36 Hours Prague: Sips

By: Kelly Quinn

Travel: the journey from one destination to another; the experience of a new atmosphere. There is something about traveling that opens eyes, connects languages, unites nationalities and expands knowledge. Prague is miles and miles of pure history, beauty and culture. It is a place where the wine and beer really are cheaper than the water, so it’s no surprise the Czech country and Prague people embrace a drinking lifestyle. The Czech Republic consumes more beer per capita than any other country in the world. Beating out Germany, Ireland and Belgium, the country drinks on average about 161 liters of beer per person each year, according to figures from The Economist. And thanks to Charles IV, wine and vineyards are abundant, highly renowned and still growing today!

Take your visit here one sip at a time with these popular local spots and off the tourist track treasures. If you came viewing your cup as half empty, you’ll be leaving knowing, and believing, it is truly half full. 

8:00 AM : Café Savoy                        

Vítězná 5 150 00 Prague 5 – Malá Strana

The Café Savoy restaurant and coffee bar evokes the atmosphere of the cafés of the First Czechoslovakian Republic. Its remarkable interior is dominated by a Neo-Renaissance ceiling dating back to 1893. Café Savoy is a popular meeting place for those residing within the Prague 1 district. The restaurant is well-known for its substantial breakfasts and gourmet menu dishes – including Czech snails or veal sweetbread. Classical Czech breakfast typically consists of white bread rolls or sliced bread, although wholegrain breads have become popular recently. The bread is mostly served with pork, chicken, ham or other smoked meat products such as salami or sausage. Other options include cheese, eggs or jam. The Czechs also like to eat sweet treats for breakfast, which Café Savoy happily provides. The restaurant’s own bakery offers fresh confectionery and bakery products on a daily basis. Be sure to make a reservation beforehand! This hot spot is typically filled until late afternoon.

What to sip: Savoy Cafe-au-lait, 85 CZK as one item, but is included with the French Breakfast. The Czechs mostly drink tea with lemon, filtered coffee, hot chocolate or fruit juice with breakfast, and Café Savoy includes coffee or tea plus a juice of choice within the price of your meal!

Pair it with: French Breakfast, 385 CZK. (a little bit of a splurge but well worth it)

What to sip: Savoy Cafe-au-lait, 85 CZK as one item, but is included with the French Breakfast. The Czechs mostly drink tea with lemon, filtered coffee, hot chocolate or fruit juice with breakfast, and Café Savoy includes coffee or tea plus a juice of choice within the price of your meal!

Pair it with: French Breakfast, 385 CZK. (a little bit of a splurge but well worth it)

12:00PM : Café Kafka

Široká 64/12, 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město

Located in the center of Old Town right next to St. Nicholas church, this café contains historical value and quite the sips variety. Named after the literature icon, Franz Kafka, Café Kafka is the actual building Kafka was born in. With both outdoor and indoor seating, you can’t go wrong with what this venue has to offer. After an adventure and tour around Old Town or the Castle District, you’ll find this café located in a central part of the area for an easy and affordable lunch.

What to sip: Rosé, 115 CZK

Pair it with: Penne Al Abbacciato, 120 CZK

3:30 PM: Café Letka

Letohradská 557/44, 170 00 Praha 7

This café is away from the tourist track and somewhat tucked away in an unusual spot. If you’re one who loves a rustic, unknown getaway, this is the spot for you! Café Letka offers a variety of espresso, coffee, wines and spirits, but that’s not the only great thing about it. Not only are there great priced drinks and sips, but there is free water AND free wifi! Free water in Prague? You heard me. Usually the wine and beer are cheaper than water, but at Café Letka, there’s a whole vase full of water waiting on every table–no charge. This is the perfect location to rejuvenate, post some pictures and prepare for your next stop!

What to sip: Latte, 65 CZK

7:00PM : Villa Richter

Staré zámecké schody 6/251 118 00, Praha 1 Pražský hrad

Food with a view? Check. Wine with a view? Check. A perfect destination to end your first day in the city. Save your money for this gem because it is worth the splurge! You’re not only paying for great food and drinks, but for great service, environment and views. Villa Richter not only offers a supreme dining experience, but also a long-cherished vineyard. In the central part of the complex and on the southern slope between the support wall of the Old Castle Stairs and the upper scenic-overlook path lies the renovated St. Wenceslas’ Vineyard, early beginnings of which reach back to the 10th century A.D. According to the legend, this is one of the oldest vineyards in Bohemia, where the “Lord’s vineyard” was cared for by Wenceslas’ (St.), the patron of the Bohemian Lands himself. Villa Richter has a menu full of standard Czech cuisine, including Schnitzel, which is a common and highly demanded Czech specialty. Schnitzel is a meat dish that is a very thin boneless cut of veal, pork, beef or chicken that is either breaded and deep-fried or pan fried with or without a breading. The basis of most meals for the Czech Republic is usually meatpork, beef, poultry, game, venison or freshwater fish. Czech meat is prepared in various ways, either fried, stewed or roasted, and it is always served with a side dish such as potatoes, rice, traditional bread or potato dumplings. Villa Richter’s Schnitzel comes with a side of potato salad and a lemon half for flavor.

