breakfast

Best Breakfast in Prague

Best Breakfast in Prague

We don’t know about you, but we think breakfast can make or break a day, especially when you’re on vacation. We looove us some breakfast, and we wrote about breakfast in Prague extensively before. If there is a better way to start the day in Prague than just relax, let it all hang out, have a scrumptuous breakfast (booze optional but recommended) and prepare for what the day has to offer, we’d like to know. (Well sure, our Prague food tours are obviously the best way to start the day, but that’s just a shameless plug. Sorry, you gotta do whatcha gotta do.)

Before we get to specific recommendations and tips, a few things you should know about breakfast in Prague in general. First, if you’re planning to eat breakfast at a popular venue, make sure you have a reservation. We’re not saying Prague is the Portland of Central Europe, but the fact is that the lines can get crazy long. Want proof? Just have a look at the cold, blank stares of the people who have waited in vain for two hours to get a table at Café Savoy on a Sunday morning. 

Second, don’t expect to be wowed by creativity when it comes to breakfast in Prague. Sure, things have been getting better but cutting edge breakfast and playful dishes are strill rare and far apart. What you should expect instead is lots of eggs and comfort cooking, which is fantastic in the winter, or as a hangover cure. In the summer, things have been getting better on the “healthy lifestyle” front, with more options if you actually like quinoa and cold-fermented porridge. Also, brunch cocktails are still in their infancy here in Prague, but that should not deter you from ordering booze for brunch. Hey, you’re on vacation and you deserve it.

Finally, coffee in Prague is seriously and surprisingly good, and while not every place that serves great breakfast serves great coffee, and vice versa, the overlap of the two has been growing steadily in the past few years. Therefore, if you think breakfast is incomplete without a cup of great coffee (and we totally feel you), Prague will treat you well. 

Below are our favorite breakfast spots in Prague.


Best breakfast in Prague (2014)

(Please note that this is an older post on breakfast in Prague. Click here for the most up-to-date post on the best breakfast in Prague.) 

OK, so we ate lots of breakfast this week. You see, there is no better way to start a day than a good, possibly opulent breakfast. Picture this: we are writing this post from the courtyard of an unnamed hotel in Prague, having breakfast. All around us we see foreign couples and families having breakfast in the sun, looking in their guides and planning the day. Breakfast is important but it is twice as important when you travel: a good breakfast set the tone for the entire day, if not your stay. We speak from experience: breakfast spots are one of the first things we look for when we research a city, and then plan our day over breakfast. 

Truth be told, the Prague breakfast scene is still in its beginnings and not all the breakfast served in Prague deserve an unconditional recommendation. But there are places we like to visit when we feel like a good breakfast. Here’s a list of our favorite breakfast spots in Prague, again in an entirely random order:

CAFÉ SAVOY

“Restraint” is not a word you would associate with breakfast at Café Savoy. The art deco interior is nice but not overwhelming and there's lots of light inside, which is something we like. This is a great place for people watching: the crowd is a mix of elegantly dressed locals and visitors from abroad. You can have a look at the pastry shop/bakery where they prepare their delicious pastries downstairs. Book a table in advance (especially for weekend mornings) and have the French toast if you feel like sinning, one of the best croissants in the city with wonderful apricot marmalade, baked brioche bread with ham and Gruyere cheese and a poached egg, or scrambled eggs - all delicious! Jan swears by the "Savoy breakfast”: some breads, ham, cheese, soft-boiled egg, bundt cake and great (and not sweet) hot chocolate - all for very reasonable CZK 200. We are not huge fans of their coffee: they take coffee from Doubleshot roasters but their baristas are super busy and don’t have the time to pamper the beans, but we hope this will improve over time.

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CAFÉ LOUNGE

If coffee is an important part of your breakfast, then Café Lounge, just a few steps off Café Savoy, might tickle your fancy. As for breakfast, you can choose from several items that include sausages, scrambled eggs, ham-and-eggs, Bircher muesli, or you can build your own “Hunger Wall” (which actually runs through the patio of the café), i.e. you can create your own breakfast set. If you prefer a sweet breakfast, we recommend you opt for the Czech sweets - sweet buns or kolachees. We think they are superior to the pastries in the cooler. Fresh juices and a wide selection of teas are also available for the non-coffee drinkers. If the weather cooperates, definitely choose a table in their lovely courtyard in the back.

HOME KITCHEN

The “original” Home Kitchen is a small and intimate place that really feels like home: you sit at two communal tables, and the staff is friendly and helpful. The selection for breakfast is small but tasty and of high quality. Apart from eggs, you can also get pancakes and good bread with several toppings, or choose from a daily selection of three soups served with bread and flavored olive oil. The “new” Home Kitchen was recently previewed on this blog here. The new venue is much larger but the menu remains nearly the same. Great egg dishes and sweet breakfasts, too, with lighter meals and salads throughout the rest of the day. Both venues open really early (7:30 on weekdays and 8:00 on weekends) and the original one closes on Sundays. The only downside is that tap water is not served with your meal, but we still like Home Kitchen a lot.

