Czech Dumplings

The quality of Bohemian cooking declined precipitously during the communist period, and bad habits were hard to shake in the aftermath of the 1989 revolution. Consequently, Czech cuisine has gotten an undeserved bad rap. Thankfully, some restaurateurs have taken up the baton to right past wrongs, and if you know where to go, it’s now possible to find excellent traditional cooking outside the home.

The Ambiente group, in particular, sees it as a priority to revive historic recipes and cooking techniques. This chain’s flagship La Degustation (Haštalská 18 222–311–234) offers a multicourse tasting menu using recipes from the 19th century. It’s a bit pricey at over 2,000 Kč a head, but if you want Czech at its best, this is where to dine. The chain also runs the cheaper Lokál Dlouhááá tavern (Dlouhá 33 222–316–265), and for much less money you can taste excellent renditions of pub staples like guláš and fried pork cutlets.

Brewpubs are another alternative for finding well-done domestic cooking. Good examples are the Pilsner Urquell chain, which runs V Kolkovně (V Kolkovně 8 224–819–701) in Old Town and Kulat’ák (Vítězné náměstí 12 773–973–037) in Dejvice. Here you’ll find high standards for traditional Czech cuisine in a sleek environment with good service.

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