If Cafe at Werich Villa
Confectioner Iveta Fabesova is famous for her modern take on classical Czech desserts such as vetrnik or venecek. She opened her first cafe in Vinohrady because “there was nowhere to go for breakfast.” At the Werich Villa location, you get much more than a morning dose of carbs and caffeine. You can enjoy konakova spicka and other deliciously prepared pastries, soft omelets and great coffee while breathing Czech history and culture. The villa had a number of important inhabitants, most notably actor Jan Werich, famous for his political satire and forced into exile in the United States before World War II. He is remembered with an exhibition right next to the cafe.
BTW: Take an early-morning stroll around Kampa park before you head to the cafe. It can be enchanting.
If Cafe, U Sovovych mlynu 501/7, Prague 1, 118 00
Wherever you’re headed in the morning, Bistro 8 in Prague 7 (there’s a second, central outpost, in Prague 1) can help get you ready for the day. Eggs in all forms, breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, granola and good coffee — local food from sustainable farms is the main goal here. The airy, clean design is all complemented by a friendly atmosphere, reasonable prices and plenty of choices for non-meat-eaters.
BTW: If you come for brunch on the weekend to the Vinohrady location, take a stroll to the nearby Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, a visually striking modernist masterpiece of Slovenian architect Josip Plecnik.
Bistro 8, Veverkova 1410/8, 170 00 Praha-Letná, Czechia
A true gem of socialist-era architecture known as Brutalism, the National Theatre’s New Stage building hides Nona on its third floor. The menu is simple, but the food is tasty. Get the liver dumpling soup if it’s on a daily menu or a quiche and a homemade lemonade. A window table is a must here to enjoy the view of bustling (and politically significant) Narodni street while sipping your cappuccino or tea. Students, intellectuals and artists are frequent guests here, which, combined with the retro vibe, make it a unique spot.
BTW: If you come in the evening to watch a play or grab a drink, you can catch artists pre- or post-performance.
Cafe Nona, Narodni 1393/4, Prague 1 – Nove Mesto, 110 00
Ask locals about dining inside the castle, and you’ll get a skeptical look. Most of the restaurants there are considered tourist traps and dutifully avoided, with one exception: Kuchyn (“Kitchen”), on a mission to bring the non-tourist crowd back (with a little help of gorgeous city views and great beer). Located in the Salm palace owned by the National Gallery, it serves classic Czech dishes, such as roasted pork, goulash, and bean or lentil soup. There is no menu; simply peek across the chef’s shoulder into the pots and pick whatever your nose and eyes like the most.
BTW: Climb up the castle to erase any guilt about calories. The view is worth it. While digesting, you can pop in the National Gallery next door.
Kuchyn, Hradcanske namesti 186/1, Prague 1, 118 00
There is something special about a restaurant with a burning fire pit inside — cozy while ratcheting up the intensity of the fragrance and taste of the food. Nejen Bistro’s menu is small and focuses on meat; anything from the grill is delicious, particularly the chicken with Jerusalem artichoke, and the duck breast with beetroot, apple and ginger. The duck liver pate with currant melts on your tongue. Save room for dessert: The sorrel ice cream on cocoa crumble with rhubarb is not one to miss.
BTW: Try one of the homemade gin and tonics or a sauvignon blanc from Moravia.
Nejen Bistro, Krizikova 263/24, Prague – Karlin, 186 00
Grilled, roasted, braised or minced: Have meat any way you like at this dual restaurant-butcher shop. Grab your tray, wander the stations and pick what pleases your senses, with the options of classic side dishes such as potato pancakes or a simple salad and with condiments like apple horseradish. Homemade lemonades are great, but your stomach might thank you for a good old pint of Pilsener. Don’t forget to look up: The halls of this building that used to be a bank are beautifully decorated.
BTW: The slightly grim look of the street is not an accident. It’s named after political prisoners of the Nazi regime who were held in a building at the top of the street.
Kantyna, Politickych veznu 1511/5, Prague 1, 110 00
An advertising director, an architect and a former director of national railways thought the city lacked a good bar, so they set out to create one. Voilà! Fast-forward to 2014, and this simple and sleek place hidden off the main streets of the Old Town is one of the most highly regarded venues in Prague. Amid the Western pop culture decorative touches, the specialty here is champagne and cocktails (there is wine and beer, too).
BTW: Try the vodka martini or one of the cocktails made with champagne. If you love tarragon and subtle herbal notes, Dragon Fizz is the way to go.
Public Interest, U Milosrdnych 12, Prague 1, 110 00
Cafe V lese
The “Cafe in a forest” is considered the heart of the buzz on Krymska street, the flagship example of Prague gentrification. This retro-styled place is surrounded by other bars, though, rather than trees. This proclaimed activist hotbed is full of action. Pop in for a drink, a slam-poetry evening, a live talk show, a flea market or a discussion. There are two bars: upstairs and downstairs, in the cellar turned music club. You can sip your beer while listening to one of the frequent live music shows.
BTW: Check the online schedule ahead of your visit. International bands and musicians are often playing here.
Cafe V lese, Krymska 12, Prague 10, 101 00