As is the case with the majority of Central European countries, Czech cuisine relies heavily on meat and starch, making it uninspiring for vegetarians.  Potatoes and mushrooms grow abundantly there, and are therefore used in many dishes-you can never go wrong with a mushroom risotto…as long as you like mushrooms.   In Prague, it’s easier to find restaurants with vegetarian dishes, but they’re more than likely not Czech restaurants.  A traditional Czech meal begins with soup, and there are a few vegetarian options, such as cabbage, pea, and bean.  However, you should be cautious when ordering, as most popular soups contain minced sausage or other meats.

Most restaurants offer a serving of steamed/boiled/fried/baked vegetables; however, we recommend requesting separate spices & condiments, as most of these plates are rather bland.  Salads mainly consist of cabbage with a very basic oil and vinegar dressing.  Additionally, Czech dishes frequently utilize various cheeses to supplement the lack of flavor.  Although far from nutritious, smažený sýr [smah-jah-nee seer] is the one truly authentic cheese dish you should try while in Czech Republic.  A 1.5 cm thick piece of hermelín (Czech cheese) or edam is battered in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs and deep-fried to perfection.  Treat yourself to a cold Czech pivo (beer) while you’re at it: they give German beers a run for their money.

Dishes to try

Hermelín: a fried cheese patty.

Czech Fried Cheese

Deep fried broccoli, potato wedges, and a side salad of cabbage: served with a Czech version of tartar sauce.

Fried Broccoli with Potatoes and Cabbage Salad

Makové rezance [ma-koh-vay reh-zance]: sweet egg noodles topped with poppy seeds and sugar.

Sweet Czech Noodles

Knedliky: cottage cheese dumplings with filling.  These were filled with chocolate nougat.

Czech Cottage Cheese Dumplings