Prague isn’t exactly short of pubs, so some might wonder why bother choosing a specifically Irish pub, especially when the local brews are generally well-regarded. One reason, apart from having Guinness on tap, is that an Irish pub evokes an image of cozy familiarity and a friendly rapport with the barman, easy banter with other drinkers and comfort food. The Irish pubs of Prague serve this up in varying degrees.
J.J. Murphy’s at Tržiště 4 (Tel: +420 257 535 575) is around the corner from Malostranské náměstí. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, so it seems an ideal place to kick off an evening or just the spot for a quiet drink. They have Guinness, Kilkenny and Stowford Press Cider on tap as well as Staropramen and Stella Artois. Their website includes a menu with pub food and Irish styled fare. You can take a seat at a table or plonk yourself on a stool at a high table or the bar. The non-smoking section operates only from 10am to 3pm.
O’Che’s at Liliova 14 (Tel: +420 222 221 178) definitely deserves a point for the name, and as it suggests the pub mixes Irish with revolutionary kitch. The service here was pretty standard for Prague’s historical section. There are a few large tables so it could be a good place for larger groups. There is also bar seating. They have Guinness, Kilkenny and Gambrinus on tap. They have a big screen TV and a list of televised sporting events on line.
Located right in the Old Town on the corner of Old Town Square and Dlouhá street is Caffrey’s (Tel: +420 224 828 031). This pub has the most immediate sense of authenticity, or authenticity before they banned smoking pubs in Ireland. Those who hanker for those hazy days will feel at home here. The place seems to attract travelers and regulars, and there is a real Irishman at the bar (at least on the day I went), who made sure everyone was well cared for. Guinness and Kilkenny share the bar with Strongbow and locals Pilsner, Gambrinus, Kozel Dark and extra strength Master. They also have a very comprehensive menu, vegetarians catered for. Remember, it is on the Old Town Square so you are paying for the real estate a little with each order.
After a five year absence, the James Joyce Pub has returned to Prague and is located at the former address of Molly Malone’s, U Obecního dvora 1. The pub is quite small and charming, much like its owner Frank Houghton, who was only to keen to offer advice to people in the bar on how to make their visit more comfortable. There is table seating in both the smoking section at the front or non-smoking at the back. Or pull up a stool at the bar and have a Guinness, Kilkenny, Pilsner or Gambrinus, plus a range of food. In the winter there’s a wood fire to keep you toasty and which only adds to the atmosphere. The friendly intimate atmosphere of this pub might make it hard to leave.
The crowd in Rocky O’Reilly’s at Štěpanská 32 (Tel: +420-222-231-060) always seems pretty merry. While it doesn’t have the intimacy of the other places, it does pull the weekender and backpacker crowd, so you’re bound to make friends pretty quick. Plus the staff was willing to dish out advice along with the beers. On tap they have Guinness, Kilkenny, Stowford and Strongbow Ciders, Fosters, Heineken, Budvar and Velvet. They also offer a range of pub and Irish meals, the descriptions of which may raise a smile. Depending on your mood, the front non-smoking part is ideal for a chat by the fire, or if you want to mingle or watch sport head to the back bar.
Flannagan’s, formerly the Shamrock, is in a foyer just off the square (Tel: +420 77 444 1173). First impressions are that this place is pretty kitschy, but after a day/evening/night around Prague, it could be a good place to end up. They have live music on weekdays and a DJ on the weekends, and the staff was friendly. At other times they televise sport on five big screen TVs. Just look for the guy dressed in the leprechaun suit hanging around nearby; he’ll guide you there.
New Town (Prague 2):
At Lublaňská 5 is Martin’s (+420 222 518 140 ). If you come by metro, the pub is practically round the corner from IP Pavlova. The cellar setting gives it a pleasant ambiance. Service is fast though not as friendly as some other places. On the plus side it´s significantly cheaper since it´s not in the center. Given the lower prices this might be the place to have a nip of whiskey – 60 CZK for 40 mls (a bit more than a standard shot) is about as cheap as you’re going to find it.
A little cheaper is Merlin’s at Bělehradská 68a. (+420 222 522 054). The street runs parallel to Lublaňská and you follow it away from the city and down until you see the Guinness sign. Merlin might not have that much to do with Ireland but then again neither does this pub. But with Guinness for 54 CZK who needs authenticity? They also have Staropramen and its associated brews on tap. The food is standard pub fare and includes vegetarian meals. Again prices are much less than the center.
Elsewhere in Prague:
The Irish Club at Keramická 4 in Prague 7 (Tel: +420 233 371 128) has a homely feel thanks to its wood interior – direct from Ireland apparently. They have a few events organized, such as a quiz night in English and Czech on Tuesdays and a table football tournament every second Monday. See website for more details.
Money Murphy’s at Krymská 39 in Prague 10 (+420 271 740 693) might not be the most authentic of Irish pubs on offer, but it has a laid back atmosphere. On tap are Staropramen, Pilsner, Hoegaarden and Leffe; the Guinness is bottled. Prices however are pretty decent.
Irish Pub O’Brien’s at Janovského 36, Prague 10 (Tel: + 420 283 923 195) is near the exhibition grounds, Výstaviště. The pub mixes its Irish theme with a pirate one – sure, why not? On tap they have Staropramen, Pilsner, Hoegaarden, Stella and, yes, Guinness. The menu leans more toward the Czech side.
Where´s your favorite Irish pub in Prague?