Dining Out in the Czech Republic

If, like me, you come from a country where the serving staff at a restaurant fall all over themselves in insincere pleasantries in hopes of a bigger tip, then the typical Czech restaurant experience may be a bit of a shock to the system.

Generally, the waiter or waitress will take your order, bring your food and maybe come around once during your meal to make sure everything is OK. Beyond that, they leave you to dine in peace until you tell them you’re ready to pay.

If the menu you’re given is not multilingual, it is worth asking if they have a menu in another language; English and German menus are not unusual in my experience of restaurants here.

With regards to tipping, it’s a pleasantly straightforward process of rounding up to the next reasonable whole number from your bill. For example, if your bill was for 132 Crowns then tipping to 140 wouldn’t be out of line. For a bill of 135, rounding to 150 wouldn’t be unusual.

If you’re more comfortable dealing in tips by percent, a tip of 10% to 15% is generally considered acceptable.

Czech cuisine can be quite heavy; with pork, chicken, potatoes and dumplings figuring prominently in many dishes. Many restaurants will also give quite generous portions. As such, I don’t advise planning any high energy activities immediately after a Czech meal.

Many Czech restaurants feature daily or weekly lunch menus, usually advertised prominently outside. These can be a very good deal indeed, it’s not unusual to find places where you can get a bowl of soup and a hearty lunch for around 100 Crowns or a bit more. There’s really no excuse to take fast food when better can be found easily for less.

Etiquette in Czech restaurants is not a complicated thing. This article, while written from a Prague perspective, will give you some good insights of what to expect and what’s expected of you in the average Czech dining establishment:

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/an-american-foodie-goes-to-prague/a-survival-guide-for-czech-dining-etiquette

Dining Smoke Free

Finding places to eat and drink smoke free used to be a quite a challenge in the Czech lands. Happily, that has changed.

As of May 31, 2017, a nationwide smoking ban came into effect in the Czech Republic.

Smoking is banned in all public indoor places including restaurants, pubs and public transit areas among others.

There are certain exceptions made for electronic cigarettes and shisha type water pipes.

Failure to observe the new legislation could result in fines as high as 5,000 Czech koruny.

An overview in English of the new legislation and what it entails can be found at this website:

http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=b5a5ca5f-2f8f-43c1-84ba-1135a1f539e6

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