Lunch Menu

The lunch menu, also known as the midday menu or daily menu, is an integral part of the offerings of many restaurants.

It is a pre-set menu that is served during lunchtime, usually between 11 AM and 3 PM. The main goal of the lunch menu is to offer guests tasty food at an affordable price.

Lunch menu: potato dumpling stuffed with smoked pork rib from the Prague restaurant Výčep.
Lunch menu: potato dumpling stuffed with smoked pork rib from the Prague restaurant Výčep.

The concept of the lunch menu first appeared in France in the 19th century, when the restaurateur Auguste Escoffier introduced the so-called “table d’hôte”, or “host’s table”. Guests could choose from a pre-set menu at a fixed price, which was advantageous for both the guests and the restaurant, as it could more efficiently plan the purchase of ingredients and the preparation of meals.

Today, we encounter lunch menus in various forms all over the world. Most often, it consists of a soup, a main course, and a dessert, sometimes drinks are also included. The selection of dishes usually changes daily so that guests can choose something new, and it also makes work in the kitchen easier.

The main advantage of the lunch menu is undoubtedly its price. Thanks to the pre-set offer and more efficient preparation, restaurants can afford to offer the menu at a lower price than if the guest ordered individual dishes from the regular menu. This makes it an attractive choice for people who want to eat well and tastily at noon without having to spend large amounts.

Lunch menu: pork tenderloin, shiitake mushrooms, kohlrabi at Pickles restaurant in Nantes, France.
Lunch menu: pork tenderloin, shiitake mushrooms, kohlrabi at Pickles restaurant in Nantes, France.

Another benefit of the lunch menu is speed. Since the meals are prepared in larger quantities and often in advance, the waiting time for food is usually shorter than when ordering à la carte. This is especially important for people who have limited time for lunch, for example, during a work break.

Lunch menus also often reflect seasonal ingredients and local specialties, which is a great way to get to know the local gastronomy. Skilled chefs can create real culinary experiences from fresh seasonal ingredients.

Lunch menus also have their limitations. The selection of dishes is limited and may not suit everyone, especially people with various dietary restrictions or allergies. Sometimes the quality of the food may also be lower compared to dishes ordered from the regular menu.

I am a big fan of lunch menus. I often choose from restaurants included on the local Michelin list for lunch, which also offer lunch menus. It’s an opportunity to taste top-notch cuisine for a fraction of the price. But I also enjoy lunch menus in regular restaurants (for example, in Spain, menú del día). And there are indeed many places to have lunch in Prague.

Lunch menu: Field restaurant ⭐ in Prague.
Lunch menu: Field restaurant ⭐ in Prague.

So, if you’re heading out for lunch abroad and want to enjoy good food at a reasonable price, I definitely recommend trying the lunch menu. You may be surprised at what culinary treasures you can taste at a good price.

Enjoy your meal!