While I knew my time in Munich would be too limited to try to cram in a food tour, with Prague it was a sure thing. Although I have gone on a slew of food tours here in the United States, to date the only one I have taken abroad was in the Bahamas and so I was anxious to try another one. On my first full day in Prague I went on one with Eating Prague (part of Eating Europe Tours) and it did not disappoint in the least. In fact, it was one of the tours in which I couldn’t believe the amount of food I was given.
From the moment I walked into the first stop, an utterly charming gingerbread shop, the tour guide Eva made me feel immediately welcome (the fact that her first name is the name of my great-grandmother made me all the more happy). I’ve been on some tours where the guides definitely are more businesslike but with Eva, it was as if she was our Czech mom welcoming us into her home, meanwhile preparing an incredible array of foods for us.
This tour is one of the longer ones I’ve been on; when we finally said our goodbyes, it was nearing five hours that we had been together. However, we did walk a bit, accounting for its longer length, as some of the stops weren’t near to each other. But it was worth it because in a city as touristy as Prague, you definitely want to have more authentic culinary experiences, not just the same “here’s your goulash…duck…pork.”
Here’s a rundown of all the places we stopped, in order.
Who wouldn’t love a place whose name in English means “The Gingerbread’s Dream”? Because the moment you walk in the door of this charming shop, your nose immediately becomes engulfed in the sweetest of dreams. I don’t know about you but to me nothing smells more heavenly than baked gingerbread. We were each given a pre-wrapped gingerbread cookie with the words Eating Prague on it and then for our tasting we received a cookie plate complete with sakrajda (dammitcake-I’m not making this up), koláč (my favorite), and a vanilla roll (I unfortunately don’t have the Czech name for this). We loved this place so much that we actually went back on our last day and bought both a hard gingerbread Christmas ornament to take home with us, a sealed bag of cookies (they stayed basically intact on the trip home save for slight crumbling in one), and of course two cookies for nibbling purposes on the walk back to our hotel. Even if you don’t end up going on a food tour, search out this store!
Maybe you thought open-faced sandwiches were a Danish thing (smørrebrød anyone?). However, chlebíčky are very much a Czech thing. Sisters is apparently the mastermind of the local culinary bigwig, Hana Michopulu, and evidenced by the number of people constantly streaming in while we were there, quite popular. We got to sample three chlebíčky- beet (I am really digging beets more and more, they truly have such a distinct yet delicious taste to them), one made with celery root (this was good but probably my least favorite), and a creamy one featuring potatoes, gherkins, the famous Prague ham, and hard boiled eggs. This was only stop number two but already I was half-full.
This is located directly across from Sisters (the two collaborate in terms of sharing and using food products), and it’s considered to be the best local butcher shop in Prague. We sampled přeštická klobása (Přeštice sausage), Pražská šunka (Prague ham, I’d have this a couple of times more while there), and Špekáček (bacon sausage). This stop is obviously a meat lover’s dream. Just like Sisters, Naše Maso was also packed with locals (and some tourists) buying their fill of artisan meats.
Nothing beats a stop that’s dubbed a “well-kept secret of Prague, even for locals too.” Located on the ninth floor of a centuries old building that is beyond narrow, you have an incredible view of the old city once inside. It was here that we sampled staročeská zelnice (Old Bohemian sauerkraut soup). I know if you’re like me you might be dubious to think of a sauerkraut soup as being anything but good. But it was indeed excellent. Featuring everything from cream to a type of meat (I think it was venison?), it was something that would be perfect for a cold day.
Styl & Interier
This was probably one of the most unique stops on a food tour I’ve ever had and it was one of those you would only know from going on one or being with a local. What started out as an interior design store now has become a popular cafe for locals, complete with a secret garden. The tastings change seasonally but they always have some sort of delicious appetizer along with a Czech spirit. We got to sample bůčková pomazánka (a pork belly spread) and Černorybízové wine (a famous red currant wine from Moravia). I really enjoyed being amongst the locals since I don’t think there was a single tourist there (save for our group, of course).
Our final stop of the day ended up featuring the most food. It was in all honesty a full meal. I had actually planned to go to Cafe Louvre myself (it’s a famous cafe that’s been in business since the early 1900s), so I was happy to learn it was one of the stops. Our “full meal” consisted of one of the country’s most popular dishes and what Eva told us is a typical Sunday meal in the Czech Republic-Svíčková, which is Czech dumplings, braised beef and cranberry compote. The root vegetable sauce was exquisite ( you can see the yellow coloring in the picture) and the cream, as Eva said, was “not from a can.” I also laughed when she said that for men, a typical amount of dumplings is seven or eight. And just when I thought that was everything, I almost fell out of my seat when I heard there was still jablečný závin (apple strudel). I didn’t come remotely close to finishing this but apple strudel is simply, yum.
My Eating Prague tour was fun…filled with an almost overwhelming (in a good way) amount of food, and long (in a very good way). The group we were with was fun and pleasant and as I said above, Eva was fantastic. Although we had been on a walking tour of the Old Town the day before, since our food tour included the New Town, we got to see and learn about new sights and be taken to places that definitely never appear in any guidebooks.
I can’t recommend an Eating Prague Tour enough-it definitely was one of the best parts of my trip to Prague.
Disclosure: I was given a discount in exchange for my review but as always, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.