Café review: Kavárna Šlágr

1920s in the twenty-first century

Helen Ford

Written by Helen Ford Published on 25.05.2012 12:38:16 (updated on 25.05.2012) Reading time: 3 minutes


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Café Šlágr borders peaceful Vršovice, and its self-proclaimed mission is to bring a little touch of the 1920s to this sleepy neighbourhood. Entering this café-patisserie is (I imagine) like stepping back in time. Faded posters fill the walls, tall stools surround the traditional coffee bar area, and an original decorative iron balustrade separates a mezzanine level from the main café. Delicate music plays through original speakers and you can almost hear the vinyl crackle.
A glass cabinet filled with cakes seems to sing to me as I find a table. It’s a Saturday afternoon and Kavarna Šlágr is almost full. I find a table in the front room, which is flooded with sunlight through the giant window onto Francouzská. Leafing through the dual language menu reveals a wide range of coffee drinks including all the regulars as well as some more interesting offerings: Turkish coffee with cardamom (65 CZK), sailors coffee (served with rum) (59 CZK) and cherry coffee, which sounds exquisite. The tea menu is basic but adequate, as Šlágr is styled as a traditional kavárna rather than a čajovna. Other drinks include milkshakes (45 CZK), beer, wine, and a range of spirits. It’s a hot day so I opt for a frappe (49 CZK) which, being a modern Greek invention, was slightly out of place in Šlágr’s First Republic tribute. It was excellent, however: frothy and foaming in the right way and wonderfully refreshing.

Accompanied by hubby and a friend, I got a bit cake-happy and shared a gargantuan carrot cake and an even bigger banana cake. These were both superb but exercise caution when ordering – one is enough to share!

My second visit was on a weekday morning – a number of people had mentioned Kavarna Šlágr as a good breakfast haunt. I sat on the mezzanine level at the back of the café, which is kitted out with cosy armchairs and low tables. Some of the furniture is appears so old that it’s easy to believe it enjoyed the 1920s the first time around. The problem with using old furniture is that it is…well…old. And a little lumpy. The period light fittings employed fit well with the 20s vibe, but the dimly lit results are a little gloomy for my taste. Whilst upstairs might be a cosy den in the evenings, in the daylight it appears more shabby than chic.

A number of breakfast options are available, featuring combinations of eggs, sausages, and croissants. I chose simple soft boiled as a bit of a test – badly boiled eggs can, in my opinion, completely ruin brunch, so it’s important that cafes get this right! I find relatively few places in Prague offer decent breakfast eggs (but would particularly recommend Café Savoy, Radost, Kaaba Café, and The Globe). Šlágr makes the grade – my eggs were perfectly soft, and the herb omelette on the next table also looked delicious.

Some people profess to ‘love’ Kavárna Šlágr. I wouldn’t go that far myself – I think there are other cafés in Prague doing more interesting things with greater proficiency. However, it is certainly a charming place in which to enjoy a taste of ‘old Prague’ away from the crowds at Café Louvre, and if you come here with a sweet tooth, you will not be disappointed.

Wi-fi– Yes
Smoking– from May 1st 2012 non-smoking
Serves food – Breakfast until 14:00
– 10:00-22:00

Kavárna Šlágr
Francouzská 72
Praha 2

Café review: Kavárna Šlágr

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Helen Ford is a creator of CzechingIn, a blog about an English lady in Prague. She now writes for on topics such as theatre, art, and recently also café and tea rooms in Prague.

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