I’m not sure how I first discovered Pražírna Kavárna, but there it was, a star on Google Maps, a five-minute walk from my hotel (chosen for its proximity to the office, not for coffee reasons) so I took it as providence, heading there on my first morning in Prague. Not knowing what to expect, I was reassured by the sign hanging above the door, which shows a stylised black and white line drawing of a coffee roaster looking, bizarrely, a lot like a steam locomotive pulling a train!
Pražírna Kavárna has a small, unassuming street level façade which hides a wonderful interior, accessible down two short flights of steps. There’s a series of gorgeous, brick-vaulted basement rooms, with, right at the back, a lovely, enclosed courtyard garden. When it comes to coffee, Pražírna Kavárna only serves single-origins, original roasted on-site (you can still see the roaster) but now it’s all done in a dedicated facility. There’s a simple espresso-based menu with filter on batch-brew, Aeropress, V60 and Kalita Wave. Opening late into the evenings, there’s also draft lager, wine plus spirits and cocktails. This is backed up by a small all-day lunch/snack menu and a selection of homemade cakes.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Pražírna Kavárna, which opened in 2012, is in Prague’s New Town (Nové Město), south of Wenceslas Square and right outside the I.P. Pavlova Metro Station. It’s also on several tram routes. From the street, it doesn’t much, tucked away in a long row of tenement-like buildings. There’s a narrow street level door with a low window to the right, a long bench in front of it. Only the aforementioned sign really catches the attention.
A flight of four concrete steps leads to a further five wooden steps which open onto a small, brick-walled, brick-vaulted basement, the counter to the right, lined with six wooden bar stools. If ordering takeaway or if you want to sit in the courtyard, order here, otherwise head through the promising archway in the back wall, explore, find a seat and someone will come to take your order.
Everywhere is well lit by multiple lights, although each room has some natural light, small windows high in the walls looking out onto the street (front) or courtyard (back). The floor is mostly dark, wooden floorboards, while the walls and vaulted ceilings are of exposed brick, the walls hung liberally with paintings.
The first room is directly behind the counter. There’s a long bar down the left-hand wall and a total of seven tables: two round four-person tables (left), two round two-person tables (back) and two square, two-person tables (right). Finally, there’s a four-person square table in the middle. If you want to use the Wifi, this is your best option, by the way, the signal struggling in the other rooms and failing to reach the courtyard.
The remaining rooms are accessible through a brick archway in the right-hand wall, a short corridor leading to two rooms on the right-hand side, connected by open brick archways. The corridor ends at the start of the back room, which is spilt into two. There’s a raised wooden decking area on the right, with three round four-person tables and a two-person table. This is separated from a lower area on the left (where you enter) by two sets of bookshelves. Down here are three two-person tables and a gloriously solitary armchair in the corner.
The front room is accessed from the raised area and is again split into two. On the left is the old roastery, now used for storage/admin, although the original Joper roaster remains. It’s off limits to the public, although you can sit at the single, eight-person communal table in the right-hand part.
Finally, there’s the delightful, enclosed, shady courtyard (which attracts the smokers). A wonderful, quiet, relaxing spot, surrounded on all four sides by tall, residential buildings, it’s accessed via two short flights of steps from the back of the second room. There’s a slightly raised area of wooden decking on the left, where you enter, and a smaller, cobbled courtyard on the right. The former has five well-spaced two/three-person square tables while the latter has a more rustic feel, with three long, wooden benches around the edges, with coffee tables made of old pallets.
Pražírna Kavárna had four single-origins on offer during my visit: Colombian (espresso), Ethiopian (batch-brew), Brazilian and Rwandan, all four available as Aeropress, V60 and Kalita Wave, although the staff recommend specific beans for each. The batch-brew changes daily, while the espresso changes every few days.
I was there for breakfast, ordering the toast and homemade spread (the only breakfast-like dish on a menu of sandwiches, soup of the day and the likes of pickled cheese with walnuts and garlic). I received a generous six slices of tasty, dense brown toast, while the homemade spread was a cream-cheese concoction with chives. Again, the helpings were generous: I ended up eating half of it on its own!
I pair this with a flat white. Served in a glass on a tray, a glass of water at the side, the coffee came strongly through the milk, but wasn’t at odds with it. I followed this up with a shot of the espresso on its own. With a full body and slightly sour taste, I wasn’t what I was expecting given its behaviour in milk, but it was lovely nonetheless.
|LUBLANSKÁ 676/50 • 120 00 VINOHRADY-NOVÉ MESTO • PRAGUE • CZECHIA
|+420 720 385 622
|08:30 – 22:00
|Pražírna (espresso + filter)
|08:30 – 22:00
|Tables, Counter; Tables, Bench (outside)
|08:30 – 22:00
|08:30 – 22:00
|Table/Order at Counter
|08:30 – 22:00
|12:00 – 20:00
|Free (with code)
|15th June 2019
Note that Pražírna Kavárna is closed on Saturdays during July and August each year.
You can also see what my friend Bex of Double Skinny Macchiato made of Pražírna Kavárna in her speciality coffee guide to Prague.
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