One word which sums up the weather earlier this summer is inclement – or to put it more plainly, terrible. Undeterred by the recent downpours, Expats.cz’s café reviewer Lisette Allen brings you her very own top-ten list (in no particular order) of cafes with gorgeous gardens and charming terraces where you can catch some rays while sipping a cappuccino. Fingers crossed for lots more sunny days!
Vypálené koťátko (The Burned Cat)
Mařákova 5, Praha 6
This ceramics painting café’s laidback vibe, friendly service and spacious garden replete with shady spots make it an ideal summer hangout. As previously pointed out in our Freelancer Friendly Café feature, it’s a great place to bring your laptop and get down to some work, so long as you’re not easily distracted by kiddie noise.
Dobra Trafika, Újezd
Újezd 37, Prague 1
The original branch of Dobra Trafika is frequented by art students from the nearby gymnasium, chess-players, and Kafka wannabes. It does have some outdoor seating at the back for those who want to escape the smoky atmosphere (no surprise really, given they sell Cuban cigars). Not the loveliest café garden in Prague – lots of wooden decking, not so much greenery – but nice enough if you’re in the neighbourhood.
Jana Zajíce 7, 170 00 Prague 7
Delicious homemade cakes, a quirky interior that’s the right side of retro, great coffee: Alchymista has plenty going for it before you even set foot in its gorgeous garden. This café’s fantastic outside space is so pretty I gasped the first time I saw it – for once adjectives like ‘fairytale’ and ‘magical’ are well deserved. Treat yourself to a glass of rose on a summer one evening while you sample something sweet – pure heaven.
Národní 40/36, Prague 1
I’m ashamed to say that I walked past rondo-cubist masterpiece Palac Adria for many years without realising it was home to a fab café. The interior has lots of lovely 1920s period features but in summer it’s the terrace which steals the show. Expect cheerful rows of red and pink geraniums, ample seating, a protective awning in case of a light shower and only a handful of tourists as you enjoy the great view out over Jungmannovo náměstí.
Kavárna Pavilion Grébovka
Havlíčkovy sady 2188, 12000, Praha 2
At the time of writing, poor old Havlíčkovy sady is more building site than park. However, in spite of the invasion of bulldozers, Pavilion Grébovka is still open for business and remains a pleasant meeting point on a sunny afternoon. Thanks to its 2009 refurbishment, it’s elegant but not so swanky that you’ll receive death stares if your kids start running around. Just make sure they don’t stray too far or they might fall head first into a ditch.
Kodaňská 37, Prague 10
Delightful new kid on the block Café Jen has a super cute interior – Look stripes! Lots of them! – but at this time of year the main attraction has to be its pavement terrace positioned under a tree. The street has its fair share of traffic but it’s still a good location for an alfresco glass of wine on a warm evening.
Mahlerovy sady 1, Prague 3
Love it or hate it, the Zizkov TV Tower remains an iconic feature of the Prague skyline. Last month, as part of the tower’s refurbishment programme, garden cafe Miminoo opened at the base of this giant alien ray gun. Family friendly with plenty of outdoor space, it’s destined to become a popular mummy meet-up spot. Just remember not to look up if those David Cerný babies creep you out.
Summer Café Šlechtovka
Stromovka’s Dolní letohrádek has been undergoing refurbishment for an eternity. Still, in the meantime, there’s the Šlechtovka summer café: you’ll find it occupying a nearby spot. Grab a bench, giant beanbag or deckchair in the sun or shade and soak up the cafe-pub ambience. The venue also offers rollerblade and Frisbee rental along with an impressive programme of events, including regular concerts, DJ sets, and open air pilates. (No postal address; Google map it here.)
Garden Café Taussig
Vlašská 25, Praha 1
Finding somewhere for a nice sit down that isn’t infested with tourists in picturesque Mala Strana isn’t easy, but Garden Café Taussig is the exception to the rule. Better still, by indulging your caffeine habit here, you’ll be supporting a good cause. This summer café (all the seating is outside) acts as a training centre for the mentally handicapped, giving them the chance to gain valuable work experience.The courtyard near the entrance is pleasing but don’t forget to explore the garden. You’ll need to go up the long set of steps where you’ll find the show-stopping terrace with stunning views of the historic city.
Terasa 4 patro
Národní 63/26, Prague 1 (on the fourth floor)
Once upon a time, this rooftop café on top of department store My was a welcome oasis away from the hustle and bustle of Národní třída. A recent change of ownership means the deckchairs and tapas have gone but it remains a handy central meet-up spot when the sun’s out. Expect it to find it closed in case of bad weather.
So there it is: my round-up of great Prague summer cafes. Bio Zahrada was one nearly-ran but my love of round numbers meant I couldn’t bear to include eleven – don’t overlook the shaded courtyard out the back if you do happen to pay the café-come-organic store a visit.
Don’t see your favourite summertime haunt on this list? Do share it in the comments section.