A complete guide to Czech ice cream with Prague ice cream map

As summer reaches its peak, so does our craving for ice cream. Here are the phrases you need to order ice cream, tips for what to try, and what's new now.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 02.08.2022 17:37:00 (updated on 19.09.2022) Reading time: 9 minutes

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Praguers are spoiled for choice when it comes to world-class ice cream offerings. From gelatos to sorbets to froyo and artisan creations on a stick there’s no shortage of heavenly ways to beat the heat.

But of course this hasn’t always been the case – only in recent years has Prague has become an ice cream capital extraordinaire (though real Czech ice cream fans know that you might have to leave Prague to try some of the most lucious licks).

We’ve put together a guide to the Czech ice cream scene that introduces newcomers to the important words, flavorful history, latest openings, and must-try scoops across the country.

From stinky cheese to beer: Innovative flavors take hold

Over the last few years, ice cream trends worldwide have shifted toward complex and adventurous flavors – and the Czech Republic is no exception. Czechs are also opting for healthier ingredients with gluten-free vegan and plant-based options becoming increasingly common.

On a global scale, Czech ice cream got its greatest recognition to date when Martina Březinová, who runs a family cafe in Velká Dobrá in Kladensko made the finals of the Gelato Festival World Masters with her summer pear sorbet.

Several summers ago, Czech ice cream also made international headlines when a cafe in Loštice near Šumperk introduced the world to its first ice cream made from Olomoucké tvarůžky a pungent cheese produced in the Czech lands for more than 500 years.

A tantalizing timeline of Czech ice cream

1827 Philipp Paška begins serving sorbet, a luxury item, at his cafe on what is now 28. října Street.
1860s Vendors come to Prague from northern Italy in the summer to sell gelato in paper cones from portable carts.
1923 Operators of Šramotův Restaurant on Na Příkopě Street obtained modern refrigeration equipment capable of making and storing large quantities of ice cream.
1930 Italian ice cream merchants continued to corner the market in the 1930s, selling their wares from motorcycles with refrigerated sidecars.
1934, businessman Emil Propst started making chocolate ice cream bricks under the Eskymo brand name. Propst, who was Jewish, perished in the Holocaust.
1938 Another businessman, Jaroslav Vašata, started making chocolate-covered ice cream on a stick under the brand name Nanuk (the name is taken from the Inuit hunter featured in the film "Nanook of the North.")
1949 Pražské mlékárny debuts Polárka, a type of frozen flavored farmer cheese, named after the first polar bear cub successfully born in captivity at the Prague Zoo.
1962 Popular Czech ice cream brands from the communist era including Miša, launched in 1962, and Prima from the 1970s are still available today.
1990s Post-revolution Hájek a Boušová company, with its iconic ice cream parlor, was the third largest producer of ice cream in the Czech Republic, famed for its strawberry-banana soft serve (točená zmrzlina).
2015 The Prague ice cream festival debuts in the Czech capital.
2022 Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Prima drops the name of its iconic Russian ice cream, renaming it Ukrainian ice cream.

Other modern flavors inspired by Czech culinary tradition include goat’s milk, beer, poppyseed, plum, semolina porridge, strudel, classic Horalky wafer bar, and even sausage.

Despite the availability of a plethora of flavor choices and varieties from rolled to Mochi ice cream, in terms of Czech flavor preference vanilla (35 percent), chocolate (25 percent), pistachio (men), and strawberry (women) still lead the way.

What's new on the Prague ice cream scene this year? Local favorites Crème de la Crème, Angelato, and Puro continue to dominate with the freshest quality ingredients and most consistently good ice cream. But a number of new, smaller ice cream makers are doing innovative things, while this year the list of outliers worth traveling for grows longer.

 

Ice cream and inflation|Prices at Czech ice cream parlors have increased across the board this year, according to an informal survey conducted by the Czech News Agency. Prices at popular Prague parlors Puro Gelato and Crème de la Crème have risen by about ten percent over last year, according to their managers, while prices at Adria Gold, which supplies about 900 parlors across the country, are up about 30 percent year-on-year.

