Once you have the self-catering apartment with a kitchen, this makes it easier to save money on food. Restaurant prices in the center have risen so dramatically that many Czechs now shun them completely. Buying fresh food from a local supermarket is a good way to avoid the 300-500 crown entrée meal at the some of the more touristy restaurants. And while sampling the native food is one of the essential experiences of any trip abroad, you can splurge on some traditional Czech meat and dumplings a few times during your stay without feeling guilty because the previous night you enjoyed a self-catered, cheaper meal on the terrace of your apartment.
However, if you don’t want to cook while still eating cheaply, the sausage vendors in Wenceslas Square can be a good way to eat authentic Czech food on a budget. They offer several varieties of klobasa and parek sausages for less than 100 crowns. (But try to pay in exact change if possible. As it is in a big tourist location, sometimes the vendors are less than scrupulous and may try to rip you off by not giving the correct amount of change back. This also happened to me on a day where I was too tired to count my change, then realized after I got back to my apartment that I was short several koruna.)
One final way to eat on the cheap is to always order beer as the beverage. The low price of beer is one reason that Prague’s reputation as a budget city has not completely evaporated yet. Beer is still cheap and plentiful as the Czechs are world-famous for their record per capita beer consumption (132 liters per person, if you believe Wikipedia). Beer, or pivo, usually costs less than water and the serving size is bigger than any of the soft drinks on offer.
Part Three coming tomorrow…