Allow me to paint a picture for you: You’ve been living in Prague for three months, and you’ve frequented all the tourist areas of the city more times than you can count. Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Old Town, St. Wenceslas Square—you’ve seen it all. And everywhere you go, you see vendors making circular pastries by hand—sometimes on the street, sometimes in a shop window. These delicacies are called trdelníks. They’re coated in butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar, but trust me—not all trdelníks are created equal.
I know I’ve talked about these pastries before. I know that they’re not exclusive to the Czech Republic by any means, and that they’re pretty much only made for tourists nowadays.
But who cares? They’re delicious.
So in an effort to help others sort through which vendors to purchase from, I decided to set out across all directions of Prague to search for the best trdelník this city has to offer. You can thank me later. In no particular order:
Trdelník (Corner of Old Town and Železná St.)
Staromestske namesti 1, Prague 110 00
This place isn’t a street stand—the window is located a few shops inward from the Astronomical Clock on Železná St. They deserve the A- grade because my trdelnik was fresh, perfectly crisp, and rolled in a cinnamon-sugar almond mixture. Though I had the option of coating the inside with Nutella, I opted to devour this one plain. Another plus is that this trdelník was only 50 crowns.
Karlova 146/23, 110 00 Praha 1
Krusta Bakery is conveniently located on the way to Old Town Square and boasts a bunch of other pastries as well. You can see them making the trdelník pastries all day long, but it seems to me that they never hand you the fresh ones once you pay your 60 crowns. The only redeeming factor about Krusta is that they are open until 3AM, so you can satisfy your craving at almost any time of the day or night.
Krusta Bakery (To the left of the Charles Bridge)
Drazickeho Square by Charles Bridge
This Krusta Bakery is easily accessible on the way to the Anglo-American University Library, so if you’re hungry between classes, you’re almost in luck. Don’t be fooled by the fresh trdelniks crafted outside; make sure you walk inside to order. The main issue I have with this stand is that upon handing them 60 crowns for a trdelnik, they tossed my pasty into the microwave. The effect this had on my trdelnik was catastrophic. It was not crisp, not crunchy, and had trouble retaining its beehive shape. I was not impressed.
Trdelník (Next to Starbucks at Malostranské Náměstí)
Malostranské Náměstí 118 00 Praha 1
This is a typical street vendor selling fresh trdelník. The only reason they get the C rating is because of the tough competition they were up against. If you’re just passing through, go for it. But if you have time, walk up the street and get yourself a trdelnik from Creperie U Kajetána. It’s worth it.
Creperie U Kajetána
Nerudova 278/17, 118 00 Praha 1
Creperie U Kajetána is located down the hill from the Strahov Monastery and easily accessible from the Prague Castle. And they easily sell THE BEST trdelník in Prague. The dough is unbelievably fluffy, the sugar mixture isn’t overwhelmingly sweet, and you can coat the inside of the trdelnik in a variety of toppings—almond, nutella, coconut, jam, caramel, vanilla sauce, or chocolate. I chose chocolate. They hand it to you hot off the circular grill for a cheap 60 crowns.
Chelsea Brady is the Fall 2014 CEA MOJO in Prague, Czech Republic. She is currently a Junior at the University of San Diego.
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