Prague has a café culture tradition. One that was rudely interrupted and took a bit to get back on the caffeinated track. Being part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the city’s cafes took many coffee cues from Vienna, with the heyday being at the end of the 19th-beginning of the 20th century. Cafes were where writers, artists and intellectuals met to discuss the next big thing, and of course have a slice of cake, or pint of beer.Under communism, the idea of a café as a meeting place dwindled dramatically. After the Velvet Revolution, cafes became quite popular again, with some of the old standbys like Louvre, Slavia and Savoy freshening themselves up. Unfortunately, while the ambiance in some may have been nice, the coffee and service was typically pretty dour.
The country saw so many changes after 1989. With a population now able to travel freely, many entrepreneurial types came back full of ideas on how to bring some of what they experienced in other countries home. Coffee, thankfully was something many had a go at, with home-grown roasters and hipster cafes propagating across the city. Prague’s coffee culture has a look and taste that’s quite different from the past, but you’ll still discover people working on, or talking about their next big thing. And a nice cup of coffee as inspiration.