Tried & Tested: Prague’s Top Dogs

The humble hot dog is getting a gourmet makeover

Life and Fork

Written by Life and Fork Published on 04.06.2014 10:23:38 (updated on 04.06.2014) Reading time: 5 minutes

In Prague, there has been a recent surge in the humble hot dog’s popularity. A number of cafes, pubs, and street vendors are putting them on the menu and topping their gourmet versions with anything but ketchup and mustard: think chili mayonnaise, homemade Branston pickle, fresh herbs, and beyond. Whether you’re looking for fast food on the move or a more civilized dog, get your fix here:

Tried & Tested: Prague’s Top Dogs

We were pretty surprised to find hot dogs on the menu of this pleasant & quaint café. Marthy’s serve a wide range of quality brands alongside freshly baked goods making the hot dog seem a little out of place in their cute and calm setting on Prague 2’s busy Francouzská street . 

Marthy’s friendly, English-speaking staff offer two types of dog. A classic (48 CZK) or the classic with added bacon and cheese. Wanting to keep things simple we decided on the classic option.   

After a 10 minute wait we were greeted with a bright red “classic” sausage nestling in a fresh white roll with sauerkraut with a crispy onion topping. A tasty and spicy sausage tamed by the bitter taste of the sauerkraut made for an enjoyable dog. Marthy’s is a quiet, yet family friendly environment. We opted for the take-away option, and were satisfied with the serviette and grease-proof paper that came, ensuring no spilling of condiments or heaven forbid a dropped hot dog due to greasy fingers. A tasty, well-priced hot dog which might not resonate with those seeking a truly “classic hot dog” but worth trying nonetheless.

Tried & Tested: Prague’s Top Dogs

The authentic waft of frying meaty goods fills the air before you see Shorty’s. The fast food vendors are located under the aging arches of Malostranské náměstí and appear to be at home when peddling all manner of fried goods to their multi-national customers. Once inside the air of frying becomes more intense. This isn’t the place to be if you don’t want that undesirable scent of a deep fat fryer on your clothes. The small eating area opposite the cooking and serving area makes eating a smokey and crammed experience. Don’t be surprised if you end up sharing your table with some unknown diners.   

Shorty’s offer a wide range of German wursts with various condiments. Their classic hot dog is priced at 50 CZK and was served to me by very friendly and efficient staff at a very quick pace. The Classic Dog comes with the standard ketchup and mustard, crispy onion plus a surprising couple of gherkins. The sweet ketchup battles with the powerful gherkin flavour but ultimately a reasonably priced hot dog given the café’s touristic location.

Tried & Tested: Prague’s Top Dogs

The relatively new kids on the block have made their mark on Prague’s flourishing chippy scene, but how would they fare in the hot dog field? The two much-loved snacks don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Ryby & Chips offer a small hot dog (47 CZK) or large (67 CZK). The large hot dog was freshly prepared and served after a relatively short wait by pleasant and efficient English speaking staff.   

A slightly disappointing, anemic sausage, served in a classic style white bun with raw onion, lettuce, ketchup, and mustard. The chip-shop-style large sausage tasted out of place in the the white bun, raw onion, lettuce, and double condiment combination. The hot dog came with adequate clean-up materials (small grease-proof sheet and napkin). An eat-in option is available. A reasonable effort from the leaders of the chip-wave, but hot dogs are clearly not their forté.

Tried & Tested: Prague’s Top Dogs

The only hot dog stand in our line-up. The fixed stand has provided hot dogs to many of the passers-by, tourists, and commuters that find themselves on Peach Square. Ladislav Červený sell fresh hot dog’s with a choice of condiments, Mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, and chilli-ketchup (slightly, spicy with a pleasant tangy taste) for 20 CZK. Červený serve their hot dogs with the Frankfurter sitting in a hollowed roll rather than the traditional hot dog bun sliced down the middle open style. Friendly staff who brave the elements come rain or shine and don’t hold back when squirting the all important free condiments. Crusty bread roll with tasty hot frankfurter. Good quality for a very fair price! Not open on Sundays.

Tried & Tested: Prague’s Top Dogs

Sweet  & Pepper Days offer two takes on the much-loved hot dog. The French-style hot dog (89 CZK) or their Cheddar Dog (59 CZK). Cool, rustic, provincial interiors display their wide selection of beverages and homemade cakes and pastries. Eat-in or take-away options available. (outside seating available, weather permitting).   

The French Style Dog arrived heaped with emmental cheese and a waft of garlic. An authentic-looking sausage peeked out of the brioche bun, after further investigation I discovered two frankfurters in the one hot dog I ordered. Some kind of double-barreled hot dog! A dog worthy of its title and its setting. My initial garlic hunch was confirmed on tasting. Beneath the grated cheese, awaited a garlicky, French onion soup-tasting warm relish, which worked well with the sweet bun. Two classic-tasting Frankfurters with elaborate but welcomed extras resulting in a surprisingly, delicious and flavoursome unique hot dog which justifies the slightly high price.   

The cheaper option (Cheddar-Dog) came (as I hoped) under a mini-mountain of bright yellow cheddar, the same double frankf rule applied but this time the with the classic ketchup and mustard condiment with a crispy onion topping. A good looking hot dog with a taste to match, soft brioche bread, classic frankfurter(s) and plenty of cheddar cheese all for 59 CZK. A civilized hot dog in a a civilized setting.

Tried & Tested: Prague’s Top Dogs

Famed for quality fish and chips, Dlouha 21 also provides their customers with a hot dog option. 95 CZK will get you Fish & Chip’s “hot dog 21st”. After a short wait, the priciest hot dog in our line-up arrived in all its glory. Presented with a ramekin porton of coleslaw, the ’21st’ is certainly one of the best-looking hot dogs we came across while compiling this list. A standard sized Frankfurter with colourful condiments and garnish. Sweet (Branston-like) pickle with sweet onion and tarragon all held together in a white toasted bread roll. High price, but a quality hot dog with a sweet taste that will leave you wanting more.     

While embarking on our hot dog journey we came across a few places that we felt deserved a mention. Perhaps they don’t provide hot dogs in the classic sense of the word but are worthy of including.   

Pivo a párek: Beer specialists with their hand firmly in the sausage fridge. Friendly staff and a good selection of cured sausages and meats.

Naše masoThe newly opened trendy butcher’s located on Dlouha street with plenty of fresh produce. The place to be seen buying your meaty goods. Serving a selection of cured sausages with fresh bread rolls (Párek v rohlíku).

What’s your favorite Prague dog?

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