We are writing this post from The Barn in Berlin, Germany. Just a few years ago, if you wanted great coffee in Prague, you had to sit in your car, drive to Berlin and have 3rd wave coffee there. You felt like the king devouring a cup of Illy cappuccino in Prague and only a few had any idea what flat white, vacuum pot or Hario equipment meant.
Oh boy, how time flies! Today, we do not travel for good coffee. Instead, we return home for good coffee, and whenever we visit other cities in Europe (with some exceptions, of course), we tend to miss the quality of the coffee you can now get in Prague. To help you navigate the Prague coffee landscape, we bring you a list of our favorite cafés in Prague.
Now, a few disclaimers: this is by no means an exhaustive list. We have simply made a list of the cafés in Prague we visit to get some good coffee. We are pretty sure this list will need updating just in a few months' time. Also, we have ordered the cafes in the list as they came to our mind so the order of the list is fairly random and does not mean we rank the cafes in that specific order.
Alright, now that all the potential lawsuits have been avoided and friendships with the baristas saved, here is the list:
Muj salek kavy
The flagship cafe of the Doubleshot coffee roasters, Muj salek kavy has long been a favorite among coffee lovers here in Prague, and rightly so: their standard is pretty high and they never go beyond it. You can get your espresso or flat white, but they also use alternative methods of coffee preparation. If you unsure which beans to choose, the baristas and waiters - a really great bunch, by the way - are always happy to recommend the best one for you, or you don’t have to choose at all: just get their tasting set of three different roasts.
They have recently expanded and their brand new barista center will open to the public in September. Their kitchen has been enlarged, too, and you reap the benefits: they serve nice breakfasts (for the entire day over the weekends), light dishes during the day, decent cakes and delicious ice cream by 2AD (dairy and gluten free options available). We love their non smoking outside seating area. For the rush hours, reservations are a must.
Alza Cafe, the second cafe by the Dobleshot coffee roasters is a slightly odd place, comfortably nested in the pick-cup warehouse area of a large computer store. But don’t let that fool you: they still serve some of the best cups in town. It’s our favorite place for take-away coffee when we are in the Holesovice district (often on the way to the DOX Centre for Contemporary Arts) and the only good coffee in Prague on Sunday after 7pm. We are also big fans of their nice and chatty barista Ondra.
EMA Espresso Bar
To us, EMA Espresso Bar feels so much like our second home we should probably start paying rent. Their baristas welcome everyone with a smile and a cup of great coffee. Whenever we travel and have a bad cup of coffee, we realize how much we miss EMA. They serve coffee from different carefully chosen European roasters and they always offer two for espresso-based drinks and several more for filter coffee.
Their real focus is on coffee, but if you are hungry, they have a daily soup, two salads, tasty sandwiches and small selection of Czech kolachees and buns. And we told you about their ice cream already.
They seem to attract younger, hipper crowds who tend to stay for hours despite the lack of wifi. They mix in nicely with the suited-up lawyers and consultants who come for their daily fix from the nearby offices. This creates a lively environment and a great place for people watching.
For those who want to learn more about coffee, EMA also holds public cuppings from time to time.
Cafe Lounge has the same owner as EMA Espresso bar, but a totally different feel. This is a “First Republic” place great for intimate meetings and small reunions. Their little garden along the remains of the Medieval Hunger Wall is one of the nicest in town.
Just like EMA espresso bar, they are not fixed to single rosters, so if you want, you can always choose your beans or let the barista decide for you. Unlike in EMA, their kitchen is an important part of the cafe and they are the only cafe on this list that can double as a full-fledged restaurant.
We get lots of work done over at Monolok. That’s what happens when you combine great coffee, generously sized tables and strong wifi signal. We really like their skillful baristas, but sometimes we have an issue with the waiting staff: they all seem like they would rather be anywhere else but in the cafe. The new waitress did actually smile on our last visit, so now at least we know smiling is not entirely prohibited there.
But coffee still shines there. Monolok takes coffee from Coffee Source, a local roaster, and they execute every cup perfectly. They also serve nice breakfasts (sausages, omelets and scrambled eggs are our favorite) though we thing the afternoon offerings could improve.
