International Food Shopping in the Czech Republic
Where to shop for foreign delicacies in the Czech Republic
One of the first things most (non-vegetarian) people want to try when they get to the Czech Republic is the traditional food, often goulash or some other meat in a sauce with dumplings. This is perfectly understandable and it’s great to embrace the food culture of the region by trying authentic local cuisine. For people living here full-time though, eating red meat and dumplings every meal of the day isn’t all that healthy, and sometimes cravings for certain foods or ingredients from back home that Czechs just don’t have crop up. Luckily there are a variety of international food shops that stock everything from plain old Marmite to Philippine banana crisps.
One of the biggest supermarket chains that is everywhere nowadays, the Czech Republic also fails to escape Tesco as it has a five-storey building in the centre of Prague and over 210 stores littered across the country. They have an international food aisle and sell items such as Bisto gravy, English sliced bread and of course their own brand foods, as well as having launched online grocery shopping in 2012.
Another big chain, Marks and Spencer, has 20 stores in the Czech Republic, ten of which are in Prague. Their largest store is a giant department one in Wenceslas Square that sells food as well as clothes, gifts and beauty products. The food section has a variety of items hard to find elsewhere, such as specific boxes of cereal, pasta sauces and snacks popular in the UK. They also have ready to eat Indian and Thai curries with Indian and Chinese snacks available too, unavailable in nearly all Czech supermarkets.
The first hypermarket in the Czech Republic, Globus now has 15 stores in the country. Started in the 19th century by a German running a small grocery store, it expanded to the size it is today, and has a huge variety of food. Being a German firm they have lots of different meats on offer, plenty of German sausages and even an extensive gluten-free section.
For proper bacon and sausages (such as Lincolnshire, Toulouse and Irish) Robertson Delicatessen (http://robertson.cz) is great. Everything from black pudding to cheddar cheese is on sale, with turkeys and goose for Thanksgiving and Christmas too. It was recently taken over by The Candy Store (http://www.candy-store.cz/) but all their meat and dairy products are still available in the shops in Dejvice and Vinohrady, Prague. The Candy Store specialises in American sweets but now has a British section since the takeover, selling rarities such as Yorkshire puddings, Cadbury’s chocolate and British ales including Black Sheep.
Prague 7 has A Putia, an Italian deli and wine shop with authentic Sicilian food and drink. Including sun-dried tomatoes, homemade pasta sauce, pesto, olives and plenty of Italian wines, it was all brought together by Mr Salvatore Ciancimino who worked as a chef before moving to the Czech Republic 18 years ago. If it’s paella not pesto you’re searching for however, then Toro Blanco, the first shop selling mainly Spanish food products in Prague, is what you need. Items such as paella rice, Spanish wine, Manchego cheese and meats like chorizo and fuet are all on sale. Located in Prague 3 near Flora metro station, it’s open six days a week (closed Sundays).
There are plenty of Asian restaurants/takeaways in the Czech Republic and likewise there are a few shops in case you wanted to create your own Asian inspired meal at home. Pnoy Taste of Asia is a juice bar in central Prague that doubles up as a Filipino shop selling other Asian cuisine. Opening in 2012, the shop sells food from the Philippines, Korea, China, Japan and India, from poppadoms to frozen prawns. For only Japanese items Japa Shop in Prague 6 has over a thousand different food products including sushi, noodles and various sauces while Capati in Prague 2 has all the spices, curry pastes and ingredients needed to make a delicious Indian curry, along with samosas, bhajis and Bombay mix.
Lovers of feta cheese should check out Greek Corner in Prague 7 which has cheese, meats, yogurts and other delicacies from the islands as well as a decorative interior. Or, in Prague 2 is Řecké Pochoutky which also specialises in authentic Greek food from sweet pastries to Greek sausages. They also let customers taste any food if they are unfamiliar with them (although presumably not all of the wine!).
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