Those of you who already visited the Czech Republic have probably noticed the absence of vegetarian and vegan dishes in the traditional Czech cuisine. If you haven’t been there yet, beware: if you’re of a plant eating persuasion the chances are high you’ll end up eating fried cheese and potatoes with tartar sauce. For days in a row.
The Czech countryside might not be as versatile when it comes to dishes. That, however, could not be said for Prague. Here’s a short list of vegetarian meals definitely worth tasting while in Prague. Some of the places on the list do not serve vegetarian and vegan food only – we’re sure your meat eating friends will appreciate that!
When in Czechia, do as the Czechs do
Trying out local cuisine is always an exciting experience. That is if you don’t end up in a meat-eating society. In such cases vegetarians and vegans are left out of a perfect cultural experience. Wouldn’t it be cool if somebody would make plant based alternatives of traditional meat dishes? Guess what? Somebody is! For those of you who want to taste traditional Czech dish called svíčková minus the meat, Maitrea is the place to go. Sweet and sour cranberries, creamy sauce, soft bread dumplings, tender…meat? You’ll be surprised how they nailed the texture.
Good morning Vietnam!
A visit to Prague is a perfect opportunity to explore more than just one culture. There are 14 recognised minorities living in the Czech Republic. Among them one can also find a vibrant Vietnamese community. If you don’t have time for a proper Vietnamese meal in a restaurant go for a quick snack. A fusion of the french and Vietnamese culture, the Bánh mì sandwich (courtesy of Mr. Bánh mì), is pleasantly spicy and fresh – perfect for any time of the year. Meat lovers can decide between several meat varieties while plant eaters can choose between a tofu or mushroom version. If you’re in doubt whether the sandwich will clench your hunger take fried potatoes as a side dish. Also, make sure to treat yourself to a vietnamese coffee!
More than a Burger
Not far from the crowded Národní třída (Avenue of the Nation in English) metro station, hidden from unwatchful eyes, lies a cosy little vegetarian restaurant. If you happen to stumble upon Estrella, remember these 6 words: quinoa spinach burger with cheddar cheese. The burger comes with a butter brioche, basil arugula pesto, caper mayonnaise, red onion, tomato and mesclun salad – what more could you ask for? Hint: it goes well with one of carefully selected beers on tap brewed by Czech microbreweries.
It’ll take you just a (vegan) moment…
…to stop at Cafe Moment and pick up one of their delicious vegan sandwiches made from home baked bread, fresh carrots and beetroot, salad, tofu and vegan spread. From there you can go to the nearby Riegrovy sady park (walking distance cca 10 minutes) and enjoy a spectacular view of Prague castle. If you’re not in a picnic mood you can also just stay in the cafe and treat yourself to vegan cookies, cakes or wraps.
Let’s get our hands sticky!
This place will definitely put you into a Latin mood. Loud music, roaring drums, wide smiles, homey atmosphere…a taste of Venezuela. This and more at Arepas De Lyna. Besides meat arepas you can choose between a vegan or vegetarian option. Don’t hesitate to try out a home made lemonade while you’re waiting for your dish. Once served, make sure to follow instructions on how to enjoy arepas to the max by no other than Lyna herself. Don’t worry if your hands get sticky from sauce and black from beans, all is allowed at “home”.
Written by: Aljaž Malek