How to find the best Irish pubs and bars in Prague, Czech Republic.
I’ve often wondered why Irish pubs are so popular and not Scottish, English or Welsh bars. According to some experts, the answer seems to be with association of the fun-loving Irish. Whilst it might often be a stereotype and a misconception and the Irish really have no more fun than the rest of us, an Irish pub is a promise of good beer, socializing and generally having a great time.
A modern Irish pub is a far cry from the taverns of the Irish countryside where the Irish pub idea was born. When people think of a traditional Irish pub they think of guys playing music, laughing and generally getting sloshed but it wasn’t always like that. The traditional Irish pub was the center of the community and acted as the local post office and often the mortuary whilst a body was waiting to be claimed. They certainly didn’t used to have any plasma televisions and coverage of every sports game on the planet. The publican acted as a town official and would oversee weddings, funerals and christenings and he would often lend people money if they were short. He had a crucial role to play he was a pillar of the community.
Whilst the role of the Irish pub may have changed and the ‘brand’ exported to the rest of the world, it doesn’t mean that the bar won’t have an authentic Irish feel to it. The food, the beer, the people and the décor can all affect the ambience of an Irish pub, as well as the Guinness of course. From Singapore to Tel Aviv, Irish pubs are a staple of any modern city across the world city. In my travels last year I visited 8 cities around Europe and I found more than a few Irish pubs in each of them. Vienna in particular had a few really good Irish bars, as did Bratislava and Barcelona, but the city with the best Irish bars happens to be my home of 4 years; Prague.
So I thought I’d list my top 5 Irish bars and why I like them so much.
No. 5 – Rocky O’Reilly’s
Rocky O’Reilly’sd is a classic Irish bar to watch your favourite sports with your friends. Neatly located and easy to find, they have a separate bar for smokers and non-smokers which can come in handy when you want food. A friend of mine recently asked if I wanted to join him there after work and when I arrived, I found that he’d been there all day, drinking beer and watching Lawn Bowls on the television; I didn’t know how competitive people get over Lawn Bowls! The bar does get crowded with tourists and stag parties, so expect a rambunctious atmosphere on a weekend. The beer is cheap and good quality by English standards.
No. 4 – James Joyce
James Joyce is a firm favorite amongst both locals and tourists. The staff are always extremely friendly and the beer is also pretty good. They boast a wide range of whiskies, a hearty selection of wholesome food and the atmosphere is always fun. They have quality screens for all your sporting needs and they play almost every major sport. The best thing about James Joyce is the low prices, considering the superb location.
No.3 – O’Che’s
With Guinness, Kilkenny and Gambrinus on tap, O’Che’s gets the third position in my list of Irish bars in Prague. It wasn’t an easy choice to make, but the free WiFi, the great tasting beer, reasonable food and the general ambience of the place is pretty special. I would definitely advise a pint or a few here if you are visiting. If you live in Prague, you should try this place at some point. The staff are super friendly here and will help you with anything. They often have live music and karaoke Mondays are always a hit.
No.2 – Caffrey’s
Now it gets difficult. Caffrey’s gets second place, purely because it’s a little pricier than my first place bar. Although, given the superb location of this place, you can understand why it might cost a little extra. The bar is located on the corner of the historic Old Town Square and when my friends from London come to visit me, we always meet in this pub. The beer is great, the live music is pretty good and the staff are super nice. Every year, there is fashion show close to the bar and it’s always held on the same day as one of the 6 nations rugby matches. My girlfriend enjoys the fashion show and I go to Caffrey’s for a boozy afternoon. For me, I like Caffrey’s on an afternoon during the week, before the stag parties and groups arrive. You can have a good chat to the bar staff and enjoy a nice Guinness.
No.1 – J.J Murphy’s
Not an easy choice to make, given the amount of bars in Prague but I have to say that J.J Murphy’s is my favourite. It has a genuine feel to the place, plays live music and live sports on big screens. It has a non-smoking area upstairs if you don’t want your clothes to smell the next day and the staff are always going around and making sure you have everything you need. I definitely recommend the Full Irish Breakfast and 5 beers to wash it down.
I love this bar because it still gets the atmosphere and the tourists, but you also have a lot of locals and expats who frequent the pub. When I first started dating my girlfriend, I took her here; that’s how good the food is and she really enjoyed it. Coincidentally, Champions League football happened to be on the same evening and we watched the match whilst cuddling on the sofas upstairs – awwwwwww!
Do you agree with my list? What’s your favorite Irish bar? Comment below or like my Facebook page!