When you first arrive in the Czech Republic, it can seem as though the only non-meat options available to you are cheese, pickled cheese, and fried cheese. If you're vegan, then the choices are even more limited – bread, potatoes and cabbage, with perhaps some rice every now and then.
While traditional Czech cuisine does not favour the vegetarians and vegans out there, Prague definitely has plenty to offer to suit your needs – not only with a few restaurants offering nice non-meat options, but with a surprising range of vegetarian and vegan restaurants that are cheap and delicious. There are also plenty of shops where you can buy soy milk, tofu and other vegan necessities. I'm not a full-time vegan myself, but I try to make around 75% of my meals so. After living here for nearly two years, this is the run-down of where to go and how to get there. I am not being paid by anyone to advertise, but if you see your restaurant here feel free to offer me a free meal!Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants
1. Radost FX, (Bělehradská 120, Prague 2)
Located just off the I.P.Pavlova stop on the 11 metro, Radost FX is many things - a café, a restaurant and a night club. On weekends they offer a brunch menu, but for me their main menu is the best thing - a variety of pizzas, burritos, veggie burgers, Asian-style dishes and loads more. I seem to always end up getting one of the burgers, but the other things are great, too. It's a little more expensive that the other vegetarian restaurants, but the service is usually great and the decor is amazing (Rihanna shot her video for Don't Stop the Music here).
2. Beas - (Týnská 19, Prague 1; Bělehradská 569/90, Prague 2; Vladislavova 1587/24, Prague 1)
There are three of these restaurants dotted around Prague, although I only know two of them. The one on Bělehradská
offers a variety of set menus for around 100Kč, all of which are amazingly filling - and it's 50% off between 8 and 9pm. The Tynská Beas lets you pile your plate with what you want, and the price is based on the weight. The food is Indian-style - curries, rice, samosas and halva desserts, all very nice.
3. (Týnská ulička 1064/6, Prague 1)
A two-minute walk from Old Town Square and you'll find this delightful little place. The vibe is very calm and spiritual - a Buddha statue or two, running water and posters advertising meditation meet-ups - and the food and drinks delicious. Food ranges from vegetarian lasagne to a Thai avocado salad, with a lot of great superfood drinks and amazing desserts (the vegan cheesecake is goood). It can be hard to get a table here, so it's better to reserve. Prices are around 150-200Kč for a main dish.
4. Loving Hut (Truhlářská 1119/20, Prague 1; Londýnská 216/35, Prague 2; Plzeňská 8/300, Prague 5)
I've only really visited the Loving Hut in Prague 5 (it's in the Novy Smichov shopping centre at Anděl) but it makes a great stop for fast, cheap, tasty vegan food. Loving Hut is an international brand, and everything is vegan. The style is similar to Chinese, Japanese or Vietnemese food (mixed together) with a lot of tofu or soy-meat making the dishes look like what you'd find at any other restaurant. In the daytime they have a weight-your-plate buffet, which is still running until 7pm or so at the Anděl one. My plate usually comes too 100Kč or so for a little bit of everything.
5. Maranatha (Vyskočilova 1100/2, Prague 4)
Take the metro (red line) to Budejovická and then a bus one stop to Brumlovká and you'll find this little gem in the shopping centre there. It's mostly a lunchtime buffet, but is often open later. Another help-yourself tray system, with extras like bakvala and soup available. The food is nice salads, paellas, risottos, curries and whatever they feel like making that day. Plates usually come to 120Kč or so. The atmosphere is quite nice if you sit by the aquarium. They also have a shop a few metres away selling organic products and meat/dairy substitutes like tofu, tempeh and soy cheese.
Another fairly recent discovery (although we used to live RIGHT by it), this one is near Jiřiho z Poděbrad and isn't that easy to spot, but when you do find it you'll be glad. They have one set menu every day, although you can buy separate parts of it or choose a big or "small" plate. The "small" plate is 90Kč and comes with the day's soup, salad, curry, rice, chutney, halva dessert and tea. Trust me, two people could share this and still be amazingly full afterwards. You can
also add on things like samosas for an extra charge.
7. Gopal (Nerudova 219/32, Prague 1; Elišky Peškové 469/6, Prague 5)
The one in Prague 1 is on the walk up from Malostrána to the castle, so you might not notice it at first. This is another Indian-style, hippe-feel place with very friendly staff (at least when I went there) and a set plate of soup, curry, rice/pasta, halva and salad is 120Kč (or 150Kč for all you can eat)! The website will show you their daily options.
8. Lehka Hlava (Boršov 280/2, Prague 1)
This means "clear head" or something, and is owned by the same people as Maitrea. The décor is great, and the kitchen is pretty much open so you can watch your food being prepared. The food was nice, but we felt that the service was a bit rushed, as if they had another party coming in straight after ours. However, when we wanted to order desserts, the waiters ignored us. There's no wonder - this place is always super-busy, so it's best to reserve a couple of days in advance.Restaurants with good veggie options
If you're dining out with carnivores, it can be hard to find a place where all of you will be happy with the food options. Of course, most pizza places are fine for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike, and some of the friendlier waiters might offer to prepare a pasta or rice dish without the meat for you. Prague is full of Vietnemese-owned restaurants, too, and a lot of them offer meatless dishes with tofu or soy meat instead. Even sushi can be a good option, as there are vegetarian sushi platters on most menus (with a lot of peppers and avocado). I have found a few restaurants that my vegetarian and meat-loving friends alike were pleased with, though, so I'll share:
Kavárna Velryba (Opatovická 156/24, Prague 1)
This little café is so close to the centre (down a windy street by Narodni Třida) and yet so cheap! They have things like hamburgers and steak for around 130Kč and veggie and vegan options for 99Kč or more. I was pretty impressed with their fish (pangasus), too. The atmosphere is very chilled, and it's quite popular with those who know about it.
If you like dark, candlelit Buddhas, this place is for you. They have a lot of nice teas as well as Japanese plum wine (ume-shu), and a bunch of different noodle or rice-based dishes, with meat, shrimp, tofu or just vegetables. The prices range from around 100 to 300Kč, depending on what you have in your dish. The soups and spring rolls are good, too. A nice place to go if you feel like meditating!Buying Vegan/Vegetarian Products
I won't spell out every single shop where you can buy products like tofu, rice milk etc, because there are actually a lot. Some Tescos even sell these things, and I've seen plenty of rice milk - as well as gluten-free produce - at DM, and those are everywhere. However, if you're looking for something specific, your best bet is a Bio-potraviny. The ones that I visit are in Pankrac mall or on Bělehradská, just off the Bruselská tram stop. I've also seen one on Vinohradská.
Another vegan restaurant that I forgot to mention is Country Life - I haven't eaten there, but they have lunchtime buffets and shops full of lentils, organic vegetables, rice/soy milk, tofu, tempeh etc, as well as some natural cleaning products. There's one just off Old Town square and one in Dejvická. Finally, if you spot a green nut shop called Diana, they usually sell a lot of these things (as well as gluten-free products and nice baklava) - there's one just off the I.P.Pavlova 11 tram stop, opposite Radost FX.
Finally, I found this great link listing every vegetarian restaurant in Prague. There are tons that I haven't included or even heard of until now, so have a look. It's in Czech but you can view it through a translator! Vegetarian.cz