Guide to the street food in Prague
What and where to taste in Prague streets?
Quick, easy to prepare and cheap - these are the usual qualities associated with street food. However, times are changing, and we often pay a lot more for the food we eat "standing up" on the street. On the other hand, the food quality has also shifted considerably and when ordering street food in Prague, it doesn't have to be just fried cheese in a bun, fatty langos, sausage, or any other type of junk food anymore.
Just like abroad, the Prague street food scene has also started to adopt a new trend - to offer food that is not only fast to prepare, but also honestly made (sometimes literally "with love") using quality ingredients. Nowadays, many venues in Prague prove that it is possible to eat well "on the street", or even experience something called "heaven in the mouth". In this article, we'll reveal to you where to get street food in Prague - whether it's typical Czech food or street food inspired by foreign cuisine.
And if that wasn't enough - where else can you find a greater concentration of the best street food in Prague than at street food markets or food festivals? We'll introduce you to the most famous ones.
Intro to the Czech street food in Prague
To begin with, let's take a closer look at what Czech street food actually is. It is somewhat different from the foreign concept of street food and perhaps the term junk food would be more accurate to describe these meals. The quality of the food you get at a street stall is often very poor and it may fill you up for a while - but that's all. What's more, they are often pretty good calorie bombs. And expensive. On the other hand - they belong to Czech cuisine, so let's talk about them a bit.
TYPICAL CZECH STREET FOOD
Langoš - deep-fried dough topped with garlic, cheese, and ketchup
Klobása - a grilled sausage, usually accompanied by mustard, horseradish and bread
Párek v rohlíku - a hotdog-style snack with a sausage in a roll
Bramborák - a fried potato pancake
Sekaná v housce - minced meat patty in a bun
Pražská šunka - a ham prepared from a pork leg, which is marinated, cooked and smoked
Halušky - potato dumplings commonly served with sauerkraut and bacon
Koblihy - from a category of sweet street food, traditional Czech doughnuts
Trdelník - another sweet street food that you can find on almost every corner in Prague, although it's not Czech or traditional at all!
All these dishes can be bought on the streets of Prague, among the hotspots are - perhaps unsurprisingly - touristy Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. However, the quality of this street food cannot be guaranteed and what´s more - the street food there is usually much more expensive. So where to go if you want to get value for your money?
Where to taste the best street food in Prague
I. Typical Czech street food in Prague
Whether it's sausages, Prague ham or meatloaf in a bun - if you don't want to be satisfied with the offer of the first stall you come across on the street, head to one of the Ambiente chain's establishments (e.g. Naše maso, Kantýna or Lokál restaurants...), where you'll be served in first-class quality. Of course, they will also cost a bit more money than the stall on the street, but at least you can be sure that you know what you are eating. The Bufáček bistro (Bistro Čejka) in Karlín is also a great choice. And if you don't want to pay too much, go to the Globus hypermarket. No, we're not kidding. Meatloaf in a bun from Globus, for just 25 CZK, is a hit and often the only consolation for guys if they have to go shopping with their sweetheart.
Ask a local in Prague where to go for the best sausage in a roll (a Czech version of a hot dog) and you'll probably be referred to náměstí Míru. The local stall has been selling sausages for 30 years - and there's still often a queue outside. If you like to try something new, while sticking to Czech classics, pop into DoRohliku in Lazarska Street. Instead of sausage, they'll fill your roll with typical Czech dishes such as chicken on paprika, goulash or dill sauce. And it's really tasty!
If you happen to come across the Langosh Gang or LANGŌS FRY DAY at the Smíchovská náplavka market or one of the other food events, you are sure to taste one of the best langos in Prague - another typical street food in Prague. Vilík's Langošárna in Prague 9 is also great, but that's a bit of a trip out of the centre. Vegans can enjoy the langos (and not only it) at Eaternia in Smíchov.
Potato pancakes are rather a matter of markets and stalls on the street, but if you're not just looking for a quick hunger killer, head to Brambory na Pankráci, a restaurant where potatoes of all kinds play the main role and this simple ingredient is transformed into delicacies on the plate.
About the best fried cheese in Prague, we have already written in THIS article, specifically the one in a bun we recommend at Kavárna Velryba or MaLi Bistro, vegans will find their own at Belzepub.
