Farmers markets in Prague: Where to go and what to taste

While we rarely visit them during our Prague food tours, Prague farmers markets are, without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Prague. As a Prague attraction, they are authentic, genuine and popular among the locals. Prague markets are on throughout the year, most typically on Saturday mornings, with an ever-shorter pause in January and February. Visiting Prague farmers markets is a great idea for so many reasons, but primarily, they nicely show what is in season at the particular time of the year and what you should expect - and demand - on the menu in the best restaurants in Prague. We have picked the four best farmers markets in Prague we think are worth visiting. You can find more farmers markets in Prague, but we visit these four the most.

(Before we start, a small disclaimer: please adjust your expectations to Prague's location, climate and season. If you are expecting southern Californian bounty in February, you are in for a disappointment: the winter months are more about root vegetables, preserves, cheeses, hot drinks and hot meals, and the first offensive of new produce does not arrive before April. Please bear that in mind. Still, even a February farmers market can be an experience to remember thanks to the atmosphere and the food.)

Naplavka farmers market

Arguably the most popular market in Prague by the river underneath the Vysehrad fortress, a 15-minute walk South from the National Theatre. The riverside market is so popular it made our perfect Saturday itinerary for Prague, and is one of the places to visit if you're spending the weekend in Prague. If the weather is nice and the sun is shining, this is the place than will make you fall in love with Prague. You can enjoy the view of the Prague Castle in the distance, feed the swans - and yourself - with some nice Czech produce, a hot meal, and Czech beer and wine, watch young families and friends meet or buy things to cook at home over the weekend, or listen to the band play some familiar tunes.

The market starts at 8am and we’d go early to beat the crowds: by 10am it can get seriously crowded. We meet our friends there to have coffee: either drip coffee from Brew Bar, or a cappuccino or flat white from Kavovy klub. Other staples include the cheese stand of the Krasolesi farm. Mr Kolman, the owner, may have shed his dreadlocks but the cheeses and yoghurts are as good as they've ever been. Vegetables from Mrs Stastna are always nice, and you can wash it all down with cidres from Cidrerie and we guarantee you’ll be happy. You can sober up on your way back to the centre along Prague river banks, perhaps stopping for one more coffee at I Need Coffee! or getting a pizza at our favorite Pizza San Carlo (don't have anything else there), before you stop to finish yourself off at Paul Day's The Real Meat Society, soon to turn into a proper bistro.

Jirak farmers market

The market at the Jiriho z Podebrad square in the affluent and swanky Vinohrady district is one of the best things to do in Prague in our book, and a place that ticks many boxes. You get to see a residential area of Prague outside of the centre, for one thing. The market is on every day from Wednesday to Saturday, so it's one of the best places to visit in Prague if you're here during the week. And it is accessible by Prague's subway: just get off at the Jiriho z Podebrad stop and it’s right there. It is smaller than Naplavka but the atmosphere is less busy and more easy going. You can enjoy some traditional Czech food without the madness of the more central Prague markets. And with lots of benches around the market, you can just enjoy the moment in the shade of the TV Tower and the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of our Lord that dominates the square.

Because the market is on from Wednesdays to Saturdays, you get a different experience depending on the time and day of your visit. Again, the busiest time would be Saturday morning but the small market has a great atmosphere on a lazy Thursday noon, too. The must-tries include coffee by Kavovy Klub along with Czech kolachees and other cakes and buns by one of the several bakeries on site. The market has recently doubled down on hot food, which now ranges from anything between galettes and crepes by Galetka to grilled Croatian fish or burgers by Kaiser Franz. There will always be a flower stand and a vegetable and fruit stand, along with some handicrafts. The last time we were there, they had beautiful frgale (somewhat reminiscent of a sweet yeast dough pizza) on display, too.

This Prague market is fairly small but that does not matter because there are so many things to see or visit nearby. For a bit of Vietnam in Central Europe, have a bowl of pho at the Pho Vietnam Tuan Lan bistro just across the street. Beautiful? Get out of here. But delicious pho? You bet. The owner's son has just recently opened Cafefin next door that serves durian yoghurt for breakfast or a nice banh mi with decent coffee. Many people swear by the croissants at Le Caveau just on the corner leading to the TV Tower. If specialty coffee is your thing, just head over to the Coffee Room two streets away. And if you decide to walk back to the centre, it makes sense to visit The Tavern for burgers, the Riegrovy sady beer garden (the biggest in Prague), and the Dish for more burger goodness. Also, Yamato, our favorite sushi place in Prague, is nearby too. 

Holesovice market

There is no denying it. The Holesovice market is a bizarre place. A complex of old slaughterhouse and meat processing halls where professionals from the surrounding offices and older locals mix to buy anything from cheap food to even cheaper fake and counterfeit products from the plethora of Vietnamese stands among the individual halls. But if you are a foodie visiting Prague in search of local, seasonal produce, it can become a destination for a separate trip for one single reason: Hall 22.

Hall 22 is arguably the only proper market hall in Prague with Czech farmers selling their local produce. We are talking vegetables, some fruits (including those that don’t grow in the Czech Republic), berries, mushrooms, flowers, free-range eggs, honey, and a selection of cheeses, fish and charcuterie. Mr Nemec and his apples and pears are the stuff made of legends. If you want to try how hot Czech garlic is (and it is pretty damn hot), just visit Mr Doskocil's stand. To navigate the market and the selection, just ask whether the vendor sells whatever he or she grew or whether they are reselling things from abroad. Go for the former, skip the latter. 

The Holesovice market offers some other food options. The Trang An bistro, as the descendant of the legendary stand behind Hall 8, one of the first places to offer Vietnamese food to the locals outside of the Sapa market, is one of the best places to visit in Prague for some great Pho and bun dishes (we like the Bun Nom). Wash it down with coffee at Alza cafe in the Alza computer store. And for a more refined experience, the SaSaZu restaurant offers some delicious Asian fusion dishes. Leaving the market behind, you can hipster up your day in the awesome Vnitroblock, which combines a coffee shop with design shop, small cinema and a stage for DJs. Continue on to the DOX Centre for Contemporary Arts. 

Dejvice farmers market

Dejvice farmers market is our “home” market: we live about five minutes by walk from it and visit it on Saturday mornings. It's a big market with around a hundred stands and facilities for kids. It is also a great place to visit if you are planning to see the Prague Castle, only a 20-minute walk away, or the National Technical Library behind the Technical University next door.

The first stand we see when we walk from our home is the stand of Kavovy klub run by the good people of Kafe Karlin in the Karlin district and the Kavarna Misto cafe nearby. We are happy to stand the line to get their delicious coffee. Next up: cukrárstvi Karlovy Vary, which sells great (and often absurdly big) Czech pastries. How do you find them? Just look for the longest line in the market. That’s them, and yes: it is totally worth the wait. Just get a kremrole and you might find yourself standing in the same line for seconds. The market includes stands of several bakeries selling Czech bread, buns, croissants and so on - if you see a young man with a beard and New Balance sneakers sell bread, drop everything and stand in the line. That's the Praktika bakery. The sausages and other charcuterie from Lahudkarstvi Svacek are another staple.

The Dejvice market includes a “foreign farmers” section: we’re talking olives from Greece, cheeses from France, fish from Croatia and so on. Sure, that does not make much sense in the format of a local Prague farmers market. But it’s an often welcome opportunity to buy something extra on top of the Czech produce or bread you have just bought. Also, there is quite a lot of cooking happening on the spot. From burgers by the Argument restaurant to galettes and crepes, or the popular Raclette sandwiches sold by the lovely staff of the U Syraku stand, you'll never leave this Prague market hungry.