Let’s face it… the Czech Republic isn’t a country known for its love of vegetarian food. With most of its national dishes revolving around meat, it can be tough to find meals and snacks that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. But, Prague is different. The Czech capital is home to some fantastic vegetarian restaurants and you can find at least one vegetarian dish on most menus across the city too. So let’s explore the options for finding vegetarian food in Prague… I hope you’re hungry!
The Best Vegetarian Food in Prague
Vegetarian Traditional Czech Specialities
While most typical Czech dishes are meat-based, some of the best Czech food served in Prague is naturally vegetarian. From fried cheese to dumplings, you might not be spoilt for choice, but you’ll definitely be able to eat something tasty!
Smažený sýr (Fried Cheese With Potatoes)
Smažený sýr is a Czech dish of deep-fried cheese coated in breadcrumbs with potatoes and tartare sauce. Whilst fried cheese and chips might sound like a heart attack on a plate, it’s actually a good source of protein for vegetarians visiting Prague – just not a very health one.
Smažený sýr has been the most common vegetarian option on a Czech menu for years, but even now with the demand for vegetarian food at an all-time high, it remains one of the most popular. It certainly makes a great introduction to Czech vegetarian food in Prague, anyway!
You can find smažený sýr on the menu of most pubs and Czech restaurants in Prague. Lokal is often touted as serving the best fried cheese in Prague. It serves traditional Czech food, and while the vast majority of the menu contains meat, the fried cheese is one of the most popular dishes. Here, it’s fried in butter and served with tartare sauce and boiled new potatoes for a little more refinement. There are two different branches of Lokal in central Prague: the first, Lokal U Bílé kuželky on Míšeňská is just over Charles Bridge. The other, Lokál Dlouhá, is in the New Town. Both branches serve the freshest food and drinks – even the beer is served directly from the tanks in the dining room!
For a quick and easy meal with plenty of atmosphere, try Zephyr Excelent Pub. This touristy pub is the headquarters of Sandeman’s free walking tour in Prague. Mid-way through all walking tours, your guide will bring you here for a break and a beer (if you fancy one). There’s a special menu for those on the tour, so it’s a bit of a tourist trap and probably not particularly good value or top quality food. That said, it’s still a good place to try the dish if you don’t have much time in Prague – the portions were large (certainly big enough for lunch for two) and tasty. If you still want to try it, you’ll find it on Michalska street between Charles Bridge and the Old Town.
Trdelník (Chimney Cake)
While chimney cake isn’t strictly a Czech food, you’ll find it everywhere on the streets of Prague. Much like the ones you’ll find in Hungary, trdelník is made from strips of dough wrapped around a stick and then cooked over hot coals or a gas fire.
Head to Good Food, Coffee and Bakery for the widest (and wildest) selection of toppings. You could fill your trdelník with ice cream, fruit, chocolate or even savoury options like mac & cheese. Yes, really! Just say no to the bacon topping when they ask. For something really different, try the Chimney Devil with activated charcoal ice cream and two chillis made to look like devil horns. You’ll find it on the tourist trail between Charles Bridge and the Old Town. Just look for the crowd of people instagramming their trdelníks outside the door!
If you need something sweet while exploring the Lesser Town, head to Waffle Point U Katejana. Because you deserve it after climbing all those stairs to the castle, right? The trdelník dough is soft, fresh and delicious and can be flavoured with almonds, coconut, cinnamon sugar or walnuts. Waffle Point’s basic trdelník can also be made vegan to suit a plant-based diet!
Ovocné Knedlíky (Czech Fruit Dumplings)
One of the most famous is Czech fruit dumplings, or ovocné knedlíky. They’re little balls of batter traditionally filled with plums or other stone fruits, before being boiled and topped with butter and cream cheese. While they may sound like a delicious dessert to you and me, they’re more commonly eaten by Czechs as their main course at lunch!
Try ovocné knedlíky at Krystal Mozaika Bistro that serves traditional Czech cuisine with some French refinement. The dumplings are on the dessert menu so don’t fill up too much on the main! You can choose to have your dumplings with curd cheese, poppy seeds, walnuts, butter or plum jam so why not try them all? Krystal is in the Karlin district, which is north-east of the centre but easy enough to get to on the metro. The closest station is Křižíkova and Krystal is literally over the street from there.
