Your Guide to Europe's Best Pubs and Bars
(The bars highlighted blue have a full profile and write-up – clicking through the link will take you to their profile page)
Top 10 for Choice and/or quality of drinks:
– T’Brugse Beertje Kemelstraat 5, 8000 Brugge, Belgium – An absurdly good and wide selection of Belgian beers for such a small bar, and though most are bottled, it hardly matters. Delerium Café –
Impasse de la Fidélité 4, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium – It could take you an hour to properly read through the directory of beers you can ask to read, almost like a travel brochure. The majority are Belgian and thus very good. BierCab –
Carrer de Muntaner, 55, 08011 Barcelona, Spain – 32 beers on tap covering so many bases and at such a high median, all displayed via flatscreen above the bar. You simply have to bow down. Monk –
Rue Sainte-Catherine 42, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium – Not an exhaustive list but one of the most exquisitely well chosen selections of Lambics, Sour and Fruit beers anywhere, both in bottle and on tap.
– Senk Na Parkanu Veleslavínova 59/4, 301 00 Plzeň, Czechia – One of the few places on earth serving Pilsner Urquell not just unpasteurised but unfiltered. The beer still arrives via horse drawn carriage from the brewery. If you order anything else you want your head examining.
– Bierwerk 9 Unschlittplatz 90403 Nürnberg, Germany – Multi-tap offering a perfect balance between traditional German beer offerings and craft ale.
– Kanguruh Bürgerspitalgasse 20, 1060 Wien, Austria – An uncompromising and comprehensive selection of Belgian bottles, along with a choice selection of tapped German beers.
– Strefa Piwa Józefa 6, 31-056 Kraków, Poland – The cream of Polish craft ale on tap, with a varied and well chosen range of guest ales and bottles behind the bar. Poechenellekelder –
Rue du Chêne 5, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium – Excellent choice of options covering most Belgian bases and to a very high standard.
– Schlenkerla Dominikanerstraße 6, 96049 Bamberg, Germany – The best unfiltered rauchbier from the barrel along with beers such as the weizen and doppelbock which are difficult to find elsewhere. The standard is unsurpassed.
Top 10 for Style and Décor:
Szimpla Kert –
Budapest, Kazinczy u. 14, 1075 Hungary – The original and still the best ‘ruin’ pub. Zlatna Ribica –
Kaptol 5, Sarajevo 71000, Bosnia and Herzegovina – Trinkets, goldfish, old TV’s and vintage furniture. Alchemia –
Estery 5, 31-056 Kraków, Poland – Rotting, ruined antique furniture and peeling paint. Goupil Le Fol –
Rue de la Violette 22, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium – Cosy Jazz bunker with books and records nailed to the walls.
– Schlenkerla Dominikanerstraße 6, 96049 Bamberg, Germany – The ultimate Germanic medieval tavern.
– Café Vlissinghe Blekersstraat 2, 8000 Brugge, Belgium– Authentic medieval Flemish inn continuously in operation since 1515. Eszewaria –
Józefa 9, 31-056 Kraków, Poland – Vintage furniture, gnarled stained surroundings. Neon Side –
Ruska 46C, 11-400 Wrocław, Poland – Recovered neon signage creates a mini-Blade Runner courtyard Fogas Haz –
Budapest, Akácfa u. 49-51, 1073 Hungary – Sprawling venue of various styles and something to look at in each room. Monk –
Rue Sainte-Catherine 42, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium – A careful, lavish and classy recreation of an upscale Brown Café
Top 10 for Atmosphere and/or Local life:
Szimpla Kert –
Budapest, Kazinczy u. 14, 1075 Hungary – The matchless atmosphere of young people relaxing and having a good time in a unique partly open-air venue. Zlatna Ribica –
Kaptol 5, Sarajevo 71000, Bosnia and Herzegovina – Brooding chintzy tradition meets-the-orient eccentricity Alchemia –
Estery 5, 31-056 Kraków, Poland – Crimson candlelit woozy quality with live music and drinkers spilling out onto the street Goupil Le Fol –
Rue de la Violette 22, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium – Hazy windowless jazz bunker that feels secret and special
(Uzupis) – Snekutis 01204, Polocko g. 7A, Vilnius 01204, Lithuania – Unparalleled DIY rustic feel shared by old men, local bohemians and travellers alike.
– Schlenkerla Dominikanerstraße 6, 96049 Bamberg, Germany – Medieval tavern and cloistered banqueting hall hosting proud Franconians and excited travellers U Hrocha –
Thunovská 10/2, 118 00 Malá Strana, Czechia – Prague locals and tourists alike, characterful taproom and operation.
– Papa Joe’s Biersalon Alter Markt 50-52, 50667 Köln, Germany – Eccentric jazz and oompah singalong venue packed with local character. A Baiuca – Fado Vadio –
Rua de S.Miguel nr.20, Alfama, 1100-544 Lisboa, Portugal – Passionate folk crooning in someone’s kitchen amongst an attentive and authentic crowd. Garden Henry –
Kranjceviceva 8, 42000, Varaždin, Croatia – The rebels of Varazdin’s cycling-community gather in the fantastically decorated courtyard and garden for unlicensed drinking and hanging out.
