There’s no shame in asking for tap water when dining out. But how much, if anything, should a restaurant charge for tap water? We think no more than 50 Kč a carafe with free refills, when drinking alcohol and/or eating.

The actual cost of the tap water is minimal, but the restaurant still needs to pay someone to serve it, pay the initial cost of a carafe and glasses and then wash them afterward. Many restaurants also add some slices of fruit or even shungit (which is a bit like coal, but known for some anti-bacterial properties) to the carafe.

We looked back at the places visited by The Prague Review and how much was charged for tap water. Some of these prices may have increased since our visit. Let’s start with places that offered free tap water.

Free Tap Water

La Mouka

La Mouka is an Italian restaurant just a short walk down Ječná from I.P. Pavlova. They have amazing tartlets filled with various types of savoury mousse. Sadly, the main courses need work.

A carafe of tap water was free.

Opened at the end of 2021, Ansámbl is a casual bistro serving elevated dishes created from seasonal local produce.

Our waiter brought a (free) carafe of tap water to our table as soon as we arrived.

Martin’s Bistro is a cosy place just a short walk from Jiřího z Poděbrad. Our first visit was a delight and we’re looking forward to return and try more dishes.

A 0.1l glass of French Malbec was 70 Kč and a bottle of tap water was free.

Hidden on a quiet street in the Vinohrady area of Prague, Rýže II offers authentic Korean food at reasonable prices. The restaurant was previously known as Masito – also Korean. So far, I like Rýže II better.

A 200ml glass of Italian red wine (99 Kč) and a jug of tap water (free!).

Prague-based, Turkish chef, Deniz Kemal, has just opened his namesake restaurant, Šef Kemal – a huge space near where the 11 and 13 trams stop at I.P Pavlova.

A 1.5dl glass of Merlot is 90 Kč. A carafe of tap water is free

Open for over twenty years, Merlin is an Irish Pub for Vinohrady locals. Take a tram a few stops from the centre and you’ll find Czech beers at normal prices, great food and, of course, Guinness.

A 0.4l of Guinness is 78 Kč. A carafe of tap water is free.

Aldo Cicala founded this excellent Italian trattoria, on Žitná street, back in 1997. You’ll still find Aldo at the restaurant, supported by an array of family members, some of whom weren’t even born when the place opened.

A half-litre carafe of red house wine (240 Kč) is very drinkable. A carafe of tap water is free.

V Zátiší is a fine-dining restaurant on Liliová Street, just by Betlémské náměstí in the centre of Prague. Service and food are excellent.

A carafe of tap water is free upon request.

Hidden on Mánesova street in Vinohrady, Black Bettie’s is part American diner, part Czech pub. They have live music three times a week, but the stars of the show are the burgers.

A carafe of tap water was free.

Just a short walk from Jiřího z Poděbrad, La Casa di Erminio is a beautiful Italian restaurant by Chef Patron Erminio Mele.

A carafe of tap water was free. We also purchased a 0.5 l carafe of Primitivo 350 Kč.

Satsang is on Krymská street (although the nearest 22 tram stop is Ruská). The place has a great atmosphere and great food – even if you aren’t vegetarian.

A 0.15l glass of Merlot was 54 Kč and a free bottle of tap water is brought to every table.

Venue is a small restaurant on Havelská Street in the centre of Prague. The place has a cool vibe and the staff were friendly.

A glass of Prosecco was 75 Kč and a fresh orange juice 95 Kč. Tap water is free.

Want a good burger in an unpretentious bar in the centre of Prague? Sad Man’s Tongue is the right place for you.

The place feels a bit like a cross between Coyote Ugly and Roadhouse, but don’t be scared – all are welcome!

At this Konviktská street location tap water is free.

Kogo Havelská is the best value of all the central Prague restaurants that bear the name Kogo. It used to be much better before lockdown, but is still okay.

A glass of wine is around 135 Kč. We’ve never been charged for tap water.

50 Kč or less

Just a short walk from Anděl metro station, the entrance to Old Hanoi hides a huge restaurant behind. The food is very good and they have put a lot of effort into creating a Vietnamese theme – no waving cats!

A bottle of Malbec was 599 Kč, a 0.1l glass 85 Kč. A 1l carafe of tap water was 49 Kč and we were charged another 49 Kč for a refill. Excessive tap water charging is actually typical of all of the Vietnamese restaurants we’ve visited in Prague.

Giardino is a reliable Italian restaurant in the Vinohrady district of Prague. The restaurant has a cosy interior and there’s also a large summer garden.

A 0.15l glass of Montepulciano 90 Kč. A carafe of tap water 50 Kč.

Apelace21 opened in November 2022, following the complete refurbishment of a former Vietnamese Phở restaurant. Usually a pub or restaurant closes and re-opens as yet another Phở, so it’s great to see a restaurant reverse the trend.

A 0.15l glass of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC 2018, Poderi Marchesi Migliorati, Abruzzo was 120 Kč. A large carafe of tap water was charged at 20 Kč per person – that’s an odd pricing strategy, but is fine so long as refills are free.

