Yes, the days are getting longer and the temperatures are getting higher, which can only mean two things: the spring is officially here, and we can finally enjoy food and drinks outside! We love to sit outside if the restaurant and/or cafe allows it: you can get a tan (and after the long winter, we need some, seriously), eat some nice food or enjoy some drinks, and just carelessly watch the people walking by, which is probably our favorite past-time activity. It’s like watching theatre, so don’t judge us, okay? Also, there’s nothing like reading a book with shades and sipping a nice drink to go with it. Honestly. We’ve tried it and it’s great.
In the upcoming weeks, we will bring you one or two posts about our favorite places in Prague to eat and drink outside so that you can enjoy them during the relatively short summer season here in Prague. We start with our favorite cafes with outdoor seating areas.
Muj salek kavy
There’s nothing like sitting under leafy trees on a lazy Sunday in the Karlin district, drinking great coffee and enjoying a late breakfast. While we may have some small reservations when it comes to the food and the pastries, there’s no denying Muj salek kavy’s outdoor seating on the street has a lot going for it: the coffee is one of the best in the city, smoking is not allowed, the wifi signal is strong and the staff are a joy to chat with. Clearly one of our absolute favorites in town.
Cafe Lounge has one cool backyard seating right along the remnants of the Medieval Hunger Wall (which has inspired the name of the place, anyway). It is also the only place on this list with a proper kitchen, and since the arrival or Chez Lucie, we also look forward to having their cakes and pastries with the coffee. Sadly, the coffee is not always up to the standards they set up in the past but we are sure they will deal with this in no time. It is our favorite place for coffee on the Castle side of the town, and whether you sit in the shady backyard or the sunny (two) benches in the front, Cafe Lounge is a joy to visit.
This little cafe underneath the Vysehrad fortress is clearly a student hangout and the priorities are obvious: good coffee and some quick snacks at a reasonable price. Still, the coffee is good (we're not particularly crazy about the snacks). The standout feature (next to the cool tiled floor) is the garden in the backyard: a quiet and charming place that pairs well with a cup of early morning coffee. We wish the staff would smile a bit more. (They’re not rude or anything. Just smiling more would be nice. They've promised us they will.)
Alchymista’s garden in the backyard is arguably the most beautiful place to enjoy good coffee in town. We would have absolutely adored this place in high school: old decor, a live parrot in a cage, and a sense that the time inside has stopped a long time ago. The garden is lush and green, a zen-like oasis very near the Sparta stadium, one of the loudest places around when the match is on. Their cheesecake was seriously good, and the macchiato is decent (although we prefer lighter roasts). We could easily see ourselves spending the whole day in the garden over a book or a laptop.
Sure, the interiors of Coffee House (that’s how this retail cafe of the Coffee Source roasters and coffee distributors is called) are somewhat cold but the backyard garden makes up for it. Getting some great coffee in the shade of the pergola or on a bench near the back wall is nearly a zen exercise. And the location in the Vrsovice district just off the Krymska street, recently featured by the NY Times, does not hurt either.
Styl & Interier
Let’s be honest here: Styl & Interier will never be our favorite for various reasons, from the cutie-pie “romantic” decor to the “dry” (read “sweet") wines served by glass. That said, we totally get why other people may love it. A large garden just meters off the Wenceslas Square, one of the busiest places in Prague, that offers calm and shade and decent coffee, and the smell of freshly baked cheesecakes and quiches simply lures you in. The garden also accommodates larger groups, and we can understand why many visitors may spend half a day in, resting under the leafy trees.
It is hard not to love Cafe Jen for Domca and Hanka, two friends and owners, who have built Cafe Jen as a place that would serve breakfast, the meal they love the most, the entire day. The love and care that shows inside the place and that will make you forget about the little imperfections also extends to their outdoor seating open in the summer months. The place is tiny but has a big heart. We always recommend visiting the Grebovka vineyard before or afterwards.
Monolok’s outdoor seating is really a small tiled patio in the backyard that fits four small tables at best, but it is a great place for getting some good coffee made by the cafe's killed baristas. Getting wifi signal in the back can get tricky, though. We have a love-to-hate relationship with Monolok: while we do respect the coffee, we do sometimes have a problem with their customer care and level of service. And the food could be slightly better, too. But hey, you know us. We love to complain.
It took us some time to fully warm up to Coffee Room, but the hard-working and passionate owners have won our hearts over time. Their passion for coffee, service and - randomly - London can be seen in everything they do, and their drive to improve this little cafe in the Vinohrady district is palpable. Their latest improvement? A small outside seating area on the street that really fits three tables only. We have to applaud Coffee Room for providing some really good material available for reading with the coffee, with some fancy magazines on the shelves.
If your idea of fun is having coffee while watching vegetables and herbs grow (and honestly, who doesn’t like that?), make sure you visit this lovely designer bistro in the Letna district. Kido serves vegetarian dishes made in house a la carte or as part of their lunch specials, good ice-creams by 2AD, and nice cakes. The decor of the place is the highlight, and the strong visuals extend to the backyard garden. We can see ourselves sitting down in the garden and just getting a scoop or two. We deserve it, and you do too.
EMA ESPRESSO BAR
Alright, alright. Our favorite cafe in Prague does not have a proper seating outside but hey - leaving it out of the list would be like booing at your child’s piano recital, right? Yes, the benches along the entire length of front windows sit about six (or eight, if they like each other), but it gives you the opportunity to get some tan while drinking what we think is the best coffee in town. And we think that’s enough.
Truth be told, Tricafe’s entire outdoor seating area comprises one (read “one”) bench outside but if you’re with the right person, that’s all the place you need. We’ve always loved Tricafe as a place to meet friends or get some work done just a few steps off the madness that is the Charles Bridge, and their bench outside is one of the nicest places to enjoy coffee in the centre. Also, their ginger soda made in-house packs some serious punch.