By the author of Prague Superguide, Míra Valeš
Drinking beer is a paramount to the Czech culture. Pubs are literary everywhere and the price of beer in there equals the price of small glass of water. I know and agree, it is little decadent and it is probably why Czechs rank among the biggest consumers of beer in the world. But you should enjoy the feast while you are in Prague!
Good pub should be equally cosy and noisy and serve cold lager and some small dishes to go with it. If they don’t have nakládaný hermelín (pickled cheese) and guláš (goulash) and if there isn’t at least one table of old locals playing cards, they probably just fake being the real deal.
Note, they can bring you a new beer when they see your glass is empty and replace it. This is not rude. It is how the Czech pub system has been working for centuries. They keep bringing them until you say stop. Or slide under the table!
If they bring you a new one and you don’t want it, simply tell them that you are done.
Many pubs also serve pretty good food. Keep reading and I will tell you which ones are they!
The prices of local beer: Czech beer is mostly served in 0.5 glasses. Those, depending on type, brand and also location, should cost you between 35-50 CZK per glass. If you find a pub where the “půllitr” (half of the litre) is more expensive, make your way out!
And here are my favourites:
U zlatého tygra
One of the most central of pubs has been part of Prague’s milieu at least from 1816 or so the old chronicles say.
From all the pubs in the Old Town, this one is still pretty genuine and it never lost its sparkle and prominence, both amongs the cultured elite as well as those who are plain thirsty.
Its name (At Golden Tiger) reflects the old tradition which was to give each house a name. This was way before the houses and streets were being given numbers and you can still see the tiger sign above the house gate. Now make your way in!
Address: Husova 17, Praha 1, http://www.uzlatehotygra.cz/
Another central pub can be found near Staroměstská metro station. The pub is often busy, particularly during the lunch hours and in the evening. There is a reason for it: The pub is one of the very few places where you can have good, Czech inexpensive lunch in this area. The mix of people, both locals and tourists, here is always little bohemian and don’t be surprised it is. There are two universities nearby, one of which is the Philosophical faculty of Charles University, and the other is UMPRUM, Prague’s College of Design and Arts. And their staff comes to eat here, too.
If you are around during the lunch time, it is worth to pop in for a meal. You will eat well for around 100-120 CZK.
Address: Valentinská 8, Praha 1, http://uparlamentu.cz/
U Černého vola
The old pub on Loretánské náměstí is one of those where you feel like time has stopped long time ago. Cold beer, locals playing cards and discussing politics on this fairytale-like location is part of its charm, and so is the often grumpy service. I suggest you should pop in when you visit Prague Castle or the little village attached to it, Nový svět.
Address: Loretánské náměstí 1, Praha 1
Interesting fusion of Czech pub and American BBQ was recently opened in Prague’s neighbourhood of Žižkov. The owners Dean and Lory, two American expats who have been living in Prague for over 20 years, serve nachos, burgers and much more of Americas food together with good selection of local beers in traditional local pub setting. Here you can try few small alternative beers from local, microbreweries as well as the classic lagers – Gambrinus and Pilsner Urquell.
It’s always busy and also, it’s one of the pubs where you find refreshing mix of youngsters, ex-skaters and all-round hipsters.
Address: Chvalova 1, Praha 3, http://ukurelu.cz/
Interesting cross-breed between traditonal pub and a bit of “literary salon” can be found on the other side of the river, in Prague 7’s Holešovice. Friendly young crowd and the interior of traditional Austro-Hungarian pub.
Contrary to many traditional pubs, Liberál not only organises occasional cultural programme and events, it also serves much younger beer brewed by a small independent brewery in village of Únětice nearby Prague. It’s a beer definitely worth trying!
Address: Heřmanova 6, Praha 7, https://www.facebook.com/kavarnaliberal/
A pub in Prague’s district of Dejvice, only few minutes away from the busy Hradčanská metro station, is beloved by the locals not only for its beer but also for its hearty food. It is the place I often end up going to when I crave some of my mums Sunday lunches, be it svíčková or duck with sauerkraut and potato dumplings, during the weekend. Friendly staff, good food and perfect, old-school pub ambience!
Address: Eliášova 14, Praha 6, http://uveverky.com/
I couldn’t make this list without mentioning Lokál. It wouldn’t be fair! The pub whose first branch opened in Dlouhá street has prove to be so popular it opened since than on another four locations in Prague and some few outside of it. The pub in Dlouhá is, with no doubt, still the busiest and the most popular of their branches. I would however like to recommend you two others – U bilé kuželky, which can be found right at the foot of Charles bridge on its beautiful Lesser Town side and the relatively newcomer, Lokál Hamburk situated in the busy location of Prague’s Karlín, right on its leafy main square.
Addresses: U bílé kuželky, Míšeňská 12, Praha 1
Hamburk, Sokolovská 55, Praha 8, http://lokal.ambi.cz/
Stay tuned and watch out this space! Because I will be back with more tips on local microbreweries and pubs that are for more adventurous drinkers. In a little while. In the meanwhile – Na zdraví!