The best restaurants in Prague

·7-min read
Café Savoy, Prague
Café Savoy, Prague

Dining in Prague is dramatically different depending on the season: long winters are spent sheltering in cosy cellar pubs and restaurants. In warmer times, dining on the street or on a river terrace adds a lovely bohemian dimension to the city’s increasingly international cuisine, which still remains highly affordable by western European standards. Then there's the selection of fine Czech beers, practically cheaper than water.

Eating out now offers far more range and satisfaction than ever, with vegetarian, Middle Eastern, Asian and even Latino cuisine on hand in downtown districts and in Vinohrady.

Read on for the best restaurants in Prague, chosen by our destination experts Will Tizard and Paul Sullivan – and here are their tops tips for Prague's best hotels, attractions, bars and nightlife, plus how to spend a weekend in the city.

Old Town

La Dégustation Bohême Bourgeoise

This culinary shrine, overseen by star chef Oldřich Sahajdák, is one of only two restaurants with a Michelin star in the city. Long-known for its unique style of parading precious locally sourced courses to the table, the menu still includes impeccably prepared catfish, deer, pigeon and boar, mixed with a stream of fascinating flavours such as juniper, truffles, buckthorn, horseradish and sunchoke. Choose from a standard three-course menu with a fixed starter and dessert (just choose the main), or splash a bit to try the five-course option (recommended). The dining room is modest but handsome, and the attentive, friendly wait staff decant the finest local pinots and sauvignons alongside considered selections from Austria, France and Hungary.

Website: ladegustation.cz
Prices: £££
Reservations: Essential
Best table: Request a table near the show kitchen

La Dégustation Bohême Bourgeoise, Prague
La Dégustation Bohême Bourgeoise, Prague

Divinis

American film stars shooting in Prague tend to be a fussy lot – hence, they are sent here to feast on Czech television chef Zdeněk Pohlreich’s fabulous creations, such as roe deer saddle with mushroom ragout. Simpler but equally memorable dishes include shrimp risotto, roast beef and osso bucco, all served up expertly with a glass of good pinot grigio from Trentino. It’s always undergoing a redesign yet somehow manages to still be homely and welcoming. Despite being surrounded by worthy rivals, it still takes bookings – be sure to do so well in advance.

Website: divinis.cz
Prices: ££
Reservations: Essential

Divinis, Prague
Divinis, Prague

Café Imperial

This attractive café-restaurant, housed in the Hotel Art Deco Imperial, has a noble history in the city. Established in the 19th century as one of the city’s Grand Cafes (Franz Kafka and composer Leos Janacek dined here), today it continues to offer top-notch cuisine with a menu that spans Czech classics (braised beef in creamy sauce, red wine braised veal cheeks, shank of lamb) plus international dishes (pan-fried salmon with green asparagus, Royal Black Angus burgers with foie gras) and vegetarian-friendly fare such as vegetable red curry and Indian tofu dumplings. A large part of the charm of eating here is the stunning interior, which includes original Art Nouveau ceramic wall tiling and a mosaic ceiling, which date from 1914 – making it an atmospheric spot for breakfast and lunch, or just afternoon coffee.

Website: hotel-imperial.cz/en/dining/
Prices: ££
Reservations: Recommended
Best seat: Near the large street windows if you want to indulge in some people watching

Lokál Dlouhááá

This centrally located restaurant is dedicated to reviving the best of Czech tradition at prices even local students can afford. Thus, it's in high demand for goulash, pork, dumplings (both bread-based and fruit-filled for afters) and a golden pour of pivo, or beer. A bustling but friendly scene can be expected, with long, low wooden tables and a truly local crowd. The menu changes every day, but there’s always something cheap and filling, including interesting local dishes such as Prague ham with whipped horseradish, and wild boar goulash with dumplings.

Website: lokal-dlouha.ambi.cz
Prices: £
Reservations: Recommended, though it’s usually possible to wait at the bar for a table

Lokal Restaurant, Prague
Lokal Restaurant, Prague

CottoCrudo

The Four Seasons’ warm and inviting Italian dining room impresses with dark wooden floors, colourful, contemporary artworks and stylish amber lamps hanging next to rows of ham hocks and Italian cheeses. Chef Marco Veneruso oversees a top-notch menu of authentic Old World specialities, from onsen poached egg with black truffle pesto to saffron risotto and cavatelli pasta. The excellent wine list stretches to over 300 varieties, and service is exceptionally attentive and friendly.

