Traditional Czech Christmas Food

10. 12. 2023 | Discover Czechia

Traditional Czech Christmas Food


If you are looking for a great, traditional, and tasty way to enjoy your morning around Christmas (and not only limited to Christmas), you should try vánočka. Vánočka makes a perfect breakfast, which will make you smile and provide you with plenty of energy for the day. It’s a type of sweet bread made of risen dough with raisins and almonds mixed into it. This favorite baked product has a unique shape. The bread is braided. There is an Easter version of this sweet bread called mazanec. Unlike vánočka, mazanec comes in a round loaf.

Christmas cookies

Christmas cookies are very popular in Czechia. Traditional Czech Christmas cookies are quite simple. They are meant to be something like finger food for moments when family and friends get together. Each family has their favorite recipes for Christmas cookies. Among the most popular ones, there are vanilla rolls, gingerbread cookies, cookies resembling wasp nests with a creamy filling inside, or cookies glued together by a spicy preserve (usually apricot or redcurrant). Traditional Czech Christmas cookies are usually cut into specific shapes. Some of them are sugar-coated, and others might be decorated with chocolate, almonds, walnuts, and other types of nuts. There are many variations and people like to be creative.

Fish soup

In Czech cuisine, soup is a traditional starter. The traditional soup for Christmas Eve is fish soup. It’s made of carp. This fish will also be the main course. According to tradition, if you want to have a lot of money in the upcoming year, it is recommended to take a scale from the Christmas carp and keep it in your wallet.

Carp and potato salad

And finally, we got to the main course! In the region of Southern Bohemia, there are a lot of ponds. Carp breeding is typical of this region. Having a carp on Christmas Eve is a tradition. Some people think that carp is just a plain fish with a muddy taste. There are techniques to mask the fishy smell and the muddy feel. Some people soak their carp in milk overnight. This results in a tasty meal. There is one issue with carp, though. It has a lot of tiny bones. But when people sit down to enjoy their Christmas meal, going through the bones allows them to spend more time together. In modern days, a lot of people replace carp with salmon. Salmon is very good and it has fewer bones. Some people don’t like fish at all. They have a schnitzel or a sausage instead. Whether it’s carp, schnitzel, or sausage, it’s being served with potato salad.

Potato salad is made of chopped pieces of vegetables. There are pieces of boiled potatoes, carrots, pickles, boiled eggs, and peas. Some people even put small pieces of ham into their salad. The recipe varies from family to family. All the ingredients are put into a big bowl and mixed with mayonnaise. Some people opt for a less fatty and healthier variant, and replace mayonnaise with yogurt. Another option is to use both yogurt and mayonnaise. This solution works pretty well too. Preparing potato salad is a lot of work, but it’s worth it.


This is typical Czech Christmas food. Some of it is popular all year round, such as vánočka or potato salad. If you come to study in Czechia, you will surely get the opportunity to taste some.



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