Written by Dominic Swire
Kids + restaurant = disaster? In some places, maybe, but not all. An increasing number of eateries in Prague are realising that if they don´t provide for the young ones, the older ones won´t come at all. Expats.cz offers a rundown of restaurants and cafes here that are prepared for an invasion of children.
Let´s start in the centre of town. Just one tram stop away from Wenceslas Square is Therapy pub on Školská 30 near Vodičkova tram stop. Nice place, nice food, and just next to the non-smoking room (note: they have a non-smoking room) is a children´s play area. This means you can calmly watch your kids bash each other about as you sip your soup in a smoke-free atmosphere.
Teta Tramtarie* is another restaurant not too far away on Jungmanová 28 that has a large indoor play area with a climbing structure and slides. They serve meals and snacks along with ice cream at 10kc per scoop. If you leave through the backdoor you can find the pleasant Františkánská Zahrada – or Fanciscan Gardens that are completely hidden from the main streets.
During the summer months you could also try Plzenski Restaurant on Nádražní 114, just across the tram tracks from the Anděl metro entrance. They have a pleasant courtyard containing a climbing frame, slide and swing. This, coupled with good beer and great traditional cuisine. If your kids are a bit older and you need something to tire them out, have a look at the bowling alley downstairs.
Ambiente Pizza Nuova on Revoluční 1 not only has a kids´ menu, it also sports a children´s corner open seven days a week from 11:30am. You could also have a look at their other branch on Mánesova 59 that supplies colouring pages and games – along with great tex-mex, too.
The Mexican fast food restaurant Picante on Revoluční 4 supplies much of the same materials for kids along with pretty good food, too. Of course, the other big fast food chains also have their own toys and games to entice children to pull their parents through the doors – but then this depends on whether you´re concerned about what your kids eat as well as what they do.
For those who are looking for an interesting place with healthy food, pay a visit to the restaurant Lehká Hlava on Boršov 2 in Old Town. It´s a smoke-free vegetarian restaurant with a colourful and funky interior décor – although they have an open fire so make sure little fingers don´t get burnt.
If it´s a festive time of year (Easter, Halloween, etc), put your head round the doors of Bohemia Bagel as they often have themed workshops for kids. Bohemia Bagel has two cafes in Prague, at Újezd 16 and Másna 2. Another place with great coffee and a smoke-free atmosphere is Kaficko on Míšeňská 10.
If your kids specialise in getting messy, have a look at the Italian restaurant Rugantino at Dušní 4 and Klimentská 40. They have a children´s menu, children´s chairs and can even organise make-your-own pizza parties. Just don´t forget your apron. Muddum on Kostelní 24 by Letna Park also arranges a variety of art classes for young ones as well as having their own café.
Often the level of destruction threatened by kids can be reduced if you stay outside. In Prague there are several child-friendly parks with cafes, restaurants and facilities for kids. Vyšehrad has several restaurants with outdoor seating that welcome young children. Stromovka is another park with a number of places offering coffee and food. Search on the south side for a huge sandpit next to a coffee area. Bring your own sand toys to increase the fun (and the likelihood of a peaceful coffee).
Another option is to take advantage of the resources for kids in the large shopping centres. Palác Flóra (Flóra Metro stop), Nový Smíchov in Anděl and Letňany all have children´s corners as do many other of the big malls. Take a look at Expats for more information.
Of course, this article can´t be exhaustive as restaurants and cafes in Prague open, close and move faster than we can write articles, but hopefully this overview has given you a few new ideas of places you can take your children without fear of catastrophe.
* Currently under reconstruction (September 2006)
Dominic Swire can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org