On the whole, fine dining in Prague can be a steal compared with other European capitals. But for locals on a budget a lot of the city’s best restaurants can seem just out of reach. One of the best things about the Prague restaurant scene is that many – from the lowly hospoda up to Michelin star establishments – offer lunch specials, providing either a set menu or a small selection of meals for a greatly reduced price. Lunch specials usually change daily, but here’s a roundup of some of the most tantalizing deals we’ve found recently.
One of Prague’s biggest foodie fish is, fittingly, also one of its best for seafood. The Alcron has won the highly coveted Michelin star for several years in a row now, and while its regular menu is priced accordingly, the restaurant does have a lunch special where you can create your own tasting menu from their a la carte list (three courses for 1000 Kc, four for 1200 Kc or five for 1400 Kc). www.alcron.cz
Popular Italian restaurant Aromi has an equally popular lunch special that works out as a great way to sample its fresh seafood and pasta creations. The menu costs 225 Kc for two courses (a soup and main course) and changes daily; on a recent weekday, it featured minestrone soup and a choice of linguine with clams and cherry tomatoes or roastbeef with cauliflower puree, artichokes and cavolo nero. www.aromi.cz
This Asian fusion restaurant, perched atop Prague’s highest building and with some of the best views over the city sprawl, has a day offer of a three- or five-course lunch special (490 Kc and 690 Kc, respectively). At press time the lunch menu included salmon or tuna maki, swordfish carpaccio, corn-fed chicken with fried rice and Black Angus roast beef. There’s also a selection of four different wines on offer each day. www.aureole.cz
Chagall’s is a fast favorite for many in Prague, and its easy location just steps from Old Town Square make it popular with visitors, as well. For a quick lunch that doesn’t take the sumptuous time (or expenditure) of luxuriating through a nine-course tasting menu, the weekly a la carte lunch option offers items such as French beef tartare with pommes frites and fresh vegetable salad for 240 Kc or grilled sea bass with vegetable ratatouille for 310 Kc (compared with upwards of 550 Kc at dinnertime). www.chagallsclubrestaurant.cz
The flagship restaurant at Prague’s Four Seasons Hotel boasts some of the city’s best takes on Italian fare, and its lunch specials ― this week monkfish saltimbocca with roasted artichokes, zimino of chick peas and San Daniele sauce or mignon of veal loin alla Milanese with gratinated fennel, saffron tapioca chips and lemon-ginger emulsion ― go for a special rate of 390 Kc for two courses or 490 Kc for three. www.cottocrudo.com
The new “free-range dining” experience in Old Town also offers an accessible weekly business lunch special featuring two courses (280 Kc) or three courses (350 Kc), both of which include coffee. When we checked, the lunch menu included cod with anchovy crust and an Angus burger served with BBQ sauce, smoked peppers and french fries, as well as a choice of starters and desserts. www.fieldrestaurant.cz
This Japanese restaurant just a couple tram stops past the castle is beloved by many for its quality and authenticity, and at lunch time Mash Hana has a great deal on bento boxes, each available for 250 Kc. The sizeable portions include miso soup, potato salad, rice, fruit and a choice of seven main dishes like teriyaki salmon, grilled mackerel or tempura tiger shrimp, or alternatively, a 15-piece maki set or soba or udon noodles. www.mashhana.cz
Paul Day’s Sansho is much-loved for its multi-course tasting menu, available in the evenings, which combines such favorites as softshell-crab sliders, beef rendang and other creative and seasonal plates. But the New Town restaurant also offers a la carte options at lunchtime for a quick fix with a choice of three different starters (100-200 Kc) and two or three main courses (around 200 Kc), which are usually, but not always, a selection from the evening dishes. www.sansho.cz
What is Prague’s best high-end lunch deal?