Best Wine Bars in Prague
Sure, Prague nightlife may be mostly associated with Czech beer (and lots of Czech beer), but Czech wine, after a long but troubled past especially during the Communist rule, has been making a big comeback recently. Never heard of Czech wine? No wonder. With a production capped by the EU at about 1% of the French production of wine, there are hardly any exports of Czech and Moravian wine abroad. Yes, we like to keep it all to ourselves. Sorry.
And that’s exactly whyvisiting a wine bar is one of the best things to do in Prague. Prague wine bars tend to be intimate, small bars that serve good wines from the Bohemian and Moravian wine regions and from abroad. They also sell somewine gifts, like organic grape seed oils, grape jelly and other produce made by Czech and Moravian winemakers, which would make for a great, conveniently small souvenir. And you will be surprised how good Czech and Moravian wines can be. Many of our guests surely are, and that's why we make a point of tasting Czech wines in the course of our Prague food tour. (And of course, we taste Moravian wines during our Moravian wine tours, too.)
These are the best wine bars in Prague in our opinion. You probably weren’t planning to create your own wine tour in Prague, but a visit to any of these wine bars in Prague may change your mind and plans for good. Hey, you were warned, okay?
A veteran on the Prague wine bar scene, Vinograf started some six years ago as a small bar by Klara Kollarova, back then still a sommelier at La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise. It focused focused only on Czech wines. In 2014, Klara and Jan, her partner in life and business, spread their wings with the bigger branch in the New Town, a home to nearly a thousand boutique wines from all over the world. Their small bar is a place you go for a date or a calm contemplation. The place sits about twenty and their selection of Moravian and Bohemian wines is still the best in Prague in our eyes. The bigger wine bar is a bustling, noisy place where you go for a school reunion or a gathering with friends. It also features a tasting room in the back, an amphora with wine by Mr Nejedlik, one of the best winemakers in the Czech Republic, and a selection of really high-end wines by glass thanks to the use of the Coravin system. The newest third location in the Andel area is great, too. (Secret tip: just ask for a tasting of Czech wines. They’ll be happy to show you the whole spectrum of what Czech winemakers can offer.)
Veltlin is the place to visit if you want to taste natural wines from the lands of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, which is painted on the main wall. We love the modern and minimalist interiors of the wine bar: the ground floor is used as a regular bar, while the basement serves as a place for wine tastings. These are usually guided by the winemakers invited to Prague by the wine bar, so we’d plan a head and check their schedule on the website and Facebook (some knowledge of Czech or Google Translate is required). We like the location, too: nestled in the Karlin district, a visit to Veltlin is an opportunity to see an area that may not have been in your original plans but has lots to offer. The owner, Bogdan Trojak, is a winemaker, a poet and the founder of the “Autentiste” group of winemakers who produce wine with spontaneous fermentation only and without using chemistry in the vineyard or in the cellar.
A wine bar nestled in a courtyard that cannot be seen directly from the street, Bokovka remains a hidden gem in Prague that has quickly become one of our absolute favorites. This is a great hideaway spot up until some 8pm, when the regulars arrive. Bokovka, run by a team of young sommeliers managed by Roman Novotný, a former head sommelier of La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise, ticks all the boxes: picturesque, run-down but cosy interiors combined with some modern design elements. A selection of very interesting cheeses, sausages from the sister Nase maso butcher shop dried in the cellar. Fermented vegetables and great sardines all pair well with the interesting natural wines from the Czech Republic and elsewhere (along with a healthy selection of bubbles from Champagne). And a low lighting level complements the unobtrusive soundtrack. What more would you want? A private cinema? You got it: Bokovka (the Czech title for the Sideways movie) is co-owned by a group of Czech filmmakers and artists and the cinema upstairs will play a curated selection of great movies. Want to see a movie? Just purchase a bottle to drink during the movie, or sit in the front room downstairs for a showing of either “Frankenstein” or the “Creature from the Black Lagoon” shown in an infinite loop.
