In winter, Prague offers some particularly tempting comfort food. Those fortunate enough to find themselves in the Czech capital at this time of year will have unbridled access to some of the finest winter foods in Europe. From fragrant spit-roasted ham and delicately spiced sausages to crisp potato patties and sugar-coated cakes, there really is something for everyone. On your next trip to Prague, make sure to try these indulgent winter treats.
Everyone knows ham, but not ham like this. Prague’s unique and delicious take on the humble cured pork is a traditional stalwart at the open-air Christmas markets that pop up across the Czech city as soon as the temperature drops. Find šunka on a spit rotating slowly over an open flame in the manner of a hog roast. Although, in all likelihood, you’ll smell its delicious savoury aroma long before you see it.
It’s impossible to visit Prague and not sample sugary trdelník, which is served in every Christmas market across the city. It’s a simple and very traditional local treat where the dough is baked on a spit over an open fire, and then rolled in a thick layer of sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. It makes for a delicious winter snack, but don’t wait to eat it: it’s much better piping hot.
You might recognise langoš if you’ve happened to visit Budapest, because this deep-fried flatbread is Hungarian in origin – it negotiated its way into the heart of Prague’s food scene in the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Langoš is typically served with cheese, ketchup and garlic, which may not sound very appealing, but throw caution to the wind and discover a dangerously moreish snack.
Just as succulent šunka might lead you to wonder what, exactly, you have been calling “ham”, klobása is a sausage that puts all the others to shame. The Pražská klobása is recognizable for its deep red colour. It’s lightly spicy and utterly delectable, and no list of recommended winter foods would be respectable without mention them. Eat these sausages with local brown bread and smothered with liberal quantities of mustard.
These potato pancakes are not unique to the Czech Republic, but Prague has found a way, as it so often seems to do, of putting its own distinct stamp on them. The crispy and delicious indulgence that is bramborák consists of seasoned grated or mashed potato that’s fried into golden patties. They’re often served as a side dish in restaurants, but for the most authentic—and the most memorable—experience, enjoy them as a street snack.
We couldn’t give you a list of delicious foods to try without an accompanying beverage suggestion. This steamy and aromatic mulled wine can be found in almost any café, bar or restaurant across the city, as well as at stalls and in markets. It’s pure comfort in a glass, and a wholly necessary sort of drink when you’re exploring this beautiful city in the cold winter months.