For somewhere more central, try Cafe Savoy, just over the Bridge of Legions. It’s very fancy, with chandeliers and art deco style decor. Thanks to the patisserie in the corner of the dining room, you’ll know the sweets are good here. At lunchtime, look for the the plum dumplings on the main courses menu. After 6pm, you’ll find them with the desserts.
Traditional Czech Beer
Okay, beer isn’t technically a food, but you can’t go to Prague without trying some delicious, vegetarian, local Czech beer! I don’t want to hazard a guess at the best beer in Prague, as there are loads of options and it’s all down to personal preference. However, there are some brands you may recognise from home, including Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen and Kozel. The most fun part of drinking beer in Prague is trying them all and finding your favourite!
The best place to do that is at the Prague Beer Museum. They have 30 micro-brewery beers on tap, giving you one of the widest choices in the city. You can ask for a beer taster board with smaller portions of different beers to try. With these taster boards, you might actually be able to find your favourite before you lose your ability to taste them!
Dedicated Vegetarian and Vegan Cafes & Restaurants in Prague
Though dedicated vegetarian restaurants in Prague are still scarce in comparison to those serving meat, the available choice is excellent.
This rather unimaginatively titled restaurant, Vegan’s Prague, is located in Lesser Town up by Prague’s Castle complex. It has beautiful views from its outdoor terrace, so be sure to go on a sunny day to make the most of this restaurant’s setting.
If the view isn’t enough to tempt you, the vegan food certainly will be. As well as serving up plant-based versions of some classic Czech dishes (vegans, you CAN try the dumplings after all!) the menu is also full of food inspired by other parts of the world too, including Italy, the Middle East and Mexico. Prices are reasonable – you can get a main course for just 239Kč, which is just over £8 (GBP) or $10 (USD). You’ll be pleased to hear the beer is cheap too.
Dhaba Beas is a chain of vegetarian and vegan buffet restaurants that can be found all over Prague. The owners pride themselves on their use of fresh, authentic ingredients to create mouth-watering vegetarian dishes that hold their roots firmly in Indian, Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. You can tuck into a fresh salad, pieces of bread still warm from the oven or a hearty Indian curry with no meat, fish or eggs in sight. It’s a dream for both picky eaters and those who want to try a bit of everything!
As all Dhaba Beas branches are self-service restaurants, you’ll get a unique and casual dining experience where you only pay for the food you put on your tray (239Kč per 100g – 70p (GBP) $1 (USD)). And if your eyes are too big for your stomach, ask for a takeaway container to snack on later!
Lekha Hlava (Clear Head)
Lekha Hlava (also known as Clear Head) is a dedicated vegetarian restaurant in Prague. It’s got a slightly hippy vibe in modern and comfortable surroundings close to Charles Bridge. The interior was designed by local artists and you’re guaranteed service with a smile.
Being a fan of traditional food, I tried their vegetarian take on a Czech roast dinner made with seitan protein, dumplings, red cabbage, crispy onions and gravy. While it was tasty, the seitan was almost too meat-like for my tastes, but I would have happily eaten anything else on the menu. My husband’s dish (grilled goats cheese served on potato dauphinoise, with spinach in a creamy Thai curry-style sauce) was delicious!
Lekha Hlava’s sister restaurant, Maitrea, is close to the Old Town with decor inspired by feng shui and a Buddha water fountain. It serves a fully vegetarian menu of healthy food, made with quality ingredients. The dishes are all very varied, they don’t follow a particular cuisine as you could enjoy Mexican, Thai, Japanese, Italian, Czech – there’s something from all corners of the world!
The best thing about the menu is that it’s easy to suit your dietary requirements. Some dishes are marked as vegan, others that they contain honey, some are raw, others can be made vegan but they’re all vegetarian. And delicious!
Eating at MyRaw Cafe is like eating a delicious, healthy breakfast in someone’s living room. The cosy armchairs and bright decor will immediately make you feel at home. Plus they can cater for every dietary requirement under the sun. If you’re following a gluten-free diet, they’ll have something for you. Vegan? They’ve certainly got that covered. A desire to eat only raw food? They can do that for you too!
MyRaw Cafe serves some of the best vegan and vegetarian food in Prague that’s also wonderfully healthy. The ingredients they use are heated up to a maximum of 42c so they retain their vitamins and essential nutrients without compromising on flavour. And of course, they only use the best ingredients. The breakfast gets good reviews, but there’s also a dinner menu if you need something more substantial for your lunch or evening meal.
