In a city that has such a love affair with beer, sometimes it’s easy to forget about the cocktail.
From a traditional Old Fashioned to the latest molecular mixology concoction, Prague has some amazing choices when you’re ready to hit the hard stuff. And best of all, while a nice cocktail can cost upwards of 20€ in New York or London, a majority of drinks found in Prague establishments don’t exceed 200czk.
Here’s thirteen of our favourite watering holes, chosen not just for their spirited libations, but also their atmosphere and charm. But before you dive in, it’s worth noting that these bars get extremely busy (especially on weekends), so calling ahead and making a reservation is almost a must. Enough of the small talk, get out there and enjoy!
V kolkovne 3, Praha 1 | +420 224 811 165 | www.tretters.cz
The Tretter family has been in the bar business for over 90 years. So, no wonder it feels like you’re walking into a 1930’s Paris or New York cocktail bar from the moment you walk through the door. With soft lighting, classic decor and bartenders dressed the part in vintage cocktail jackets, the bar has become an institution. The drinks are incredible – custom cocktails and meticulously made classics, some with a new twist. Tretter’s gets absolutely packed, sometimes out of nowhere. The trick is a reservation, so you’ll want to call ahead.
Krakovská 15, Praha 1 | +420 777 200 015 | www.parlour.cz
Maybe Parlour doesn’t want to be found- and that’s great with us. The tiny little bar at the top of Wenceslas Square near National Museum has a delightful speakeasy vibe to it, although it’s fastly becoming a popular secret. If you should luck out and find the nearly unmarked entry, inside you’ll find an intimate, dimly lit bar with old jazz and R&B records playing and amazing craft cocktails served in antique glassware. When it comes to choices, the good news is you don’t have to worry about finding a menu in English, because there is no menu. Your bartender will ask you what you like and offer suggestions based on your input. The results are never less than spectacular.
V Kolkovně 920/5, 1, Praha | +420 734 255 665 | www.lfleur.cz
L’Fleur is just a few doors down from Tretter’s. Even before our first drink, we fell in love with 1920’s era feel of the interior, complete with a Mucha-inspired stained glass window towards the back of the bar. The bar has a nice buzz to it on the inside, and for a while we almost forgot what year it was. There’s a lot of choices on the drink menu, and the signature drinks all come with their own history and story, which your bartender is always happy to explain. The drinks are amazing and original – ther’es simply no other way to desrcibe them.If you’re feeling a bit more bubbly, try a selection from L’Fleur’s vast and expansive Champagne list.
Michalská 432/12, Praha 1 | +420 608 280 069 | www.anonymousbar.cz
It’s nearly impossible to go into the AnonymouS Bar and not smile. The bar is clever at every turn. You can tell the bartender what you like and they’ll make suggestions, or choose from the various drink menus as creative as the drinks themselves. Patrons are given a secret menu printed in UV ink, along with a small blacklight, or you can view the latest specialties on a ViewMaster, which was brought to our table. Reservations are taken only until 9pm.
Uhelný trh 414/9, Praha 1 | +420 224 267 266 | www.levalmont.cz
Le Valmont is a newcomer, only having opened in Spring, 2016. The cocktail lounge is connected to a dance club, making it versital for a night out. The Michael Van Cleef Ault concept was inspired by the Miles Forman movie by the same name, it’s decorated in 18th century French fashion with abusson floor carpets, antique sofas, and massive crystal chandelliers by Preciosa.
There is a strict dress code at Le Valmont; no hats, hoodies, shorts, tank tops or sandles. Reservations are all but required- the 100 capacity lounge fills up fairly quickly.
Staroměstské nám. 29, Praha 1 | +420 224 213 807 | www.blackangels.cz
Nestled in a cozy cellar just across from the Astronomical clock, Black Angel’s will put you in sensory overload. Visually amazing with high cellar ceilings, chandaliers, and ornate decor, it’s a lot to take in. The drinks are amazing The only downside to Black Angels is the influx of tourists which can pack the place, especially groups.
