Prague living is something that could take most people a while to get used to. Not only learning the habits of what Czech people do at home – like their non-American way of drying their clothes – but also the many little differences that you’ll notice out and about, for example, a typical trip to a restaurant.
In America, after getting a meal in a restaurant, we are accustomed to receiving a two checks in a small folder, one of which you leave on the table with a tip and the other you take home to add to your taxes… This is very different than what happens in the Czech Republic.
While visiting a restaurant in Prague, here’s what you can expect. The server comes to the table and as you order both drinks and meals they will draw little lines and sometimes unreadable words onto a pad of paper, no prices, no names of dishes, just scratch-like lines.
Now, even though all of the lines appear to be the same and apparently have no meaning, the chef will cook up exactly what you ordered and miraculously bring you everything correctly.
After you are finished eating, the server will bring their handmade line receipt to the table in some unconventional box, book, or on an ornate tray. You can leave the receipt there or take the copy home where you can try to figure out what it means. If you do – good luck!
Though this technique is not practiced in every Czech restaurant (the modern Americanized restaurants tend to have the kind of receipts we’re used to), it is the authentic way that you will get your receipt in any mom and pop, traditional Czech cafe or restaurant.
This is something we thought you may want to know before you visit or move to Prague so that you don’t think they are trying to scam you out of your well-earned crowns. It’s absolutely normal and just their quirky way of counting.
Always remember that when traveling, do like the locals do!