Just back from Prague for the weekend and we had a fab time - beautiful city, great hotel (thanks again, Kieran - check out www.bookassist.com) and was really impressed with the city in general. The prices for food and drink in the city centre were on a par with Dublin both in terms of price and quality.
I always find that when I am in a capital city abroad, the prices are as dear, if not more so, than Dublin. We all have stories of great meals at low prices at local restaurants abroead, but we have to be realistic and compare like with like. Firstly, that local restaurant has probably been in the family for generations and they don't have expensive leases to pay. Secondly, they have accesst ogreat, cheap local ingredients, something that is hard to get in Ireland. You can't compare a local place in the country in the south of Spain with your local restaurant in Dublin - it just isn't fair.
My experience is that prices are there or thereabouts and I know for a fact that the restaurant business is a hard one in which to make money. The same is true for retail, by the way, small retail is a tough way to make a living.
The ones that will survive the current downturn are the ones that offer fair value, good service and good product. WE certainly try to be in that group, but there is a shake-up on the way - watch out for casualties in small retail, restaurants and other sectors.
Your local restaurant is probably not trying to rip you off, so don't be too critical. If they are ripping you off, don't go!