What to sip: Prosseco, 690 CZK per bottle
Pair it with: Schnitzel, 375 CZK

10:00 PM : Ice Pub Prague

200 1, Novotného lávka 200/5, 110 00 Praha

The place where all you can see or feel – walls, bar, tables, sculptures and even your own personal glass – is made of ICE. In this unique set up, the temperature is kept at minus 7 degrees all year round. It is situated in the largest music club in central Europe – Karlovy Lazne Five Story Club. This means that if you would like to visit Ice Pub Prague during the evenings, you can also experience the fantastic atmosphere of the most visited music club in the Czech republic. You can enjoy delicious vodka cocktails – ice sweet, ice sour, ice bitter – or you can have Extra Cold Beer by Heineken. You will be given a thermal jacket and gloves to keep you warm during your visit. The cold never bothered you anyway, right? As far as your quick sip (or should I say shot), this is your time to get on the Absinthe train. Czech-style absinthes, typically a shade of green, are macerated rather than distilled, making them essentially wormwood bitters. They’re also often spiked with peppermint or cannabis flavoring.

What to sip: Absinthe, 250 CZK. Be bold.

Day Two

​​10:30 AM : Cathedral Café, Tynska 11, Praha 1

Located in the old gothic house right outside of the Prague center, this café is abundant in decor and architecture. Its architecture combines the new with the old. As you walk in, chandeliers and glass fill the hallway, but continue further down and the rustic qualities will slowly appear. You will be fascinated with the stylish and romantic style with many original details, including handmade artwork that hangs from lamps and walls and poetic lyrics that are placed above every seat in the café. Outside, there is a magical garden that contains flowers, tables made from the storage barrels of WWII, and lamps made from original French glass carboys. Cathedral Café is the perfect place for romantic dates, business meetings, family parties, official or non-official social meetings, coffee or cocktails with a friend, lunch or just to have a little bit of rest. This place not only has the food and drinks, but also a serene and aesthetically pleasing environment. It is a quiet getaway from the hectic tourist track.

What to sip: Mojito Cathedral, 129 CZK

1:30 PM : Café Mozart

Staroměstské nám. 22, 110 00 Praha 1

Café Mozart is located on the first floor and offers a unique atmosphere because of both its unparalleled view of the Astronomical Clock and its exhibition of Meissen porcelain, which was developed in 1708 as the first European hard-paste porcelain. Café Mozart is divided into two parts. With a total capacity of around 80y seats, this cafe is larger than others and can seat most walk-up customers. Here you will find an excellent breakfast, coffee or chocolate. Ice cream or a sundae, homemade cakes, pastries and other specialties are also offered. Make sure you’re here on the hour. The Astronomical Clock rings and performs its legendary “show” at the start of every hour, and at this cafe, you’ll have a seat with a view.

What to sip: Mocha, 160 CZK

5:00 PM : The Tavern

Chopinova 1521/26, 120 00 Praha 2-Vinohrady

This restaurant brings the American feel to the Czech Republic. Located about four metro stops outside of the Old Town area, this pub offers burgers in addition to traditional Czech cuisine. With an assortment of specialty burgers and a signature item called “disco fries,” The Tavern brings the American burger standard to shame. If there’s one thing Czech’s know, it is their meat and cheese. The Tavern is very accommodating for large groups and also contains its own bar. Stay a while and try a variety of beverages ranging from cocktails to beer. The Tavern’s Raspberry Bramble is one of a kind. In this cocktail, the restaurant combines their homemade Raspberry Lemonade with gin, rum, mint and soda. If you’re not the sweet drink person, beer is always a good go-to. Brewing has been a traditional activity in the Czech Republic for centuries. The Pilsner Urquell has been brewed for more than 170 years and is credited as the most produced style of beer in the Czech Republic.

What to sip: Raspberry Bramble, 110 CZK and Pilsner, 39 CZK

No matter the restaurant or café, plenty of options of coffee and alcohol will certainly be available to you. There are more than 60 breweries in this country, and the Czech Republic has the highest per-person of beer in the world and has held this title for the past 18 years. Traditional Czech cuisine is distinguished by a large variety of dishes, and an impressive array of flavors.  It also features the wide use of lean and fat-streaked pork, along with a rich choice of meals and side dishes. But what is food without its liquid fellow? Bars and cafés are continuing to grow and open new locations throughout the Prague area. You can find the Czech-preferred filtered coffee, European influenced liquors and freshly squeezed juices anywhere and everywhere. A drink a day is the Czech-culture way.