With a bit of exaggeration, food is what Christmas really is all about. That's the time to spoil yourself, then spoil yourself again and then a little bit more. When at home, there is usually plenty on offer to satisfy your cravings. But where to eat when you find yourself in Prague during Christmas? Well, we've put together our favorite places offering Christmas treats such as Christmas cookies, delicious ham, great roasts, sparkling or mulled wine, etc. - after all, it just wouldn't be Christmas without these - and we want to share them with you.
Unfortunately, many restaurants are closed or fully booked for the Christmas Eve, which is the main holiday in the Czech Republic. (No, we don't torture our children by having them wait for presents until the morning - we have Christmas dinner and they we give out presents). We have phoned many restaurants and cafés and we still did find some interesting places you can try for Christmas Eve dinner. Here are some tips for those who are planning to spend their Christmas Even in Prague and have not booked any restaurant at all:
Aromi, one of the most popular Italian restaurants in Prague and a Bib Gourmand-holder (excellent value for money from the Michelin Guide) offers a set Christmas four-course menu that will set you back CZK 1,450 per person. The menu focuses on fish (smoked eel, fish soup, poached pike, and dessert), which is quite typical for Aromi. If you want to spend your Christmas Eve in a comfortable atmosphere and enjoy excellent service, definitely include Aromi in your list.
Promoting their "Urban Italian" concept, this restaurant, the successor of the Michelin-star Allegro restaurant (located in the Four Seasons hotel), may have some free tables available. The cooking is smart and some tables offer an incredible view of the Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle. Be quick to book a table. The waiter suggested they may have a few tables left, but declined to give further details.
This upscale eatery (part of Le Palais hotel) has a few tables left for Christmas Eve dinner, and more for Christmas Even lunch. Please call early because there are only a few tables left. You can choose from two Christmas menus (one international, one Czech, the latter including some classics as fried carp, which is sold live on the streets before Christmas, see photo). The prices vary from EUR 38 (for a three-course menu) to EUR 70 or 78 (for a five-course menu).
It's hard to beat the location of this restaurant, especially in the summer, sitting on the terrace that boasts a great view of the Charles Bridge. You can order a three-course menu (snails, salmon trout and creme caramel) for CZK 1,195, or order dishes a la carte. They had a few tables left for diner (and more for lunch) when we called an hour ago (9pm on Dec 20), so be very quick to book!
If you cannot imagine your Christmas Eve without wine, this is the place to go. Choose one of more than 200 bottles of boutique wines from Moravia and Bohemia in an intimate setting just off the Charles Bridge, and have some Czech cheeses and other snacks to go with that. Did you know that the Czech Republic also produces great sparkling wines? Now you know! Also, skip the cheap, bad stuff sold on the streets and get a cup of mulled wine done properly at Vinograf. They are open from 2 to 7pm, and no reservations have been made yet (however, don't hesitate - Vinograf sits no more than twenty). We think this is a great idea for a different Christmas Even spent in Prague.
This designy café/restaurant very near the Old Town Square is a great place for a nice lunch. We liked their soups and Czech dishes. The dishes are very affordable considering their quality and central location of the café. Go here if you like to eat in modern, stripped down interiors. They are open until 4pm on Christmas Eve.
This US-focused shop/catering service is open on Christmas eve from 10am to 3pm. This is ideal for visitors from the US who crave American Christmas specials: roasted turkey with port wine gravy, chestnut stuffing, mashed potatoes etc. They also offer some Christmas cakes and cookies.
This great Italian bistro is open on Christmas Eve from 8am until 7pm, and from 8.30am to 8.30pm on Dec 25 and 26. We think it's a great place for lunch and dinner, too. They offer simple dishes made using fresh ingredients sold in the shop, and some baked goods and delicious pastries, which should include Christmas specials. The affiliated La Finestra di Cucina restaurant is fully booked for Christmas Eve dinners.
Whatever you choose from the list (or if you opt for something not listed above), we wish you a Merry Christmas!