MUJ SALEK KÁVY

Muj salek kavy is the flagship cafe of the Doubleshot roasters and it shows: espressos, cappuccinos, flat whites, drips, vacuum pots, cold brews - they have them all and they’re all good. Muj salek kavy is also a very popular place located in the Karlín district, now in the midst of a gentrification process after the 2002 floods, and is almost always packed, so reserving a table is a must especially for weekend breakfasts. And they are expanding: their barista centre just next door will open to the public in September and their new bakery creates good cakes and breads, including gluten-free options, which is still rare here in Prague. We both have favorites on their recently changed breakfast menu: while Zuzi likes their home-made muesli with Greek yoghurt and fruits, Jan always orders their version of eggs Benedict. We love their home-made lemonades, and we never leave without tasting one of their cakes. And we absolutely adore their non-smoking outdoor seating area in the summer. 

PASTA CAFFÉ

Pasta Caffé has two branches: the one at the Vezenska street (in the Spanish synagogue building) attracts an eclectic mix of shady Czech businessmen and B-list celebrities, so it makes for an interesting people-watching session, and the location is fantastic. The second branch at Vodickova st near the Wenceslas sq is more for the regular folk. Both offer a nearly identical menu: they have recently revamped their breakfast offerings and their breakfast sets are a terrific value and consist of good-quality components. We love the soft-boiled eggs with Parmeggiano cheese or fried eggs with spinach and their granola with fresh fruits, for instance. Later in the day, they focus on lighter, pasta-based dishes and salads. They also offer a nice selection of Czech and Italian pastries if you cannot imagine your breakfast without a sweet ending.

LA BOTTEGA DI FINESTRA

This shop/bistro is a bit upscale, just like the sister restaurant next door, but their eggs Benedict are worth a visit alone. The few breakfast dishes they serve are all of very good quality, and they make full use of their own in-house bakery. The shop/bistro combo plays very well to the customer's advantage: all the ingredients are fresh and tasty. And you really can’t beat the location: both the Old Town Square and the Charles Bridge are just a few blocks away.

CAFÉ JEN

Dominka and Hanka, the Brno college friends who own Café Jen, love breakfast and are not afraid to serve it the whole day. On top of that, they offer really nice weekend breakfast specials that lure in people from the entire city. It is not just about the food: the small café (with outdoor seating in the summer) located in the Vrsovice district near the Grebovka vineyard and the hipster heaven that is the Krymska street has a welcoming, friendly atmosphere that is easy to fall in love with. If you want to have breakfast with the locals only, this is the place for you. 

LA GASTRONOMICA

This recently opened bistro that belongs to the small Prague empire of the restauranteur Riccardo Lucque (which also includes La Bottega di Finestra) has nearly everything we like in a breakfast place: modern design by the Edit! studio, high-quality a la carte breakfast dishes (incl. eggs Benedict, pancakes or fruit salads with mascarpone that are anything but healthy), charcuterie, cheeses and breads to choose from, a large variety of pastries, skilled barista (although working with what we think is a slightly inferior product) and a view of the TV Tower, enjoyed especially if you sit at the outside tables. What more would you want? Wines? Yes, they have them, too.

HOTEL JOSEF

Hotel breakfast? Yuck! Not at Hotel Josef, though. With their in-house bakery that offers a selection of nice breads and steaming hot croissants, a-la-carte egg dishes, self-service juicers and a wide selection of cheeses and charcuterie, we think their breakfast is actually a pretty sweet deal, although it may be a bit on the expensive side at CZK 500 per person. But they also have a really nice courtyard in the summer (with very weak wifi, though) and you can’t beat the location in our eyes. The downside: the eating-with-locals atmosphere is simply not there.

SaSaZu

While everybody knows SaSaZu as one of the best Asian-fusion restaurants for lunch and dinner, we always recommend their Sunday family brunch, especially if you are visiting Prague as a family. The concept is simple: you come between noon and 4pm, and in addition to the excellent Asian food, there’s an army of nannies and lots of X-Box consoles ready for the kids. The small ones can also prepare crepes and other dishes for their parents. And what about the adults? They can get a back rub from the Thai masseuse present in the restaurant. Combine this with a visit to the Dox Centre for Contemporary Arts and perhaps the ZOO and you have a family day to remember.   


24 Hours: See the best of the city in just one day

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In just one day, you'll get a mere glimpse of Prague, but beware: it will surely whet your appetite for more, and you may have to extend your stay in the end!

Historic building around every corner, spires in almost every view – sightseeing in central Prague can feel overwhelming at first. But Prague is a wonderful city to stroll around (if you don't mind the cobblestones). Take time to wander down its narrow streets, savour every mouthful of delicious food and every sip of great beer, but - most importantly - resist the temptation to follow the crowds of tourists and sightseers. Our advice to anyone who finds him or herself with 24 hours to spare in the Czech capital is to stop, breathe, appreciate, indulge and maybe try some of these ideas.