The Prague parlors have not reported a decrease in sales this year, though some flavors have had to be taken off the menu due to supply shortages. "We were forced to remove some types of ice cream due to the lack of some raw materials," said Crème de la Crème manager Jan Hochsteiger. "Supplier outages are now totally common, while they practically did not exist before Covid." 

The average price for a single scoop in Prague is around CZK 40; the cheapest prices hover around 35 CZK and the most expensive at 60 CZK. Scoop sizes differ depending on whether a spatula or ice cream scooper is used to dish out your ice cream.

2022 Prague ice cream guide

Angelato

Now with four locations in town, Angelato put gelato on the map in Prague. Its signature flavor is rice, but flavors rotate monthly according to season. All sorbets are gluten-free and vegan. Beyond sorbet, vegans can try a host of unique gelato flavors (in the past we've tried cucumber mojito, date and ginger, and strawberry balsamic). Angelato now has an e-shop with free delivery in Prague. www.angelato.cz.

Amato

Amato gelateria has two locations, in Prague 1 and Prague 7, and is a family-owned Czech-Italian ice cream parlor. Best sellers include salted caramel but also worth trying are the sundaes and milkshakes. All of their flavors, whether milk-based or sorbets are gluten-free and sorbets and granitas are also vegan and lactose-free. Of all the ice cream shops in Prague, Amato may be the one that takes coffee the most seriously. This is where to go for an affogato. www.gelateriaamato.cz.

Crème de la Crème

With locations in Prague 1, 2, and 10, and newly in Prague 6, Crème de la Crème has long dominated the ice cream scene thanks to owner Jan Hochsteiger aka "Mr. Ice Cream's" menu of nearly 60 flavor variations from sea buckthorn to poppyseed, five kinds of chocolate, turmeric, and vegan options like salty peanut. They also have a way with ice cream and spirits. Try the slivovice plum brandy variety at the old-timey Národní "salon." as well as Mojito, Campari, or Baileys. www.cremedelacreme.cz.

Gelatology

Newly opened this year beneath Prague Castle on Nerudova street in the Mála Strana district, Gelatology has a rotating menu of just eight flavors including blueberry with kefir, ruby cream, cinnamon and vegan peanut. At CZK 80 a scoop it's also one of the pricier cones in Prague, though half a "spatula" is CZK 40. www.gelatology.cz.

Grom Gelato

Grom Gelato first opened in Turin, Italy, and in 2020 opened its first branch in prague next to the Starbucks at the top of Václavské náměstí (Wenceslas Square). This summer it has opened a branch Gelateria Mánes, at Masarykovo nábřeží. In addition to the signature, 'Perfect Green' pistachio and other classic ice cream flavors try the sorbet popsicles. www.grom.it.

Imaginární Zmrzlina

This tiny storefront ice cream parlor in Karlín, now in its second year of business, does fun things with ice cream including both black and white sesame flavors, rooibos, Czech blue poppy, and salted cashew. Served in black or white cones or gluten-free cones or cups. Follow on Instagram.

Puro

Puro Gelato exudes a farm-fresh dairy vibe. With white walls, cottage shelving, and pastel accents, there is a pleasant country feel to this shop. Among the four locations: the original in Výtoň and outposts in Na Prikope, Vinohrady, and Dejvice. In addition to mouthwatering flavors such as d Greek yogurt with apricot, lavender, or mascarpone with macaroons, try a range of vegan flavors such as vegan peanut gelato. Watch their websites for discounts. www.purogelato.cz.

Sani

Moreno Faganello was an early ice cream pioneer in Prague, opening his shop in the Arkády Pankrác shopping center in 2008. Faganello comes from a long line of northern Italian gelato makers. In 2017 he won the title of best ice cream in the Czech Republic in the Gelato World Tour. Try Sani's award-winning pink grapefruit sorbet scented with star anise and fresh mint leaves. sanigelato.com.

Vanille 

Vanille near the Náměstí Míru metro and tram hub has been around for a long time but is worth revisiting particularly with prices on the rise. Try cucumber ice cream with mint and gin, as well as the Mozart  (chocolate, marzipan, pistachio), or walnut ice cream. Vanille is also vegan and gluten-friendly and has one of the most affordable scoops at CZK 35. www.vanille.cz.

