8 Prague cafés with coffee and good karma to go

From the newly opened to long-time favorites these coffee shops in the Czech capital support those with different abilities.

Protisedicz

Written by Protisedicz Published on 11.05.2022 15:03:00 (updated on 11.05.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 11.05.2022 15:03:00 (updated on 11.05.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

The number of social cafés (the Czech term for dining establishments that staff people who are differently-abled) has been on the rise in recent years. In Prague, you'll also find initiatives, both eateries, and retail shops, that support the homeless or rehabilitated criminals as well.

These businesses let you savor good coffee with a social conscious while helping those who face difficulties find a place in society -- there are currently over a million disabled people in the Czech Republic, and while many of them want to work the labor market is often closed to them.

One of the newest among them is GULE, a new food stand near the metro Budějovická that represents a permanent spot for GULE, which so far has been active at food festivals via its truck.

The fun-to-say name is an acronym for Gastronomie Umožňující Lidem Existovat (Gastronomy Allowing People To Exist). The social enterprise employs people with disabilities. They launched their truck in 2019 to sell fresh mini-donuts (koblížky) and coffee. The truck still goes to festivals and events across the Czech Republic.

GULE's Gookie stand. Photo: Raymond Johnston
GULE's Gookie stand. Photo: Raymond Johnston

The new stand, which opened in early 2022, is called Gookies Budějovická, and offers an array of fresh GULE cookies, or gookies. There are several varieties including Snickers flavored, peanut butter and jelly, apple strudel, bantella (banana, Nutella, and chocolate), and Lotella (Lotus creme, Nutella, and chocolate).

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The thick cookies each have a generous soft filling. Fresh hot coffee is also available at the stand, located on Olbrachtova Street at the metro Budějovická stop on the C line.

The concept behind GULE was developed by Martin Ballaty, who wanted to connect his background in social work with his passion for the culinary arts. It took two years of preparation to turn the GULE truck into reality. One of the “gules” is to break down stereotypes and show that people with disabilities are just as capable as anybody else.

GULE isn't the only Prague café that employs people with disabilities, here are some others that let you support social initiatives and sip coffee.

Bílá vrána at Ve Smečkách 5 in Prague 1, has a blended staff of people with and without disabilities. The café has been providing jobs to the disabled since 2011, and they put an emphasis on Czech ingredients for the menu.

Café AdAstra at Podskalská 8 in Prague 2, is inspired by French cafés and provides an original and cozy place to visit the employment of people with disabilities. It is run by the non-profit company Zajíček na koně.

Bílá vrána. Photo www.jiristarha.cz
Bílá vrána. Photo www.jiristarha.cz

Café na půl cesty in the middle of Central Park Pankrác (Park Na Pankráci), is popular with families as well as people with dogs. The cafe’s name roughly means “halfway there” as the staff has already acquired a lot of skills. The busy cafe run by the Green Doors organization has been in operation for 25 years. Green Doors also runs Mlsná kavka at Sokolovská 327/29 in Prague 8. That venue is currently under renovation.

Mezi řádky located at Štefánikova 40 in Prague 5, offers organic coffee and pastries from their own bakery. You can go here for breakfasts and light lunches, or borrow books that are part of the interior. The café is part of the firm Etincelle, which operates a network of cafés and bistros, its own craft bakery, bakery, farm, food truck, and catering service. The organization recently opened a new bistro near the Vysočanská metro station at the headquarters of the Prague transport company.

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Ta Kavárna is a barrier-free training café run by Borůvka Praha a non-profit drawing awareness to people with disabilities since 1998. Their large and welcoming space has a children's corner and organizes exhibitions and regular concerts.

Tichá kavárna at Burešova 12 in Prague 8, since 2011 has offered opportunities to hearing-impaired people. The café also serves as a training environment and provides support for students and graduates of vocational schools until they start work.

V. column is connected to the Bohnice hospital complex. Serving Sicilian coffee in a beautiful and friendly environment, most of the staff is comprised of patients of the hospital, who practice basic work and social skills here as they prepare for more demanding rehabilitation programs.

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