Red Pif has long been one of our favorite places to visit. It is so conveniently located in the centre, just a few steps off the Bethlehem Square, but entirely out of the main tourist routes. The interior design has changed recently as a result of a neighbor dispute but it is still true to the original - minimalist concrete interiors that are elegant and contemporary. Red Pif focuses on natural wines, too, but mostly from France, although they do have a small selection of Czech wines, too. On top of that, Red Pif also has a proper kitchen and offers good food to go with the good wine they serve. The menu is fairly short but always tasty. They are open on Sundays, unlike some of the wine bars in this list, which is great in case of Sunday wine cravings.
Via del Vino
This little shop in the Dlouha foodie arcade right next to the Nase Maso butcher shop and the Sisters bistro may look uninspired, but the groups of pro sommeliers from the best restaurants in Prague tastings some fascinating natural wines from Italy in the afternoon suggest this is anything but. Fleming, the super-nice owner, will let you taste wines by glass because he knows you’ll be bringing home the whole bottle. The bar sits two and the shop is probably not a place to spend an evening (also given the opening times) but this pros’ choice is definitely worth a look.
Grand Cru boasts the perfect location: very near the sights but outside of the main tourist routes. Both the exteriors and the interiors project a feeling of luxury, and so do the patrons. If you drive anything below a Porsche, we recommend parking around the corner, and we have even considered opening a Birkin bag rental next door so that ladies with real incomes don’t feel bad inside. (Just kidding.) The place is divided into two parts: the wine bar and a fine-dining restaurant. They share an extensive wine list that includes some 1,500 wines, a French-inspired menu by Chef Puncochar of former Le Terroir fame, and the advice of Jakub Pribyl, one of the most famous sommeliers in the country. We’re making it sound like this is a place for the rich and famous (with a whiff of the mob), but we’re just joking. The fact is they have some fantastic wines and really solid cooking. Just make sure you know the price of the wine you’re being poured. It may come as a surprise later on.
Na brehu Rhony
Na brehu Rhony is a great little place near one of our favorite sights in Prague: the Vysehrad fortress, specifically about a minute from the Vyton tram stop. As the Czech name suggests, the venue focuses on Cotes du Rhone wines and serves them (almost) exclusively. The staff is very friendly and easy-going. (It also pours about the biggest 1dl glasses we have ever seen… and we like that!) The venue opens very early and could easily pass for a breakfast spot - they even do Friday brunches. (Wine for breakfast? You’re on vacation, right?) Every day feels like Sunday in this cafe. We recommend going on Saturday after you’ve had a late breakfast at the farmers’ market nearby. Their new location in the Karlin district is nice, too, but lags behind the original in atmosphere and surroundings, and sells mostly boxed wines, although bottles are also available.
As the name suggests, this wine bar focuses on Prosecco wines, with various styles and bottles available so you can spend hours comparing them. This is mostly a shop, but tastings of the wine and some small snacks with it at the bar are possible. The array of Proseccos offered ranges from simple wines to complex, biodynamic boutique production. The location in the Vinohrady district is a great opportunity to venture into the beautiful district with all the great food around, but the new location at Myslikova is fantastic if you crave Italian bubbles in the centre.
La Bottega Gastronomica
Gastronomica, one of the latest additions to Riccardo Luque’s Prague empire, has a great location: right underneath the TV Tower on the edge of the Vinohrady and Zizkov districts. This makes it a great stop after you’ve visited the nearby farmers’ market on Jiriho z Podebrad square. Italian wines is the name of the game here, although some Austrian, German, Slovenian and Czech wines are offered, too. The selection of wines served by glass is limited, but they do have lots of bottles. You should thus plan for a longer meal, which is no problem here: the food is great, as is the interior design by Edit! architects.
Wine Food Market
When Jan’s cousin came to visit us from Rome, she got really angry when we visited Wine Food Market: "I am not buying any Italian food for you anymore - you’ve got everything here!” Wine Food Market really feels like a bit of Italy in Prague. Our tagline for it is “Like Eataly, except the everything.” And although it may seem a bit further away from the centre, it’s only a 15-minute walk from Na brehu Rhony, listed above and thus a great place to finish your Prague tour of wine. Logically, the focus here is on Italian wines, incl. some very, very good ones, ranking in very high 90s in the Wine Spectator. Just choose wine by glass or a whole bottle, choose your cheeses and hams in the shop and you can consume it all in the central market area with some bread from the local bakery. Molto bene!