I go to Prádelna Café when I don’t want to go out, but don’t want to stay in either. It has that feel about it: casual, relaxed and very friendly. Spending an hour or so there is like sitting in your friend’s mum’s kitchen on a Saturday afternoon. Expect bare wooden tables, blue and white decor, dried lavender and massive windows facing the street.
Located 50m from Jiřího z Poděbrad metro station, the “Laundry cafe“ is so named as the buidling previously functioned as a...well...a laundry. Even today, the cafe retains that sort of friendly, clean efficiency you expect from a laundrette – the proporietor bakes cakes in the main room while taking orders and making cappucino.
Prádelna offers a broad drinks menu and decent food options, including daily soups (from 38 CZK), pates (from 65 CZK), paninis (63 CZK) and homemade ice cream and desserts.
During one early visit, my husband looked up from his carrot soup and declared “it really tastes of carrot.“ Informative. I gave him a scathing look that said “leave it to the experts, dear“ and helped myself to a spoonful-or-five. He was right, actually; it did taste of carrots. Not nasty, battery-farmed, Brussels-regulated carrots, either – but gently sweet carrots that have clearly lived a happy life, complemented by the slightly orange tang of coriander, and softened with a dash of cream. Delightful.
Other offerings that I have enjoyed include a banana and maple syrup cake that came literally straight from the oven (I told you it‘s like being over at a friend’s house). Topped with sliced banana and brilliantly moist, this was the nicest cake I’ve had all year (42 CZK).
Other dishes have proved more average – cous cous with vegetables (52 CZK) lacked the Prádelna homemade charm and was rather bland and contained one of my pet hates: vegetables diced into tiny cubes.
On the drinks side, Prádelna’s tea selection is good (following my definition, this means they offer loose tea rather than bagged, as well as fresh mint and fresh ginger (44 CZK)). They provide a sqeezy honey bear on each table rather than a fiddly sachet/pot thing, which is a charming if unsophisticated touch. They also serve alcoholic drinks including a hot mojito (85 CZK), which is a delightful compromise between cocktail hour and “I’d really like a hot drink because it’s February and it’s freezing“.
The coffee menu (29 to 48 CZK) is restrictive, however. It is is entirely espresso-based, meaning that you can have an espresso, a latte, a cappucino, or a macchiato, but nothing in the way of longer coffees – nothing drip-poured, filtered or French-pressed. I think this is a mistake for a business model that is based on people staying a while and eventually deciding that they will have pudding. I also found the house blend ‘Localita Mexico Chiapes’ too bitter for my taste.
Prádelna is a very new business (open since 2011), but a promising one. Although I have a few gripes – particularly over the limited coffee menu – it does a lot very well: the service has always been faultless – friendly, helpful but discrete – and most of the food is very good.
120 00 Prague 2
Brand of coffee – Localita Mexico Chiapes
Wi-fi – No
Smoking – No
Serves food - Yes