Fave Things: Týnská Literární Kavárna

I shouldn’t like this place. It’s somewhat dark. It smells like cigarette smoke. The menu is limited to a few cold meat options (sausages, sardines, cheese), plenty of booze, and hot coffee and tea drinks.

But this is one of my favorite places in Prague.

It’s tricky to find… you have to circle around the Týn Church and, when you get to the back, remember that it’s not that alley through the arch in the middle, but this alley, through the smaller arch on the left that looks like it leads to a dead end. You must pass the shop Bric a Brac, which is packed with delightful antiques. And then you must notice the name painted in unobtrusive script on the wall, next to the heavy wooden door, then handle of which needs to be turned just right to enter.


Inside, you walk down a few steps to the front room… meander past the bar…

… and decide which of the rooms with the arched ceilings appeals today.


I chose a back room,  with a piano,  that looks out over the patio. I’ve got the best of both worlds: a window at my back to let in a bit of light and fresh air, and to my front, the smoky, inside-ness of the kavarna.

At the table next to the piano, a British boy in a tweed cap is flirting with an appropriately coquettish Czech girl in a striped skirt and head scarf. She’s got a slight air of gypsy about her, and he’s quite smitten, talking to her about books and movies, helping her practice her English. They just discussed the difference between comfortable and awkward silences, and then he explained what “being bored” means. He invited her to some kind of event he’s doing at Bukowski’s Bar next week (a reading? a show?), but she laughed and made some kind of excuse. But she is making a lot of eye contact, so perhaps it will eventually work out in his favor? To my right, a Czech student is drinking a beer and intently working on his computer.

And now, friends, I’m sipping chamomile tea, getting ready to write more blog posts for you. Perhaps one day, you can join me here at the Týnská for a drink and conversation.



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