Vegan in Prague

Vegan "Cheese" cake in Prague

Prague is a beautiful, romantic city. Very similar to Paris, in a way, only that Paris is much more modern (and expensive!). Prague is a treasure for architecture lovers and a heaven for lovers: it seems that every corner were taken out of a painting.

This is my little trip journal from the journey:

“I’m on my way to Prague, first time as a vegan. My memories from airplanes from my non vegan time, are not too bad. As a food lover I really ate everything. Even plane food was ok in certain circumstances.
I’m flying with Lufthansa which is a big, respected airline. Of course, I ordered vegan meal. Well, they didn’t really have a vegan meal option, but I could select  the vegetarian option and add non dairy, which gave the vegan option, pretty much.
So I’m on the airplane, food is been served, and the nice air host telling me with a big smile that they have no vegan meals for me. He has no idea why! I was very disappointed because, we’ll, I love food, and I’m hungry, and I have 7 more hours to go on this flight and then 1 more hour on the next one (connection flight). I explained that, so now I got another air host coming and trying to solve the problem. She is very nice and really wants to help. She understand what is vegan and promised to get me some side orders like rice and potatoes from the kitchen. “I’ll get you something from the first class maybe”, she said, so this is sounds like music to me! Food from the first class!
So far she got me just couple of grilled vegetables which is very little but at least tasty and healthy…. Updates to follow :-)
Ok, update is here: the very nice air hostess showed up with an amazing pasta with tomato sauce, completely vegan, on a regular ceramic plate, probably from the first class! Now we know for sure that in first class they are eating way better then us, the ordinary people, which means that good food in airplanes is possible! So no excuses for us anymore please!
After such a great and satisfying diner I simply went to sleep. Can you believe that the airplane was so packed that there wasn’t a single available seat, but only next to me there the were 2 empty seats?? I thanked good god in my heart for being so lucky, laid down and slept for couple of hours… Not before I drunk 1/2 cup of red wine to help me with getting the desired sleep really quick!
Anyway, morning (in Europe time) came, but for me it’s still the middle of the night (Canadian time). I wake up to a “breakfast” call above my head. I took the breakfast tray that was given me just to find out that this is all about yogurt and cream. Noting to eat, again. I asked to call the nice air hostess that took good care of me throughout diner time. Meanwhile, I had my coffee. In my current healthy lifestyle incarnation there was no room for cream or sugar, so I only have a bitter coffee that is horrible to taste but I hope will do the job by awakening my 2 am spirit…
Ok here she is, my hostess fairy, with a delicious breakfast on a ceramic white plate from the first class again! An apple, small fruit bowl, whole wheat bread and a margarine spread! This time I ask for her name in order to write a recommendation letter to her employer. Her name is faten wafa dajany. I cannot recognize the origin of this name, but as a polite Canadian I don’t dare to ask :-) anyway I call her in my heart ‘the vegan angel’, thank god again that I have something delicious to eat, and enjoy my breakfast.
At the end of the flight, I feel great. Not heavy and sleepy but awaken and energized. And I’m thinking to myself that if I weren’t vegan, I would probably eat the beef (yeeeeee!!) or the cheese pasta, and for breakfast I would consume this sugary yogurt with all its preservatives, and then I would feel tired and sleepy of course (not to the mention the constipation that was usually a problem when traveling!).
After safe landing in Frankfurt, Germany, I decided to get something light to eat before catching my connection flight to Prague which is my final destination. And unfortunately, it seemed that there is nothing for me to eat but a very plain baguette! Everything – simply everything – has either meat or cheese within. There were only apples at the cost of 1 euro each… And a carrot juice, which tasted really good.
So I finally got to Prague! What a beautiful old city, with great architecture and small narrow streets, nice people and even… Good vegan food!
For the first lunch in Prague, we took the recommendation of the hotel’s receptionist and went to Hlava, which is a very nice, artistically designed little restaurant near the famous Charles bridge. I was the only vegan in the table; and still, all of us were very happy with the delicious meal, which was not even too expensive (about $45 for 3 people).
We had grilled vegetables with fresh salad, humus salad, amazing 3 kinds of bread, fresh green olives that looked like they were soft enough to be eaten. And the best of all: pâté tofu. The pâté was so awesome that I had to at least try get the recipe, or at least the ingredients, from the waitress! But she said that this was a top secret. 10 minutes later, a guy is coming to our table, introduce himself as the chef and ask how is the food. I was soooo exciting, and almost begged for the pâté recipe! There Was no need to bag too much; he just gave it to me, and I will share it with you as soon as I will try it myself at home (to make sure it’s correct).
