Prague pastries

Where to go for Czech pastries in Prague

Where to go for Czech pastries in Prague

When we started our Prague food tours in 2011, the hardest thing was finding a decent place for Czech pastries. Just like the chefs tended to cheat a lot with the ingredients under the Communist rule, pastry chefs were no different, and even the consumers had pretty low standards up until a few years ago (witness the popular “Hera means baking” campaign by a big margarine producer). We would literally have to buy pastries somewhere before the tour and bring them over to the restaurants we were visiting, bribing the wait staff with favors and smiles to let us serve them there, while the chefs and managers were refusing to bake their own on the assumption that Czech pastries were “too common”.

Which is a shame. The Czechs are famed to have been the pastry makers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, with a long and proud tradition of baking and French-inspired pastry making. And the fact is that Prague is full of pastry shops frequented by locals. The problem is most of them are not exceptional. Prague still lacks places like Cedric Grolet’s Le Meurice in Paris, and while Prague has its star chefs and star butchers (oh yeah, we like our meat), we are still waiting for star pastry chefs to pop out (with, perhaps, the notable exceptions of Mr Skála and Ms Fabesová).

That said, Prague has some great pastry shops that will make you reasonably happy and quite unreasonably fat. So if you have a sweet tooth and are on the lookout for pastry shops and pastries in Prague, we are here to help. This is our guide to the best pastry shops in Prague. You live only once, right?


The best vetrnik pastries in Prague

The best vetrnik pastries in Prague

The vetrnik is arguably one of the best pastries in Prague, and the weak spot of many Czech and foreign men and women (us included). Incredibly rich and creamy, this choux pastry seems very light at the beginning, yet can become very filling at the very end. Heck, we even finish our tours with one, and it is one of the highlights. As our recents guests said it: “How come this is not famous?” (Yes, they went back to have seconds the next day.)

But just like with every great pastry, every pastry shop has its own recipe and the variables are aplenty. Which begs the question: which vetrnik is the best in town? To answer that question, we have set out to put some of Prague’s vetrniks to the test. We have reserved a table at EMA Espresso Bar one Saturday (they do not normally make reservations, but the owners clearly understood the severity and importance of the task - thank you for that) and invited esteemed judges.