Czech Republic: Being a Vegetarian in Prague

Submitted by Esha Shah on the 2021 fall semester program in Prague, Czech Republic…

Coming to Prague, so many people had warned me that I would have trouble finding food that would fit my dietary needs as a vegetarian. Since arriving, I’ve realized that on Czech cuisine menus themselves, an observation that I had was the number of meat options, namely beef, which is meat that is not as typical in the United States. So far, I’ve had the fried cheese with tartar sauce and boiled potatoes on the side. I’ve also tried fried cauliflower with tartar sauce which is similar to the fried cauliflower dishes I’ve had in the United States. Although, I have noticed in my time in the Czech Republic that the cuisine itself does not offer many vegetarian options, the country is progressive enough to offer options for various diets. There have happened to be far more options than I imagined first coming to Prague including plenty of single-standing vegetarian/vegan restaurants.

Personally, in terms of access to milk alternatives, I’ve been able to access them through online delivery and the Anglo-American University campus where they have options to add to your coffee. Speaking of milk though, there is something to be wary of while grocery shopping in Prague. Milk that you may be used to back home will not look the same in terms of packaging. For example, when I attempted to buy milk, I ended up buying a more sour, chunkier milk that is actually sold for cooking purposes, but in the same package as the normal milk. Trial and error are all part of the study abroad process, so don’t be afraid to make those mistakes. It has helped that both my roommate and I are both vegetarian, so we’ve been able to discover vegetarian options both at the grocery store and at restaurants. I’ll be honest, at times I feel like I have more options for delicious vegetarian/vegan restaurants than I do back home in Newark, which has definitely come as a cultural shock. There seems to be a variety of cuisines offered here that may not be widely available in Newark, for example Vietnamese, Mediterranean, and Indian restaurants. I hope this helps all those that may be apprehensive about traveling to a country like the Czech Republic and not having many options for food. Whether you are vegan or vegetarian, prefer meatless options, or are simply looking for something new to try, you can rest assured that Prague will have options for you!

Picture of my meal at the Restaurant Lokal which is considered a Czech cuisine restaurant. On the plate can be seen fried cheese, tartar sauce, and boiled potatoes.
Picture of my meal at a restaurant in Bohemian Switzerland which is considered more of a tourist stop. On the plate can be seen fried cauliflower, tartar sauce, and French fries.