Travel Czech Republic. Specialty Coffee Guide Prague. Part One

A friend asked me “so you were in Prague right? What did you do there? Culture?” I said, “No, coffee.” He looked slightly disturbed or to give it a more positive spin I'd better say surprised. His reaction , however, came as a surprise to me, I love espresso drinks and do a lot (of walking) to find the right one.

It is hard I know. It is all about taste if we are really honest. Some people like to drink coffee at Starbucks and the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, who am I to judge? There is no right or wrong, except once you start to taste coffee, you can’t go back to ignoring it. I mean really taste the coffee you drink. Think of intensely listening to a song over and over again, because it triggers the most wonderful emotion. The same happens once you start reading exceptionally well-written books; you soon will be bored by confusing and cliché-ridden-stories.

So, going back to coffee, you might like to read my article For coffee addicts: 6 espresso-based drinks. In Prague I went for a lovely walk, simply to see whether I will find coffee and to find out what's going on outside the historical centre. As you know, when you walk around, you need a lot of coffee breaks,
so I shall provide some info first. The European Food Safety Authority has advised a daily limit of 400 milligrams caffeine. “Habitual caffeine consumption up to 400 mg per day does not give rise to safety concerns for non-pregnant adults”. One cup of Espresso is said to have 80 milligrams caffeine. After I spend my first day in Prague I realised it as a really amazing place for coffee. I loved that everybody has got their own style, coffee blends … and attitude. After I drank five Flat Whites I felt I can’t drink any more of the stuff. That brought me to the idea to do the same thing the following day too: A walk in search for coffee. Here comes the first part of the Prague Coffee Crawl.

On the way, there is enough opportunity to see and think about architecture, politics and art. This is one of the reasons why any place in Europe is so exciting.

Six Kilometre Coffee Walk through Vinohrday & New Town

Prague Hlavní Nádraží

Start at the main railway station of Prague. At first I thought this to be an abandoned place, but soon realised it is a very well-functioning train station. Before you leave, make your way to the already newly renovated Art Nouveau entrance hall. This is an impressive piece of art and architecture. I try to imagine how enthralled all the citizens of Prague plus its many visitors must have been by this elegance, designed by Czech architect Josef Fanta, over the last 100 years. Think of all the thousand stories, happy and also tragic ones, which probably happened in this place.

From here, distance to first stop: Walk 1.7 kilometres to Kavarna Lucerna.

Kavarna Lucerna 

The café is in the magnificent Palác Lucerna, an Art Noveau building right in the centre of town. Go inside to find Wenceslas riding a dead horse (he usually sits in the saddle in front of the National Museum) and to drink an Espresso at the stunning café in the cinema. The building was built by no other than Vaclav Havel’s grandfather. We can only guess the reason the artist David Černý put Wenceslas on a dead horse. It might symbolise Vaclav Klaus, former president of the Czech Republic, who obviously sat on a dead horse (for too many years). He denied climate change, had weird views on gay people, criticised the European Union whenever he could, and thought he had to protect the Czech Republic from intruding foreigners. During his reign he promoted a lot of his Nationalist views.

While I was in Palác Lucerna mall I visited an event from the arts project Human Rights Tattoo. They are going to tattoo the Declaration of Universal Human Rights with the full 6773 characters on 6773 human beings around the world. They tour right now. 

Kavarna Lucerna. Štěpánská 61, Prague 1.

From here, distance to second stop: Walk 1.4 kilometres to La Boheme Café.

La Boheme Café  

This café run by gourmet indie coffee roaster La Boheme is the prettiest I have seen in a very long time. It is friendly, it is welcoming, and it is a real happy place. There is a blossoming tree with birds (yes really), there is book-wallpaper, there are colourful Vitra chairs and comfy sofas together with suitcases and drums. This is very different to most other third-wave coffee places. This café dares to be colourful and different. The Flat White I had was super yum, just a tiny little bit of velvety foam, and I loved the wonderful fruity acidity. 

La Boheme Café. Sázavská 2031/32, Vinohrady, Prague 2.

From here, distance to third stop: Walk 450 metres to Monolok Café.

Monolok Cafe

The counter, together with the surrounding grey shelves and the pastel-purple neon tube look like they come straight from the eighties. Then there are these black leather chairs. This place could easily be any café at any airport. The staff was welcoming and appear fun, they greeted me when I entered the café (this is almost unique). The Flat White made with a La Marzocco was not too bad.

Monolok Cafe. Moravská 1540/18, Vinohrady, Prague 2, Czech Republic.

From here, distance to fourth stop: Walk 2.5 kilometres to Ema Espresso Bar.

Ema Espresso Bar

Coffee is prepared on a La Marzocco and served with a big smile. There is this really nice and friendly atmosphere at the communal table, and a massive vase filled with fresh flowers adds to it. As I sat down, in this heaven for lovers of everything whitewashed, I realised once more that many places look the same these days. This café could easily be ... in every other city really. If I would be flown here in a helicopter, jet or whatever (dream a little dream with me), and someone would ask me where I am, I wouldn’t be able to tell whether I am in Rotterdam, Cape Town, Berlin, Melbourne or London. Their sandwiches and cakes are yummy. 

Ema Espresso Bar. Na Florenci 3, Prague 1.

What do you think? Do you like to walk around a town to discover new places? Can’t wait to hear from you. Part Two is going to be published next on The Touristin. Please also read 7 Coffee Places in Edinburgh tested by a true coffee snob

See all coffee places I visited in Prague: Travel Czech Republic A Prague Coffee Crawl plus Architecture, Politics and Art. Part 2.

From Berlin with love