Top 10 for Amenities and Events:
Szimpla Kert –
Budapest, Kazinczy u. 14, 1075 Hungary – Live music, shisha, breakfast + lunch, social events and outside area
– Papa Joe’s Biersalon Alter Markt 50-52, 50667 Köln, Germany – Live music and performances of various kinds, boistrous singalongs and bar snacks
– Snekutis Uzupis 01204, Polocko g. 7A, Vilnius 01204, Lithuania – Home-brew beer, rustic food from a home kitchen, local events Ellato Kert –
Budapest, Kazinczy u. 48, 1075 Hungary – Live music, social events, garden terrace Fogas Haz –
Budapest, Akácfa u. 49-51, 1073 Hungary – Live music and performances across a myriad of platforms, games rooms, social events, rooftop bar Alchemia –
Estery 5, 31-056 Kraków, Poland – Live music, social events, adjoining food kiosks, street drinking Opium –
Jakuba 19, 31-057 Kraków, Poland – Live music, live sport, some food options, outside area Senamiestis Snekutis –
Šv. Mikalojaus g. 15, Vilnius 01133, Lithuania – Live music, sport, food, food options and games Traveller’s Pub –
43 Soukenická, Český Krumlov, Czechia, 381 01 – Adjoining hostel sharing the usual facilities Piwna Stopa –
Szewska 7, 61-760 Poznań, Poland – Live sport, food, pub quiz, barbecues, outside area, pub dog
Top 10 for Value For Money:
Angel Inn –
1 Angel Inn Yard, City Centre, Leeds, LS1 6LN – A good pint for less than £2 can still be obtained in the UK
– U Cerneho Vola Loretánské nám. 107/1, 118 00 Praha 1, Czechia – 33 czk for a quality beer in a quality pub right next to Prague Castle
– U Poutnika Vstup branou č.p. 14, Starobrněnská 16/18, 602 00 Brno-střed, Czechia – 30czk a pint at a great pub in the centre of Brno
– Bernard pri Lyceu Konventná 634/19 81103 Bratislava, 811 03 Staré Mesto, Slovakia – Top quality Bernard pivo for barely a euro Budvarka –
Karla IV. 8, 370 01 České Budějovice, Czechia – Tank Budvar from the home of Budvar for pennies U Prasivka (a.k.a Klasterni Pivnice) –
Ovenecká 1022/15, Prague, Czechia – 24 crowns for a half litre, a 10 minute tram from the old town. California Club –
Tyršova 1753/2, 360 01 Karlovy Vary, Czechia – Budvar for 20 crowns, Pilsner Urquell for 30, in a good pub.
– Hostinec U Rotundy Karoliny Světlé 1035/17, 110 00 Staré Město, Prague, Czechia – Under a pound a pint in Prague old town, this echo from another era is still going strong. U Certa –
Masarykovo námesti 23, 379 01 Třeboň, Czechia – Out in the sticks in Czechia, no surprise to find beer for pennies
– Proletaryat Wrocławska 9, 61-838 Poznań, Poland – Barely over a pound a pint for their own brew, great value
Top Ten All-Rounders:
Szimpla Kert –
Budapest, Kazinczy u. 14, 1075 Hungary – The best combo of drinks, decor, atmosphere, amenities and good value in Europe. Piwna Stopa –
Szewska 7, 61-760 Poznań – Other than the toilets, everything about this place is very good or superb.
– Schlenkerla Dominikanerstraße 6, 96049 Bamberg, Germany – A rich, traditional experience covering all pub wants and needs. Eleszto –
Budapest, Tűzoltó u. 22, 1094 Hungary – Modern, stylish but very well executed, good value and a good atmosphere, with plenty to do. T.E.A. Time –
Dietla 1, 31-070 Kraków, Poland – English style cask ale, fish and chips and pub quiz, they have hardly put a foot wrong with any aspect of this pub.
– K.K.C Skolas iela 15, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1010, Latvia – Latvia’s take on a ruin bar. Does the full range of pub stuff very well.
– Spiz Ratusz 2, 50-106 Wrocław, Poland – A central European Ratskeller is a special thing indeed and this institution proves how well it can be done.
– Café Vlissinghe Blekersstraat 2, 8000 Brugge, Belgium – Rich in history, with good beer, great surroundings, warm homely and local, with food options, boules in the garden, a pub dog and decent value. Fantastic. U Vejvodu –
Jilská 4, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia – A traditional taproom pub upstairs with live sport, great cheap beer and a vibrant atmosphere, then a sprawling Pivnice downstairs with uncomplicated affordable Czech food. Covering most bases there. The Red Deer –
18 Pitt St, Sheffield S1 4DD – Traditional pub with a real fire, great choice of cask ales, fresh food, folk music, a courtyard, a band practise room upstairs and a social venue for the university close by. A community hub covering all bases really well.