Prague has a lot to offer vegans: on HappyCow I recently counted 58 dedicated restaurants in the Czech Republic capital, with numerous other places providing options for herbivores.
However, after travelling around Europe for two weeks, what we needed most was a deviation from the vegan burgers and other fast foods so often found in more recently established cafés. We were also looking for something a little kinder on the wallet.
Country Life was perfect. It’s a buy-by-weight restaurant located just south of Prague’s medieval Astronomical Clock in the old part of the city, so you get to take in some of the sights as well. It’s attached to an organic food store, part of a chain that began in 1991 and now includes an organic farm and bakery.
The restaurant is buffet style and cheap, offering a wide range of salads and hot dishes, full of the freshest ingredients, as well as drinks and desserts. You choose what you want, dish it on to your plate and pay according to what it weighs. A lovely, patient staff make the process seamless.
I am a sucker for weigh-and-pay buffets, because you get to try so many different things. With such an abundance of salads on offer, this place is a great antidote to the junk food you often find in vegan establishments when you are on the road. While that junk might be tasty and fill the gap, it doesn’t necessarily provide the nutritional benefits of the whole grains and fresh vegetables we thrive on.
Country Life was also excellent for traditional Czech foods and spicier curry and chilli-type dishes. I piled it all on. The boiled herby potatoes were simply cooked but absolutely amazing. (We ended up taking a carry-out box with the potatoes and a range of salads back to our hotel for later.)
We finished with sugar-free vegan cheesecake and grain coffee, and left the restaurant energised by the much-needed injection of whole food into our travel diet. If you’re in Prague, it’s well worth visiting.