Photo via Mexicali Mercado Facebook

Travel the world without leaving home: specialty food shops in Prague

With travel restricted, you can still shop for your favorite flavors from abroad right here in the Czech capital; peek into Las Saboritas grocery basket
Tip: Visit Expats.cz Food & Drink for great tips on Prague restaurants, Czech cuisine, and more

Many of us crave dishes and flavors we can’t find easily here in Prague. Ethnic and speciality food stores make being far from home — or being unable to travel — a little easier, not to mention much tastier.

As quarantine lifts and UberEats announces it will discontinue service in the Czech Republic after June 3, we are getting back to grocery shopping, though many of the shops mentioned here have a home delivery option. These are some of our favorite import grocers in Prague and our picks for what to buy:

Southeast Asian Grocer Thai’s Asian Food

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This shop in Vršovice has a huge selection of products and cookware from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia. With a cooler full of fresh herbs, it’s the only place in town selling ใบกระเพรา (holy basil) for pad kraprao and drunken noodles (including Sapa, we checked). The shop owners are helpful, friendly, and know ingredient names in multiple languages. A small slice of Bangkok in Prague.

Our favorites: Frozen dim sum, bamboo steamer baskets, Healthy Boy, Indomie mi goreng, Tiparos fish sauce, mortar/pestle sets, Rose jasmine rice, bulk cilantro, roasted rice for larb/naamtok, chile paste, makrut lime leaf, bird’s eye chiles

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Italian Grocer Wine Food Market

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Photo: Wine Food the Italians via Facebook

With three sites in Prague, this combination store/restaurant concept means you can dine-in, grab-and-go or purchase high-quality ingredients to make your own Italian feast at home. Their e-shop is stocked with cheeses, pasta, wines, and gourmet gift baskets. The bakery is every carb-lover’s dream, with basic loaves, cookies, cakes, focaccia and more.

Our favorites: Grana Padano cheese, salami, classic ciabatta bread, asparagus pesto, jarred pasta sauces, pasta in every shape and size

Tip: Free home delivery in Prague of orders over 1,000 CZK from their e-shop.

American and British Grocer The Candy Store

Although the tagline on the website says “everyone’s got a sweet tooth,” don’t let the name fool you. The Candy Store is here to meet your savory needs too. You can find everything from Pop Tarts to Baconnaise to Vegemite on their website, but offerings at the 3 Prague stores vary.  

Our favorites: Frank’s RedHot Sauce, Cheetos Crunchy and Red Hot, Takis Fuego, A&W Root Beer and Cream Soda, SPAM, everything Nestle Toll House, Lip Smackers, Reese’s cereal

Tip: Free home delivery in Prague on orders over 1,000 CZK.

Mexican Grocer Mexicali Mercado

When the craving for Latin-American food hits, head to this mercado (market) named for the capital city of Baja California in northern Mexico. Stock up on tortillas, salsa, chiles, beans and even decor. The in-house taco shop isn’t the most authentic but with decent chips and a free salsa selection, you can sip mezcal and try-before-you-buy. 

Our favorites: Tajin chile and lime seasoning, canned tomatillos, Maseca, dried and canned chiles (chipotle, árbol, guajillo, ancho), tamarind syrup, Yucateco, mezcal

Filipino Grocer P-Noy Taste of Asia  

The first Filipino store in Prague stocks products from the Philippines and other SE Asian countries. Besides shelf-stable pantry items, there is a small frozen food stock. In season, get Filipino speciality halo halo mixed ice dessert from the juice bar.

Our favorites: lumpia wrappers, pancit, Mama Sita’s spice mixes, Silver Swan, canned corned beef, Lucky Me instant noodles

Tip: Free home delivery in Prague for 1,000 CZK or more.

Indian and Pakistani Grocer Shalamar Foods

This well-stocked shop carries legumes in every color of the rainbow from yellow for turka dal to black dal and red kidney beans for creamy dal makhani. Add meat and vegetables to jarred chutneys and curry pastes for a quick meal including packaged naan. Don’t forget spiced chai for fragrant milk tea.

Our favorites: dal, ghee, paneer, basmati rice, TRS spices (garam masala, jeera, coriander), dried chickpeas, peanut butter, coconut oil, hot bombay snack mix

Tip: Free home delivery in Prague for 1,000 CZK or more.

Korean Grocer Shin Food

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Shin Food / via Facebook

This small chain with three locations (P1 Náměstí Republiky, P2 Korunní street, and P3 Koněvova street) has everything you need to cook Korean food. Did you see the Oscar-winning movie Parasite and want to try “ram-don”? The famous recipe for 쇠고기짜파구리 (Jjapaguri) calls for Chapaghetti and Neoguri brand instant noodles, both sold here. The store also carries Korean cosmetics famous for youthful, dewy-looking skin. 

Our favorites: frozen tteokbokki, Samyang noodles, Sempio gochujang, gochugaru, metal chopsticks, refrigerated kimchi, translucent face powder

Which is your favorite import food store in the Czech Republic? Tell us in the comments box below or tweet us at @lassaboritas today.

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