Boasting an impressive line-up of classy cocktail bars and lively beer halls, Brno is forging a sterling reputation among discerning drinkers, and despite being known as the Czech Republic’s ‘second city’, it’s certainly giving Prague a run for its money in the nightlife department. Unlike the capital, Brno’s bars are filled with far more locals than tourists, providing an authentic drinking experience whether you’re sipping on a perfectly poured Pilsner Urquell or a carefully crafted cocktail. Read on to discover the best bars in Brno.
Best bars in Brno contents:
- Super Panda Circus
- The Bar That Doesn’t Exist
- SKØG Urban Hub
- Vycep Na Stojaka
- Lokál U Caipla
- The Erin’s Flag
- Stopkova Plzeňská Pivnice
- Pivnice U Čápa
- Zelená Kočka Pivárium
The best bars in Brno for cocktails:
Super Panda Circus
Brno’s response to the speakeasy bar trend comes in the form of Super Panda Circus, an eccentric drinking den hidden behind a discreet entrance on the outskirts of the old town. With a limit on group sizes and a doorbell granting access, the bar has an air of exclusivity and is one of the more upscale drinking destinations in the city. Once through the curtained threshold, guests are greeted with a palate-cleansing green tea before being led upstairs to a low-lit room crowned by a dramatic swirling red ceiling. Theatrical drawings act as the cocktail list along with a menu written on flower petals while the drinks themselves are vibrant and eccentric with all manner of flavours and garnishings. It all adds up to the perfect homage to Brno-born Alex Kratena – the world-famous bartender who inspired the bar’s name with his Super Panda cocktail at London’s award-winning bar, Artesian.
Bar Ktery Neexistuje (The Bar That Doesn’t Exist)
The sister venue to Super Panda Circus is Bar Ktery Neexistuje – translating to The Bar That Doesn’t Exist. While not quite as quirky as its sibling, the bar still offers a taste of exclusivity with a hostess closely monitoring the door and professional waitstaff providing efficient table service. Split across two floors, there’s a bar on each level but it’s the ground floor that offers the most spectacular backdrop with a towering drinks cabinet filled with all manner of rare spirits and liqueurs. The extensive drinks menu is made up of experimental contemporary cocktails along with spirits, bubbles and wine while food comes in the form of juicy burgers accompanied by perfectly crispy fries. For the best experience, aim to get a seat at the downstairs bar in order to watch the bartenders work their mixology magic.
SKØG Urban Hub
Silky flat whites and punchy Asian cuisine draw the locals to SKØG Urban Hub throughout the day while at night the skilled baristas morph seamlessly into mixologists, conjuring up a menu of aesthetically-pleasing classic and contemporary cocktails. A more casual alternative to Super Panda Circus and The Bar That Doesn’t Exist, the cafe-cum-bar is a vast, trendy venue dressed with industrial elements and vintage accents. Whitewashed brickwork, exposed ceiling beams and classic school chairs are offset by a rustic chipboard bar and low hanging bulbs to create a sleek yet welcoming backdrop. Solo visitors can take comfort in the window bar seats that overlook the charming Dominikánské Náměstí square located just outside.
The best bars in Brno for beers in a contemporary setting:
Vycep Na Stojaka
Sitting at the heart of the old town in the shadow of the Gothic Kostel sv. Jakuba church is Vycep Na Stojaka, one of the best bars in Brno for a decent craft beer and an electric atmosphere. Translating roughly into ‘standing up’, the bar replaces standard chairs and tables with closely-packed standing tables. As a result, punters spill out into the neighbouring square in the summer and huddle around the indoor tables in the winter, creating an excitable late-night buzz no matter what time of year you visit. Classic Czech beers flow continuously from the taps with a rotating menu of filtered and unfiltered lagers, pilsners, ales and stouts from some of the country’s best microbreweries.
Lokál U Caipla
Filled with large communal tables that are used for both drinking and dining, Lokál U Caipla is another bar in Brno that boasts an infectious, raucous atmosphere. Like many bars in the Czech Republic, the venue offers table service with strong-armed waiters and waitresses carrying handfuls of big, frothy Czech beers to groups of thirsty punters, crossing off the glasses on their beer card to note how many have been consumed. The nation’s headline beer, Pilsner Urquell, is served straight from the tank with the option to enjoy it in its classic form or as a ‘šnyt’ or ‘mlíko’. The former is a small beer in a large glass, providing an even bigger head than the standard creamy Czech topping, while the latter is majority foam and just a dash of beer, providing a sweeter, creamier taste that’s best when downed in one. Lokál U Caipla also serves a menu of classic Czech dishes such as sausage with mustard and horseradish.
The Erin’s Flag
While Irish pubs don’t typically make it onto a city’s’ best bars list, The Erin’s Flag is a unique case that’s worthy of a mention. Thanks to Brno’s small number of holidaymakers, the bar avoids all the typical tourist connotations associated with an Irish pub and instead welcomes a steady flow of thirsty locals through its doors. An eye-catching golden-hued drinks cabinet runs the full length of the bar, creating a wonderful centrepiece, while mahogany furnishings, exposed brickwork and tiled floors decorate the rest of the space. The cosy window seats are perfect for a spot of people watching and the attentive waitstaff ensure your glass is never left empty.
The best bars in Brno for beers in a traditional setting:
Stopkova Plzeňská Pivnice
For an authentic Czech beer drinking experience pay a visit to Stopkova Plzeňská Pivnice, a traditional pub and restaurant that sits on a site where drinking dates back to the 19th century. A large oval bar takes centre stage at the front of the venue with a striking chrome light fixture casting a glow over the expert bar staff as they pour perfect tankards of crisp Pilsner Urquell. The front of the venue is dedicated to drinking while at the back there’s a large dining room where classic Czech cuisine such as rich beef goulash and creamy Svíčková is served.
Pivnice U Čápa
Despite being more of a restaurant than a bar, Pivnice U Čápa is worth a visit for its beer alone. Founded in 1960, the traditional venue takes pride in its high quality tank pilsner, and as such boasts some of the best beer in Brno. Six 500-litre tanks are located in the pub’s underground tank farm, where the temperature is vigorously monitored to keep it at precisely 8 ° C. It’s this close attention to detail that creates the perfectly crisp yet creamy pilsner that the Czech Republic has become world-famous for, and a visit to Pivnice U Čápa is essential for any beer lovers in Brno. A small bar area sits at the front, but most of the venue is occupied with tables for dining with a menu of classic Czech dishes as well as more contemporary meaty options. Be sure to book ahead.
Zelená Kočka Pivárium
With dark wood furnishings, wood panelled walls and a bar dressed with shiny beer taps, Zelená Kočka Pivárium fits the exact image that springs to mind when thinking of traditional Czech pubs, and the stereotypically gruff bar staff complete the authentic drinking experience. What is missing, however, is the country’s ubiquitous Pilsner Urquell. Instead, the tanks are filled with lesser-known craft beers with a rotating menu of pale ales, black IPAs and pilsners.