Czech food is terrible

Czech food is terrible

I’ve been dancing around this topic for a while. And I feel like every time it comes up in conversation, I’m misunderstood. So allow me to properly elaborate on why I think Czech food is terrible.

Czech cuisine

When I say Czech food sucks, I actually don’t mean Czech food. Traditional Czech cuisine consists of potatoes or bread, often in dumpling form, served with some kind of meat, like sausage, beef, or pork. Sometimes the meat is swimming in goulash soup or cream, sometimes it’s served as a whole duck or a roasted pork knee.


And actually, I think that food is delicious. I love meat and I love potatoes and cabbage. And now that we’re hitting freezing temperatures, those heavy meals make a lot of sense. The problem with that kind of food is that it’s heavier than eating brick. And I don’t know if Czechs do it, but I can’t eat like that every day. I can’t even eat like that once a day.

Non-Czech food made in the Czech Republic

My problem with food in Prague is that when they’re not making delicious pillowy bread dumplings and a steaming pot of meat and gravy, local food is subpar.

The first time I ever came to Prague, long before I ever dreamed of living here, my friend and I went to a Simpsons-themed restaurant. They didn’t have an English menu (six years later, they still don’t have an English menu) so we pointed and hoped for the best. We got a grilled chicken breast covered in white cheese and topped with half a peach.

What. The. Fuck. Is. That.

I also distinctly remember going to KFC on that trip and thinking that the chicken tasted like it came from grandma’s attic. Nowadays I actually don’t think KFC is that bad compared to what I usually eat.

“Um, that’s not what food tastes like.”

I understand that Czechs have different tastes and sensibilities so maybe they like their ketchup with cinnamon in it. But if you’re going to make Italian pizza or American hamburgers, shouldn’t you stay true to the source cuisine? I mean ketchup is ketchup. You don’t even have to do anything to it. Just serve it out of the Heinz bottle. Why would you flavor it? FYI you also can’t serve tomato puree and call it ketchup.

My biggest gripe with food in the Czech Republic is that it often doesn’t taste like anything it’s supposed to be. Take Alfredo pasta, for instance. Alfredo sauce has a very specific taste. If you make Alfredo pasta, it should taste like Alfredo sauce, not mayonnaise. And when I taste mayonnaise, I have to question what the hell is wrong with your tastebuds. You can’t just approximate the color and consistency of a dish – it has to taste like it, too!

Czech food prep is lazy

I go out to eat because I don’t cook. But I don’t want to eat something that looks like a struggle meal I would make at home. You’ll see it in the grocery stores, fast food places, and sometimes even restaurants: slices of meat and cheese draped over bread and pizza. Would it hurt to shred it? At least make it look appetizing. As much as I love cheese, seeing a stale piece of bread with a slice of cheese crusted on it makes me want to go on a hunger strike.

czech food is terrible

Not all the food is bad… only anything affordable

One of the most common responses to my complaints is that not all the food is bad. And that’s true. The problem is that it’s hard to find cheap food that is good. If I had enough money to go out to a Zagat-rated restaurant every night, I would have no complaints. But I live here. So occasionally I pick up something from a place nearby. And there’s a 2 in 3 chance that it’ll be gross.

As expensive as a city like Miami is, for instance, you can go to great pricey restaurants, or you can spend $4 at a local cafeteria and eat like a king. That doesn’t exist here. Food that is cheap is also often bad. If I want good Mexican food in Prague, I have to go to a nice restaurant and shell out US prices for quesadillas. Thankfully, there is good Mexican food. They speak to me in Spanish when I go to Las Adelitas, and I want to kiss them on the mouth.

But if I want to spend a few crowns on the fast food version, I’m going to eat dog food with salsa. (Burrito Loco. I’m looking at you.)

The worst part is, you can go to a nice expensive restaurant and still be disappointed. Because you can invest a lot on chandeliers and leather booths, but the cooks are still going to be making imitations of other cuisines that are two degrees west of accurate.

The Czech Republic is a great place to have cocktails and coffee. But if you’re looking for a decent meal, it’s a toss-up. On the bright side, the culinary shortcomings also make it a great place to learn to cook.



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2 responses to “Czech food is terrible”

  1. Lewis Watson Avatar

    Thanks for sharing a great blog. There are many delicious local foods in Prague like Koleno, Vepřo-knedlo-zelo, Tatarák, Ovocné knedlíky, Pivo, Bramboráky, Nakládaný hermelín etc. As per my thought the name of these foods could have been included in the post.

  2. Ekue Gidigazo Avatar
    Ekue Gidigazo

    Wowwwwww! What a BEAUTIFUL CITY!
    I have been to a lot of countries – some in the Third World but when it comes to food, I a yet to see any worse than what I experienced in Prague.
    OMG! – food is the least of my issues BUT how people can eat the ‘food’ is beyond me!

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