Imagine if your favourite fishmonger decided to add some seating in the back, employ some good chefs and let you choose fresh fish cooked to order – that’s pretty much the Blue Fjord Seafood Market and Restaurant on Dlouhá street in the centre.

A large jug of tap water was 25 Kč.

The Twisted Fig is part of the newly-opened Fitzgerald Hotel in Karlín (a 5 minute walk from Florenc metro).

A glass of Prosecco 49 Kč. A glass of Primitivo 69 Kč. A 1l carafe of water 50 Kč.

There are now three Dim Sum Spot restaurants in Prague – the newest and largest near Anděl district. All have an amazing selection of delicious dim sum at reasonable prices.

A 0.15l glass of red wine (85 Kč), a small Bubeneč beer (45 Kč) and a carafe of tap water (50 Kč).

The Botič Restaurant in Prague 4 – Michle, delivers fantastic food at very reasonable prices. The staff are friendly.

A glass of Malbec was 50 Kč and a 1l carafe of tap water 30 Kč. All very reasonable prices.

U Kroka is on a quiet street beneath Vyšehrad – nearest tram stop is Výtoň. Vyšehrad was founded by Duke Krok – hence the restaurant name. The food is good and the beer and wine are reasonably priced.

A carafe of tap water was 35 Kč and was refilled for free.

U Dobré Myšlenky is an excellent restaurant between Palackého náměstí and Výtoň.

With amazing meals for only 200 Kč, we can forgive them charging 39 Kč for a carafe of water.

If you find yourself in the Karlín area of Prague, or even the Žižkov (as the tunnel walk to Karlín is downhill), then I’d recommend a visit to Hong Kong.

A glass of Primitivo was 115 Kč. A 0.75l bottle of water 45 Kč.

The Národní kavárna Restaurant is just across the street from the National Theatre. The place has a great interior and a rich cultural history.

A 0.15l glass of Chianti Classico was 145 Kč and a carafe of water 50 Kč.

Sumi Garden isn’t far from Jiřího z Poděbrad – walk towards the Žižkov district. The staff are friendly and the food excellent.

A glass of rosé Bardolino was 115 Kč. A litre of tap water was 50 Kč and on our first visit they charged another 50 Kč to refill the carafe. That hasn’t happened since, so Sumi just makes the 50 Kč list.

51 Kč to 100 Kč

A five-minute walk uphill from Náměstí Míru, Per Te means ‘For You’ in Italian and the Mediterranean menu reflects that name. The restaurant is beautiful, staff are friendly and professional, but we weren’t so impressed by the pasta.

A 0.15l glass of Montepulciano D’abruzzo Fantini (79 Kč). A 1l carafe of tap water (60 Kč). A basket of fresh bread was free.

Many Vietnamese restaurants in Prague occupy former Czech hospodas and apart from a few waving cats, they continue with the same decor. How refreshing to see that Hanoi Square has put a lot of effort into creating a Vietnamese theme.

Sadly, a 0.5l carafe of tap water was 69Kč.

Hezky Česky has a cool vibe – good weather results in outside tables and deckchairs. The food and service are good, but the high charge for tap water was an issue for us.

Two carafes of tap water appeared on our bill as four 0.5l glasses of water at 29 Kč per glass (116 Kč total).

Chilli & Lime is a cute restaurant on a hidden street in the Vinohrady, not far from Jiřího z Poděbrad. They serve good Asian food in nice surroundings. All they need to do now is serve free tap water and the place would be perfect.

A carafe of tap water was 59 Kč.

The central Prague, Café Elektric has a pleasant courtyard space ideal for summer dining. The food is good quality, well presented and the staff are friendly.

A glass of prosecco 95 Kč and a carafe of water with mint, lemon and lime 69 Kč.

Sia Restaurant opened, next to the Prague Marriott, in December 2017 and we think it is still the best Asian restaurant in Prague.

A carafe of tap water with lumps of shungit (which is a bit like coal, but known for some anti-bacterial properties) in the bottom was 75 Kč. The carafe was refilled twice and, shockingly, we were charged every time.

La Gare Restaurant is just opposite Sia Restaurant and next to the Prague Hilton Old Town.

A carafe of ‘filtered’ tap water was 75 Kč. A 0.75l bottle of still or sparkling water is 99 Kč – for 24 Kč more, I would be tempted to order the bottled water as somehow I’d feel less ripped off!

Over 100 Kč

The following restaurants charged over 100 Kč for tap water.

Aromi is a fine-dining restaurant, specialising in seafood and Italian cuisine. We visited for their 24th December Christmas menu. The food was delicious, but we left disappointed and here’s why…

A bottle of ‘filtered’ tap water was 115 Kč.

Refuse to serve tap water

The following restaurants refused to serve tap water.

A 0.1l glass of house red was 41 Kč. We asked for a jug of tap water and were told, sternly, that they didn’t serve tap water. We asked for a large bottle of water and were told that only 0.33l bottles at 35 Kč each were available.

I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant, even if they did have free tap water.

I asked for a carafe of tap water – our waitress advised that they didn’t offer this and the only option was a 0.75l bottle for 89 Kč.

I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant, even if they did have free tap water.