Prague Restaurants

An introduction to Restaurants in Prague, etiquette, do's and dont's.

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Published on 21.01.2005 17:20 (updated on 21.01.2005)

Written by Eva Christiansen
for Here are recommendations for good restaurants in Prague. These restaurants are accustomed to tourists and have English menus. The food comes with our highest recommendation, if you don’t agree let us know about it. If you’re adventurous and want to explore non-touristy restaurants, there are a few things worth knowing: 1. A common impression : among visitors to the Czech Republic is that table service seems less friendly, or attentive than what they’re used to. Please don’t take it to heart, Czechs are friendly people, but it is considered professional and respectful to be slightly impersonal, especially for a waiter. 2. You can expect : the following at a Czech restaurant: after being seated, a waiter takes your order for drink, then food. Silverware and napkins are brought, standing in a cup or plate. There’s a basket of bread, for which you might be charged, unless you don’t touch it. Even then, it may appear on the bill, but the charge is usually not more than 20 CZK. You may need to ask for what seem like basic items, such as ice in your drink, butter for bread, or ketchup and mustard for fries. Some restaurants charge for such items – even for salad dressing. 3. Just a warning: fellow diners may be smoking throughout your entire meal. It’s not considered particularly rude, so if you are against cigarettes, it would be a good idea to mention it when you are seated. Not many restaurants have designated smoking areas, as smoking is very common and tolerated. If the restaurant has no outdoor tables or well-ventilated areas, perhaps it is not the ideal place to enjoy a meal. 4. Lastly, don’t feel overlooked if after your meal you are not given the bill right away. It’s acceptable to spend hours talking and drinking at the table, after the dishes are cleared. So if you want to leave, you should ask for the check. “Zaplatime” means “We will pay now” and “Ucet prosim” (oo-chet pro-seem) means “Check, please.” The bill is typically given to the man at the table, because it is customary that the man always pays. 5. Tipping: the basic 10-15% is appreciated, but not mandatory. Leave cash on the table if you think the service was good, or say “Dobry” when paying your waiter, it means “Good,” as in, keep the change. Or, when handing over the money, just say how much cash you would like back. Some restaurants add a “service fee” to the final amount, so the tip is included. If you are unsure, just ask. Also, if you are unsure about any items on the check, it is wise to ask. It can be hard to figure out exactly what you’re being charged for, and “mistakes” are not uncommon.