Arriving in Prague, it was hard to resist the mounting excitement as I walked on the meandering cobblestone streets, past the pastel-coloured buildings, and towards the castle rising up in clear view. While the magic of the city is enough to leave you spellbound, it was the dining scene that really caught my attention.
After eating and drinking my way around the city, it’s clear there’s a spot for everyone – whether you’re looking for a quick local beer or an evening of beautiful food and wine. So, all that’s left to do is help you find your next favourite with a round-up of the best restaurants and bars in Prague.
Eastern Europeans love their meat – and when I say love, I mean their butchers are basically considered Gods. We strolled past James Dean – the bar – and a few other drinking spots near Pařížská street, before we came across Naše Maso. This butcher-cum-restaurant is Czech meat heaven – smoked, aged or grilled, this is the place to come for meat done right. They ask you what you like, and they’ll cook it for you; simple, fresh and bang on the money. Just don’t expect to get a seat.
Dlouhá 727/39, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia
Is it a canteen, is it a pub? Who cares when the food is good and the atmosphere loaded. Lokál Dlouhááá is an obvious favourite of visitors and locals alike – come alone and you’re bound to leave with new friends. As for the food, Lokal serves Czech’s best-loved dishes such as svíčková, goulash and fried cheese, the perfect cure to tired feet after a day’s exploring.
Dlouhá 33, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia
This art-filled, family-owned restaurant welcomes its customers with great panache, as every nook and cranny is covered in ornaments and painted in rainbow shades. Here south Slavic cuisine hits a home run – a mixed-up menu of seafood and pasta sit beside a fine selection of Macedonian, Herzegovinian and Serbian wines. The charming atmosphere is complemented by equally endearing servers, local Czech artists and musicians.
Újezd 33, Praha – Malá Strana
If it’s a friendly, upscale pub you’re after, V Kolkovně has you covered. A great spot for lunch or dinner, we’d also suggest stopping by just to sample a local beer. Dishes are generous so order for the table and try everything. Top tip: enjoy your meal in the basement of the restaurant, next to the library of old books.
V Kolkovně 910/8, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia
You’ve watched V for Vendetta, now it’s time to hit the bar that takes things a step further. An unmarked wooden door hides the entrance to this one-of-a-kind drinking establishment. Get set to watch the bartenders (who, rather eerily, wear Guy Fawkes masks) as they shake and stir their mysterious concoctions. It’s the place to be if you like tableside theatrics and uniquely executed drinks. Hint: there’ll be blood bags and wooden skulls.
Michalská 432/12, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia
Who knows the story behind absinthe? The infamous green liquor has helped many men descend into insanity over the years (but that’s a story for another time), and Prague’s Hemingway Bar is bringing it back to the fashionable forefront. We visited and we weren’t disappointed. Pulling up a couple of dark wooden stools bar-side, our server, Carlos, presented us with an ice-cold goblet, and proceeded to spend the evening teaching us how to enjoy this most powerful liquid.
Karolíny Světlé 26, Praha 1
We headed down two storeys to find Prague’s musical gem in a subterranean vault, built almost 1000 years ago. This heaving spot is heaven for lovers of jazz and blues. The intimate vibe will keep you glued to your seat all evening, and that’s no bad thing – the live music, low-key food and cold beers will keep you more than satisfied.
Týn 640/2, 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město-Staré Město, Czechia
Formerly a 14th century brewery cellar, this quaint cavern plays home to a collection of the best European wines. Grab a windowsill seat (they’re heated) and get settled under fur blankets, looking over the candle-lit room. If you’re in Prague with that special someone, make sure you stop by.
Dlouhá 729/37, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia