We visited Prague for a short holiday last month and on the train, we were sat next to two women from Berlin who were wondering where to eat in Prague since they are vegetarian.
I feel like this is a legitimate question, the local Bohemian cuisine being known for meat dishes, like goulash, grilované klobásy, and koleno, not to mention the popular pražská šunka or Prague ham sold in small kiosks in the Old Town Square.
The easiest answer to this question is beer is definitely vegetarian and I’ve been told beer from the Czech Republic is one of the nicest and cheapest in the world. Markus sure liked our quick stop to a local pub in the Jewish quarter, but I don’t drink so we had to think further than that.
Fortunately, it isn’t very hard to find good vegetarian food in Prague and if you’re still planning your trip and wondering where and what to eat in Prague, here’s my short list for you fellow vegetarians.
1. Everything at Country Life
Not too far from the Main Square near the astronomical clock is one branch of Country Life, a self-service, cafeteria-style, vegan restaurant with all the deliciousness plant-based eaters can ask for. They have a salad bar, desserts, and savory meals, plus crispy potatoes! You pay by weight and it’s really affordable. Eating here was a joy, I loved the ambience, how clean it is, and all the food options. It’s the kind of place I wish I had a bigger stomach for!
2. Smažený sýr at U Červeného páva or The Red Peacock
Two words: fried cheese. Smažený sýr or vyprážaný syr is a local Czech food that is a nap waiting to happen. It’s crispy on the outside and oozing with melted cheese on the inside. And it is served with potatoes. Perfection. 100% blessing for vegetarians.
After much searching, we had ours at a nice, sort of hidden restaurant in an unassuming alley outside of the Main Square called U Červeného páva or The Red Peacock. Markus also had crispy cauliflower here, not on the menu but you can definitely ask for it.
The Red Peacock had a date night ambience too, which made eating fried cheese here a delight.
3. Vegetarian offerings at Svetozor
Svetozor is a cinema in Prague and downstairs is its cafeteria that serves good, hearty, and cheap food with some vegetarian options. Really comforting, homecooked-style food. This is where we had our first meal in Prague since it’s not far from our accommodation, Hotel Occidental Praha Wilson.
On our visit, they had really nice buttery potatoes, potato soup, and some battered zucchini. There were other veg dishes on the menu, like the classic Czech bread dumplings, but since we came after the lunch rush, they were gone!
4. Stir fried rice at Wokin
A local hunt, Wokin offers custom stir fried rice or noodle boxes. The usual meat ingredients are there, but there is plenty for vegetarians to mix and match like mushrooms, all sorts of vegetables, nuts, and sauces. I actually enjoyed the short process of making my own box and it tastes really nice! Easily the best fast food I have ever visited.
In Germany, it is called Baumstriezel; in Romania, Kürtőskalács, and in Czech Republic, it is Trdelnik. It doesn’t matter how it’s called. These chimney cakes are always a joy!
Trdelnik reminds me of the bite of a doughnut, only it’s lighter. I also love how it’s cooked on a wooden spit in coal, which gives me silly barbecue vibes. There are many over the top versions of Trdelnik, think with ice cream, chocolate, and sprinkles, but nothing beats the classic with cinnamon sugar.
6. Asian restaurants
Prague is littered with plenty of Asian restaurants, and by Asian, I mean Chinese, Vietnamese, or Thai. Oh, and there’s this one Lebanese place near the Central Station.
At first, we wanted to try the vegan bao at Vietfood opposite Wokin but they were out so we ended up on the Thai place next to Wokin called Modrý zub.
They made vegetarian Pho with tofu for me, even if the option is not on the menu, so also a reminder to always ask if a dish can be made vegetarian at restaurants in Prague. Markus being the curry feind that he is had his favorite massaman curry.
7. Traditional breakfast at Alfredo Caffe
I’m not sure if fresh apple juice, homemade apple strudel with generous amounts of whipped cream, and tea are traditional Czeck breakfasts, but I’m all for it!
It’s warm and comforting, a perfect way to start a day of wandering the streets of Prague. This cafe is located on Havelská St. where the Havelska Street Market is on every day.
Sidenote: If you think this market is heaven for vegetarians, think again. As attractive as they are, the tubs of fruit on this market are scammy. Best to buy your fresh fruits and vegetables in the supermarket, the nearest from this market is called Albert inside the train station Můstek. Under here, you can also see the old remnants of a bridge that actually gave its name to the station.
8. More vegetarian options
Bramborak or potato pancakes spiced with marjoram, knedliky or bread dumplings, babovka or bundt cake with nuts, chlebíčky or open-faced sandwich for breakfast, nakládaný hermelín or pickled cheese as a bar snack, and palačinky or Czech pancakes similar to crepes.
Unfortunately, we were unable to try these vegetarian meals in Prague but you certainly have the option to do so when you are hungry and in town.