Beer goes down well in any weather, but these days, when the sun starts to set at 3:45pm, a warm pub seems all the more inviting. The Czech Republic leads the world in beer consumption, so of course there’s no shortage of pubs in Prague. But not all pubs are created equal. We’ve rounded up some of the coziest new spots in the city, where the beer is crisp, the food is tasty, and the service is always amicable. Stay warm, keep your mug filled, and hang on until the beer gardens reopen in April.
A casual pub-butcher shop in a comfortable space with plenty of character, Maso a Kobliha is just the kind of new venue you’d expect from chef Paul Day, the owner of Sansho and The Real Meat Society. It’s also not your typical Czech pub. You’ll find the very tasty Matuška beer along with local cider on tap. These are the perfect accompaniments to the food, which is classic pub fare with a few extraordinary twists. The Scotch egg is a must-try, as is the steak and blue cheese sandwich, not to mention the eponymous Czech-style donuts with vanilla cream. This is the perfect combination of creative restaurant, and low-key, high quality pub, with a menu of savory and sweet dishes that will please any palate. Petrská 23, Prague 1
The last few years have seen an influx of up-market restaurants inspired by Belgium and the Netherlands, but The Dutch Pub, recently opened near the newly renovated Národní třída, is a welcome addition that provides an authentic Dutch experience without all the pricey hype. It’s a comfy spot with high-backed leather booths, dark wood, bricks, and just the right touch of Flemish kitsch to keep your eyes feasting as you sip and sup. There’s Heineken on tap and both light and dark Krušovice from the tank, along with a great selection of bottled Dutch and Belgium beers, some of which are hard to find, and very potent. They also have all the food favorites you’d expect, like thick-cut Belgian fries, several varieties of mussels, and seasonal oysters. Vladislavova 1390/17, Prague 1
Among the major Czech breweries, Bernard has made a name for itself with consistently creative offerings that are just a little bit different. From their flip-top bottles to their unpasteurized brew, Bernard always keeps it distinct. The new Bernard Pub, just behind the Na Knížecí bus station in Anděl, follows suit with this successful strategy. There are eight taps of excellent Bernard Beer, and a great selection of bottle specialties, like the newly released Bohemian Ale, which clocks in at a bracing 8.2% alcohol. You’ll also find a tasty daily menu that’s always updated with surprising dishes. The pub is usually packed with local business people during lunch, but later at night it’s a great place to relax with a few beers served by wait staff who actually know the differences between the varieties they’re serving. Radlická 22, Prague 5
As a leading representative of a new generation of Prague brew pubs, Vinohradský Pivovar, situated in the heart of Vinohrady around the corner from Flora, is truly modernizing the Czech pub experience. With tanks in the basement where they brew their own beers — which are deeply flavorful and satisfying, even if limited in variety for the time being — this brewery restaurant also serves up delectable home-made Czech classics, along with a constantly updated seasonal menu. Come for the beer, which you’ll only find on the premises, as well as the welcoming neighborhood atmosphere. Stay for a surprisingly tasty meal, from hearty favourites like smoked pork with red cabbage and potato dumplings, to vegetarian dishes like couscous with grilled vegetables, and light bites for beer, like the sumptuous pork rillettes with tangy mustard sauce. Korunní 2506/106, Prague 10
Located in Košíře, several tram stops up the road from Anděl, U sousedů might be a little off the beaten path, but it’s definitely worth the ride. It’s a gastro-pub in the best sense of the word. There’s Pilsner Urquell and Bernard on tap, but the seasonal dining menu is even more appealing. You’ll find classic Czech dishes of course, along with more than a few international surprises, like succulent Ossobuco, all served in a clean, well-lighted space by a young staff with plenty of welcoming enthusiasm. It’s a far-cry from the old school Czech pub, offering an eclectic menu of international dishes that are actually notable, and not just something to soak up the beer. Pod Kavalírkou 29, Prague 5
Where do you do your winter drinking?