Czech ice cream terminology

  • Zmrzlina – Ice cream
  • Kopeček – 1 scoop
  • Dva kopečky – 2 scoops
  • Kornout – Cone
  • Kelímek – Cup
  • Pohar – Sundae
  • Točena – Soft serve ice cream
  • Nanuk – General word for chocolate-coated ice cream pop

Zmrzku Hned Žižkov

A new boutique ice cream parlor sprung up in Prague's Žižkov district this year with some truly unique flavors including semolina porridge, vanilla strudel, and Horalky. Vegan popsicles and sugar-free and lactose-free options are available. Good portion sizes for an affordable price: an ice cream sandwich costs CZK 45 (it's almost twice as much at Parlor in Karlín). Follow on Instagram.

Zmrzlinář

From tart gooseberry to Malaga rum raisin or fan favorites strawberry, orange, banana, kiwi, or blueberry, Vinohrady's Zmrzlinář is at its finest when it's at its fruitiest. Mint chocolate chip and Aperol are also stand-out scoops. They also excel at sorbets: half of their menu is comprised of vegan and gluten-free sorbets. This is the Prague outpost of the 2AD ice cream family (see 'Ice Cream Worth Traveling For' below). www.zmrzlinar.cz.

Zmrzlinárna Braník

Conveniently located on the Modřany bike path from Mánes to Zbraslav Bridge, this small ice cream parlor has a big fan base. Inventive flavors from pear with gorgonzola gelato to a refreshing cucumber sorbet can be sampled at this Braník cream parlor. www.zmrzlinarna.com.

Ice cream worth traveling for

An outlier in the Prague suburbs of Jesenice and Kunratice, Šabatovo Zmrzlinářství has made a name for itself with bold flavors such as Vietnamese Coffee and The Big Lebowski, an ode to the famed film character made with cream, Kahlua, and vodka. Owner Jaroslav Šabat learned the art of ice cream making in Bologna and imported his expertise and precision to Czechia where he has taken home top honors at the Prague Ice Cream Festival for his vanilla. Šabatovo uses egg yolks in some of its ice cream which is usually absent from gelato.

Tutti Frutti in Brno / photo via Facebook
Tutti Frutti in Brno / photo via Facebook

Many Czechs swear that the best ice cream in the Czech Republic isn't in Prague but Kačica in the Kladno region where the 2AD ice cream parlor sees winding weekend queues for pistachio, sea buckthorn, poppy, blueberry, peach, punch, cinnamon, tvaroh, and strawberry.

Other ice cream emporiums worth a visit include these winners of the 2022 Prague Ice Cream Festival: Cukrárna U Moučků (winner and the jury favorite) located in the town of Strančice, Cukrárna Karkadé in Celakovice (second prize) and Brno's Cukrárna Tutti Frutti (third prize).

Czech ice cream by the numbers|Czechs consumed 5.4 kg of ice cream per capita, equal to 6.4 liters of ice cream (2019). Yearly average consumption amounts to 4 liters of ice cream per person. Over 90 percent of Czech consumers said they buy packaged ice cream or ice pops, according to a survey by polling agency Nielsen. Among frozen treats, those made from frozen dairy products were most popular, at 62 percent, while fruit-flavored ice pops were favored by 22 percent, sorbet by 7 percent, and other flavored ices by 7 percent. According to recent research, Czechia's favorite ice cream brands are Míša, Prima and Algida, Ledňáček, Polárka, Häagen-Dasz, Tatra, and Pinko.

What is your favorite ice cream parlor in Prague?

Angelato 16 %
Amato 8 %
Crème de la Crème 52 %
Gelatology 0 %
Grom Gelato 3 %
Imaginární Zmrzlina 0 %
Puro 9 %
Vanille 4 %
Zmrzku Hned Žižkov 3 %
Zmrzlinář 1 %
Zmrzlinárna Braník 3 %
Other 2 %
105 readers voted on this poll. Voting is open
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