The Czech Republic is well known for its popular beer and its people’s outrageous ability to consume mass quantities of the delicious alcoholic beverage. Unfortunately, this often overshadows the culinary achievements of this wonderful country. Czech food is everything you probably shouldn’t eat, but passionately love and constantly crave. While in Prague, visitors can feast on steak wrapped in bacon, boiled red potatoes slathered in butter, and blocks of fried cheese. Cutting into a block of deep fried cheese, with a knife and fork, is an unforgettable experience that you must have while in Prague.
The best place I found to enjoy Czech cuisine is a small local restaurant called U Parlamentu, which translates in English to “In Parliament.” U Parlamentu is located on a side street not far from the Old Town Square that houses the Astronomical Clock. The restaurant itself is fairly small and is usually busy. They have outdoor seating on the sidewalk if it is a nice day. The majority of the crowd that frequents this restaurant is local. Some of the waiters and waitresses only spoke Czech, which helped add to the authenticity of the experience. U Parlamentu is also fairly priced and will be easy on a backpacker’s budget.
In the three days we were in Prague, my friends and I went to U Parlamentu four or five times. Each successive time that we went seemed to be better than the last. The food was incredibly delicious and the service was welcoming and friendly. After our second time being there, some of the staff recognized us and would say hello as we walked through the restaurant. It was exhilarating to be able to sit and enjoy a meal among couples and families speaking their native tongue. The meal I fell in love with was a combination of bacon and eggs, and a side of crispy bread and garlic (below). The bacon was thick cut and the eggs were perfectly cooked to be slightly runny. The bread added the right amount of crunch and flavor of garlic to the meal. We also tried their roast duck and traditional Czech plate with dumplings. If you need more opinions on the restaurant, it gets great reviews on tripadvisor.
U Parlamentu is also a great place to enjoy a Czech beer among locals. It is said that if you are a true Czech, you can finish a pint of beer in three gulps. My favorite Czech beer is Kozel. It is a dark lager brewed in the style of a Munich Dunkel Lager. I also enjoy the light lager brewed by Gambrinus. This beer is named after the European legend associated with beer and brewing. You can order either of these beers by simply asking for the dark beer (Kozel) or the light beer (Gambrinus). I am still amazed that one can do that in Prague.