Start the day with the Prague Castle, the most noticeable and impressive of Prague's landmarks. Come early in the morning and enjoy the place's history without hurry. Take a leisurely wander around Hradčany (If you're facing the castle gates, go to the left, follow the gardens and castle walls and then pass the square until you get to some smaller streets. Wander around, be sure to visit Nový Svět, don't miss the tiny pink house at the end of that street) and look up for impressive architecture without fear of bumping into other tourists. Secreted in a valley that used to be the northern moat of the Prague Castle is a pedestrian tunnel linking deer gardens on either side of the Powder Bridge. This simple 2002 creation by architect Josef Pleskot of AP Atelier is off the beaten track and all the better for it. Halfway through the tunnel is a niche with the remains of the preserved foundations of the original Renaissance bridge on display. Move up the moat's slope to the plateau, where you find Eva Jiřičná's first building in Prague, the Orangery in the Royal Garden.

Walk down the Petřín Park, former vineyards, a beautiful collection of lawns, orchards and pavilions, and treat yourself to breakfast at Café Savoy. Sit at a window table overlooking the leafy square outside and order one of several all-day breakfasts (we recommend Savoy Breakfast with a juicy portion of Prague ham served with horseradish and grain mustard. Tip: Book a table in advance and save place for dessert).

After the breakfast, take the 12 tram for a trip past the sites of Malá Strana and on towards the Holešovice district and the DOX centre for contemporary art, which has the potential to kick-start the gentrification of the northern part of Holešovice. David Černý's famous Entropa sculpture was shown here in early 2010, with further edgy shows soon following in its footsteps. Unless you had a coffee at the centre's roomy terrace, visit arguably the best coffee house in Prague, Muj šálek kávy (which translates as "My cup of coffee" in English) and enjoy every sip of a perfectly prepared cappuccino.

With your caffeine addiction well fed, climb up the steep Vítkov Hill and enjoy an exquisite view of Prague. Even though the austere National Memorial looks like it was build by the Soviets, it was actually completed before the Communist era. Now run by the Czech National Museum, it boasts impressive interiors, and hosts a permanent exhibition on 20th century Czechoslovak history - a great way to learn about Czechoslovak history and the life in Czechoslovakia in the past century.

Now take the subway and after just ten minutes (take the C line to the “Vyšehrad” station), you'll find the best kept secret in Prague – Vyšehrad. Situated on a rocky outcrop just south of the centre, Vyšehrad (which means “castle on the heights”) offers a stunning view looking back over the city and Prague’s ‘main’ castle. The Vyšehrad Park is a perfect spot for a picnic or a romantic walk on the winding path that offer sweeping views. The area also houses the splendid Vyšehrad cemetery where many famous figures of Czech and European culture and science were laid to rest: look for a map directory of the famous names at the entrance.

Now it's time for a traditional Czech dinner! Depending on your budget, head over to either La Degustation Boheme BourgeoiseČestr or Lokál. Eating at the former is a memorable experience, and with such impressive food and wine pairings, the real surprise is that the restaurant is yet to receive a Michelin star (we blame the biased Michelin commissioners). Tip: have a piece of smoked beef tongue with chickpea puree and pickled shallots and bear in mind that the LDBB has no a la carte menu and that each of the seven courses of the Bohemian tasting menu is preceded by its own amuse-bouche, so reserve at least three hours for a meal.

We love Cestr – this Czech Steak House reminds us so much of our childhood. Inside, the restaurant feels like a butcher's shop: clean, bright and metallic; a place you know uses only top-quality meat. Beyond the atmosphere, Cestr truly triumphs on the plate – real Czech recipes, composed of Czech ingredients and prepared by Czech chefs. Pick up your piece of meat from the menu printed on paper, folded around a cardboard "map" of cuts from a cow. Tip: splendid beef tartar, superb steaks, rich gravy, homemade fries, Valhrona chocolate cake with homemade peanut ice cream, tank beer and poppy seed buns in vanilla crème.

Lokál brings the traditional beer hall concept bang up to date. The interior features wooden wall panels decorated by graffitis and a glass bar counter housing stainless-steel barrels and cooling pipes. Do not expect fine dining, but rather “like mum used to make” food, lots of locals, low prices and great beer. Enjoy either fast and high-quality meals such as pickled cheese, headcheese or sausage made by the Dolejsi family of butchers from Davle, or bigger, regular meals like Beef Tenderloin with Cranberries; Pork, Dumplings, and Cabbage; or Roast Duck with Red Cabbage. Tip: Waiters will keep bringing you extra beer if you finish your first glass, so make sure you say "no" before it's too late.

In the evening, take a twilight cruise of the Charles Bridge. The crowds along this biggest tourist attraction begin to thin out as the sun sets. The shadows fall and the statues become silhouetted by the remaining light. It’s a magical place to be at this time of day. Make sure that you spend some time on Kampa Island, which is just off of Charles Bridge. Walk through the park and enjoy the view of the bridge and across the river.

And finally, there's no better place to end the night than in one of Prague's bars. Go to the Hemingway Bar and try Absinthe with cold water dripped over a sugar cube into the drink (that makes it significantly more palatable) or head to a small, very pleasant Vinograf Wine Bar and discover wonderful Czech wines.

Have a wonderful stay whatever you are up to and remember: stop, breathe, appreciate and indulge.

What are your tips for getting the most out of the city?