Nowadays, more and more people are turning to a healthier lifestyle and eating habits, without meat or animal products. They’re becoming vegetarians, vegans, pescetarians, etc. However, there are still many who are confused by those notions. I’ll try to illustrate them.
Although it may seem like a new expanding trend, vegetarianism and veganism are accepted for quite a long time in the European North and West, not to mention the cultures that base their diet on avoiding most of the meat products (for example, Indian cuisine).
How do the Czechs perceive it?
In the Czech Republic, both notions are still taken with disbelief and prejudice. It’s no wonder, considering that the Czech cuisine contains almost exclusively meat dishes. Czech grannies are competing against each other who’ll make the better and juicier pork knee, tripe soup, roasted goose or a simple svíčková
(beef with dumplings in a creamy sauce). In a typical Czech restaurant, the only alternative to meat dishes that you’ll find is fried cheese, an option still not suitable for vegans. Situations like making your Czech boyfriend’s grandparents confused and abashed when you’re invited for lunch (and you’re a vegetarian!) still happen in the Czech Republic. However, in the last few years, the Czech state of mind is opening towards new ideas and acceptance of different eating habits, thus a great and increasing number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the state capital Prague. I can recommend some of them.
Prague Veggie-friendly restaurants
The international Loving Hut is one of the oldest and the most expanded vegan restaurants in the Czech Republic, with a branch in almost every corner of Prague. They offer a large variety of international vegan dishes, from soy burgers, vegan schnitzels, Italian spaghetti or Asian food (Vietnamese Pho or spring rolls, Chinese Kung Pao or Japanese sushi) for affordable prices (less than 8€ for a meal).
Another veggie-friendly chain with a nice ambiance, where you can either order the main dish (the offer is similar as in Loving Hut) or try a bit of everything from the buffet and pay by weight (less than 8€ for a meal).
The name of the restaurant literally means „clear head“ and it’s a bit expensive and exclusive vegetarian restaurant with an innovative design and a homely feel. I advise you to escape from the busy city center into a small alley Boršov and try some of their delicious food (especially during the more affordable daily menu from 11:30).
The most popular Indian chain pay-by-weight buffet in Prague is Dhaba Beas
, but you can certainly try other options (a taste of true India in the Golden Tikka
, K The Two Brothers
and many others). Indian restaurants are usually a bit more expensive in Prague (10-15€).
The health benefits of vegetarianism/veganism
In spite of the often incomprehension and skepticism that omnivores have towards vegetarians and vegans, this type of diet has positive effects on human health: it’s filled with vitamins and minerals, free of cholesterol and saturated fat and it lowers the risk of many health conditions (diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc.). We should at least recognize the facts and respect other people’s choice without judgment.