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19 Traditional Czech Foods: A Tasty Intro to Czech Cuisine

One cannot truly experience Czech culture without traditional Czech food. 

Imagine yourself inside a cozy Czech tavern sitting at a wooden table adorned with a checkered tablecloth. What are you eating?

If you can’t answer right away or need more ideas, let me introduce you to some of the most iconic Czech foods.

Traditional Czech Foods featured image | Girl Meets Food

Best Traditional Czech Food

Let’s cover all the bases from appetizers to desserts regarding traditional Czech food.

Traditional Czech Appetizers

These appetizers can kickstart your Czech menu and provide a taste of authentic Czech cuisine.

Obložené Chlebíčky (Czech Open Faced Sandwiches) on a plate | Girl Meets Food
Obložené Chlebíčky (Open-Faced Sandwiches)
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Obložené chlebíčky are Czech open-faced sandwiches known for their colorful, varied toppings.

Each sandwich is carefully assembled with creamy egg salad or butter, layers of sliced ham or salami, and vivid garnishes like pickles, radishes, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs and fresh herbs.

They go well as a light snack, a fancy appetizer, or a large brunch table.

I’ve eaten a lot of open-faced sandwiches and I have to say, the Czech version is amazing!

Czech Pickled Cheese on a plate | Girl Meets Food
Nakládaný Hermelín (Czech Pickled Cheese)
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Nakládaný Hermelín, a Czech pickled cheese, combines sour and creamy tastes for a novel spin on standard cheese consumption.

This popular Czech dish uses Hermelín cheese, a soft, matured cheese like Camembert or Brie, marinated in brine with fragrant spices and herbs.

I tried this pickled cheese at a Czech pub where it was served with bread and pickled onions.

Smažený Sýr (Fried Cheese)

Fried cheese sticks on the cutting board with sauce in a ramekin | Girl Meets Food

Traditionally, smažený sýr is a snack or quick meal paired with tartar sauce, ketchup, or a side salad for a refreshing contrast.

A thick slice of cheese is breaded with flour, egg, and bread crumbs and then fried until golden brown. The most common cheese used is Edam or Gouda.

It’s a popular dish in Czech restaurants and pubs, often served with fries or potato salad.

Bramboráky (Potato Pancakes)

A plate of Czech Bramboráky (Potato Pancakes) | Girl Meets Food

These savory pancakes contain grated potatoes, flour, and eggs, and are seasoned with garlic and marjoram.

Bramboráky are eaten fresh off the griddle with sour cream, applesauce, or garlic sauce.

Utopenec (Pickled Sausage)

A jar of Utopenec (pickled sausages) on the black surface. There are knife, fork and a plate of sliced bread next to it | Girl Meets Food

If you like Czech beer, you’ll love the popular snack known as utopenec. This traditional dish consists of sausages pickled in sweet and tangy brine served with pickled veggies and sometimes bread.

It’s one of the greatest Czech snacks to have with your beer. Or you can enjoy it with other rich Czech beverages like Becherovka or Slivovice.

Traditional Czech Mains

After you’ve teased your palate with the appetizers, it’s time for some hearty Czech mains to fill you up.

A plate of Svickova na Smetane | Girl Meets Food
Svíčková na Smetaně
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Svíčková na smetaně, or “beef sirloin in cream sauce,” is a popular Czech meat dish—the ultimate comfort food.

This classic recipe uses tender beef marinated in spices and slow-cooked until fork-tender.

Heavy cream, root vegetables, roux and fragrant spices provide a silky sauce for the meat.

A bowl of vegan Czech dumplings | Girl Meets Food
Czech Dumplings (Knedlíky)
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Houskové knedlíky, or bread dumplings, are a popular dish in Czech cuisine. The dough for these dumplings contains flour, yeast, milk or water, and a bit of salt.

It’s shaped into little loaves and then boiled or steamed until fluffy and cooked.

These dumplings are often served sliced to soak up rich gravies, stews, and creamy sauces.

For a sweeter treat, they can be filled with plums or apricots and sprinkled with hard cottage cheese and icing sugar. In this case, they’re called ovocné knedlíky (fruit dumplings).

You can also try bramborové knedlíky (potato dumplings). They’re very delicious!

Vepřo Knedlo Zelo

A plate of Vepro Knedlo Zelo on a black table | Girl Meets Food

One of Czech national dishes, vepřo knedlo zelo means “roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut.” So it includes delicious roast pork, dumplings, and steamed white or red sauerkraut.

These three parts of the meal are placed together on a plate and topped with gravy.

Traditional Czech Soups

If you’ve been to the Czech Republic, there’s a big chance you tried some gulaš. But let’s see what other soups are part of the Czech food culture.

Kulajda Soup (Czech Mushroom Soup)
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Czech mushroom soup, or kulajda, is a hearty, delicious meal. The basis of this soup features meat broth, potatoes, dried mushrooms, and heavy cream or sour cream flavored with fresh dill and vinegar.

This creamy soup is served with a poached or hard-boiled egg on top. You can also eat it with a side of knedlíky.

Be prepared for the aroma of mushrooms and dill to fill your kitchen. I promise you it’s worth it!

Guláš (Czech Stew)
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Czech stew called guláš is a fragrant meal with a special place in Czech cuisine.

Slow-cooked beef or pork, onions, garlic, and a rich combination of spices including paprika, caraway seeds, and marjoram make up the stew.

