"If you want to get great value from your Prague vacation, you should start boozing up.” That’s what we like to say to the guests of our Prague food tours, and we still think this assertion stands. With beers cheaper than sodas or tap water, a glass of good wine for less than EUR 4, and signature cocktails in Prague's best bars well below EUR 8, it is very hard not to succumb to the temptations of the city. We repeat, very hard. We’ve been there. We actually grew up here, so we know what we’re saying.
The cheap and high-quality drinks come at a price: the mornings are sometimes less happy than the nights that precede them. And that’s where hangover food comes to the rescue. But there’s another reason we write about hangover food. Sure, we like to eat healthy, but sometimes - and sometimes more often that we’d like to - there’s a craving, an itch, that only some greasy, fatty food can scratch. And that’s where hangover food comes to the rescue, again.
Whatever your particular case may be - hey, this site does not judge - here’s our tips for some of the finest hangover food in Prague. If we can agree that you can use the word “finest” and “hangover food” in the same sentence.
If there ever was a “specialist” on hangover food in Prague, it must be The Tavern, and its Zizkov-pub-offshoot, U Kurelu. The Tavern is not a place where single travelers go to read a book, young lovers come for first dates, or foodies inspect the chefs’ tweezer work. The Tavern is a place that serves greasy, satisfying, salty - and did we mentioned greasy? - hangover food perfect before, during or after drinks. Take their Loaded Pulled Pork Cheddar Fries: French fries smothered in English cheddar, house-smoked pulled pork, BBQ sauce, some jalapeños and onions on top, served with Ranch sauce. The last time we were there with friends, after the We love Prosecco festival, this came in very, very handy. Guilt level here reaches about thirty Mea culpas and ten self-whippings.
MASO A KOBLIHA
If you’re looking for quality of ingredients and great cooking in your hangover food, Maso a kobliha, one of our Prague local favorites, is the place to go. The Scotch eggs or the fried pork skins with the avocado dip, some of the best sandwiches in Prague, or curried tripes and faggot, will bring a bit of comfort into your otherwise miserable morning, just as the fried cheese sandwich. And for some added carbs and sweet satisfaction, the vanilla custard donut is a must. You can wash it down with the perfect isotopic drink, otherwise known as beer, by Matuska, Two Tales and sometimes other Czech craft breweries.
FISH AND CHIPS
Cod fried in batter with potato chips, salt and vinegar? What else is there to add? Perhaps that you’ll be likely returning to the "crime scene” because Fish and Chips is located in the centre of the Dlouha street, one of the liveliest streets of the centre especially during the hot summer nights. No wonder the local council has installed signs in the Dlouha reminding the patrons that drinking on the street, or getting loud past 10pm, is banned. Talk about futile attempt. Anyway, Fish and Chips also serves burgers and hot dogs, so they’re actually never leaving the bounds of hangover food. And that’s not a bad thing.
A pub as a place for hangover food? Haven’t you had enough? Obviously not. But it only makes sense that Lokal, a place that serves probably the most beers of any pub in Prague, should serve the antidote, too. And by antidote, we mean, of course, beer. The perfect mix of B vitamins and panthenol, and full of water (duh), no wonder many Czechs call a glass of beer the perfect hangover “releaser”. Add some onion soup if they have it, sausage, fried cheese or schnitzel, and you’re good to go for that important job interview. (Just kidding.)
PHO... and other soups
Our ideal hangover food should have some fat content, bold flavors and be combined with some liquid, because hangover is the more evil twin of dehydration. A bowl of Pho, the popular Vietnamese soup, ticks all of these boxes. (Just like any hearty soup, really. Here's the best soups in Prague for the fall season.) We could eat Pho any time of the day, but hangover, a craving, cold temperatures or rainfall definitely build our appetite. A liter of fragrant broth with noodles, beef, vegetables and herbs will cure any hangover, cold or craving. We like to go for Pho to Gao Den because it's fairly near our home, but we do not want to drag you out of the centre in your sad condition, so Pho Vietnam, another local favorite, will do perfectly fine. The stand-up bistro at Jiriho z Podebrad square is a quick fix for emergencies, while the Anglicka location adds chairs and a bit of sophistication. A bit.
When Jan was at high school and early college, he swore by McDonald’s burgers as the perfect hangover food: full of carbs and fat with no real nutritional value and taste, it was a "no risk” option for an upset stomach. However, you can do better. The burgers at Dish have consistently been great, despite the recent changes in the bun size (yup, we also think they’re a bit too big) and so on. Our burger of choice? The Smoky Dish. Add their fries with smoked chili mayo and their two slaws, and you can say your hangover good bye. And here’s the real secret: you don’t need to be hung over to enjoy them.
Sure, Las Adelitas’ mango margaritas may be the main source of our hangovers in the first place, but that will not stop up from going back for the remedy. (We have to give it to Las Adelitas for finding the perfect business model: Get ‘em drunk. Then cure them too. Repeat. Buy a Corvette.) We love the flavorful, greasy and deeply satisfying Mexican dishes that will fill you up but still keep you wanting for more. Their burritos de cochinita, tacos al pastor or the vegetarian tacos dorados are our favorite dishes. We rarely find ourselves in the central location, instead opting for the locations at Lucemburska and Americka in the Zizkov or Vinohrady districts, respectively.
Just one word needed: Poutine. Yup, this is a heart-stopper: French fries with cheese curds, soaked in meaty gravy and with fried onions on top. In the case the version we chose, add pulled pork for that extra guilt factor. This is something from a dream of a stoned college student with a serious case of the munchies, but let's be honest: it's so freaking good it should be made illegal. And Garage - True Canadian Deli in the Karlin district wins the dubious crown for the only place that serves this so-bad-it's-good hangover food in Prague. Head over to the Karlin district and leave your dignity at the door. You're hungover. This will help.