Prague is a world leader when it comes to drinking and dining with hundreds of exceptional bars and restaurants lining the beautiful cobbled streets. From cosy local joints serving up creamy Svíčková and lashings of Pilsner Urquell to high-end dining establishments offering refined cuisine and perfectly poured cocktails, there’s something for all manner of tastes and occasions. Stay off the tourist track and instead experience where the locals frequent with this guide to the best bars and restaurants in Prague.
(Updated January 2020)
Restaurace U Bansethů – Táborská 389/49, 140 00 Praha 4-Nusle-Praha 4
Walking distance from Vysehrad fort – rumoured to be the site of the first human settlement in Prague – this traditional beer restaurant provides the perfect introduction to Czech cuisine. With no other tourists in sight, no English menus and moody dark wood interiors, it’s a truly local experience. Duck and sauerkraut is the restaurant’s signature, with a quarter of a duck served on a bed of bread dumplings, but it also does one of the best Svíčková in town. This traditional Czech dish is found on most restaurant menus around Prague and is made up of tender braised beef in a creamy root vegetable sauce served with bread dumplings and cranberry sauce.
Scout Institute/Skautský Institut – Staroměstské nám. 1/4, 110 00 Staré Město
Hidden away within Old Town Square, Skautský Institut is a low-key local bar and cafe that hardly any tourists know about, despite its very central location. Accessed through the arcades, it has no signs except for a handwritten placement on a whiteboard, meaning only those in the know will find it. Light wood furnishings and contemporary tree-like installations make for hip interiors while local students and scouts playing board games and working on their laptops create a relaxed atmosphere. The drinks are some of the cheapest in town with a beer priced at 40CZK (around £1.30) and there’s even the chance to enjoy a view of the square’s imposing Tynska Church if you’re lucky enough to get a seat in the turret. Alternatively, head for the charming multi-levelled courtyard.
Mlýnská kavárna – Všehrdova 449/14, 118 00 Praha 1-Malá Strana
Housed in an old water mill, this artsy café/bar has a good vibe, friendly staff and a trendy hipster crowd. Sit at the bar to admire the handcrafted work of renowned Czech artist David Cerny. The transparent bar has all sorts of objects – from shells to pills – embedded within it. They don’t sell Pilsner Urquell, which provides a good opportunity to sample another Czech offering: Bernard beer.
Cerveny Jelen/The Red Stag – Hybernská 1034/5, 110 00 Nové Město
Newly opened in 2019, Cerveny Jelen is a sprawling venue housed within the former Spork Palace which was later turned into an Anglo-Czechoslovak bank. It’s now one of the largest pubs in Prague with 2,600 square metres spread across three floors and one of the world’s largest beer tanks with a tower that stretches across all three floors. It’s an atmospheric spot for a beer with cheery bar staff serving trays of frothy pilsner to lively groups and they also offer a menu of traditional Czech dishes.
U Hrocha – Thunovská 10, 118 00 Praha 1-Malá Strana
If you’re lucky enough to get a table at this tiny pub then you’re in for a treat. Located at the bottom of a cobbled street beneath Prague Castle, it’s a traditional boozer that attracts a steady flow of locals – expect to be stared at as you enter. Service is brash but efficient and the food is simple yet delicious with options such as sausage served with mustard, horseradish and onion, and the house meatloaf. Partnered with a couple of pilsners and some bread for a delicious meal that comes in under a tenner.
Restaurace Lokal – Lokál Dlouhááá, Dlouhá 33, 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město
This long, bustling restaurant is a bit overwhelming upon entering but pull up a seat alongside fellow drinkers and diners and you’ll soon settle in. While it’s a bit pricier than some local restaurants due to its proximity within Old Town, it’s still a fantastic option for those seeking traditional Czech cuisine. Incredibly popular with locals and tourists alike, the dishes tend to sell out so be sure to arrive early to have a choice of everything.
Zkusebni Provoz – Králodvorská 664/11, 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město
This hip cocktail bar is perfect for those looking for an alternative to pilsner. Run by a group of friends, it has an inviting laid back vibe along with good music, cosy windowsill seats and an outside area. With a good selection of cocktails as well as wine, prosecco and beer, it has something for all tastes.
Dungies Bar – Žitná 573/38, 120 00 Nové Město
A little further away from Old Town close to a large number of hotels, Dungies Bar attracts a blend of both locals and tourists who come for well-priced cocktails, good music and a lively atmosphere. It’s open from early evening through to the early hours so you can either stop in for a pre-dinner drink on your way out or a nightcap as you stumble back to your hotel.
Cobra – M. Horákové 688/8, 170 00 Praha 7-Holešovic
Located in the hipster neighbourhood of Letna, this bar is quite far out of town but it provides a great opportunity to mingle with the locals and experience a different taste of the city. A huge bar running the full length of the room takes centre stage while the stripped-back industrial interiors fit well with the tony neighbourhood.