Bar & Books
Manesova 64, Praha 2 | +420 222 724 581
Týnská 19, Praha 1 | +420 224 815 122
Bar & Books is the first overseas extension of the famous New York family of bars, with two locations in Prague (the more casual in Manisova and slightly more formal in Týnská).
Like it’s New York counterpart, the bar envokes the feeling of a gentleman’s libary. Dim lighting, heavy woods, ornately framed paintings, and of course books (mostly for visual aesthetics).
The cocktails here are serious business and they offer a wide selection to match what you’re craving. However, if you’re looking for a nice Cuban to go with your perfectly made cocktail, this is the place to be.
Bartolomějská 305, Praha 1 | +420 775 331 862
Bonvivant’s CTC isn’t huge, but it’s cozy and has a cool 1950’s feel with midcentury wood furnishings, pressed tin ceiling and checkered floor. When it comes to ordering, forget the menu. Just talk to your bartender. They’re a virtual encyclopedia of drink possibilities and suggestions based on your taste. Incidentally, the “CTC” actually stands for cocktail tapas café, and it hits the mark on each one, serving some pretty damn tasty tapes dishes and coffee as well.
Pařížská 1068/10 – Praha 1 | +420 224 810 287 | www.bugsysbar.cz
Bugsy’s is another bar with a great history, popping up in 1992 just after the Velvet Revolution. They’ve seen a lot of changes over the years, but the constant has been their attention to details and passion for good cocktails. Bugsy’s also loves their bubbly, and boasts over 130 brands in stock, as well as over 90 Single Malt Whiskeys and 100 rums. The interior is stylish and upscale, modern and dark.
It’s also a cigar-friendly cocktail lounge, with a great selection of cigars in the walk-in humidor near the entry. If you’re a non-smoker, don’t worry – they’ve clearly invested in great extraction fans, so you’ll be fine.
Karolíny Světlé 26, Praha 1 | +420 773 974 764 | www.hemingwaybar.cz
Chances are, if you’ve asked someone, they’ve already recommended Hemingway’s Bar. The Old Town hotspot just made the “World’s Top 50 Bars” for the third time, and with good reason. Imaginative drinks (like cocktails served from tiny gasoline canisters and perfume bottles) and personal friendly service are two of the benchmarks that make Hemingway’s amazing. The bar’s philosophy is every bottom must have a chair, so you don’t experience that overcrowded feeling. Because of their popularity, Hemingway’s is almost always busy, so we would recommend a reservation or you’ll find yourself waiting outside.
Cash Only Bar
Liliova 3, Prague 1 | +420 778 087 117 (no reservations) | www.cashonlybar.cz
Just around the corner from it’s older sibling The Hemingway Bar, this little gem is making it’s own name with cocktails like The One Dollar Baby, Kentucky Smash, and Pin-Up Martini (pictured below and made with passion fruit, vanilla and champagne). It’s an intimate bar, and they don’t take reservations. There’s also no smoking and you guessed it – they don’t take credit cards. Oh, and by the way, they do serve amazing hot dogs.
Žižkov Television Tower , Praha 3 | + 420 210 320 086 | www.oblaca.cz
Better cocktails through science.
That’s the philosophy of Oblaca’s Aleš J. Števlík, genius mixologist gone mad scientist (maybe that explains the drink served in a test tube).
Števlík deploys Molecular Mixology in his cocktail designs, exploring the physical and chemical transformations of ingredients that occur when making a cocktail. When we met with Števlík, we couldn’t believe how passionate for his craft he is, detailing his quest for unique and exciting combinations of natural tastes, and how the palette reacts. And what better laboratory for Števlík to create his un-conventional concoctions that high above Prague in one of the most unconventional buildings in Europe – Žižkov Television Tower. The Oblaca bar showcases a panaoramic view of Prague with a modern, almost futuristic like interior. If Žižkov Television Tower is on your list of things to see, make Oblaca your destination there instead of the observation deck. You’ll thank us later.