Herbivore is one of the best vegan restaurants in Prague, just south down the river from the Dancing House. It’s a casual breakfast place that gets rave reviews for its stunning acai bowl, but they serve lunch too. Just like Dhaba Beas, there’s a salad station where you pay by the weight of your lunch.
Inside Herbivore, the decor is very cute, with reclaimed tables and trays. In addition to the beautifully presented food they serve for breakfast and lunch, they also sell organic produce, ethical cleaning products and toiletries too. It’s a great place to pick up the essentials if you’re staying in a self-catering apartment nearby.
Vegetarian Friendly Cafes & Restaurants in Prague
These restaurants serve delicious vegetarian food in Prague, despite also preparing meat in the kitchen. Remember you may need to specify that you are a vegetarian just in case what sounds like a vegetarian soup comes topped with bacon. It does happen!
It’s rare to find a restaurant so close to the designated tourist area that not only serves top quality food, but that is also reasonably priced. Bistro Monk is just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Astronomical Clock, and is an Instagrammer’s dream too. The restaurant itself is very bright and airy, but there’s also a courtyard if you fancy a meal al fresco. This place can get very busy, so prepare to wait for a table or book in advance!
The food not only looks beautiful, but with the locally sourced ingredients, you can tell a lot of pride goes into these meals. About half of the menu is vegan or vegetarian, meaning there’s plenty for the meat eaters in your group too.
Paprika Mediterranean Bistro & Bar
Paprika Mediterranean Bistro & Bar was one of our best finds for vegetarian food in Prague. Paprika is a tiny Israeli cafe, and the self-confessed home of hummus in Prague. Beyond the hummus, they also serve fresh falafel, salads and other Middle Eastern delights.
Just be careful – if you order one of the combo platters to share with a meat-eating friend. There’s a good chance the chicken will be served on the same dish as your falafel, hummus and salad, so ask for any meat to be plated separately just in case!
We arrived just before 1pm for lunch, and by the time we’d placed our order at the cash desk, the place was filled with a queue out the door! If it really is too busy, they do great takeaways that you could eat in the beautiful grounds of nearby St. Ludmila Church.
Italian food is normally a safe bet for vegetarians in any city, including Prague. There’s loads of places around the Old Town Square, including a pizza by the slice stall if you get stuck for lunch. For something more substantial, try Wine O’Clock Shop Prague for Italian-style tapas or Pastar Restaurant and Food Shop. At Pastar, you can choose from a couple of permanently available vegetarian options, but the kitchen is also willing to tweak the menu for vegetarians too.
The vegetarian food in Indian restaurants is some of the best in the world. Thankfully, Prague is full of fantastic Indian restaurants! Indian Jewel in the centre of the Old Town, but its position in a quiet courtyard makes you feel like you’re far from the main tourist trail. The food is excellent, and there’s plenty of choice for vegetarians.
Risotto is the token vegetarian option on most menus, including Kavarna Velryba. But when it tastes this good, who cares? Kavarna Velryba prides itself on its Italian style menu and legendary burgers – all very reasonably priced. I enjoyed a huge plate of spinach risotto topped with halloumi, but you can also try the halloumi burger.
Kavarna Velryba is a bar/restaurant on a back street close to the statue of Kafka. Its bare walls and cold tired floors might be off-putting, but give it a chance and you’ll find it’s really friendly. There’s another room out the back that’s a bit more comfortable with soft furnishings. The locals love it, and we found it packed with groups of friends enjoying beers after work. We were the only tourists when we visited, but they do have an English menu if your Czech isn’t in check.
Naplavka Farmer’s Market
Naplavka Farmer’s Market is a street food market along the riverbank, just south of the Dancing House. Every Saturday morning between 8am and 2pm, you can stop by for breakfast, brunch or lunch, or even all three! The list of stalls changes every week, but there are some permanent vegetarian stalls that will be ready to serve you.
Try Food for Life, a stall serving up quality vegan and vegetarian specialities, or Galetka Pancakes for a delicious lunchtime pancake filled with cheese, spinach or topped with something sweet.
While meat remains the star of the show, the choice of vegetarian food in Prague is definitely growing. The abundance of vegetarian restaurants in Prague proves that the Czech capital is an easy, if not a particularly obvious, place to enjoy excellent vegetarian food.
What are your favourite places to eat vegetarian food in Prague? Do you know of any restaurants or cafes I should add to my list? Let me know in the comments!
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