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
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
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.
Dim Sum Spot is hidden at the end of a nondescript passage on Palackého street not far from Wenceslas Square. They have an amazing selection of delicious dim sum at reasonable prices.
A carafe of tap water was 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
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.
Over 100 Kč
The following restaurants charged over 100 Kč for tap water.
Refuse to serve tap water
The following restaurants refused to serve 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.
Help us improve this list
Are you a restaurant owner and offer free tap water to diners? Are you a restaurant customer and want to name a restaurant that offers free tap water? Or, have you been somewhere where they refused to serve tap and you had to buy bottled water? Let us know below.