When we first moved to Prague at the end of 2001, fresh goods like celery and limes were luxury food items with out-sized price tags whose whereabouts were restricted to an imported food shop called Fruits de France.
In the last five years, however, the landscape for finding fruits, non-root vegetables, spices, herbs and imported goods in Prague has evolved rapidly. Prague still doesn’t have a good central food market or a “fresh market” culture like Vienna or Munich, but the Vietnamese community has managed to fill some of the void by opening endless fruit and vegetable shops. Although it’s still difficult to assemble a sophisticated, full-course meal with one stop, if you know where to look you can find almost anything you need.
During our five years in Prague, we used our searches for ingredients – from Thai basil to brown sugar to pav bhaji spice – as a mechanism to discover the city. To our friends, we became a resource on where to find specific ingredients. Additionally, each time we encountered newcomers to Prague, we found ourselves buttonholed, answering questions on where to find fresh cilantro or Thai curry pastes.
Our original intent was to publish these stores (and restaurants, too) on a hand drawn map. However, planning our trip around the world took priority and we’ve resorted to using Google MyMaps instead. We hope this map helps our friends (newcomers and long-time residents both) find the ingredients they need to create masterpieces in the kitchen.
This list is not extensive and is Prague 2 focused, as we used to live and work nearby, but it enabled us to keep our kitchen well stocked. It will likely become outdated soon as more specialty food shops open to fill the demands of Prague’s changing palate. Please comment and we’ll try to keep the list and map current.
Update, August 25, 2008: To make it easier to find the places we’ve marked in the Google MyMap below we’ve included the details in a chart, including a few new additions. Enjoy!
|Asian||Shalamar||Pakistani and Indian shop next to Malaisi Pakistani Restaurant selling everything you might need for south Asian cuisine, from cumin to mango pickle. Great selection of spice boxes – chana masala, dal makhani, pav bhaji, etc. Very reasonably priced.||Lipanska 3, P3, Zizkov|
|Capati||Indian spice combinations for every type of curry. Homemade pickles and crispy pappadums also on offer. Ask the owners for cooking advice if you need help.||Taborska 11, P4|
|Thai’s Asian Food Shop||A haven for Thai curry pastes, nori wraps, fresh herbs, galangal, frozen shrimp and anything else Asian your heart may desire. Here’s a good post with photos.||Francouska 66, P10|
|Japanese and Korean Food Shop||Fixings for sushi and other Japanese and Korean dishes.||On Korunni, near Sumavska tram stop. P2|
|Japa||Japanese specialties like nori wrappers, frozen edamame, sushi rice and gyoza wrappers.||Puskinovo nam. 10, P6|
|Manni Potraviny||Mostly a regular shop, but if you look in the back you can find spices like cumin, coriander, cardomin, and tandoori marinade. Also has some Middle Eastern specialties.||Bělehradská Street, close to Radost, P2|
|Happy BoBoLi||In addition to being one of the best Vietnamese green grocers in P2, it has a wide selection of Asian products and frozen shrimp in the back room. Wide selection of reasonably priced wine.||Corner of Rumunska and Belehradska, across from Bohemia Bagel stand, P2|
|Vietnamese market at Malesice||Although a bit of a haul, this is the best place to pick up Thai basil, fresh tofu, Thai curry pastes, bags of frozen tiger prawns and anything else your heart might desire.||Tiskarska Street, P10 (click on the link for directions)|
|Mediterranean||Greek Corner||Olive oils, Greek olives, dolmas, frozen seafood.||Francouska 31, near Jana Masaryka tram stop, P2|
|Olympia Delikatesy a Vína||Greek specialties such as Greek yogurt, olives, tzatziki, hummus, cheeses. A good write up here||Radhoštská 1, P2 (near Flora)|
|Farah||Great selection of spices, nuts, fresh baklava, olives, meat (halal butcher) and everything else Turkish or Middle Eastern.||Myslikova 5, P1 (near Karlovo Namest)|
|Tresori d’Italia||Great selection of cheeses, meats, olives, marinated and grilled vegetables, and other foodstuffs. The Italian owner will give you an education in cheeses and meats (as well as samples) as you try to make a decision on what to buy.||Americka 30, P2|
|Fish, Meat, Bread and Everything Else||Robertson’s Butcher and Deli||Good quality meats. Order ahead by email for easy pickup. A great place to get a Thanksgiving turkey. International products also available.||Nuselská 60, P4 (there’s a Prague 6 location also)|
|La Bretagne||As fresh as fish can be in a landlocked country. Good quality fish and shellfish. You’ll pay for it, but it will be good.||Široká 22, P1|
|Seafood Shop||Next to the most expensive sushi restaurant in the world, the Seafood Shop has sushi quality fish for you to experiment at home.||Zborovska 49, P5|
|Bakeshop Praha||Not the cheapest place around, but good baguettes and sandwiches. The real excitement lies in their cheesecakes and caramel brownies. American style bakery.||Kozi 1, P1|
|Mansson’s Bakery||Danish bakery with hearty dark breads and crusty white breads. Good sandwiches and salads too.||Bilkova 6/8, P1|
|Diane’s World of Nuts (Diana Svět Oříšků)||Bulk pine nuts, pecans, walnuts, teas, herbs and sweet munchies. A wide selection of international and organic foods including brown sugar, Indian marinades, tamari, and…. Reasonably priced.||Bělehradská 87, P2|
|Bio Market Vitek||Bulk dry goods, organic and bio specialties.||Vinohradská 53, P1|
The following is a Google MyMap. At first, you will see a link. In a few seconds, the link will be replaced by the map. If the loading process tests your patience, you can click on the link to open the map in a new window.