And as for the sweet street food in Prague, i.e. doughnuts and so on. Basically, it could be said that all you have to do is visit one of the artisan bakeries and you won't be disappointed. For example, the traditional Czech doughnuts can be found at e.g. Praktika, Eska or Pekárna Kabát.
Maybe you're thinking - what about the traditional Old Bohemian trdelník? Well, let's say, that it's a type of sweet street food you can see (and smell) at many places in Prague, but it is definitely neither traditional nor Czech. Still, if you're wondering where to get it, check out our article dedicated to trdelnik.
II. Street food in Prague spiced with international influence
If Czech street food doesn't appeal to you, don't worry! Prague's street food scene is also enriched by dishes inspired by treasures from foreign cuisines. Just head to some of the following popular street food spots in Prague!
Manifesto Market is a vibrant hub of gastronomy and culture located in Prague 5. It's like a melting pot of flavors and visitors can explore authentic cuisines and various street food from the Mediterranean, Asia or America - all in one place. As the sun dips below the horizon, this Prague street food market transforms into a lively nightlife destination. For travelers seeking a diverse range of high-quality street food in Prague in a trendy, stylish environment, Manifesto Market is a must-visit destination.
Simplicity and high-quality ingredients - these are the two basic elements for the best street food right in the heart of Prague. The small but cosy ZONA bistro brings the world to your plate, offering delectable the best street food from Italy, Mexico or France. From a wide range of crispy focaccia sandwiches or baguettes (which are half a meter long!), there is something for meat lovers, vegetarians and vegans alike. The friendly staff and relaxed ambiance make it the perfect spot to gather with friends, meet new people, or simply enjoy delicious street food in Prague.
Even Prague district Karlín has its mini manifesto. You can find it right in the backyard of the Dva Kohouti brewery and although it is not a street food market in the true sense of the word, this place is still very popular with both local and foreign visitors and is bustling all year round and into the late evening hours. The terminal consists of two shipping containers - one of which serves traditional Asian street food, with bao buns being the star of the menu. The other terminal offers Mediterranean and Israeli street food specialities in the summer season, while in winter you can warm up with a mulled wine or a strudel with vanilla sauce. In addition, there is a heated tent in the style of an apres-ski bar. Beyond being a favourite destination for all beer and street food lovers in Prague, Terminal Karlin serves as a social hub. The communal seating and lively atmosphere encourage interaction and provide a great opportunity to meet new people.
Certainly, there are many other establishments offering delectable street food in Prague, but attempting to encompass all of them in this article would be an endless task. Let's spotlight a few noteworthy options. If you have a penchant for Vietnamese street food, both Bánh Mi Makers and Bánh Mi Ba, renowned for their iconic bánh mi sandwiches, are excellent choices. For a taste of Berlin's cherished street food - kebab, make your way to Gemüse Corner in Prague 4 - Podolí. If you're in the mood for a lighter snack, the offerings at UGO Salaterie or PokeHaus are sure to satisfy. As for recommendations on where to indulge in a burger or hot dog, stay tuned for a forthcoming article dedicated to those culinary delights.
Street food festivals and markets in Prague
In addition to the many street food spots in Prague, one of the best opportunities to enjoy “treasures from the street” is a visit to various street food festivals that take place in Prague throughout the year. Among the most renowned is the Street Food Festival at Smíchovská náplavka (Prague 5), occurring several times annually and offering a unique fusion of global and local street food creations. The left bank of the Vltava River is also the venue of the Asia Street Food Festival or Polívkování - an event for all soup lovers. Another hotspot for best of the best street food in Prague is the Karlínský Street Food Festival (Prague 8). Lovers of burgers and other meat street food delicacies should not miss the famous BurgerFest in Holešovice (Prague 7), the largest burger fest in Europe.
Along with these specialized food festivals, farmers' markets scattered across the city guarantee a consistent avenue for indulging in Prague's street food. Whether you head to Náplavka, Jiřák or Holešovice, you'll find at least one food stall or food truck offering fast, yet quality street food snacks at every market. For a comprehensive guide to the most renowned farmers' markets in Prague, check our overview available HERE.
And of course, we must not miss the traditional Christmas markets, which are impossible to imagine without stalls with various types of food and offer a wide range of street food in Prague.