Most travelers to the Czech Republic come into Prague for a long weekend and leave. There is so much more to the country than that. A relatively easy add-on to a Prague itinerary is the second largest city in the Czech Republic, Brno. When it comes to where to eat in Brno, though, the options are endless. Not only are there great traditional restaurants, but it’s a destination for international and contemporary cuisine as well.
In this Brno food guide, we share recommendations on what and where to eat in Brno. Brno tourism focuses on cocktails and high-end dining, making it a great destination for food travelers.
What to Eat in Brno Czech Republic
Brno is the Czech Republic’s second city. It’s known for cocktail bars and contemporary gastronomy, as well as its selection of international restaurants. You can find a lot of the same typical Czech food in Brno as you do in Prague. This includes dishes like beef steak tartare, which is normally served with fresh garlic and fried or toasted bread. Rub the bread with the garlic, and top the bread with the steak. It also includes koleno, a roasted pork knee, or pork knuckle, served with bread, cabbage, and mustard. Also, just like in Prague, dumplings and meat rule. This includes the classic pork, cabbage, and dumplings (Vepřo-knedlo-zelo) as well as roast duck, red cabbage, and dumplings.
Czech Republic Food Guide Pro Tip:
If you can plan your trip to Brno around the Brno food festival. One of the most popular events of the year in Brno, the Špilberk Food Festival in Brno is held in June each year. Learn more here.
Restaurants in Brno Czech Republic – Traditional Cuisine
Our primary focus while in Brno was to experience more contemporary Czech cuisine. But there are a handful of recommended restaurants to chow down on some traditional Czech beer and cuisine.
Lokál: Our go-to-place for good beer, a great environment, and reliable traditional Czech food. Lokál is owned by the Ambiente group, a local Czech restaurant company. There are Lokál locations all over Prague, and even one in Brno. Try the Prague ham with creamy whipped horseradish, of course along with a cold Czech beer.
Skanzeen: On Pekařská Street, just outside of the Brno city centre, this Brno restaurant is traditional to the extreme. It’s all dark wood and low lighting. There is some outdoor seating for nicer weather. Try the halušky, a flour and potato dumpling that kind of looks like spaetzle. Or, go for one of the many varieties of potato pancakes.
Pegas: A restaurant, pub, brewery, and hotel, it’s a one-stop shop in Brno. It has an old-school beer hall feel, with long bench-style tables. Pegas offers a lengthy menu, but try the duck breast, dumplings, and cabbage, or the beef tartare.
Best Places to Eat in Brno Czech Republic – Contemporary Dining
Because Brno is most well-known for its contemporary cocktail and dining scene, most of our Brno guide will focus on a couple of fabulous gourmet restaurants in Brno.
Check Out The Best Prices For Hotels In Brno
Chef Jan’s Pavillon
We met Chef Jan Kaplan a year before this visit to the Czech Republic. We shared a beer at a quiet beer garden in the old part of town. At the time, he was eager to have us visit his restaurant in Brno, Pavillon. We tried to squeeze it in, but we didn’t have enough time, or the energy, for a two and a half hour train ride to Brno, simply for a meal.
Dining at Pavillon in Brno was one of the highlights of our Czech food tour. We don’t pay much attention to styles of architecture, at least not since my art history class during college. Pavillon is set inside a functionalist building, with wide open spaces, high ceilings, and contemporary furnishings. The original functionalist building was opened between the first and second world wars. It was white, with glass walls and red-framed windows, which opened the restaurant up to a patio overlooking a park. It was “lost to the inhabitants of Brno” during the Communist reign, but now hosts one of the most elegant dining spots in Brno, complete with an entirely eccentric sommelier.
Chef Jan offered us the tasting menu, with some additional little treats. Not only did we eat and drink well, but we sat very near the open kitchen and watched Chef Jan and his team prepare meals for the entire restaurant.
The Menu at Pavillon Brno
We started with a smoked catfish with grated foie gras, a quail egg, and dill. I love grated foie gras. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat foie, ever since having it for the first time when eating in Costa Brava. This version was layered with tangy beetroot sauce, an homage to the more traditional Czech cuisine. And, the quail egg was soft and tender and topped with shaved truffles. Chef Jan did not hold back for our first full course.
Next, we enjoyed a wild “bear” garlic soup with a poached egg and macadamia nuts. The bear garlic is a local garlic, and more used for the green bits sprouting from the top than the bulbs of the regular garlic. This was our second time having a bright green, herbal soup recently, and I am totally loving it. The next course provided a taste of our home base in Bangkok. Roasted tiger prawns with coconut cream, chili, and cucumber salad.
One of the things I love about eating in the Czech Republic is the proliferation of well-prepared foie gras. We were concerned prior to our trip to France because there are rumors of a foie shortage. But, Chef Jan did not hold back, once again, with a grilled duck foie gras with fresh mango and gingerbread. The sweetness of the mango and gingerbread offset the creaminess of the foie.
The next dish I loved not only for the dish itself but for the creative plating. It was a wild pigeon with onion puree and balsamic mushrooms. Our dessert was almost too pretty to eat. Well, almost. A Valrhona milk chocolate bavarois with black currant ice cream. Essentially, it was a creamy cake, with even more creamy chocolate.
