To all fans of Czech food! Do you want to know what typical recipes represent Czech cuisine? What dishes is the Czech gastronomy famous for? You've come to the right place, read on!
➤ I was born in the Czech Republic, and I have lived there for over 40 years, cooking daily for my family. I have carefully selected 12 traditional Czech foods that proudly represent our country for you.
Below the list, you will find a quick description of each dish, including a photo and a link to the authentic recipe (it is written in English, no fear of the Czech language).
Let's have fun!
❤️ My honest list of the best 12 Czech dishes:
- Svíčková na smetaně
- Hovězí guláš
- Vepřo knedlo zelo
- Ovocné knedlíky
- Zelňačka Sauerkraut soup
BONUS FOR YOU: I've included a short audio clip for each dish with Czech pronunciation. I'm a native speaker, so you'll get an idea of how we, Czechs, speak. Plus, when you visit Prague or another beautiful Czech city, you'll be able to try ordering a meal in a restaurant in the Czech.
Svíčková na smetaně
Svíčková is a classic Czech sauce prepared from root vegetables, thickened with roux and softened with cream. The exact translation into English might be "Beef sirloin in cream sauce", as the dish also includes slow-braised beef. Usually accompanying the sauce are the famous bread dumplings.
Svíčková is a festive dish in the Czech Republic, often served as the main course at essential celebrations or weddings.
RECIPE => Svíčková na smetaně
Svíčková pronunciation 🡳
Beef goulash is an iconic part of Czech gastronomy. It is comprised of slow-braised cubes of beef that are soft and juicy as a result. Czech goulash is characterized by a large amount of onion and spices such as caraway seeds, marjoram, sweet paprika, or garlic. In Czech pubs, goulash is served with dumplings or bread and always with a pint of chilled beer.
RECIPE => Beef goulash (Czech hovězí guláš)
Guláš pronunciation 🡳
Bramboráky are potato pancakes richly flavored with garlic and marjoram, fried in lard. You can often get them as street food in one of the stalls in the center of Czech cities. Small potato pancakes (bramboráčky) are served as a side dish to the main meal.
RECIPE => Bramboráky potato pancakes
Bramboráky pronunciation 🡳
Czech dumplings are famed all over the world! The classic dumplings are made of yeast dough shaped like cylinders, which are cooked and then sliced. You can enjoy dumplings as a side dish to Czech sauces such as svíčková, rajská, koprová. They taste great with beef goulash.
RECIPE => Bread dumplings (Czech knedlíky)
Knedlíky / houskové knedlíky pronunciation 🡳
Vepřo knedlo zelo
These three words make up the phonemic shortcuts to pork roast, dumplings, and cabbage stew. In the past, Czech grandmothers used to make pork dumplings as a festive dish on Sundays. It is a hearty dish, also popular nowadays, that will satisfy any hungry soul.
RECIPE => Vepřo knedlo zelo
Vepřo knedlo zelo pronunciation 🡳
Czech dumplings again, this time made as a sweet dish. Czechs are a nation of dumpling eaters, and yeast dumplings filled with seasonal fruits are one of the most popular desserts. Enjoy them topped with ground poppy seeds, grated tvaroh cheese, or a dollop of sour cream drizzled with melted butter.
RECIPE => Fruit dumplings (Czech ovocné knedlíky)
Ovocné knedlíky pronunciation 🡳
Bábovka stars as a great dessert at Czech weekends. It is baked in a special mold and decorated with a layer of icing sugar. The closest English equivalent to Czech bábovka could be bundt cake. Bábovka is easy to make and tastes perfect for everyone!
RECIPE => Bábovka
Bábovka / Mramorová (marbled) bábovka pronunciation 🡳
Palačinky are a divine dessert from the time when the Czech Republic was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The liquid batter is poured onto a hot pan and fried on both sides until golden brown. Sinfully good! Spread the pancakes with jam, roll them up and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
RECIPE => Palačinky
Palačinky pronunciation 🡳
Koláč (in English kolach or kolache) is a type of sweet pastry known all over the world. Authentic Czech kolaches are baked with yeast dough, are round in shape, and contain various sweet fillings. There is nothing more reminiscent of Bohemia abroad than a beautifully baked koláč in your hand!
RECIPE => Czech kolache
Koláč / Koláče (kolache) pronunciation 🡳
Potato soup (bramboračka in Czech) counts among the treasures of Czech cuisine. It is very rich and contains root vegetables and mushrooms in addition to potatoes. In winter, it warms and comforts the body and soul. It is one of the must-try soups when you visit the Czech Republic.
RECIPE => Bramboračka soup
Bramboračka / Bramborová polévka pronunciation 🡳
Česnečka is a sought-after soup served in many Czech restaurants. It is a clear soup with fresh garlic, flavored with marjoram. This garlic soup is often accompanied by bread croutons, cheese, or diced ham. Czech women cook garlic soup as a supportive cure for illness or hangovers.
RECIPE => Česnečka soup
Česnečka / Česneková polévka pronunciation 🡳
Made from sauerkraut, Czech zelňačka is one of the soups packed with vitamins and flavors, especially suitable for colder weather. It also contains potatoes and sausage and is softened with sour cream. Foreign tourists love this soup!
RECIPE => Zelňačka soup
Zelňačka / Zelná polévka pronunciation 🡳
Czech cuisine is very diverse, and its roots can be found in the 19th century. At that time, the Czech lands were part of the vast Austrian empire that occupied most of central Europe.
The Czechs thus lived in one state unit together with Slovaks, Austrians, and Hungarians. This is also why all these national cuisines have many similar dishes, although something unique can be discovered in each of them.
This is where you can find all Czech recipes on my blog.
I hope you enjoyed my article about typical Czech dishes. Let me know in the comments; I'm interested in your opinion! Is there a dish missing from your list that you think characterizes the Czech nation?