Cheap Eats: Where to Eat on a Budget in Prague?
You might have heard Prague is inexpensive , especially compared to the USA or Western Europe, so if you’re travelling on a budget it’s just the perfect place for you. But is it really as budget friendly as it seems? The truth is, it really depends on where you go. Like in many touristy cities, many venues in the centre tend to masivelly overcharge. For example, you’d normally get a pint of beer for about 50 to 60CZK (less than 3 EUR), but in a touristy venue they can charge you twice as much. And don’t get me started on the price of water! Sometimes, a bottle of water can cost almost as much as the meal itself… To avoid getting ripped off, I have made a list of the best cheap eats in Prague. Just to be clear, by ‘cheap eats’ I don’t mean fast food or some hardly edible nonsense that has ‘food’ labeled on it. Food is a really big deal for Prague City Adventures. We only offer premium quality authentic local dishes on our tours, so I will be talking only about food that is excellent and great value for money.
Almost all restaurants in Prague have lunch specials and they are a true Czech specialty we are proud of. Every working day, from around 11.30 AM to 3 PM, you can choose from a few daily lunch specials at a much lower price than usual. They are primarily aimed at office workers who get special food vouchers from their companies. Use this type of special offer as the average price is about 150 CZK (6 EUR) for a main course and (sometimes) soup. It doesn’t sound bad, does it? So, if there is a restaurant that is way too expensive for your budget, opt for the lunch specials!
LIDOVÁ JÍDELNA TĚŠNOV
If you could judge a place by the length of the queues in front of it, then Lidová jídelna Těšnov would definitely be the ultimate champion. This incredibly popular location (which translates as People’s Canteen at Tesnov) might not have a fancy interior or a killer view, but it does have the most important thing: great food. Preserving the spirit from the past, the 60s interior hasn’t changed a bit. You wait in a line with your tray and get to choose from a large menu. The average price of the dishes is 100-140CZK (4-6 EUR), and they are all truly great. You can’t get more authentic than this. Also, it is located in the centre, close to the Florenc metro stop, which is extremely convenient, isn’t it?
Address: Těšnov 1163/5, 110 00 Praha 1-Nové Město-Petrská čtvrť
Open Mon-Fri, 10.30 AM – 2.30PM
Chlebíčky are easy to make, quite affordable and absolutely delicious; no wonder they are a staple of the Czech diet. (There will be a post specifically about them in the near future, too.) Chlebíčky are open-faced sandwiches with many varieties when it comes to the spread and topping, with ham and egg being the classic Czech ones. It might not sound so enticing at first glance, but trust me, once you’ve had one, there is no going back, you’re hooked on them for life. The Czechs love to have them for breakfast or as a quick snack, but they are also perfect for lunch. And guess what? They are super cheap too! A set of four wouldn’t cost you more than 100 CZK (4 EUR). Here is where you can find the best chlebíčky in town:
Located right in the heart of Prague, with a completely authentic interior that hasn’t changed since the communist times, you will be transported back into the Czech past in a split second! Can it get more Czech than this? Oh yes, and there are over 50 varieties of chlebíčky to choose from.
Address: Jungmannova 34 110 00, Praha 1
Info: +420 222 519 451 / +420 222 220 989
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday: 06.30 – 19.00
Saturday: 09.00 – 15.00
Located near the Naměstí Republiky square, they offer a modern twist to the typical Czech dish. They love to experiment with their sandwiches, and trust me, they end up looking like a work of art, and on top of that, they taste like a piece of heaven too. Plus, each chlebíček tells a unique story, just ask the staff, they’ll be happy to explain.
Address: Dlouhá 39, Praha 1110 00 Prague 1
Info:+420 775 991 975. [email protected]
Opening hours: Monday–Friday: 8:00–20:00
This deli is favourite among families, and no wonder: they offer a wide variety, the products are always fresh, and they have enough room to fit a whole stadium in. They owe their fame to two things: great cakes and even better chlebíčky, so don’t be surprised when you see the huge queues just go with the flow and join them, you will not be disappointed, we guarantee that! In fact, Ovocný Světozor is so famous that it has several locations all over Prague. Here are some of the central locations:
Address: Pasáž Světozor, Vodičkova 39, 110 00 Nové Město
Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 08-20.30
Address:Havlíčkova 1682/15, 110 00 Nové Město
Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 08-19.00
TIP: If you go to the venue at Vodičkova street (right next to Wenceslas Square), take the chlebíčky to go and have them in the nearby Franciscan Gardens. This place is a hidden oasis right in the centre of all the hustle and bustle at Wenceslas Square. You can have your chlebíčky on a bench in the rose garden. Plus, if you want to be sustainable and save some more money, there is a fresh water fountain to fill your bottle.
Of course, if you want first-hand, local info about this famous dish be sure to take part in our food tours, such as “Evening Prague: Traditional Czech Food Tour in Old Town,” or “Prague Food by Food.” Chlebíčky are a Czech classic for a good reason, and they surely are the stars of all our food tours.
GO TO A BUDGET FRIENDLY CAFE
When it comes to cafes in Prague the choice is endless: from old style artistic cafes, to new fair-trade, locally sourced cafes, Prague has it all. The good thing is, they usually offer light lunches and soups, and for a great price too. You can check out Cafe Letka, located near Letná Park. They bring their coffee all the way from Berlin (Five Elephant), and the famous local brewery Matuška is in charge of the beer. What it’s really most famous though, is their brunch. So, if you want to have a relaxed, cosy morning this is the right place to go. It’s an increasingly trendy location though, so be sure to make a reservation here: +420777444035
Address: Letohradská 44, Praha 7
Opening hours: Monday – Friday: 8am – 12pm, Saturday – Sunday: 10am – 12pm
Můj šálek kávy is yet another great venue if you’re on a budget.The average price of their lunch dishes is about 150 CZK (5 EUR). You’ll find it in the hip neighbourhood of Karlín, which is a trendy area full of cosy cafes and great bars you must visit while you’re in Prague. Můj šálek kávy is a modern coffee roastery that selects fair-trade coffee from around the world. They offer special Doubleshot coffee. A delicious hot drink that warms you up and gives you a boost to go explore more of this wonderful city.
Address: Křižíkova 105, Prague 8,
Mo-Sa: 9AM – 9PM, Su: 10AM – 6PM
Tel: +420 725 556 944
Eating Vietnamese food might not be the first thing you expect when you hear ‘Czech food’, but actually it is our second favourite food, besides Czech, of course. There is a large Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic. In fact, it is the largest outside Vietnam. Vietnamese immigrants started settling here during the Communist era because they were invited as guest workers by the Czechoslovak government. Many of them stayed and are now sharing their amazing food and culture with us, making Czech Republic even more interesting! You can treat yourself to spring or summer rolls and Bun Bo Nam Bo: a rich noodle dish with stir-fried beef, peanuts and fresh herbs. There are many Vietnamese restaurants around town, but my favourite is Remember, located right in the centre of Prague.
Address: Biskupská 1753/5, 110 00 Petrská čtvrť
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 10.30 AM- 9.30 PM, Sat-Sun, 12AM-9.30 PM
These were just a few tips that I hope will make your stay in Prague better. Don’t forget that our local guides can give you more personalised tips on our tours!