Guláš is traditionally paired with bread or dumplings.

The recipe I’m leaving for you to check out here is Segedínský guláš (popular in Czech and Slovak cuisine) made with bacon, beef broth, sauerkraut, and sour cream.

A bowl of liver dumpling soup and bread are served on a table | Girl Meets Food
Liver Dumpling Soup
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This classic soup includes tiny dumplings prepared from ground liver, breadcrumbs, eggs, and spices in a broth with some vegetables.

Traditionally, liver dumpling soup is served as a starter or light meal. It can be topped with fresh herbs.

Kyselo (Czech Sourdough Soup)

This classic sourdough soup called kyselo is a one-of-a-kind Czech dish. Sourdough starter—usually reserved for bread—is a key ingredient combined with water and cooked until it thickens and provides a tangy flavor.

Additional ingredients like potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, and occasionally smoked meats or sausages give the soup its hearty taste.

Česnečka (Czech Garlic Soup)

A bowl of Česnečka (Czech Garlic Soup) served on a table | Girl Meets Food

This hearty soup has chicken or beef broth with garlic, potatoes, and occasionally onions or other veggies. Minced or crushed garlic adds a spicy, flavorful flavor to the broth

I add some garlic to all my favorite soups so Česnečka sounds like a winner! Top it with toasted bread croutons for an added crunch.

Traditional Czech Desserts

Surprisingly, Czechia turned out to be a country of beautiful sweet dishes. There were so many options to share with you, so I got them all here.

Czech Kolaches on the parchment paper | Girl Meets Food
Kolache (Czech Pastries)
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Czech kolache are sweet pastry rounds filled with fruit preserves, poppy seeds, or sweetened farmer’s cheese. 

Kolache are traditionally topped with a crumbly streusel or powdered sugar. They’re perfect for breakfast, dessert or as a coffee snack.

Czech Linzer Cookies on a holiday plate | Girl Meets Food
Czech Linzer Cookies
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Classic Linzer cookies are traditionally from Austrian cuisine but they’re very popular in the Czech Republic. They’re crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth treats made with almonds or hazelnuts, flour, sugar, butter, eggs and spices.

These cookies are sandwiched together with apricot, raspberry or other fruit jams. They’re cut into hearts, stars, or circles with a little incision in the top layer to display the filling.

You can’t go wrong with these cookies for a holiday snack or any time of year.

Vánočka (Houska) on a holiday table | Girl Meets Food
Vánočka (Houska) – Czech Christmas Bread
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Houska (Vánočka) is a traditional Czech Christmas bread that is cherished at holiday celebrations.

This delicious, fragrant bread contains eggs, butter, milk, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and occasionally rum-soaked raisins or almonds.

The bread is braided and shaped into a festive loaf.

Cookies stack | Girl Meets Food
Molasses Cookies (Moravian Cookies)
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Dark molasses, brown sugar, and warm spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cloves give these cookies their rich flavor.

Moravian cookies are traditionally eaten with coffee or mulled cider during the holidays.

They’re traditionally paper thin, crisp and shaped into stars, Christmas trees or other holiday shapes.

Looking for more cookies? Check out my 5 favorite Czech cookies here!

Sliced Poppy Seed Roll on the cutting board | Girl Meets Food
Makový Závin (Czech Poppy Seed Roll)
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One of the classic Czech pastries, makový závin makes use of thin, fluffy dough filled with ground poppy seeds.

The poppy seeds can also be mixed with sugar, honey, raisins, or chopped nuts.

This delicious roll is typically served with coffee or tea for a comforting treat.

A piece of Blueberry Almond Cake on the plate | Girl Meets Food
Czech Bublanina Cake
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Bublanina is one of the most popular Czech cakes. With only five simple ingredients—plain flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and butter—you can whip up a fluffy sponge cake in no time.

This recipe calls for blueberries, almonds, and vanilla, but feel free to swap in whatever fruits are in season.

This classic treat goes well with my morning coffee. It’s flavorful without being too sugary; just right!

I hope these traditional Czech foods have something for everyone to enjoy. Leave a comment with your favorite dish or dessert!

A plate of Svickova na Smetane | Girl Meets Food

19 Traditional Czech Foods: A Tasty Intro to Czech Cuisine

If you’re curious about traditional Czech food, look no further! This guide will lead you through the best Czech dishes.


Traditional Czech Appetizers

  • Obložené Chlebíčky (Open-Faced Sandwiches)
  • Nakládaný Hermelín (Czech Pickled Cheese)
  • Smažený Sýr (Fried Cheese)
  • Bramboráky (Potato Pancakes)
  • Utopenec (Pickled Sausage)

Traditional Czech Mains

  • Svíčková na Smetaně
  • Czech Dumplings (Knedlíky)
  • Vepřo Knedlo Zelo

Traditional Czech Soups

  • Kulajda Soup (Czech Mushroom Soup)
  • Guláš (Czech Stew)
  • Liver Dumpling Soup
  • Kyselo (Czech Sourdough Soup)
  • Česnečka (Czech Garlic Soup)

Traditional Czech Desserts

  • Kolache (Czech Pastries)
  • Czech Linzer Cookies
  • Vánočka (Houska – Czech Christmas Bread)
  • Molasses Cookies (Moravian Cookies)
  • Makový Závin (Czech Poppy Seed Roll)
  • Czech Bublanina Cake
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