Eating

Traditional Czech cuisine is a cardiologist's nightmare, a cholesterol-laden menu of meat, fat, salt and more meat, accompanied by high-calorie dumplings and washed down with copious quantities of beer. When it comes to food, the ultimate Czech put-down is to describe it as neslany or nemasly ('not salty' or 'not fatty').

But if you put aside your notions of healthy eating for a few days (you're on holiday, after all -live a little!), you'll find traditional Czech food to be very tasty. The country can boast some top-notch produce, from game to fish to smoked meats to wild mushrooms, and Prague's top chefs are beginning to reinvent Czech cuisine with a lighter, more inventive touch.

Since the Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004, the steady increase in the number, quality and variety of Prague's restaurants has, if anything, accelerated. You can now enjoy a wide range of international cuisine, from Afghan to Argentinean, Korean to Cantonese, and even -miracle of miracles - expect service with a smile in many eating places.

However, don't let this kaleidoscope of cuisines blind you to the pleasures of good old-fashioned Czech grub. The city's many pubs dish up tasty pork and dumplings, often at very low prices, and a lot of the more upmarket restaurants offer gourmet versions of classic Bohemian dishes such as pork knuckle or roast duck.

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