Evening at Vinárna Bokovka

Evening at Vinárna Bokovka
Our choice of bottle for the evening.

Prague has fully opened up as a tourist destination over the last decade or so. The country that was literally joined at the hip with Slovakia has come in to its own for those seeking the almighty “safe” destination to holiday in the formerly scary Eastern Europe.

Naturally, Prague is better known for its light, easy to drink, yet delicious beers. But, with the influx of tourists has come the rise of the wine bar. There are a good many around the city including Le Terroir, Cellarius, Viniční Altán, and Bandol. But, the one that really caught my attention was Vinárna Bokovka.

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Outside Bokovka

For starters, this wine bar is only a wine bar. A great many of the others moonlight as restaurants or vice versa. Also, this wine bar is immediately given a touch of artistic class because it was started by Jan Hřebejk and David Ondřiček who are two Czech film directors. The name of the bar? That means, “Sideways” in Czech and yes, you can indeed buy the movie of the same name as well as t-shirts from the bar which were unfortunately out when I was there.

The bar itself is tucked away on Pštrossova 8 in Praha 1. Unassuming from the outside, other than the sign, the interior is well-designed. Nothing about it is over the top and you feel comfortable, yet at the same time one can see that thought went in to the space. There is also no smoking, which is a rare thing to find in a bar in Prague.

The wine list is quite massive, but generally focuses more on wines from outside the Czech borders. I was curious and tried one of the Czech reds. The waiter (a friendly fellow with good English) recommended one of their house reds which was made and labeled just for them by a local producer. He did warn that the Czech reds weren’t the strongest reds in the world. This was evident as the majority of other people around me were drinking whites chilling in ice buckets. Regardless, I went ahead and ordered it. Inevitably, yes, it wasn’t the strongest red I’d had. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t remarkable. In any subsequent visit, I’d recommend a Czech white or taken advantage of their imported selections.

Overall, it’s a good spot with a good wine list and it’s quite close to a great number of restaurants to make this bar a fun stop before or after a meal in the area.