The awesome people of the Czech Republic love drinking almost as much as I love traveling. And even though beer is the drink of choice around here, Prague is an amazing city for great cocktail bars.
Black Angels Bar
Black Angels Bar is Prague’s worst kept secret. If you look up the best cocktail bars in Prague, this will be on every list. (It’s not the best bar. I’ll get to that.) Like many interesting bars and restaurants in the city, it’s located in a gorgeous underground cellar under the U Price Hotel right in the heart of Old Town. It’s actually right across from the astronomical clock in the square. You can’t get more central than that.
At Black Angels, you’ll be taken inside and assigned a table in the Prohibition-style cellar. The atmosphere is nice, if you like half-melted candles and live piano music. The cocktail list is extensive and comes in a bible-sized book complete with the story behind each cocktail. It can be a little overwhelming, but the stories are cute. The selection is interesting and the service is good, even if it can feel a little stuffy. You can also get a full meal down at Black Angels Bar. So provided they have a table for you, you can stay there for hours and try a lot of the different cocktails.
Be Bop Lobby Bar
This bar is located in the lobby of a hotel which is maybe its only downside. Because it’s not a bar that happens to be in a hotel; it’s the actual lobby. Everything about that vibe kinda bums me out, but the drinks are worth it.
Of all the cocktail bars on this list, Be Bop is the one with the most creative drink presentation. One cocktail is served in a smoking coffee maker, or more accurately, a Cuban cafetera. Another comes with a toothbrush and a tiny tube of “toothpaste” that can be used to flavor your drink. Yet another comes inside a traditional lamp and magically lights up when they bring it to your table. These people really go all out with the presentation. It’s like cocktails and a show.
Bar and Books
For a more intimate and refined experience, there is Bar and Books, a whiskey and cigar lounge just off Old Town Square. This Prague cocktail bar has an atmosphere that is a mix of classic library meets smoking den. The bar is dark and moody with a wall full of books and tiny lamps giving off just enough light to see the menu. Like many of the bars on this list, at Bars and Books you can expect amazing service from the moment you step in the door. Though their main offering is whiskey, they do have a full bar and non-whiskey based cocktails on their menu. Drinks are always served with some bar snack, like nuts or popcorn. And on Mondays, ladies get a free cigar! So get in, girls. We’re going smoking.
This local gem is a little ways from city center in Zizkov. Unlike the other places on this list, Bukowski’s is a lot more laid back like a regular bar. You won’t see a list of rules on their menu about etiquette, and the place can get full on popular nights. But even if it’s less fancy, it’s still one of the best cocktail bars in Prague. When it’s not so crowded, it’s a cozy place to sit down and have a few great drinks. True to its literary namesake, this is the bar where you’re most likely to see someone actually reading by themselves while sipping on a whiskey sour.
This is the cheapest bar on the list to get good cocktails, and given its location, much more popular with locals than tourists. But you’ll want to watch out for the smoke, which can get pretty dense.
Hemingway Bar is my most beloved Prague bar because aside from being super cozy and intimate, the cocktails are amazing. They’re creative, clever concoctions that are thoughtfully prepared and served. The service is great and genuinely friendly. So despite the fact that it looks like a high-class speakeasy, the bartenders treat you very warmly making it feel more like Cheers. Along with many of the other bars on this list, Hemingway Bar has a set of rules that prohibit standing around and talking to people you don’t know, among other things. And the worst thing about this bar are idiots who don’t follow these rules.
But despite that, a visit to Hemingway is always pleasant, comfortable, and romantic. Their extensive menu of absinthe makes this a great place to try it for the first time. Here you can expect tailored recommendations and to be walked through the process of properly preparing your absinthe to your taste preferences. Hemingway also doesn’t take itself very seriously, so you’ll also find a variety of cocktails on their rotating menu that are served in kitschy ways, like in a snow globe or in matching Darth Vader and R2-D2 mugs.
Man, am I in the mood for a drink now. It’s 5 o’ clock somewhere, right?