Prague Tips: Restaurants, Dining and Czech Cuisine

Restaurants can also be cheaper than in Western Europe or the US. However, it perhaps does not come as a surprise that the closer you are to the tourist center, the less this is true. For instance, do not expect to get a bargain on food if you are sitting at Old Town Square with a view of the astronomical clock. The view can be great, but will the bill be – no matter what you ordered.

If spending money is not an issue, sit back and calmly enjoy the often chaotically busy tourist epicenter of Prague!

Etiquette

When you sit down to eat with other people at a restaurant, it is customary to wish them “dobrou chut” (bon appetite) before starting to eat. In a usual restaurant for lunch, it is pretty common for people to pay separately. You can tell the waiter that you want to pay by saying “zaplatime” (za-plat-ee-me), meaning “we will pay” and then either “dohromady” doe-hro-mah-dee or “zvlast” zuh-vlash-tyuh. Sometimes there will be just one tab at the table that the waiter will then add up at the table before announcing the total.

 

Tipping

Czechs usually tip roughly 5-10 percent, depending on the total price of the check. Cheaper checks are often rounded up to a nice number. For instance, both a 81Kc or 84Kc bill could be payed as 90 Kc. For 229 Kc, 250 could work (about 10% for more expensive meals). After handing the waiter a denomination, say the amount you would like to pay including the tip and he or she will give you your change at that price. You are not likely to upset anyone if you decide to give a 20% tip anyhow.

 

OUR TIP: THE BEER RULE

If you are looking not to spend too much in a traditional Czech restaurant, check out the price of beer. If the price of beer is less than 40 Kc, then it is likely inexpensive. If it is about 40-60 Kc, be prepared to pay a bit more than usual for your meal. If it is more than 60 Kc, you have found yourself in a higher-end tourist restaurant. Of course, this rule has nothing to do with the quality of the food, and spending a bit more for a nice looking restaurant sometimes is a better idea than choosing to eat in a smoky old Czech haunt.