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Tips for cheap dining in Prague

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A traditional Czech meal. Photo by Smaku.
A traditional Czech meal. Photo by Smaku.

Last week, we shared three Cheapo-friendly pubs in Prague. To maximize your Czech eating experience, however, there are a few more things you should know about where and when to go, as well as how much to leave for the tip.

Read on to make sure you’re getting your Czech kroners’ worth!

1. Go at lunch time.

Nearly every traditional Czech restaurant offers a lunch menu with prices usually around 99 CZK. The menu often isn’t translated; however it gives you an excellent, cheap excuse to be adventurous. Sides, like French fries, potatoes, rice etc. usually aren’t included, so be sure to order them separately.

2. Go before (or after) the crowds.

That said, expect packed restaurants at lunch time. Czechs know a good value when they see one, and city center restaurants are usually packed around the noon hour. Plan on a full restaurant (go right at 11 AM, typical opening times for most restaurants, or around 1 PM; the lunch specials usually last until 2 PM) and count on brusque service. If you order from the lunch menu, your food will come fast; if you order off it, you’ll have to wait.

3. Watch your bill.

Legally, a restaurant must tell you if service is included. It’s hit or miss if they actually will. Have a rough idea of what your bill should be ahead of time. An extra beer often finds its way onto unsuspecting tabs.

4. Go easy on tips.

Usually rounding up is enough of a tip; minimum 10-20 CZK. If service is horrid, don’t feel bad about not tipping, and if it’s good, 10% is quite generous.

Your Prague restaurant tips

Have any Prague dining tips, Cheapos? Post a comment to share.

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3 Responses to “Tips for cheap dining in Prague”

Steve says:

As a frequent international traveler and a lover of Prague, I can definitely recommend the “Rope Maker’s Wife”.
Two others to visit are next door to each other: U Spirku, and Mljenice on Kozna Street (more like an alley) just off the Old Town Square. Excellent food, generous portions, and great prices.
I have taken many coworkers and friends there, and no one ever disliked it.
Combine dinner with a walking tour of Old Town by McGee’s Ghost Tours of Prague, and you will have a memorable evening. They depart from the Astronomical Clock just a block away, and are found by their red umbrellas, tophats, and lanterns.
For a bit of sightseeing, although at a higher price, go to the roof garden of the Prince hotel for a drink prior to your activities. Prices not ridiculous, service pretty good, and a fantastic view of the square.
For an even better view (but no drinks), go to the top of the Clock Tower. Tickets cost about 100 CKr, but the view is amazing. Take the elevator up (long walk on the stairs-unless you need to work off some food and drink!). Can see some of the clock’s workings if you take the stairs.
A great city with many wonderful places to discover!

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