Cooking Well in Prague

When we first moved to Prague at the end of 2001, fresh goods like celery and limes were luxury food items with out-sized price tags whose whereabouts were restricted to an imported food shop called Fruits de France.

In the last five years, however, the landscape for finding fruits, non-root vegetables, spices, herbs and imported goods in Prague has evolved rapidly. Prague still doesn’t have a good central food market or a “fresh market” culture like Vienna or Munich, but the Vietnamese community has managed to fill some of the void by opening endless fruit and vegetable shops. Although it’s still difficult to assemble a sophisticated, full-course meal with one stop, if you know where to look you can find almost anything you need.

Fresh Vegetables - Prague, Czech Republic
Fresh greens at the Malesice Vietnamese Market, Prague.

During our five years in Prague, we used our searches for ingredients – from Thai basil to brown sugar to pav bhaji spice – as a mechanism to discover the city. To our friends, we became a resource on where to find specific ingredients. Additionally, each time we encountered newcomers to Prague, we found ourselves buttonholed, answering questions on where to find fresh cilantro or Thai curry pastes.

We hope this map helps our friends (newcomers and long-time residents both) find the ingredients they need to create masterpieces in the kitchen.

This list is not extensive and is Prague 2 focused, as we used to live and work nearby, but it enabled us to keep our kitchen well stocked. It will likely become outdated soon as more specialty food shops open to fill the demands of Prague’s changing palate. Please comment and we’ll try to keep the list and map current.

Ethnic Grocers and Stores in Prague

CuisineNameDescriptionAddress
South AsianShalamarPakistani and Indian shop next to Malaisi Pakistani Restaurant selling everything you might need for south Asian cuisine, from cumin to mango pickle. Great selection of spice boxes - chana masala, dal makhani, pav bhaji, etc. Very reasonably priced.Lipanska 3, P3, Zizkov
South AsianCapatiIndian spice combinations for every type of curry. Homemade pickles and crispy pappadums also on offer. Ask the owners for cooking advice if you need help.Taborska 11, P4
ThaiThai's Asian Food ShopA haven for Thai curry pastes, nori wraps, fresh herbs, galangal, frozen shrimp and anything else Asian your heart may desire. Here's a good post with photos.Francouska 66, P10
Japanese and KoreanJapanese and Korean Food ShopFixings for sushi and other Japanese and Korean dishes.On Korunni, near Sumavska tram stop. P2
JapaneseJapaJapanese specialties like nori wrappers, frozen edamame, sushi rice and gyoza wrappers.Puskinovo nam. 10, P6
Middle EasternManni PotravinyMostly a regular shop, but if you look in the back you can find spices like cumin, coriander, cardomin, and tandoori marinade. Also has some Middle Eastern specialties.Bělehradská Street, close to Radost, P2
Southeast AsianHappy BoBoLiIn addition to being one of the best Vietnamese green grocers in P2, it has a wide selection of Asian products and frozen shrimp in the back room. Wide selection of reasonably priced wine.Corner of Rumunska and Belehradska, P2
Southeast AsianVietnamese market at MalesiceAlthough a bit of a haul, this is the best place to pick up Thai basil, fresh tofu, Thai curry pastes, bags of frozen tiger prawns and anything else your heart might desire.Tiskarska Street, P10
MediterraneanGreek CornerOlive oils, Greek olives, dolmas, frozen seafood.Francouska 31, near Jana Masaryka tram stop, P2
GreekOlympia Delikatesy a VínaGreek specialties such as Greek yogurt, olives, tzatziki, hummus, cheeses. A good write up hereRadhoštská 1, P2 (near Flora)
Turkish and Middle EasternFarahGreat selection of spices, nuts, fresh baklava, olives, meat (halal butcher) and everything else Turkish or Middle Eastern.Myslikova 5, P1 (near Karlovo Namest)
ItalianTresori d'ItaliaGreat selection of cheeses, meats, olives, marinated and grilled vegetables, and other foodstuffs. The Italian owner will give you an education in cheeses and meats (as well as samples) as you try to make a decision on what to buy.Americka 30, P2
ButcherRobertson's Butcher and DeliGood quality meats. Order ahead by email for easy pickup. A great place to get a Thanksgiving turkey. International products also available.Nuselská 60, P4 (there's a Prague 6 location also)
Seafood and French specialtiesLa BretagneAs fresh as fish can be in a landlocked country. Good quality fish and shellfish. You'll pay for it, but it will be good.Široká 22, P1
SeafoodSeafood ShopNext to the most expensive sushi restaurant in the world, the Seafood Shop has sushi quality fish for you to experiment at home.Zborovska 49, P5
BakeryBakeshop PrahaNot the cheapest place around, but good baguettes and sandwiches. The real excitement lies in their cheesecakes and caramel brownies. American style bakery.Kozi 1, P1
BakeryMansson's BakeryDanish bakery with hearty dark breads and crusty white breads. Good sandwiches and salads too.Bilkova 6/8, P1
Nuts and dried goodsDiane's World of Nuts (Diana Svět Oříšků)Bulk pine nuts, pecans, walnuts, teas, herbs and sweet munchies. A wide selection of international and organic foods including brown sugar, Indian marinades, tamari, and.... Reasonably priced.Bělehradská 87, P2
Nuts and dried goodsBio Market VitekBulk dry goods, organic and bio specialties.Vinohradská 53, P1

