Prague is good at a lot of things. But in winter, one of its talents becomes especially obvious: clap together your freezing, snow-covered mittens, for this city has mastered the art of the cosy cellar bar. When it’s cold out, the legions of cellar bars in Prague are the first defence against frozen digits. The perfect winter warmers, these cosy, subterranean spaces keep the warmth in with all manner of bone-warming bevies, and no shortage of nooks and crannies in which to sip them. From the local pilsner served up at Pivovarský Klub and Ferdinanda, to the mulled wine of U Zlatého Tygra’s hallowed halls, these are the best cellar bars in Prague to visit next time you’re in town.
In case you’ve somehow missed Prague’s cobbled streets and old-school turrets, a trip to U Sedmi Švábů won’t leave much room for confusion when it comes to the city’s medieval past. Fatten yourself up for the winter with hearty dumplings and frothy pints by the fire.
Though beer may be the local staple – and a fierce source of competitive pride – it’s not the only winter warmer on offer in the city. At U Staré Studny, a sophisticated little cellar bar in Prague, wine and cognac are the preferred pours, accompanied by prettily flickering candles.
If holing up with a beer or few is the first and last reason you booked a ticket to the city (and fair play to you if so), then consider Pivovarský Klub your pilgrimage point. While the upstairs room is more casual, stocked as it is with bursting shelves of bottles, wander downstairs to one of the most warming cellar bars in Prague and over 240 different varieties of beer to choose from.
Traditional sausages, piping-hot dumplings and fresh Pilsner: Lokál U Bílé Kuželky serves up some of the best Czech food and drink at happily reasonable prices. This Lokál branch is situated near the Charles Bridge and Castle, and is usually packed. However, there’s plenty of room underground in the cosy cellar, and more than enough beer to go around.
Though its name translates to “little goat,” don’t expect anything other than urban chic from lively Kozička, a cheerful cellar bar in Prague that’s been a staple of the nightlife scene for years. A staircase gives way to a labyrinthine warren of rooms, which grow progressively louder and more crowded as the night goes on (and here it goes on for a long, long while).
Zlý Časy may mean “bad times” in Czech but don’t run off just yet: behind the cheeky demeanour, this cellar bar dishes up just the opposite. It helps that the fruits of 48 different local breweries are on offer. Find your nook, settle in with a generously proportioned glass, and top it all off with a plate of rump steak – the ideal remedy to an icy Prague winter.
All right, so U Zlatého Tygra (The Golden Tiger) isn’t technically located underground. But to miss this historic landmark would be a grave error – after all, this is the bar that Václav Havel brought Bill Clinton to show him a good, Czech time. Underneath low alcoves and amidst wood-lined walls, punters glug restorative mugs of Pilsner Urquell.
While Kulový Blesk does have its own beer garden, that’s probably not the best place to spend your winter holidays. Instead, thread through the entrance down to the cheery cellar, which is less dark basement and more convivial sitting room, complete with walls covered in old-fashioned posters and Czech tchotchkes.
Named for ill-fated archduke Franz, Ferdinanda has two locations in Prague, though its Malá Strana address is typically less crowded. Make like a monk within its arching alcoves, and sip on its house-made light and dark lagers. When you’re hungry – and you certainly will be after a few pints of local brew – the goulash is always a great bet.
Cellar bars in Prague are exclusively the province of beer and wine? Think again. At Black Angel’s Bar, bartenders take advantage of the space’s sultry atmosphere when shaking up their exceptional cocktails. And “exceptional” is no exaggeration – Tales of the Cocktail has previously ranked it amongst the world’s best cocktail bars. What more could we ask for?
Putting the ‘cool’ in cosy cellar bars in Prague, Andělský Pivovar is a subterranean beer hall and microbrewery with a contemporary twist. All exposed brick walls, minimalist pine furniture and gleaming draught taps, it’s as sleek as it is cosy. For an intimate tête-à-tête, order a full-bodied Andělská 11° from the bar and enjoy it from a tucked-away corner table.
An unassuming little wine bar set in a cosy cellar, Vinny Sklep Ujezd 19’s diminutive proportions belie its expansive offering of fine vintages from around the world. The wine list is endless – and overwhelming to the uninitiated – but the staff are happy to oblige with a good Czech recommendation. A friendly bar with a local feel, Vinny Sklep Ujezd 19 is a very happy find for the discerning oenophile.