Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world; picturesque, magical and a place that will capture your heart within minutes of setting foot there. It’s bohemian, alternative and wonderful! The people are some of the friendliest and polite you’ll find anywhere, and, as if it couldn’t get any better, Prague is incredibly vegan-friendly too!
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 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. Rest assured that wherever you stroll in the city, you won’t be far away from some scrumptious vegan food.
100% Vegan places
Vegan’s Prague 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 from Vegan’s Prague, this hidden oasis has a focus on raw food (try the cakes!) and the most inviting and welcoming atmosphere, you won’t want to leave.
Incruenti Here you’ll find more of a mediterranean-style cuisine, with homemade bread and pasta. The owners are keen advocates of zero waste eating.
Loving Hut 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
Veganland – OC Fenix Another favourite for lovers of Asian food, pay by weight and in buffet format. There’s also a small shop, and you’ll find several Veganland locations throughout the city.
Etnosvet Bistro 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 Grab a green juice or smoothie, or why not indulge in a raw chocolaty dessert or two!
My Raw Cafe Raw cakes, raw sweets, and of course lots of savory 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.
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!
It’s always nice and polite to greet, say thank you and say goodbye in the local language, and you’ll find that generally most places will be able to speak very good English. As I’ve said before, the Czech people are exceedingly polite, and will always greet and say goodbye to you if you enter their shop, their cafe, 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 also recommend listening to the pronunciations on YouTube or Google Translate.
As we know, it’s always wise to know the basics when it comes to making sure you get what you order, so here are the top vegan phrases to know in Czech. A huge thank you to the lovely Žaneta, Happiness Manager at amazing vegan restaurant Food of Love for providing the Czech translations.
Hello – Dobrý den
Goodbye – Na shledanou
Thank you – Děkuji
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 5 sites to visit
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 does get busy, so make sure you get there early! Stand right in front of the tower, opposite the clock face.
Prague Castle – If history is your thing, you simply must visit Prague Castle. Not only are there beautiful views of the city, you can also 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, Prague story and Rosenberg palace (time-dependent).
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. There are lots of statues, each with their own plaque and their own story to tell. Cameras at the ready!
Old Jewish Cemetery – A sobering experience, but not one to be missed. You can also buy a ticket for the whole Jewish Quarter which allows you entry to the museum, synagogues, the cemetery and celebration hall.
Lobkowicz Palace – Situated in the castle complex, head here to enjoy an exquisite lunchtime concert and experience some music by the favourite Czech composers. The concert hall is beautiful and the music will transport you back to years gone by.
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.
Where to stay
There aren’t any vegan or vegetarian only hotels yet in Prague, however I firmly recommend staying at Hotel Pod Vezi, which is in the stunning Mala Strana district, and only a 10-minute walk to two vegan restaurants – Vegan’s Prague and Food of Love. The service is fantastic, the people working at the hotel understand all about veganism, and were very helpful in giving us tips and where to go. They arranged for a carton of soya milk to be left in the room ready for our arrival, and they also had soya milk in a jug at breakfast time, along with fruit smoothies, breads and lots of fruit. We were kindly presented with a huge fruit basket too! There’s also a small organic supermarket opposite the hotel, which has a few vegan snacks and tofu pates which are perfect with some bread!
How to get there
You can fly from Manchester (2hr 15min), London (1hr 45min), Bristol, Edinburgh and other main airports direct to Prague. For the cheapest flights check out either Skyscanner.net or Google Flights. It’s advisable to pre book a taxi transfer that will collect you from the airport and take you to your hotel. Your hotel will be able to book this for you. There are no train or metro links from the airport to the centre, so if you don’t want to get a taxi, you can take a bus. For more information click here.
This article was first published in Vegan Food & Living Magazine.