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Comments

  1. Jana Chu Svitek says

    Hey Dan and Audrey! No kidding… you guys used to live in P2? Each time we go, we live in Vinohrady, just a few blocks east of Riegrovy Sady, off Slavikova and Polska….it’s great there. We let a garsonka and use it as home base, since Florenc and HN are so close by. Were you anywhere nearby, perchance? Do you recomment Pizza Buon Giorno?

    BTW, given that you’re in China now, I wanted to teach you both to say, WOMEN HEN XIEXIE NIMEN… i means, We truly thank you (plural), pronounced, WOH MEN HUN SHIEH SHIEH NEE MEN… or DUOXIAO QIAN? =kolik to stoji? pronounced DWOH SHEAOWW CHEE EN?

    I’m tellin ya, of all the jazyky I know (1.Cantonese, thanks Mom and Dad 2. Spanish, thanks El Camino High!, 3.Mandarin, thanks Cal Berkeley), Cz by far is the most difficult to learn, owing primarily to the 7 declension tenses… they absolutely drive me bananas…I wonder where the begging is most intense and aggressive of all the countries that you have been to thus far.

    Thx too for sharing re: the spurious and heartless welcome to China, for after I went to SZ (Shenzhen) in late 04, I can understand some of what you share…

    Anyhow, I thrilled at the post whereby you guys went to eat huoguo, or dah been low (hot pot, shabu shabu, what have you…).. right ON! I love it! I must read on to learn what you both have been up to the last 4 mos. in Central Asia, subsisting on every derivative of goat known to man..

    Best,
    Jana Svitek

  2. says

    Jana, we actually lived in P10, Vrsovice. Polska/Slavikova happened to be our first extended stay in Prague, with friends. Buon Giorno, the place across the street, is OK in a pinch. But for the best pizza in Prague (at least when we were there), try Trattoria Roca on Vinohrady or Giallo Rosso, for quick pizza by the slice. Both are listed on the map in this post: http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/2007/09/eating-ethnic-in-prague/

    Thanks for the Mandarin tips. And agreed, Czech with its seven cases, is tough.

    Most intense and visible begging – surprisingly, on the streets of Tbilisi, Georgia.

    Regarding Central Asia, we still plan to post another two dozen articles (including a food and markets rundown) about our experiences there…we’ll post them while we are traveling in China.

  3. Monica Allen Messina says

    Oh my gosh! I know this is crazy, but I’ve been looking for Jana Chu Svitek. My apologies for hijacking another friend’s blog. J, it’s Mon from El Camino! How do I reach you?

  4. Monica Allen Messina says

    Thank you so much Audrey! I connected with Jana after many years. It was absolutely wonderful. She speaks highly of you and Dan. After talking with Jana and checking out you’re amazing website, please count me as a fan too. And keep doing what you’re doing!

  5. says

    Monica, glad you were able to connect again with Jana! It is nice to find people again after many years. Thanks for your support of our website and what we’re doing!

  6. Kiz Leppert says

    I too am searching for Jana Chu Svitek. I do not know if this is the right one, however. Please have her contact me if so. . .I would love to pick up our correspondence.

    Sincerely,
    Kiz (Johnson) Leppert

  7. says

    @Kiz: I tried to send an email to Jana with the address she used previously (couple of years ago) and it got returned to me. So, I’m guessing she changed email addresses. Sorry we can’t be of more help in connecting you to her. Good luck!

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