Kafe Karlin is a simple espresso bar in the Karlin district opened by the coffee nerds associated in the Kavovy Klub (“Coffee Club”). A stand-up affair only, this place is really tiny. Kavovy Klub was the place to go for coffee at the Jiriho z Podebrad farmers markets for a long time, and they still close the shop on Saturdays (and Sundays) to venture out and serve great coffee to the markets goers. Our secret tip? Take their coffee to go, buy some kolachees over at Simply Good, sit in the park nearby and just enjoy the moment.
After long, suffocating years of drought, Kafemat finally brought good coffee to the Prague 6 district. For now, they serve their coffee in paper cups only and have a very limited and provisional seating capacity (of about four), but that should all change once they get their occupancy soon. Both baristas are a pleasure to chat with and make delicious coffee. Their food menu has only one item: the kolachees by Simply Good. Great choice.
Visiting TriCafe is like visiting an old friend: you get a homey feel, a cup of great coffee and a good cake. This is our favorite place to escape for coffee if you find yourself trapped by the crowds around the Charles Bridge area in the Old Town. Their bench outside is one of the best places to get a cup of good coffee… and some tan at the same time.
I Need Coffee
Sitting in I Need Coffee is like sitting in a cafe in Mitte, Berlin, but with less hipsters. If you love modern design and watching people in a relaxed atmosphere, you will love I Need Coffee. Tip: They also offer some snacks and beverages made by small local farmers and food producers, pastries by local foodies and little souvenirs by local designers.
Mezi zrnky is a small, cute, neighborly bistro and cafe in the Vinohrady district. In addition to Doubleshot coffee, they offer breakfasts, a daily soup, some salads and sandwiches and something sweet. They continue in the footsteps of CupUp cafe that used to occupy the same room and serve good coffee.
Al Cafetero still holds the crown as the first cafe in Prague to offer hight quality coffee and venture into alternative methods of its preparation. Entering the cafe feels like entering the living room of Mr. Karel, the manager, owner and barista. Al Cafetero takes coffee from the major local roasters and prepares each cup with love and care.... until you ask for sugar, that is.
Breakfast is the name of the game here. The lovely owners and friends, Dominika and Hanka (whom we interviewed a while ago here), love breakfast... and serve it in their Cafe all day long, together with their nice cakes and sweets). They are actually quite skillful with their coffee, too (Has Bean the last time we were there), and serve a decent cup of anything you'd like. Any imperfection will be well offset simply by how nice and friendly they (and their staff) are. A great stop when you are in the area.
Located in a former design furniture shop in the Vinohrady district, La Boheme Cafe is visually striking, perhaps even too much for some. The ground floor houses the cafe while the first floor accommodate the offices and the barista centre of LaBoheme coffee roasters. That means you will get several roasts directly from the source. We have a small issue with the staff: they are good with coffee but less so with the chit chat with the customers.
Blending in with the locals over filter and espresso-based coffee from beans roasted in-house is easy in Kavarna Prazirna, a local favorite. Great place for a meeting or a book. Tip: If you’re planning on using wifi, stay in the first room.
Coffee House, located on the edge of the Vinohrady and Vrsovice districts, is really a showroom of the Coffee Source roasters, and many people here know it simply as “Coffee Source”. The interiors are minimalist and the place attracts younger crowds. Their exterior seating in their small, quiet backyard is a hidden gem: if there is a place in Prague to get “far from the madding crowds”, this is it.
Original Coffee, recently moved to the centre from the Vinohrady district, is the high-end cafe of the Mama Coffee roasters. They roast their own beans and offer about four to five different roasts to their customers. They do both espresso and filters, and also some bagels, sandwiches and small snacks. The interior is minimalist and great for work: big windows, small tables and lots of power outlets all around. A very pleasant place in the touristy part of the town.
The bigger the beard, the better the coffee. If you can ascribe to this hipster rule, you will love the small Brew Bar stand opened every Saturday at the Naplavka farmers’ market on the riverside. No espresso, just filters from different beans, all carefully chosen and by served by Jirka, a lovely - and bearded - barista and specialty coffee lover.
Now this is a place for the brave and dedicated. The graphic designers of Artbureau, seated in room 412 of the fantastic Elektricke podniky building (worth a visit by itself), will make coffee for anyone who bothers to come. Just have a look at their website: if it’s green, it means they are in, if it’s red, it means they are out. This is not amateur hour, though: one of the designers is the former owner of the late CupUp, one of the most popular cafes at the time. Just knock and get a seat. You will get a cup of great coffee, and perhaps the experience of your Prague trip.
Is any of these cafes in the area where you are? Look at the map to find out!