Snaking its way through the city, the River Vltava is undoubtedly one of Prague’s best features. But like any beauty spot, searching out the best places to eat along the river will likely include dodging some of the more mediocre tourist traps. Luckily, the top riverside restaurants aren’t all that hard to find. From sky-high dining at Ginger & Fred and botanical-inspired décor at Soho+ to relaxed tapas-style fare on La Terrassa’s veranda and island dining on the river at Strelecky Ostrov, Prague’s best riverside restaurants offer far more than an alluring backdrop.
With a special tasting menu showcasing the best in local cooking, Parnas is as Czech as the Vltava itself. Score a seat by the large windows for views out over Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, and, of course, the expansive river, while tucking into modern adaptations of classic Czech recipes. Built 140 years ago in the basement of Lažanský Palace, Parnas is an ode to old-school Prague, with wood-panelled walls, marble enclaves and a grand piano, from which an accomplished pianist serenades guests during dinner.
With its enviable waterfront location overlooking Charles Bridge and Prague Castle, you’d be forgiven for thinking Bellevue a likely tourist spot. Fortunately, with lightly smoked venison saddle, truffle-stuffed breast of Guinea Fowl and a wide selection of South Moravian wines on the menu, Bellevue is far more subtle than its moniker suggests.
Set on the very edge of an island in the Vltava, Strelecky Ostrov knows the value of a good location. Choose a table on the terrace for an al fresco dinner served up against the hills of Petřín and the National Theatre, or retreat inside into the dining room or cosy cellar bars (sans view, naturally) for fried carp or an authentic beef goulash.
The brainchild of Norwegian restaurateur Nils Jeben, Kampa Park is located on the banks of Prague’s Lesser District. Drawing in a glamorous crowd (with the odd celebrity dotted about the dining room), guests are treated to exciting, experimental dishes such as sika deer loin with shimeji mushrooms and olive oil poached halibut with black truffles.
Another of Jeben’s popular Prague restaurants, Hergetova Cihelná is Kampa Park’s stylish younger sibling. Set within a former brick factory on the Vltava, there’s an informal pizzeria upstairs and a dining room below that specializes in a hybrid of international cuisine and local Czech flavours and ingredients. One of the Prague’s best restaurants for partiers, Hergetova Cihelná really reaches its zenith in the summer months, with DJs taking over the outdoor terrace.
Located just out of the city at the water’s edge, nature dominates the interior at Soho+, with flowers, plants and topiary adorning the white dining room, and a scattering of edible blooms appearing on plates, as well. Under a sprawling umbrella of white branches, which stretches out above the dining tables, come here for innovative and artful cuisine served up alongside those all-important river vistas.
Any tour of Prague’s best restaurants should include a stop at the Spanish-styled La Terrassa. Traditional tapas dishes and Iberian-inspired mains like grilled octopus and sizzling garlic prawns are served up beside the boats on the restaurant’s sunny veranda. Sides include views of the Rašín Embankment and the New Baroque charm of the Dancing House, just across the water.
Third parties are rarely a welcome addition to a romantic dinner, but sharing your duck leg confit and Czech cheeses with the statues adorning Charles Bridge is a notable exception. Ménage à trois are Mlýnec’s speciality, marrying elegant décor and superb views with one of the finest menus in Prague. Chef Marek Šáda cut his teeth in San Francisco and New York (where he worked under NOMA co-founder Mads Refslund) before bringing his culinary flare to the Czech capital.
Sitting atop Prague’s quirky architectural testament to the world’s most famous dancing duo, Ginger & Fred draws its culinary inspiration from across the globe – the menu moves through new takes on classics to daring dishes like pan-seared pikeperch with edible earth. The scope of the cuisine here is matched by spectacular views over the city from the stylish roof terrace.