Prague vs. Brno: Which Czech city orders the most vegan delivery?

New data from delivery platforms suggest that the appetite for plant-based foods is on the rise across the Czech Republic.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 13.08.2021 15:28 (updated on 13.08.2021)

The Czech Republic has long been known as meat lovers’ paradise, but interest in vegan food increased markedly during the past year as many people became more concerned about their health and the environment.

Brno currently has the highest percentage of vegan food orders on delivery platforms, although Prague has more vegan restaurants per capita. The plant-based food trend has been growing in other major Czech cities too, such as Liberec and Plzeň, as well as in smaller towns.

The proportion of vegans, who eat no meat-related products at all, is around 1 percent, while vegetarians are around 5 percent according to a 2019 survey. But flexitarians, people who still eat some meat products but try to limit them as much as possible, now account for 21 percent of the Czech population, according to a more recent survey conducted for the Czech Vegan Society.

Vegan and vegetarian food is easier to get across the Czech Republic. Photo: Valeria Boltneva/Pexels
Vegan and vegetarian food is easier to get across the Czech Republic. (Photo: Valeria Boltneva/Pexels)

People most often include plant foods in their diet for health reasons, according to Rostlinně, a project that promotes plant-based cuisine. People consider a plant-based diet to be lighter, more digestible and generally more health-friendly. This was also reflected in interest in plant foods during the pandemic, when people became more interested in their health.

Concern for the environment is another factor cited by many people who limit their meat intake, as plant-based food has a much lower environmental impact. Another concern is animal rights and the conditions of factory farming.

Plant-based food has become a campaign issue, with Czech celebrities such as singer Ben Cristovao and lifestyle influence Dewii joining animal rights campaigners to encourage, among other things, more plant-based food in school cafeterias and other publicly funded eateries. The I Vote for Animals (Volím pro zvířata) coalition is trying to get candidates to comment on the issue so that voters know which candidates support animal rights.

Even though the restaurant business was in crisis during the pandemic, the number of restaurants with a plant-based offering expanded, according to Rostlinně.

There are now several online maps and apps to help people find plant-based food. Rostlinně has a Czech map with 220 vegan eateries listed. The website Soucitne.cz lists 122 vegan, 183 vegetarian, 18 raw, 63 vegan pizza, and 273 vegan-option restaurants. The Happy Cow platform has somewhat higher numbers. These figures depend largely on definitions, and whether coffee shop chains and other places with very limited menus are counted.

The ManaBurger proved to be the most popular plant product. Photo: Rostlinně
The ManaBurger is a popular Czech-made plant-based meat alternative. (Photo: Rostlinně)

“From the beginning, we wanted to profile ourselves as a bistro where everyone can choose. As demand grew, we started looking for alternatives for our other products, and also expanded our menu to include more plant-based dishes. Between January and March, we offered a limited plant-based Mana burger burrito, which attracted new customers. And I know from the branches that interest is not only from plant-based diners,” Burrito Loco’s marketing specialist Jiří Kopejtko said in a press release.

Interest grew even outside the country's main cities.

“Did plant-based food attract new customers during Covid? It certainly did! People are more interested in healthy eating at the moment,” Denisa Michnová from Minirestaurace u Denči in Frýdek-Místek said.

Lukáš Trlica from Bistro Les, located in Děčín in the Ústí nad Labem region, also saw increased interest in plant-based food during the pandemic. “But it is hard to say whether this is because people are worried about their health and therefore start to think about the importance of diet in their lives, or whether it is because our bistro is becoming more well-known," he said.

During the pandemic, home delivery of food increased as restaurant interiors were closed. Břetislav Stromko, director of marketing at delivery service Dáme jídlo, told Aktualne.cz that the number of vegan restaurants on the platform has increased by almost one-quarter in the last year, and is currently in the hundreds.

"The number of orders for vegan food on the Dáme jídlo platform this July was 40 percent higher year-on-year," he said.

On a percentage basis, orders for vegan food in Brno were four times higher than in the rest of the country, Stromko told Aktualne.cz. “Brno also has a high share of the total for vegetarian cuisine,” he added.

How often to you order vegan food delivery?

Daily 6 %
Weekly 29 %
Monthly 13 %
Never 52 %
48 readers voted on this poll. Voting is closed

Representatives of other delivery services such as Bolt and Wolt largely confirmed the trend, saying that their platforms had also added more plant-based eatery listings and saw more orders. Bolt Food's Czech Republic manager Marek Maxa, though, said meat-free orders were still less than 10 percent of the total, while orders from purely vegan or vegetarian eateries were less than 1 percent.

According to Dáme jídlo’s Stromko, in addition to Brno, people in Prague, Liberec, Plzeň, and Prostějov showed high interest in vegan food. Interest was below average in Ostrava, Havířov, Zlín, Mladá Boleslav, and České Budějovice.

The most popular vegan dishes are falafel, vegan burger, tomato soup, vegan pizza, and vegan burrito, according to the delivery services.

In its list of the 10 top vegan-friendly cities in the world, Happy Cow placed Prague in 10th place. The list was created before the pandemic, and was not updated for 2021 as the conditions for comparison across the world were not equal. London, New York, and Berlin were listed as the top three cities.

“Prague comes up in the top five of the most vegan restaurants per capita in the world. … Just a few years ago, the seven Loving Huts that you can find throughout the city comprised the majority of vegan restaurants in Prague, but over the past couple of years, Prague's vegan scene and the variety of vegan restaurants have grown rapidly,” Happy Cow said.

The Happy Cow app now lists over 70 vegan restaurants in Prague and over a dozen in Brno.

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