The first time I visited Prague was on a tight budget. I was with two friends from University inter railing for a couple of weeks one Summer and we were on student costs (one of the dodgiest places I’ve stayed was probably the hostel in Prague we stayed in during this trip!). This meant our food budget was proportional and we didn’t take the time to eat well and explore the Czech food palate beyond a classic chimney cake! Second time I was determined for it to be different and to get as many food and drink locations into our weekend as we could.
Whilst Prague has become more touristy and so more expensive with this it’s still very good value for both eating and drinking so you can enjoy some incredible cocktails, wines, beers and meals for an affordable cost vs what you might pay at home (specifying home for me as the UK). Whilst this list may not be anywhere close to exhaustive of everywhere you could eat or drink in this fairytale city I hope it gives you some great suggestions to try PLUS I’ve added what they’re best for to help out on some of your tricky foodie decisions 😉
1. Hotel U Prince
Best for: the perfect Instagram shot
The rooftop bar at Hotel U Prince was high on our list of things to do in Prague as I had seen and heard it recommended on a number of occasions and boy am I glad we found it! Yes you have to pay to get in but your ticket includes a drink as well as access to what I can safely say is now my favourite view in Prague. We’d just been up the Tower (on the left) before coming up here and Hotel U Prince topped it by having that building in its view as well!
The terrace bar feels exclusive and given its limited number of seats it is pretty quiet. This has to be on your list if you’re after the perfect Instagram opportunity!
2. Food Lab
Best for: Czech cuisine with a modern twist
We knew we wanted to have something special for our Saturday night dinner in Prague and when we found Food Lab we knew we’d hit the gastronomic jackpot! With reasonable prices but inventive Czech dishes we knew it was going to be a winner.
The restaurant itself felt modern but with the lighting giving a snug, almost romantic atmosphere! Our mouths were watering at just about every dish as we were reading through the menu so it was hard to whittle it down to a few to try (tapas style) for our meal. We settled on a cheese board with jam and a side of potatoes roasted and seasoned to perfection to start alongside a glass of beer for my friend and Czech white wine to fill my glass.
For our main course we split two dishes both of which utilised classic Czech ingredients but with a modern twist and both of which I didn’t want to end! The homemade tortellini with almonds, pumpkin and walnuts was served with sweet pumpkin purée and balanced out with a salty miso sauce and made my tastebuds melt with delight as one of the most delicious savoury dishes I’ve ever eaten. Our other choice was braised beef that just fell away, tender to the tongue and was complimented by the gingerbread (yes gingerbread) dumplings that were a stroke of genius and finished off with a creamy root vegetable sauce.
3. Dancing House Bar
Best for: hidden in plain sight
Prague’s iconic modern building, The Dancing House, is one of the city’s top spots to see and also to photograph due to its unusual architecture which was designed to resemble two dancers (it was originally called Fred & Ginger). It has caused some controversy with how much it doesn’t fit in with the older architecture and buildings it sits in amongst but personally I love its distinctive shape!
What many people might not realise is there is actually a bar on the top of this hotel which is pretty well hidden in plain sight! Whilst you’re admiring the building look up to the metal next like structure on top and see if you can spot heads popping up above the railing!
Head into the hotel’s entrance and take the elevator up to the top where the doors will open to an airy bar space to sit inside or take the doors out to sit on the terrace for stunning views across the river to the Prague Castle. It might have only just turned 12 but with the cost and the view we couldn’t say no to a beer and a prosecco 🥂
4. Coffee & Waffles
Best for: a cosy brunch
On our Sunday morning in Prague we got up early for photos in some of the areas of the city that would become much busier with tourists later in the day for some quiet shots. By the time 10am had rolled around we were keen to fill our stomachs with brunch alongside mugs filled with caffeine to put a spring back in our step after a 6am alarm.
We’d found Coffee & Waffles online and it sounded like it would satisfy both of our needs plus it wasn’t far from our hotel. The atmosphere was really cosy with friendly staff and a waffle menu that made my mouth water just reading it and the difficult decision of what to have with mine… With a sweet tooth I opted for chocolate, peanut butter and strawberries which hit the spot perfectly.
5. Hemingway Bar
Best for: experimental cocktails and knowledgeable bar staff
The Hemingway Bar is hidden down a side street close to the infamous club Karlovy Lazne but an undoubtedly classier venue. It feels very secretive as you pass through the velvet curtain and are shown to your table in a setting so apt you wouldn’t be surprised if Hemingway himself looked up from his daiquiri and nodded you a greeting as you passed him by.
The bar staff are very attentive and knowledgeable about both the experimental Hemingway themed cocktails on the menu as well as the city of Prague itself. When one of my cocktails was too bitter our bar man added some extra ingredients to soften the taste (and also ran after us when I left my hat behind – again).
Best for: good value traditional Czech food
We were in need of a hearty meal to fill us up until our flight on our second day in Prague and had passed Lokál the previous evening whilst trying to find Food Lab (see above). The inside has a stripped back look and the minimalism matches the simplicity of the dishes. There is nothing showy about the dishes at Lokál but they do the job of filling you up on tasty traditional Czech food.
We had brasied beef and chicken schnitzel and shared our thick portions of bread dumplings and creamy mashed potato to soak up the sauce and lemon juice respectively. They also have a long list of beers to choose from!
7. Chimney Cakes in the Old Town Square
Best for: a sweet tooth
This is a bit of a cheat as I am not recommending any one particular place to buy a chimney cake to munch your way through just that you absolutely have to get one when you visit Prague 😍 Technically they’re not actually Czech (they originated in Hungary) but given you can smell them cooking on nearly every corner you turn in this city they might as well be!
If the smell isn’t enough to tempt you in (but seriously warm sweet dough with a dusting of cinnamon I don’t know how it couldn’t!) then maybe the list of varied options will do! My second Trdelník was a traditional cinnamon and sugar but the first one that my friend and I shared was a charcoal cake then smothered in melted sweet white chocolate dripping down the inside of the Trdelník 💕
Best for: coffee break
An afternoon coffee break is always needed on a weekend trip to keep refuelled for all the exploring packed in and Prague was of course no exception! We pulled up a map on our phones whilst in the Old Town Square to find somewhere to rest our feet, warm our cockles and energise our spirits! Pauseteria came up close by so we followed our phones to the door.
Pauseateria had classic clean cut coffee shop vibes with crisp white walls and repurposed furniture and a typically indie menu behind the countertop. The coffee is sourced from Czech roasters and tasted excellent!
Best for: light and airy space with river views
I have to admit I prefer breakfast or brunch over lunch (mainly because it means I can get away with a sweet dish rather than savoury) and so we stopped for what was admittedly a very late brunch at SmetanaQ on our Saturday afternoon in Prague. It wasn’t sunny but the large windows let the space feel bright whilst giving great views onto the Vlatva River (if you’re lucky enough to get a table close to them which we were).
The cakes and other treats on the counter looked tempting but I was drawn to the pancakes (above) with sweet stewed apricots balanced out by tart sour cream. The dish just tasted so fresh and so many other things on the brunch menu sounded equally as crisp and tasty!
10. T-Anker Bar
Best for: big roof terrace
T-Anker restaurant is located on top of the Kotva department store and has a massive terrace outdoor space (when we visited it was so cold we had it all to ourselves!). The terrace has great views across Old Prague as well as to the Prague Castle in the difference! The bar has rotating beer on tap as well for those that want to try some craft brews. On a chilly January afternoon I opted for a mulled white wine to warm up my cold hands!
Looking for more things to do in Prague? Click below to explore views, what you can’t miss and the best Instagram spots 😍