The amazing thing about our 7+ tasting menu at Pavillon is that it only cost $60 per person, a fraction of what a similarly prepared meal would cost in the US. The wine pairings generally would add another $25, but our friend Charlie arranged ahead of time to have wine pairings from his friend’s winery, Vinné sklepy U Jeňoura. Courses from the main menu range from $10 to $17, an amazing deal as well.
Check Out These Fun Brno Things To Do:
Where to Eat Sushi in Brno – Koishi
Charlie promised us the best sushi in the Czech Republic when he first mentioned Koishi in Brno. At one point, it seemed to fall off our itinerary. I am so glad we “encouraged” (read: insisted) that Charlie add Koishi back in. Although we were particular about wanting to limit our dining to Czech cuisine and declined the option to eat Italian at the Four Seasons in Prague, we love sushi. And, I was curious to see what sushi in Brno was all about.
We were welcomed by Janko, the owner of Koishi, who was willing to work with us on the menu. We were there for sushi but wanted to taste a few of the Asian inspired dishes as well. He offered a few of the items we wanted to try, in so-called “tasting portions.” I fell in love immediately with Mr. Saitosan, the sushi master from Nagoya, Japan. Every single male member of his family, as far back as he can remember, made sushi. It seems it’s in his blood.
The Menu at Koishi Brno
Mr. Saitosan was pleasant, smiling, joking, and didn’t mind us filming him and taking photos. In fact, at times, he acted out in front of the camera, much to my delight. It reminded me of our sushi experiences in Osaka and Tokyo, where the sushi chefs call out a welcome as each person arrives, and make a display of the sushi making. We started with a couple of dishes off the starter menu and warmed into sushi. Sashimi and beef tenderloin tartare with cucumber, avocado, and wasabi was stunning and tasty. We all seemed to fight not only for the sashimi but for all of the little bits of tastiness it was served with.
A wild red Argentine shrimp, with mango gazpacho, green asparagus, yuzu, and matcha oil, was artfully plated, and tasty as well. After our two tasting portions, we shared an amazing sushi platter that was better than any sushi I’ve had outside of Japan. There’s something to be said for eating amazing sushi in a place like Brno, Czech Republic. And, the platter included freshly shaved wasabi. I always forget how pungent fresh wasabi is!
Next, our two entrees arrived. Although we ordered “tasting” portions, suddenly, three plates arrive for our next course, a turbot fish and veal sweetbreads, served with artichokes, Madeira sauce, lemon, yuzu emulsion, and hazelnuts. It was good, and turbot was perfectly cooked, but I was starting to get full!
At the end of the turbot course, we asked for smaller courses on our final dish. They seemed to comply, but I almost felt that there was someone in the kitchen who was testing my theory on the occupational hazard of being a food travel blogger. The sea bass with beetroot, black sesame, rice powder, hollandaise, and dashi vinaigrette, was a perfect end to the meal. When offered dessert, we had to decline. I was stuffed to the brim. Did I mention, it was only lunch!
Koishi is more higher-end dining, with starters ranging from $13-$20 and main courses ranging from $22 to $33, with sushi prices to match. But the quality of the Asian cuisine, and certainly the quality of the sushi, has to be the best in the area.
Janko also offered us a series of wine pairings, focused only on Moravian wines. Janko owns a wine shop just across the passageway from Koishi with wines from all over the world. But, he also has an impressive collection of some of the best Czech wines. He offers tastings a few times a month in the tasting room in the back. Koishi and Janko’s wine shop are a must visit when eating in Brno.
For a more detailed look at what and where to eat in Brno check out this video:
Looking For Unique Food, Beer and Wine Tours in the Czech Republic?
Looking for a unique way to learn about traditional Czech food in Prague, or farther afield in the rest of the country? What about an interesting Czech beer tour, mixologist and cocktail tour, or even a Czech wine tour? Here are our recommendations for Czech food tours to learn more about Czech cuisine and traditions.[table id=7 /]
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Brno Travel Guide – FAQs
Brno is in Moravia, one of the provinces of the Czech Republic. It takes about two hours to drive from Prague to Brno, but the Prague to Brno train or bus will take about three hours. And, it might be possible to “do” Brno on a day trip from Prague, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It takes some time to get there, and to enjoy all of the amazing restaurants and cocktail bars, stay the night!
While in Brno, we stayed at the fabulously restored art deco Grandezza Hotel. Easily my favorite of our hotels in the Czech Republic. We had an enormous corner room, with a balcony providing a view over the square. It was exquisite!
The city is most known for its Brno nightlife. Check out our recommendations on Brno Cocktail Bars.
PIN IT! Brno Food Guide – What And Where To Eat in Brno Czech Republic
We were supported by Visit Czech Republic and JayWay Travel, who offers customized tours of the Czech Republic and all of Central and Eastern Europe. Of course, all opinions, and yummy sounds are my own.
Amber Hoffman, food and travel writer behind With Husband In Tow, is a recovering attorney and professional eater, with a passion for finding new Food and Drink Destinations. She lives with her husband, Eric, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Together over the last 20 years, they have traveled to over 70 countries. Amber is the author of the Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna.