Veganuary 2021: Insider tips for adopting a vegan lifestyle in Prague

Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide will skip out on meat and dairy this month; here's how to go vegan in the Czech Republic.

Tom Lane

Written by Tom Lane Published on 08.01.2021 12:11:00 (updated on 08.01.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

This January sees many people across the globe moving away from eating meat and dairy products as part of the Veganuary campaign.

With the New Year comes New Year's resolutions and many famous faces are supporting efforts to go vegan for the first month of 2021, including Hollywood stars Joaquin Phoenix and Alicia Silverstone as well as Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney and comedian Ricky Gervais.

Veganism has been on the rise in the Czech Republic with a new survey recently showing the country is one of the best for veggie or vegan restaurants per capita, while musician and Eurovision 2021 representative Benny Cristo is a famous vegan from the country.

The Veganuary campaign had over 400,000 participants in 2020 and that number has already been surpassed with nearly half a million people taking part this time around, according to The Guardian.

While almost a fifth of Veganuary participation is based in the UK, some 340 people have signed up in the Czech Republic so far.

A spokesperson from the Czech Vegan Society told us:

"We see that the campaign is gaining in popularity even here. This year, what is new is that some local brands have joined the campaign as well."

Nestlé, Marks & Spencer, and other companies that produce plant-based products are even calling on their employees to join the challenge. Garden Gourmet vegetarian and vegan products are produced here in the Nestle factory in Krupka; though many who abide by an ethical shopping regime boycott the company.

A spokesperson for the brand said they launched their campaign efforts largely for environmental reasons. The company claims their Garden Gourmet Sensational Burger generates 75 percent less CO2 emission and uses 80 percent less land and energy then a beef burger.

"Nestlé joined Veganuary simply to embrace plant-based food. We want to inspire our employees and our consumers all over the world to give a vegan diet a go this month, either by trying 31 days of vegan recipes or just by switching their regular meat for a vegan one every now and then."

Top tips for new vegans and vegetarians in Prague

Giving up meat and dairy products for a month sounds like a tough task, so we spoke to Prague-based vegan expat Randi Delano who runs the blog and YouTube channel VeggieVisa to get her top tips for new vegans and recommendations for places to go.

Her advice for those in Prague who want to try a vegan lifestyle?

"I think the number one is to start slow if you need to, for some people it's a little drastic to totally change your diet suddenly. It's a better idea to approach it as 'do what you can and anything helps' basically. Don't be hard on yourself if you can't resist a piece of cheese or if you accidentally have something that contains animal products."

"It also takes a bit of research to figure out what veganism is and what kind of common products have animal products in them. I think most people would be surprised at how many things have animal products in them. Do some research and really look at labels to see ingredients and figure out what are products that are and aren't safe for vegans to eat," Delano says.

Vegan products in the Czech Republic will often have a 'V-Label certification' on them with the Czech Vegan Society responsible for that in this country. It is an international trademark with more than 35,000 registered products. Among the certified companies/brands, are Ben & Jerry's, Magnum, Danone, and more.

Randi's picks: vegan restaurants to try

Dim Sum Spot is one of the recommendations from Randi. Photo: Facebook/Dim Sum Spot
Dim Sum Spot is one of the recommendations from Randi. Photo: Facebook/Dim Sum Spot

"I have so much information on my website about places particularly restaurants that are vegan or vegan-friendly in Prague. Even places that are not vegan or veggie but have vegan options, which is a new change in the last year or so in Prague especially," she says.

"Dim Sum Spot is a great place if you want to go and eat with your non-vegan friends and have loads of options for dishes. In terms of specifically vegan places, some of my favorites include Palo Verde, Forrest Bistro, Pastva, Belzepub--which went totally vegan last year. All of these places offer takeaway service right now or delivery."

Vegan shops and markets in Prague

World Vegan via Facebook
World Vegan via Facebook

When it comes to shopping in Prague Delano likes Puro Shop and World Vegan. "Both are completely vegan, so you can go in and buy anything you want and you don't need to look at any labels because there are no products that are not vegan there."

Ordinary grocery stores increasingly stock more and more plant-based products. "I was in Marks & Spencer the other day and they had packages of vegan streaky bacon and they also have a couple of different vegan ice creams, they have a Plant Kitchen line, everything in that line is vegan, including fake duck spring rolls and lasagne."

Delano also recommends Albert (depending on the location), Rohlik grocery delivery where you can filter vegan products from the different categories, DM for vegan snacks and tofu, sausages, Lidl has a vegan line, and Iceland for frozen food with lots of vegan options.

How does she think the Czech Republic compares to the rest of the world for vegans?

"One of the reasons I wanted to stay in Prague when I came here as a traveler was because it was so vegan friendly, it is probably one of the most vegan-friendly cities I have traveled to! The only places that I have been to that are better are probably Berlin and maybe New York as well." 

For more information on a vegan lifestyle in Prague follow the Czech Vegan Society; or VeggieVisa on Facebook and Instagram. Veganuary also has a number of resources including recipes and nutrition tips while Urban Adventures has a dedicated article on being vegan in the Czech Republic. You can also join the Vegan Friends Prague Facebook group for more information and to ask questions of vegans living in Prague.

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