Secret wine bar in the basement of a Czech market. ©KatkaTravels
“Where are we going?”
“Someplace,” Petr tells us.
“Someplace very, very good,” Štěpán confirms.
They’re being mysterious, which is both exciting and intimidating. Petr and Štěpán, the boys who work in the cafe below our school, are about 17-years old and our only Czech friends in Prague. Sarah has commissioned them to show us around town until we get comfortable enough to go out on our own. So far, they’ve been pretty spot-on as far as hangouts are concerned.
They bring us to a potraviny off of Újezd. I figure we’re stopping in to grab a snack, maybe some cigarettes, but the boys breeze right past the sundries. I then realize that the potraviny is where we are going to drink.
The shop owner leads us downstairs, where, amongst stacks of cardboard boxes and other storage room goods, sit two tables. Another party is already enjoying this little market-turned-wine-bar. Their silent stares indicate that we’ve crashed something incredibly intimate.
Well, who cares? We came here to drink too. This (literally) underground wine bar is Prague’s best-kept secret – so secret that I definitely don’t remember where it is or what the name of the potraviny is, or even if you’d get in without Petr or Štěpán. Perhaps this is the Czech version of a Speak-Easy, and only they know the code.
The choice is either wine, or beer. And there is no variation in choosing, wine-wise; it’s bílá nebo cervený (white or red), no “type” specified. The beer options are slightly more versatile, between Gambrinus and Pilsner. No liquor, no cocktails.
You can purchase soda from the shop if you’re not in the mood to booze.