Don’t we all wish for great, or at least good, weather when we venture outside our home? I know we do! Less crap to bring and there wouldn’t be that moment where I had to buy an “I love Paris” sweater for €25 or a $10 Disneyworld poncho. I’m not a fan of souvenir goods or labels. Yes, no gigantic “GAP” across our chest in this family.
We went to Prague in April of last year and only on the last day did the sun come out. Typical!
Upon arrival we were greeted with very light rain. Not bad if you’re not hauling suitcases and also a very tired five-years-old (6am flight and zero sleep on flight). In all honesty the walk from the bus stop to the apartment was only 0.3 miles (500 meters) with many cute shops and Charles Bridge to admire but with a sleeping child, suit cases on cobble stone roads and steps, the seven minute (per Google) walk seemed like 15 minutes.
While better weather would have lifted our spirits some, we didn’t let the weather ruin our trip. The rain, and a few times hail, wasn’t continuous so when it was dry, we’d walk about and when wet, we went into a cafe or restaurant to eat and/or drink. A few times we only walked for 15 minutes before stopping for more goodies.
In this post I want to share some of the places we ate and drank at and the specialties, if any, that they serve. There are many many great places serving food and drinks in Prague but there are also a few tourist traps. My advice is to read reviews before you go and save some favourites onto your Google Map or TripAdvisor.
1. Lokál. There are two locations in Prague city centre and they’re both as good. The restaurants are bright and airy with mains ranging from $5-$8. I had a $2 chicken broth soup and it just hit the spot for that very cold and wet day. If you love beer, the restaurant has a few options with good prices also.
2. Lobkowicz Palace Cafe. Up in the castle district you’ll find this palace and cafe. Beautiful place and while the cafe is a bit on the high end side, for those coming from the US/UK, the prices are not that much different than a Starbucks or Patisserie Valerie. Why eat/drink here? The patio view! Visit their website or the photos posted by visitors on TripAdvisor and you’ll see. During the winter/cold season, like our visit, they had outside heaters.
3. Bella Vida Cafe. It’s like eating inside a private library. High ceiling, books/magazines here and there, and well priced food and drinks. Coffee from $2-$3 and a hamburger was in the $8 range. I had a French press and it came with the cutest sand timer. LOVE it and wouldn’t mind owning one myself 🙂
4. Cafe Lounge. Needing a good and inexpensive breakfast, most dishes are $5 and under, with fantastic coffee? Don’t miss this little cafe with very friendly staffs! It can get very busy so book if possible! This cafe is not for from Bella Vida.
5. Restaurant Mincovna. For a mid-range restaurant at the square, on the opposite side of the Astronomical Clock. We had the pork knuckle, about $11, and it was so good and filling. We had soup too, again at around $2/bowl, and again, just hit the spot! This restaurant do get booked up, especially on weekends, so do try to book to avoid disappointment.
6. Zebra Asian Noodle Bar. Tired of Czech food, or you’re just Asian like me and need Asian food? This restaurant was quite nice. They serve Japanese, Chinese and Thai dishes. A main can cost $10/$12 but if you’re craving Asian, the price is worth it.
7. Yami Sushi. But if you’re wanting just sushi, a bit further down the road from Restaurant Mincovna is this great little place. Prices are reasonable and the fish fresh.
8. Bakeshop Praha. This was an impromptu stop. We were cold and needed a warm drink (and treats). Lots of pastries to choose from! The seating was a bit odd. If you’re by the window, you have to go under the table to get there. Great for the kids and those willing to bend over to get over. Maybe it’s different now but there’s no wi-fi when we visited. I could though get a decent signal from James Dean just across the road 🙂
9. Nase Maso. A bistro and butcher shop in one. You can order for takeaway, or if you’re lucky and there are seats, come in and enjoy some fabulous steak tartare, burger, or meatloaf and all you can drink beer (from a faucet). Fantastic places for an inexpensive, unique and delicious food.
10. Tricafe. A cozy little coffee shop. You need to know where on the map it is unless you get super lucky and stumble into this little gem. This coffee shop is listed on many top coffee shops to visit in Prague. If you’re a coffee lover, do try this place out!
11. Original Cafe. We went here after Tricafe. Just got a takeaway so that I could walk home warm. Yum!
12. Cafe Mozart. There is a restaurant upstairs and a small cafe downstairs. Our only experience was the cafe for a quick snack (to feed Jovie since she fell asleep while we were dining at Mincovna) and drinks. Prices were reasonable considering you’re right in front of the Astronomical Clock. The reviews for the restaurant is hit and miss so if you want more than a snack, I’d try another place. For a quick coffee/snack stop though, this is a great place.
13. Paul Pastry. Oh my, lots and lots of yummy baked goods! The prices were very good and drinks were decent too. The girls had such a hard time picking one thing to have as a treat!
14. EMA Espresso bar. We had a train to catch, to Budapest, with plenty of time to spare. So we stopped by this cafe for some drinks. Fantastic coffee and hot chocolate. Mostly popular with the locals since it’s a bit outside the main tourist drag.
15. Kolkovna Celnice. This place has somewhat of a mix review on Google and TripAdvisor in terms of service but we went anyways because a few locals recommended it. The food was good and quite inexpensive (I think we had $6 mains). Our waiter was very nice too, probably one of the nicest during our visit, and while the food didn’t come out quick, it was fast enough. We didn’t book but I think we got lucky that night. This restaurant was not far from the station, which we went to straight after dinner.
Oh, I don’t want to leave out the street vendors. There were many and everywhere. We stopped by for sausages, potato chips on a stick, mulled wine and many many more Czech street food.
I wish we had more time to try out more places but we only had 3.5 days. If you need more places to consider, these were the websites I used to help me decide when we went spring of last year:
Also our food map. The list above and more.