Top 10 coffee joints in Prague

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The gourmet coffee trend has revived Prague's café culture...

While the first thing that comes to people's minds when they visit Prague is beer, the city has long had a café culture. Notable historical figures from Kafka to Dvořák were known to hang out in various coffee shops.

Cafés in Prague have been reviving, with upscale décor and high-class beans. This is a far cry from those days after the Revolution when coffee pretty much meant "turecko," or coffee grounds in the bottom of a glass with hot water on top.

The revival is also part of a global trend, but there are lots of alternatives to foreign-run chains.

You can now find a range of cafés offering using high-quality beans sourced from around the world. We indulged our caffeine addiction and found some seriously good coffees in what is becoming another city that never sleeps.

Café Ebel

Café Ebel is located in a tourist area within Old Town, so naturally prices are a little higher. This café has been around since 1996 and has developed a reputation for good coffee for people trying to get away from the crowded restaurants in Old Town. Inside is cozy with bright colors and exotic artwork and there are plenty of lunchtime food choices.

The latte, typical to Prague cafés, was not strong, but the cappuccino was a good choice for sipping while unwinding.

Go there for: a central place to escape the crowds - stick with the espresso, macchiato or cappuccino.
Location: Řetězová 9, Prague 1, www.facebook.com/cafeebel
Cost of an espresso: 45 Kč

Dos MundosDos Mundos

Dos Mundos

Dos Mundos is a new kid on the block, only opening three months ago. Although they're located in a popular Vinohrady street their prices are very reasonable. They roast the beans on site after sourcing their favorites from around the world, based on their own sample tastings.

This is one of the only places I've discovered in Prague that offers cold drip coffee, perfect for the summer. Mine was served with milk and ice cubes using beans from Indonesia. The roasting machine is on display for anyone to look at and the baristas are happy to talk to you about the coffee or their techniques.

Go there for: cold drip coffee and to try local roasted coffee beans
Location: Korunní 31, Prague 2, www.dos-mundos.cz
Cost of an espresso: 29 Kč

Kavárna PražírnaKavárna Pražírna

Kavárna Pražírna

This not-so-secret coffee hotspot has been around for two years and, as indicated in the name, roasts their beans on site. Descend into the cellar-style café and choose your preferred style of roast for your coffee, including the option of aeropress and dripper specialties.

The vibe is relaxed with wooden floors, bricked walls, blackboards and sunflowers decorating the café. The owners are passionate about their beans and can provide you with a recommendation. The latte was a little weak despite ordering a double shot but the aeropress was definitely worthwhile.

Go there for: aeropress coffee and to try local roasted coffee beans
Location: Lublaňská 676/50, Prague 2, www.kavarnaprazirna.cz
Cost of an espresso: 35 Kč

Můj šálek kávyMůj šálek kávy

Můj šálek kávy

The name literally translates to "my cup of coffee" and this popular stop prepares coffee as you want it. Můj šálek kávy uses DoubleShot beans and provide descriptions on the flavors of each selection to help you choose the right one for your palate. The café is decorated with artwork of alternative musicians and books you can flick through while sipping your coffee.

The cappuccino and latte weren't strong, so if you prefer strong coffee I recommend opting for the iced coffee, espresso or specialty dripper coffee. For the iced coffee, baristas will ask if you want it bitter or sweet. For the specialty filter (clever dripper) coffees you are spoilt with the choice of Nicaragua, Brazil and Kenya beans. The hot chocolate and tea selection is also impressive.

Go there for: iced coffee and dripper coffee
Location: Křižíkova 105, Prague 8, www.mujsalekkavy.cz
Cost of an espresso: 40 Kč

Café JenCafé Jen

Café Jen

Café Jen is a cute café tucked away from the tourist hotspots, and is clearly loved by the locals. The service is friendly and the vibe is perfect to unwind with comfortable bench seating and cushions and an outdoor area where the locals sit with their dogs on a sunny day. There are homemade sweet and savory treats at the counter for anyone needing a bite to eat.

This was one of the best macchiattos I have had in Europe, made with the right ratio of milk and espresso and a decorative motif on top. Definitely one worth dropping in for if you want to escape the tourist area.

Go there for: macchiatto
Location: Kodaňská 37, Prague 10, www.cafejen.cz
Cost of an espresso: 35 Kč     

Café TriesteCafé Trieste

Café Trieste

This small café doesn't look like much from the outside, located on a bus street with commuters walking straight past it, but the coffee is worth stopping in for. Café Trieste has the cheapest coffees of all the places in this list, with an espresso setting you back just 27 Kč and macchiato just 30 Kč. They use Italian beans and serve the coffee with water and a cookie.

