by Tara Foss
Special to VegDining.com
Dining vegetarian in Prague is not as difficult as one might think.
There's plenty of goulash and pork, but if you don't mind cheese or eggs
(which you may have to eat for your vacation there), there is plenty to eat.
All restaurants or pubs will have vegetables,
"salads" (usually resembles American cole slaw or cucumber salad),
and cheeses and omelets.
It is possible to keep vegan in Prague but it is much more difficult than keeping ovo-lacto.
As for accommodations, to best keep vegan, you should rent your own apartment
for the time you're there.
The web site
www.marys.cz is terrific, friendly, English speaking, cheap, and very reliable.
You can do your food shopping in the many markets around the city center and cook at home.
One hint: you "must" have a basket or cart.
If one is not available, the store is crowded and it is most polite to wait
near the checkout line for one to open up.
The best, most intriguing food market in Prague is the "Bio-Market" just straight
over the Charles Bridge on the left of the road, on the Mala Strana side.
They have "protein nuggets" (aka TVP), organic yogurts and milk, canned or
dehydrated soups, bread mixes, puddings.
They sell beer, breads, pastries, candy and sundries.
It is a wonderful shop, but bring your own bag (that is a universal idea in Prague --
have your own bags whenever you make a purchase or the store will charge you extra).
The following restaurants are vegetarian or vegan or at least serve mega amounts of
Všehrdova 17, P1
Tel.: 532941, daily 11-24
Salads are fresh and tasty, the crepes are light and delectable.
Eveything is prepared with care and the results, but not the prices, reflect it.
The Viennese Salad with variety of veggies is a great dish to try,
and the dessert crepes are special treats.
Štepánská 32, P1
Tel.: 2421 7044
Daily M-Sa 11-23
Falafel and goulash are served side by side at this cafeteria-style restaurant.
When speed is the priority, this is the place to go for quick, quality bite.
Country Life (2 locations)
Jungmannova 1, P1
M-Th 9:30-18:30, F 10-15
Metro: Národní trída
Melantrichova 15, P1
M-Th 7:30-18:30, Su 12-18
A caféteria-like vegetarian establishment offers a variety of ready-made
selections including sandwiches, salads, veggie burgers and veggie goulash.
Don’t get frightened by the long line – it moves quickly and it’s
not difficult to squeeze yourself into a chair at someone’s already cramped table.
Visit the health food store on the way out and pick up items to cook at home.
Konviktská 11, P1
Tel.: 2423 3427, daily 9-23
Delicious and creative salads are artfully prepared at Erra.
The business lunch crowd gives way to a more artsy dinner scene.
Rathova pasáž, Ovocný trh 12, P1
Tel.: 2163 7171
Metro: Nám. Republiky
A caféteria-like restaurant, featuring a variety of hot and cold vegetarian dishes. Many of the hot dishes look like meat, but are actually hearty and creative vegetarian concoctions. You won’t leave here hungry.
Govinda Vegetarian Club
Soukenická 27, P1
M-F 11-17, Sa 8-17
Metro: Nám. Republiky
Na hrázi 5, P8
A vegan restaurant run by the Hare Krishnas, it offers the vegetarian potluck meal of the day
for a mere 55 Kc. Cheap, quick, and tasty. It is a pay what you can. If you can't
afford to pay, you may still eat; if you can afford more than
the US$1.75 for a meal, please give it.
Janovského 4, P7
French owned wine bar which serves crepes.
Platnérská 13, P1
Tel.: 232 2390
Dishes are creatively concocted with only the healthiest and purest ingredients
at this quiet and classy restaurant.
Belgická 19, P2
Metro: Nám. Míru
A romantic café furnished with dilapidated antique tables and frequented by
Prague’s young intellectual set. The service is unbelievably slow, but the
laid-back patrons don’t seem to mind. One of the few cafés in town to offer a
Linhartská 2, P1
Open: M-Sa 10-20, Su noon-20
Even though it is only half a block off of Malé námestí, few tourists seem to find their way to this Italian-owned café offering a dozen kinds of grappa and other Italian treats.
Na príkope 12, P1
Tel.: 2421 0204
Metro: Mustek/Nám. Republiky
You’ll find the same atmosphere, decor and gregarious wait staff characteristic of Friday’s
everywhere. Although the menu is not as extensive as elsewhere,
healthy options include salads, baked potatoes, pasta and veggies.
I do not recommend this, but in a pinch ...
nám. Curieových 43/5, P1
Tel.: 2488 9914, 2488 9916
Large, fresh salads, with or without grilled chicken on top, are among the
healthy options here. Guiltless and convenient after a workout at the hotel fitness club.
Also, if you do eat dairy, the little stands on the Vaclavske Nam. serve a
fried cheese sandwich that will clog your arteries, but satiate your appetite in a pinch.
Many of the hot dishes (teple jidla) that claim to be vegetarian in restaurants
have meat base or are cooked with meat.
Most Praguers do not understand the question "bes masa?" "Without meat?"
There will be no meat pieces in your dish, but it will have been cooked with meat.
If you aren't comfortable with that possibility, then pick a
different restaurant or different dish.