Apparently, the chef is an Israeli vegan guy who lives in Prague; i already learned that Israel is a great place for vegans as there is a huge vegan population there (mostly because of compassion reasons).
This is the restaurant’s website: http://www.lehkahlava.cz
The next day was a nice spring day. We were going through many castles, cathedrals and very old buildings, gates and bridges. Prague offers a wonderful architecture; it was a pleasure.
As per food, we decided to have lunch in a totally vegan vietnams restaurant. The restaurant looked really nice, with signs of: ‘no pork, no beef, no chicken’ on the door, and many pictures of nature. It was nice welcome. It’s a family restaurant, where the owner and his wife run the place together, and their little girl is walking around.
But the food was so so. Lots of soy: soy ‘meat balls’, soy ‘beef’ and so on. We didn’t like it too much. Only the dessert -’cheese’ cake with fruits, was excellent.
The next day was dedicated to an extensive visit at the Jewish quarter, where you can find wonderful and unique architecture elements side by side within spiritual experience. In the Jewish cemetery we found the grave of the great righteous rav maharal from prague which is a famous Kabbalist and is well known in the Kabbalah world. As a student of the Kabbalah centre I had the merit to visit his grave and connect to his great energy.
The visit to the grave was followed by a visit to 2 synagogues that are close by; both are beautiful and unique.
A little after noon time we were hungry… This time my sister, who was with me, insist on going to a non-vegan restaurant. So we went to a kosher restaurant and I ordered only vegan food. It was ok, nothing else. Only one dish was really excellent: the hummus (chick pea) salad with mushrooms on top. It was so delicious! The spaghetti with tomato sauce tasted like they took out the meat but forgot to put anything else for taste… I really don’t like it when some restaurants like to provide vegan dishes so they just take out the meat and “forget” to add something else for taste (herbs, spices, vegetables etc).
Tonight is my last night in Prague before I get back to Toronto, Canada. Couple of hours ago we were hanging out in the mall, buying last minute gifts to our friends and family back home, so when we got hungry we simply set in one of the mall’s restaurants and ordered the only vegan dish in the menu: spaghetti with garlic and olive oil. And even that came with Parmesan cheese on the side, which we had to through away… The spaghetti was tasty. When you really think about it, mixing pasta with olive oil and garlic can never be a bad idea!
The last morning was a bit sad, as every one of us had to go back to her own country :-( who knows when are we going to meet each other again…it was very emotional.
We had our last breakfast together at the hotel’s dining room; they offered a large buffet so I had couple of vegan options such as fresh fruits and vegetables, mashed potatoes and white beans with tomato sauce. With herbal tea I could handle it… Beans as breakfast are not my usual thing :-)
As always, when the restaurant is not vegan at the first place, the options are very limited and not necessarily appealing. Or even tasty… Sometimes you eat just because you are hungry and it is what it is. I hope that one day it will be the exact opposite: those who eat meat and cheese will be the minority and will have to look for their share of meat in specialty restaurants… Just like with cigarettes: one day everyone will realize how dangerous meat and dairy are to our health and it will be limited by law with extremely high prices.
But for now, all this is just a dream… (But everything is starting with a dream, isn’t it??).
I leave Prague now, not before having potato soup at the airport. It was really bad so I left most of it there :-(
Landing for a connection flight in Frankfurt was not a vegan pleasant experience at all… Simply nothing to eat! All is bacon and cheese, bacon and cheese… And hot dogs, sausage, eggs… and did I mention bacon and cheese? I gave up and ate nothing! Hope to have a vegan nice meal in the long flight back home. This time I fly with air Canada which pretty much feels like home – people are actually speaking English here – so I hope for a better experience :-)
Couple of hours later, in the airplane, i find that Air Canada didn’t forget about my vegan meal. In fact, I got it first. Was it a good food? No. It was, maybe, ‘eatable’… Not more than that. Some pasta rolls stuffed with tofu spread. Hot from the micro… And very little amount, plus tiny-tiny bowl of fruit that saw better days in their lives, plus a small ban that was not eatable for sure, no matter from which side you try to eat it…was it a ban or a rock? I couldn’t decide…
In the middle of the flight, I’m still hungry.
Again, my hope is that the awareness to vegan diet and healthy lifestyle will grow so much that travel diaries like that will be history. Every day I hear about more and more people that are either become vegan or reduce their meat consumption. ‘Meatless Monday’ and other activities are raising the awareness and this is a bless.”
As you can Imagine, I took many photos during the trip… a little over 1,000 pictures… but I only chose the best for the trip’s gallery!