Prague's Café Imperial named world's best traditional restaurant

In a Taste Atlas list of the world's top 100 traditional restaurants, the landmark Prague location comes in at number one.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 28.12.2021 14:20 (updated on 28.12.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

High praise: local landmark Café Imperial has been cited as the best traditional restaurant not only in Prague but across the globe in a new list of the 100 greatest traditional restaurants in Prague by Taste Atlas, an online resource that bills itself as an "encyclopedia of flavors, a world atlas of traditional dishes, local ingredients, and authentic restaurants."

Of the best traditional restaurants in the world, Café Imperial topped venues in Rome, Paris, Tokyo, and everywhere else to claim the top spot on the list. It was the only restaurant in the Czech Republic to feature in the top 100.

"Often visited by the writer Franz Kafka and composer Leos Janacek, Café Imperial has been the most famous 'Grand Cafe House' and restaurant in Prague for the past 100 years," writes Taste Atlas in its roundup.

"Its luxurious interior features original Art Noveau ceramic wall tiling and mosaic ceiling."

In addition to the quality of its food, Café Imperial's impressive Art Noveau interiors have long made it a favorite among both locals and tourists. Until 2006, the venue humorously offered a plate of donuts for purchase to throw at other patrons.

In rankings of individual Czech dishes, Taste Atlas rated Café Imperial's svíčková (braised beef in a vegetable sauce, usually served with dumplings) and řízek (chicken or pork schnitzel) as the best in Prague.

Café Imperial's soups also drew strong praise, with their kulajda (a creamy dill soup with potatoes, mushrooms, and egg) and cibulačka (a Czech take on French onion soup) both cited as the best in the Czech capital.

Among other classic Czech dishes, Taste Atlas named Lokál Dlouhááá as the best option for both fried cheese and pork knee. Café Savoy drew top marks for their dumplings, both savory and sweet varieties.

Naše Maso was voted the top Prague location for sekaná, a Czech version of meatloaf, while U Vejvodů was tapped for its utopenci, a pickled sausage usually eaten as a snack with beer.

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Overall, these are Taste Atlas' top five picks for places to dine on traditional Czech dishes in Prague:

  • 1.Café Imperial
  • 2.Café Louvre
  • 3.U Kroka
  • 4.V Zátiší
  • 5.Naše Maso

You can browse more classic Czech dishes, and some top choices for where to where to try them in Prague, at the Taste Atlas website.

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