Summers in Prague can be excruciating, especially in the past few years as Czechia (yup, we’re using the new abbreviated name for the Czech Republic) has been getting more tropical weather from the South. As temperatures reach 30C/85F, the cobblestoned streets heat up, and air-conditioning is hard to find in the Unesco-protected historical centre. Your refuge? Ice-cream.
But where to go for great ice-cream in Prague? We’ve gathered a few of our favorite ice-cream parlors and a few ice-cream purveyors you should look out for. And a few bonus tips to ensure your summer trip to Prague stays as cool as it should be. Here’s a list of what we think is the best ice-cream in Prague.
Angelato is hardly a secret: if you ask anyone what is the best ice-cream in town, many will mention this central ice-cream parlor. The insufferably long lines that can sometimes seen in front of its venue at Rytirska near the bottom of the Wenceslas Square just go to prove the fame. Our favorite is still the mango sorbet, although it's been fun trying their seasonal extras, incl. some wackier flavours. We often stop in their newer location in the Ujezd area near the bottom station of the Petrin funicular, which is really nice, has more room to hang out in and the lines are (still) shorter. We’re actually fans of their lactose-free flavors, including the coconut and the chocolate sorbets. Plus they also have gluten free cones for those who care. Cheapo tip of the day: Go for the girl behind the counter in the Ujezd location. She’s not shy to give big tasting portions!
This ice-cream powerhouse - and our favorite ice-cream in Prague - is seated in Kacice, a tiny village just a mile off the main road from Prague to the Carlsbad spa, but the shop attracts ice-cream addicts from near and afar. But you don’t really have to buy a bus ticket anywhere if you want to try a scoop, as they deliver to many great Prague coffee shops. Their standard is high for most ice-creams, but we keep coming back for the luscious, wonderful pistachio ice-cream. Their rowanberry is wicked, too. Never had rowanberry? Just order it. It’s so good you will want to cry. Where to have it? 2AD ice-cream is served in some our favorite cafes in town: EMA Espresso Bar, Kavarna Místo, Muj salek kavy and Cafe Jen, and in other cafes like Novy svet, Alza and the Kido bistro.
If there is a designer ice-cream parlor in Prague, it must be Zmrzlinar. The shop opened in Prague's Vinohrady district with a bang and a fresh marketing campaign earlier this year, and appealed to the wider public with a wide array of 2AD ice-cream and a minimalist aesthetic with bare concrete and a nearly non-existent color scheme. We do love that place: it’s simple, serves probably the widest assortment of 2AD ice-cream in town (had their seasonal blueberry three days ago and it was awesome), is devoid of any mass tourism, and the ice-cream-against-bare-concrete is a great Instagram shot. A must for an ice-cream aficionado in Prague. Their scoops are on smaller side, but for those who cannot make up their mind (yes, ahem, we’re looking at you), Zmrzlinar offers a tasting bowl with five flavors.
Creme de la Creme
Creme de la Creme, standing in the ashes of the now defunct Cream & Dream, is your haven of good ice-cream if you find yourself in one of the most touristy places in Prague, the pretty dismal Karlova street. Just like all the ice-cream parlors in this list, Creme de la Creme does not use any stabilizers or other unwanted shortcuts to great ice-cream. Their flavors are bold and easy to recognize: the chocolate-and-chili was probably the spiciest ice-cream we’ve had. This is also your place if you are in the market for vegan ice-creams, which are not limited to your usual sorbets. They do like to try new flavors that are out of the ordinary, either by themselves or in cooperation with others, like the tarragon ice-cream they made with Chef Vsetecka that was sold over at the Eska restaurant. Their ice-creams can be also found in the Parlor ice-cream sandwich place in the Karlin district, and in a few other places around Prague.
Puro Gelato occupies a great little corner shop near the Vyton tram stop underneath the Vysehrad fortress. They offer about 10 flavors a day and have been replacing them daily since their opening. The girls behind the counter are friendly and very helpful and the decor of the place is cute. The different flavors are hit and miss: we really liked the blueberry with sour cream, the banana and the poppyseed, the ricotta with figs was okay, and we’d skip the salted caramel and carrot gelato the next time we’re there. We generally prefer their sorbets to their gelato. But that’s truly beside the point here: just get a flavor you like, and sit down in the shady side street in front of the shop, or take it on a stroll through the Prague riverside on your way back to the centre. A great stop on your Saturday route to the Naplavka farmers’ market nearby, and now in the Kaprova street in the centre, too!
This ice-cream made at home by a popular local food blogger is served in another of our favorites, the wonderful I Need Coffee, and in Dish, our favorite burger joint in town. Our favorite is the salted caramel. It is less sweet and has a full taste. We’re not that crazy about the other flavors. Make sure the ice-cream is fresh and has not crystalized too much due to improper storage.
Not many people would associate the Czech meat-lovers paradise with ice-cream but then again, they would be wrong. If a scoop of their beer ice-cream is wrong, we do not want to be right. They have other flavors, too, but the beer ice-cream is the best. With their outdoor seating open during the summer, this could be a great stop when you venture up from the Wenceslas Sq. to the Vinohrady district. (Having a burger or sausage from the outside grill before the ice-cream would not hurt, either). Oh, and have we mentioned we have the recipe, too?
If you’re in for an ice-cream treat in Prague - and perhaps a bit of buzz - ice-cream parlors are not your only option. Virtually all great cafes in Prague offer an affogato: a scoop of ice-cream with a shot of espresso. These range from the standard plain ice-cream to more adventurous options: if you haven’t tried Hazelnut ice-cream affogato and like Nutella, this could be your summer treat game-changer (they sometimes have it in Kavarna Místo), and the added small shot of Czech rum in onesip coffee ticks all of our three main food groups: sweets, coffee and alcohol. Ask your favorite Prague barista for more details.
And to finish the list, one unique Czech supermarket bonus:
Misa ice-cream has been a staple of Czech supermarkets for decades. It has a very specific, slightly acidic taste due to the fact that the vanilla ice-cream is not made of cream but of a combination of cream and farmer's cheese. The whole thing is then covered in chocolate. The recipe for the bar has not changed since the product was first unveiled in 1962. Jan is not a fan, for instance, but Zuzi likes the ice-cream bar (because it’s not so sweet) and it is the one unique ice-cream money can buy here in Prague. If you want to explore different tastes, this is want you are looking for.