kavarna craziness: my favorite cafes in prague
I'll be the first to admit it: I'm a notorious coffee snob. It's something I've learned to love about myself and I've nurtured this quirk of mine for several years, developing a picky and decisive palate. There's nothing I hate more than a bad cup of coffee and will go to great lengths to find the best. Some of the first words I learned in Czech were words that enabled me to order a cup of coffee. "Dam si cafe latte, prosím." I'd like a latte, please. Kavarna, or coffeehouse became my favorite word and the coffee culture became one of my favorite things about the Czech Republic. It's everywhere. You can't escape the coffee. And that's just the way I like it. Here are a few of my favorites to check out next time you're in the city of a thousand spires.
This places is precious. My mom and I found Kofarna a few years ago when she came to visit me. We dumbed across it and thought we'd never find it again. Lo and behold, I found it on another whim whilst exploring the Smichov area and again, I wasn't disappointed. This place has a cozy, bright feeling and their atmosphere is incredibly family friendly if you're traveling with littles. It's the perfect place to get work done, or just curl up with a good book. Also: their matcha cheesecake is an excellent addition to any order. If it's available, promise me you'll get it, mmmmkay?
Paneria Secret Garden
So, Paneria is a chain in Prague that is similar to Panera in the United States, but unlike Panera, THEY ARE NOT ALL THE SAME. The Secret Garden location is by far the best because it, as the name implies, has a secret little courtyard, only accessible from the cafe. That's actually where I'm writing this blog on a crisp fall morning in the October sun, under the warmth of a space heater. With my chunky sweater and hot coffee, I've never felt so fall. The coffee is fantastic, but the location blows it all out of the water. It's near Shakespeare and Sons in Mala Strana on Míšenská 67/10. Check it out next time you're in Prague.
This place, aptly named The Kavarna is the place to be. The modern atmosphere is great and they have some wonderfully vibrant coffee with a little more bite than I normally drink here. It's a refreshing change from the super-smooth cappuccinos I've become accustomed to and perked me right up before running my morning errands. This is a great place to meet a friend for a mid-morning pick-me-up or to sit by yourself until the first bits of caffeine enter your bloodstream. This is also in Vinohrady, one of the neighborhoods populated by expats, so its a good place to explore after you're thoroughly caffeinated.
Y'all. This place has the best cappuccino I've ever had in the city. No exaggeration. I thought that I was going to pay too much for a bad cup of coffee, but it blew me away. Cukrarna Myšák is relatively new and near the center, so I expected it to be crazy busy, but it really wasn't. And this place is fancy as heck. Like, crystal chandelier, ceiling frescoes, and bowties fancy. If you like a cup of coffee with a little personality and a Wes Anderson flair, this is the place for you. Much like The Kavarna, this coffee is a lot sharper than the other blends in the city, but man, it's the best. The staff is friendly and speak excellent English if your Czech isn't quite there yet. You can find them at Vodičkova 719/31.T
This place has been a longtime haunt of mine and I will always go back. The coffeehouse hasn't changed hands since I first went there in 2016 and the owner is a wonderful, kind man (and his kids) who patiently helps patrons order in Czech. His warm demeanor is enough to keep me coming back, but their chai lattes are a wonderful treat and they have the best (and some of the only) brownies I've been able to find in the city. They have a variety of seating options that make this a great collaborative space, as well as a bunch of overstuffed chairs way in the back of the coffeehouse. Go for those. You can find Friends right around the corner from Vaclavske Namesti at Palackeho 719/7. It might not be the prettiest cafe, but it will always have a place in my heart.
Do you have a favorite coffee haunt? Where should I caffeinate next?