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Topinky (toast) with garlic

Topinky, or toasted bread, with garlic at a pub in Prague, Czech Republic

What: In the Czechs’ unique take on toasted garlic bread, slices of dense brown bread are fried and served with raw garlic cloves, allowing you to add pungency to taste: Cut a clove in half and rub the cut end over the crispy bread; the sharp edges grate it nicely into a spread. Sort of genius, right? Crunchy and sharp, it’s an ideal snack with beer, with or without the addition of cheese or raw minced beef, or tatarák, with which it pairs especially well. And it's a fine way to experience more of the Czechs' wonderful bread tradition.

Where: Topinky is pretty hard to screw up, and nearly any unpretentious pub will do! Ours is from Pivovarský dům (Ječná/Lípová 15, Praha 2, map), a touristy microbrewery-restaurant that prides itself on its “specialty” beers (think banana, nettle, sour-cherry beer) and selection of classic Czech dishes. We wouldn’t recommend a full meal here, but it’s good for snacks; just stick to the part of the menu translated as “Little Things That Go Well With Beer.”  

When: Daily, 11am-11:30pm

Order: The topinky (60 CZK) was crispy-fried and buttery in taste, served with two whole cloves of garlic. We found it strangely addictive, particularly when paired with a (non-specialty) dark beer. It’d be nicely complemented by some nakládaný hermelín, or pickled cheese, too.

Alternatively: It’s pretty common pub grub, so try this dish wherever you’re drinking. We will mention, however, that we had delicious topinky alongside wonderful tatarák at Lokál (two locations including Dlouhá 33, Praha 1, map), a place that does well by many Czech classics.


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