My macchiatto was served with a lot of milk froth, but the beans were tasty and staff was friendly. The dine-in experience isn't anything spectacular, but this is a great choice if you're after an affordable caffeine hit.

Go there for: cheap espresso and macchiatto
Location: Koubková 16, Prague 2, www.caffetrieste.org
Cost of an espresso: 27 Kč

EMA Espresso BarEMA Espresso Bar

EMA Espresso Bar

Soy coffee drinkers rejoice — you can find a decent coffee in Prague, and it's at EMA Espresso Bar. This café is near náměstí Republiky so it is great for anyone looking around the city center. The interior decoration is minimalist and modern in a studio-style room. This café also offers soy milk options for only 5 Kč extra and they do it right. I had a soy cappuccino and was very surprised that, after a number of bad experiences in other cafés in Prague, it was a great flavor.

EMA uses German beans and is owned by the same owners as Café Lounge, only opening one year ago specifically to focus on providing great coffee.

Go there for: soy cappuccino
Location: Na Florenci 1420/3, Prague 1, www.emaespressobar.cz
Cost of an espresso: 45 Kč

Café LoungeCafé Lounge

Café Lounge

Located at the foot of Petřín's Hill, this café has a variety of coffees to choose from, including aeropress, drip and vacuum pot. I opted for the iced aeropress which was delivered on a tray with a cookie. The coffee was naturally sweet and could easily be consumed with or without milk. The beans were from Hungary and the owners source their beans from around Europe based on their samples. Café Lounge was awarded best café lounge by Trip Advisor in 2013 and you can understand why, with baristas who are clearly passionate about coffee.

The tables have placemats with information on the history of the area and provide some interesting reading while enjoying your coffee. There are also plenty of cakes, lunch and breakfast options to choose from.

Go there for: iced aeropress
Location: Plaská 615/8, Prague 5, www.cafe-lounge.cz
Cost of an espresso: 45 Kč

 I Need CoffeeI Need Coffee

I Need Coffee

This coffee bar is close to Karlovo náměstí and offers limited seating, but great coffee. They use Casino Mocca beans from Hungary and although they don't offer a huge variety of coffees, they do the basics well.

The bar is small, so this is more of a takeaway coffee establishment. They did not bring water with the macchiatto when we chose to dine in and most of the locals grabbed their coffee on the run. There are also a range of iced teas to choose from for hot days.

Go there for: espresso or macchiatto on the run
Location: Na Moráni 7, Praha 2, www.facebook.com/ineedcoffee.cz/
Cost of an espresso:  39 Kč

MonolokMonolok

Monolok

Monolok has been in Vinohrady for over a year and offers a trendy place to enjoy your experience with coffee. I was recommended the drip cone coffee and I was not disappointed. The café is minimalist with wooden tables, modern couches and metallic pendant lights. My coffee was brought over in a jug so I could pour my own and add milk if I wanted. The beans were sweet so I didn't need much milk, and the experience of sitting back and enjoying my coffee at my own pace was ideal.

The beans for the slow drip coffee were from Island Roast from the Isle of Wight. The baristas are happy to provide recommendations and talk about their beans if you're interested.

Go there for: dining in with drip cone coffee
Location: Moravská 1540/18, Praha 2, www.monolok.cz
Cost of an espresso: 39 Kč

Honorable mentions:

Café Colore
Palackého 740/1, www.cafecolore.cz

This café is larger than most of the others and offers smoking and non-smoking dining options as well as a large menu. This is a good choice if you are also looking for lunch. The baristas are very skilled, however the beans let them down a little, opting to use Austrian-roasted Julius Meinl.

Al Cafétero
Blanická 1788/24, www.alcafetero.cz

This café came highly recommended and has received rave reviews online, but was closed for the week we were sampling coffees.

Café Royal
Vinohradská 2165/48, www.leroyal.cz

This café was originally a theatre in the 1920s and was restored to its former glory and reopened as a café in June this year.

Mama Coffee
Londýnská 49, Praha 2, www.mamacoffee.cz

Although this is a chain, the flagship store in Vinohrady has a large and loyal fan base of locals. They import green beans and roast them themselves, making them the first Czech Bio Fairtrade coffee roaster.


Do you love your coffee? Find out more about the history of coffee at the Prague Coffee Museum www.coffeemuseum.cz.

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