Central Prague is awash with pubs and restaurants; many of them tourist traps that no longer maintain a decent level of service, quality, or appropriate prices. I recommend the following places, all of which I’ve visited on my various trips to Prague, and offer a range of different atmospheres to suit most people. Unfortunately they do get quite busy, thus it’s advisable to make a reservation where possible (some do online reservations). Once of the most frustrating aspects of drinking in Czech is that smoking is still very common and tolerated, although the majority of places have separate sections for smoking and non-smoking (not that it always helps). The following places can all be found on the following the map.
U zlatého tygra – this old style Czech beer hall has a very limited food and drink menu. They serve excellent Pilsner Urquell for 40 Kč (0.4 litre) and were one of the first pubs to sell beer cheese, which is a combination that I highly recommend. Unfortunately it’s a smokey atmosphere and is only open from 3 pm to 11 pm, but worth a visit if you want to experience one of the more traditional pubs. It’s not the biggest place so you’ll need to reserve a table unless you’re in a small group of two or three people.
Restaurace U Medvídků – another old style beer hall with a simplistic menu, serving light and dark Budvar for a mere 39 Kč. There are various rooms with separate smoking and non-smoking sections, and a smaller bar next door which stays open later than the main restaurant. Excellent place to go if you’re in a larger group.
U Fleků – I deliberated on whether to include this one or not. Whilst it’s the oldest brewery in Prague and serves the best dark lager that I’ve ever tried, it’s also a little bit of a tourist trap. A beer will set you back 59 Kč for a 0.4 litre, and a waiter circulates the room with a tray of Slivovice and Becherovka shots which are reasonably pricey. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in a bit of beer history and like dark lager (it’s the only beer option available and you can’t find it anywhere else). An interesting piece of trivia is that in 1911, a group of Croatian students, having attended the Prague derby, formed HNK Hajduk Split.
Lokál Dlouhá – the final beer hall I’ll list here, although it has a modern and industrial style, serving both Pilsner Urquell light and Kozel dark beers. I’ve never eaten here, although their food menu looks decent enough, they have a reduced menu available till they close, and as well as separate sections for smoking and non-smoking. This place is only a few minutes walk from the Old Town square, yet it’s the opposite direction from Charles Bridge and the majority of tourists.
Pivovar U Tří Růží – i make the effort to stop at this microbrewery for a beer whenever i’m in central Prague, and it’s probably one of my favourite places around. In comparison to the other places I’ve mentioned, it’s slightly on the expensive side at between 56 and 82 Kč for 0.4 litre beer, although both the range of beers and quality are excellent. It’s worth having some food too, and it’s a place that many people will feel quite comfortable in as it’s completely non-smoking (quite rare in the Czech Republic). The company recently opened another pub on the other side of the river which I’ve not had a chance to visit yet, although may be worth looking into.
Kozlovna Apropos – has a good range of beers (38 Kč), wines, ciders, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks and is excellent value considering how close it is to Charles Bridge.
The PUB – belongs to a chain of pubs which deliver a reasonable drinking and eating experience. The serve up some traditional Czech dishes and the burgers are decent, however the best feature is undoubtedly the numerous tables that provide beer taps that enable you to tap your own Pilsner Urquell instead of having to wait for the bar staff. Tables compete against one another, whilst the pub competes with other pubs throughout Prague, the Czech Republic, and Europe. Live results displayed on a large screen. Should come with a warning.
Potrefená Husa – another chain with decent beer and a mix of traditional Czech and European dishes that’s fairly priced given the location. It’s owned by Staropramen, so that’s the standard beer that’s served here (42 Kč). However, they also serve 0.5 litre of Hoegaarden for 62 Kč, or the novel three litre glass for 377 Kč (comes with straws for sharing!).
Places to avoid – anywhere on the Old Town Square, anywhere that has a member of staff trying to entice you in, anywhere that advertises prices in euros, and anywhere that advertise a 0.5 litre of standard Czech beer for more than 50 czk.
All information and prices valid as of January 2016