Compassionate Catering: Vegan experience in Prague

BY AMANDA HEMMINGS

I’ll admit it. Being a vegan and eating out can be tricky, especially if the waiters equate ‘veganism’ to ‘gluten free’. But whilst staying in Prague, I have been spoilt for choice; something which I’ve never experienced as a vegan and it’s pretty exciting.

For anyone interested in the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, there is an app called Happy Cow; it picks up your location and shows you what vegan or veggie restaurants are nearest to you, and there appear to be quite a lot roaming in this diverse city. It turns out that Prague is one of the most vegan-friendly and tolerant cities in all of Europe.

So, obviously I’ve been to as many varied vegan places as possible (and I’m still to try out more!). I’ll give you a brief overview of everywhere I’ve been and give a little review too.

  1. Loving Hut – A European chain restaurant and take-away that started out in Vietnam. All vegan, a canteen buffet style restaurant where you pay by the weight of your plate. A typical filled plate is around 100CZK, which is definitely fabulous value for money. They serve rice, fried foods, veggies cooked in lots of ways, fake cheeses and meats, burgers, salads and condiments. The set menu changes by the day. My advice would be to go to the large, three floor Loving Hut in New Town, as it has a nicer atmosphere (the other ones resemble McDonalds), and the bottom floor not only has a huge selection of dairy AND gluten free ice cream and cakes, but an amazing health shop which is an European dupe of Holland and Barrett.20160806_19175520160810_123316_HDR
  2. Country Life – Similar to Loving Hut, but with a cosier and warmer feeling seating area, both outside and inside; situated in a quiet square of Prague. They change their menu throughout the day, specifying each dish in English for those more sceptical about trying new things. There’s a health shop opposite and the restaurant even serve raw ice creams in a generous variety of flavours.20160803_113916_HDR
  3. RawCha – I have mixed feelings about this place. Just a 2 minute walk from New Town Loving Hut, it is hidden down an alleyway which leads you into a bright yet quaint courtyard. When my boyfriend and I entered, the first and most obvious thing we noticed was that it was completely empty. Pretty interior, nice enough staff (although we only saw one member) but for the prices, you get quite a small amount. I had the raw mushroom soup and a coconut water from a ‘young coconut’ and the drink cost so much more than the actual meal, as well as costing more than a large meal at Loving Hut! I wouldn’t recommend this place if you’re on a tight budget, however, the food I did try was wonderful…even if it was gone in three spoonfuls.20160807_125851
  4. VegansPrague – Situated by Prague Castle, this place was completely unplanned, with thanks to Happy Cow. This lovely place with two floors of seating offers both raw and cooked dishes, including raw spaghetti made from courgettes, potato goulash, avocado tartar and lighter dishes such as hummus and bread and salads with veggies. A lot of the drinks are fresh and homemade too; like the raspberry lemonade. They also have a gluten free burger. All of the staff are lovely and speak pretty good English; the only downfall would be that you have to climb a hefty three flights of stairs just to get to the restaurant.20160810_16492620160810_165335
  5. Plevel – a two minute walk from the metro station Mustek A, this restaurant prides itself in ‘The best vegan restaurant in Prague 2015’. It has a sophisticated, club-like vibe to it, quite the opposite to the other vegan places, and the staff are all young and laid back. I had two dishes; the raw linguine and the raw lasagne with pesto (I have a thing for courgette based dishes). Both were gorgeously presented and it was two of the best meals I’ve had here. They also offer a variety of burgers, tofu and tempeh dishes, and wonderful tasting cakes (I may have eaten half of my boyfriend’s lemon cheesecake). Decent prices and a great service – I get the feeling this place gets busier in the evenings, though.13937067_1102614333157043_1770250166_n20160809_1720436. MyRawCafe – Okay, so I saved the best till last. I have been here more frequently than I’d like to admit in my short time here, and I have no regrets. This place overrides every other restaurant and café in every single aspect. Firstly, the staff are the most humble and friendly people who speak excellent English; when stepping into the café you almost feel as though you could kick your shoes off and change into your pyjamas due to the homely look and general atmosphere. When I first opened the menu, I was completely spoilt for choice. Raw pizza, tortillas, soups, salads, even raw breakfasts (shown in the pictures). There are so many freshly made juices and other drinks to choose from too, and if you go, I highly recommend the ‘mylk cocktail’ named ‘Maca Love’ – if you’re like me and love bananas and dates. They make everything fresh by the day, using only plant based, non-processed foods; including the raw cakes. (A healthy dessert? You know it!) You can even watch them make it! It’s so comfortable, with sofas and cushions, and all of the customers are chilled and content. If you don’t want a specific ingredient in your meal, they’ll happily take it out for you. I can’t recommend this place enough! It deserves more pictures.

 

Ultimately, my experience travelling is enhanced by trying new foods that are a rarity even in a cultured place like Leicester. What I’ve loved about going to these places the most is seeing the looks on people’s faces when they realize that vegan food doesn’t have to be boring, and having them change their perspective on the lifestyle choice. Yes, even vegans can have their cake and eat it too.

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