Published on 18 Apr 2017
Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world; picturesque, magical and it captures your heart within minutes of setting foot there. It’s bohemian, alternative and wonderful! The people are friendly and polite and, to top it all off, Prague is incredibly vegan-friendly too! Rachida Brocklehurst reports…
Where to eat
There are lots of totally vegan eateries in Prague, loads of vegetarian places that will naturally cater for vegans, and you’ll also find the odd vegan option on ‘normal’ menus and at sandwich shops! It really does make life much easier for visiting vegans to the city, and there is a noticeable openness to plant-based eating, not dissimilar from the great vegan capital itself, Berlin. Wherever you stroll in the city, you won’t be far away from some scrumptious vegan food.
100% Vegan places
Situated near the castle, this is the place to go to enjoy veganised authentic Czech meals. I recommend the tempeh and dumplings and the traditional soup! There’s something on the menu to suit everyone, and be sure to leave room for one of the raw cakes for dessert!
Food of Love
A couple of doors down, this hidden oasis focuses on raw food (try the cakes!) and an inviting and welcoming atmosphere, you won’t want to leave.
Here you’ll find a more mediterranean-style cuisine, with homemade bread and pasta. The owners are keen advocates of zero waste eating.
This global vegan chain never lets you down, and Prague’s LH is no different. There’s an Asian-inspired flavour, and plenty to enjoy from the buffet. Note – there are several Loving Huts throughout the city.
18, Dukelskych Hrdinu
For a quick bite
While visiting such a pretty and historic city you may want to do a lot of eating on the go, rather than sitting down to a full meal. There are lots of places where you can either grab something quick to go and continue your city exploration, or you can spend a little time people watching with a tasty light bite. These are four of the best places to stop off at and tickle your tastebuds.
Another favourite for lovers of Asian food, pay by weight and in buffet format. There’s also a small shop, and, best of all, you’ll find several Veganland locations spread throughout the city.
Head here for vegan hot dogs, cheeses and nibbles to keep you going as you explore Prague. There’s also a shop to buy snacks to take away too.
The Raw Deli
Here you can grab a green juice or smoothie, or why not indulge yourself with a raw chocolatey dessert… or maybe two?
Raw cakes, raw sweets and, of course, lots of savoury options too – including a raw four cheese pizza!
Eating out at non-vegan places
The typical Czech cuisine is not really vegan-friendly – it’s quite meat heavy if I’m honest. So turning up at an authentic Czech restaurant might result in you seeing not much in the way of vegan meals! As usual, see if there is a vegetarian option, and use your initiative and creativity to veganise it. If you find yourself at a more touristic eatery, the old faithful traditional veggie pizza without cheese is always a great fall back to rely on.
The level of English in Prague is fantastic – pretty much everyone speaks and understands English, and to a very high level indeed. The Czech people are very sweet, polite and obliging, so if you find yourself in a bit of a pickle menu-wise, just explain that you’re vegan and what you don’t eat, and I’m sure the server will happily suggest something special for you. As ever, my top tip is to have some kind of idea what you want before asking; this makes it easier for everyone and you’re less likely to end up with linguistic confusion!
As I’ve said before, the Czech people are very polite, and will always greet and say goodbye to you if you enter their shop, their café, or sometimes just in passing. It’s a really good idea to familiarise yourself with a couple of key phrases. The language has different sounds to English, so give yourself time to practise before your visit. I recommend listening to the pronunciations on YouTube or Google Translate.
- Hello – Dobrý den
- Goodbye – Na shledanou
- Thank you – Děkuji
It’s always wise to know the basics to make sure you get what you order, so here are the top vegan phrases to know in Czech. A huge thank you to Žaneta, Happiness Manager at Food of Love for the translations.
- I am vegan – Jsem vegan
- I don’t eat meat, fish, eggs or dairy – Nejím maso, ryby, vejce, mléko ani mléčné produkty
- With soya milk please – Se sojovým mlékem prosím
- Please use olive oil and not butter – Prosím použijte olivový olej, ne máslo. (Použijte olivový olej namísto másla)
- Without milk – Bez mléka
- Without cheese – Bez sýru
Top six sites to visit
There’s always something to see, so these six are just to get you started!
- The Astronomical Clock – Get here about 10 to the hour to secure a good spot. As the clock strikes, you’ll see a short ceremony with 12 figurines ringing in the new hour. It gets busy, so get there early! Stand in front of the tower, opposite the clock face.
- Prague Castle – For history you simply must visit Prague Castle. There are beautiful views of the city, you can see the changing of the guard and explore the gardens and grounds. It’s worth paying for a ticket to have access to the palaces, cathedral, Powder Tower, Golden Lane and more.
- Old Jewish Cemetery – A sobering experience, but not one to be missed. You can also buy a ticket for the whole Jewish Quarter.
- Charles Bridge – If ever there was a romantic bridge, it’s here. Get to the bridge early in the morning or later at night to avoid tourists. There’s no traffic allowed so you can stroll and lose yourself in your surroundings.
- Lobkowicz Palace – Situated in the castle complex, head here to enjoy an exquisite lunchtime concert and experience some music by the favourite
- Mala Strana – This is the ‘Little Quarter’ of the city and one of the oldest and most picturesque areas of Prague. This is the place to take a gentle stroll, before propping yourself up in a terrace or street cafe as you indulge in a Czech beer and a spot of people watching.
There are so many wonderful sites to see make sure you book in advance so that you can see everything and get straight to the front of queues. At Isango! there is a great selection of guided tours at Prague Castle, the Jewish quarter, around the concentration camps, and other historical sites, as well as various food and river cruises.
Where to stay
There are no vegan only hotels yet in Prague, but I recommend Hotel Pod Vezi in the stunning Mala Strana district, only 10 minutes walk to the Vegan’s Prague and Food of Love restaurants. The service is fantastic, the hotel staff understand veganism, and were very helpful. They arranged for a soya milk carton to be in the room for our arrival, and they had soya milk in a jug at breakfast, along with fruit smoothies, breads and lots of fruit. There’s also an organic supermarket near the hotel, which has vegan snacks and tofu pates.
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