, strong and milky.

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Metro Cafe
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Metro Caf�s next to Malostranska Metro station. If you need a quick shot of caffeine, this is the ideal place. It is simple, unpretentious and service is fast. A pleasant side effect is that coffee and cakes are modestly priced taking into consideration its star position. After all they are next to Wallenstein Garden and close to top attraction Prague Castle. Drink you Illy coffee inside and take advantage of free WiFi or take it out and sit in the garden a popular tourist spot. This is also a good spot for breakfast that is served all day. There are three menus to choose from, ham and eggs with vegetables and bread sounds good. But what does vegetable mean? The Czechs have a special idea about vegetable. In this particular case it means tomato and cucumber.

Recommended for Take Out because: Grab a coffee-to-go, drink it in Wallenstein garden and continue your trip to Prague Castle.

Marianne's expert tip: Take a sightseeing break at Metro Café.The menu is translated into English, German, Italian, Russian and Korean, meaning you won't be the only tourist.

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Jan Paukert Lahudkarstvi
Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone

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.

Recommended for Take Out because: Conveniently situated half-way between the Vltava River and Wenceslas Square.

Marianne's expert tip: Be sure to savor chlebicky healthy style. These are open-faced sandwiches without the traditional mayonnaise or soft cheese, but topped with roast beef and marinated zucchini or prosciutto and green olives.

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Sausage Stands
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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.

Recommended for Take Out because: The long skinny ones are Frankfurters, crunchy and chewy at the same time.

Marianne's expert tip: Klob� is a Czech sausage similar to the German Bratwurst, a culinary delicacy every tourist should at least try it once. If you like spicy food, ask for Prague sausage and served with a big heap of sauerkraut. The long skinny ones are Frankfurters, crunchy and chewy at the same time.

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Meet Marianne Crone

Marianne Crone divides her time between her home in the Netherlands and an apartment in Prague, the city where her son, daughter-in-law and grandson live.

Now retired, Marianne is still an...  More About Marianne