Website: fourseasons.com/prague/dining
Prices: ££
Reservations: Recommended
Best table: A few tables on the outdoor terrace have views over the river and Prague Castle – be sure to book in advance

Cotto Crudo, Prague
Cotto Crudo, Prague

Malá Strana

Kampa Park

Run by a former Royal Norwegian navy Seal (Nils Jebens) who moved to Prague in the nineties and became a restaurateur, this high-end dining spot in Mala Strana has been serving up classy cuisine for over two decades. The emphasis is mainly on seafood – a signature dish here is the olive oil poached halibut with potato-mustard purée, truffle pearls, pancetta bacon and vegetable foam – but there are always meat dishes as well as salads and vegetarian options on the menu. One of the main draws of the restaurant, food aside, is the restaurant’s gorgeous riverside terrace, which looks across the calming Vltava river towards Charles Bridge and the Old Town. The inside dining room, airy and pleasant with classic romantic décor, also has great views through the large windows. Try the three-course lunch menu if you’re passing by during the day.

Website: kampapark.com/en/
Prices: ££
Reservations: Recommended
Best seat: On the terrace if the weather is nice.

Café Savoy

This old European-style café on the left bank has been lovingly restored to its 19th-century glory, with locals flocking here for brunch, which consists of fresh breads, melt-in-your-mouth Prague ham and creamy coffee, served beneath ornate high ceilings peppered with handsome chandeliers. The crowd is artsy and bohemian – especially around lunchtime,  when specials such as the classic schnitzel is served. In the afternoon it's all about the homemade cakes and desserts, and the evenings feature à la carte meals such as slow-roasted duck leg with red cabbage and bread dumplings, as well as degustation menus. Staff are friendly and efficient.

Website: cafesavoy.ambi.cz
Prices: £
Reservations: Recommended for weekends

Café Savoy, Prague
Café Savoy, Prague

New Town

Estrella Kitchen meets Swim

Jan Lobreis’s much-loved vegetarian restaurant Estrella has morphed and moved around the corner. Teaming up with cocktail bar and clubspace Swim, his new menu focuses on smaller tapas-style dishes that mix well with the dapper drinks and trendy, industrial chic decor of Swim. The dining takes place on the main floor of this modernist, large-windowed space (the club is downstairs although a DJ normally spins in the corner), and the food selection is mixed between vegetarian options like a delicious signature mushroom paté and ‘Espencat’ – flame roasted aubergine and pepper, garlic confit, olives and capers – plus dishes featuring Czech fish, including delicious fried carp goujons served with a mushy pea dip and horseradish créme fraiche.

Website: estrellarestaurant.cz
Prices: ££
Reservations: Recommended

Portfolio Restaurant

Portfolio, one of the newer high-end restaurants in the city, is an intimate temple of contemporary design (bold patterned carpets, oak tables, slick dining chairs) set inside the historic Lann Palace. It’s best known for the five-course tasting menu, which prides itself on fresh and seasonal ingredients from Czech producers and features dishes such as fallow deer tenderloin, monkfish fillet in lardo, and seared duck liver foie gras. There are also vegetarian options such as vegetable lasagne, a great selection of Moravian and Bohemian wines, and memorable desserts, such as caramelized pear served with Amaretto mousse, almonds and vanilla cream.

Website: portfolio-restaurant.cz
Prices: ££-£££
Reservations: Essential

Portfolio, Prague
Portfolio, Prague

Vinohrady

Aromi

This well-established and warm-hearted restaurant offers minimalist interiors, featuring natural wooden floors, dark grey walls matched to grey and green designer chairs, and an eye-catching bar clad in small-pattern grey tiles. The menu, setting the standard for great Italian food in the city, leans heavily towards seafood (including a regular catch of the day); visitors can expect everything from prawns, langoustines, bluefin tuna and scallops, plus a smattering of Italian classics such as pasta and risotto – all as immaculately presented as the restaurant itself.

Website: aromi.cz
Prices: ££
Reservations: Recommended

Aromi, Prague
Aromi, Prague