Life of a veg(etari)an in Brno
A few weeks ago, during our last InformAL evening, we tried to ´freshen up´ the end of the summer holiday by interesting information about and – more importantly – by truly delicious samples from some of the Brno foodie stores. We are therefore very happy that one of you, our expats – Maria Bungau, a Romanian originally from a small town called Brașov now working for an IT company – has decided to follow up on this topic and, being a vegan/vegetarian, share her experience with healthy yummy veg(etari)an-friendly restaurants in Brno:
Like most of the expats, I was brought to Brno by my job. But I soon discovered that Brno can be more than just the city where I work and its ‘culinary’ identity which goes beyond the typical Czech cuisine made me quite glad I live here.
First of all I will say that I am vegetarian for over 9 years and the reasons which triggered my decisions are a combination of compassion towards animals and a personal choice of food based on nutritional and health factors. However, I could have never imagine myself going 100% vegan, step which I took few months after relocating to Brno, when I discovered how easy it is to have this lifestyle here. My reasons for becoming vegan are the same as before, maybe a bit more complex and reinforced by extensive reading and watching of documentaries.
Therefore, I started to test some vegetarian restaurants around Brno and now I’m focusing on vegan and vegan friendly places to eat out.
I also want to add that I am writing as a 9 to 5 (30) working person, so my choices are limited to those places open also after normal business hours. I hope my recommendations will help people who are not yet aware of these places because I must admit, traditional Czech dishes are far from being vegan friendly 🙂
My favorite vegetarian/vegan restaurants are:
Vegalite, by far my favorite restaurant in Brno, is an alternative venue where you can find nice people and really good food with a lot of vegan options. I went there with vegetarians as well as with non vegetarians and even they loved the food.
Kupé is a Lebanese restaurant so I would recommend it for those interested in a more oriental touch. Not too pricey and also lots of vegan options.
With Rebio I have sometimes second thoughts. I tried only their reastairants on Holandská and Velký Špalíček. Even if you pay by weight I think it’s a bit pricey. However, they change the menu every day so that’s why I have days when I love the food and days in which I’m not too impressed. It’s good for lunch breaks when at work. They also have juices, sweets and some non conventional beverages. What I don’t like and thus limits my choices as a vegan is that sometimes they don’t mention if they used cream, which can also be an inconvenient for the lactose intolerant people.
4. Kiwi Raw Restaurant
I also need to add Kiwi Raw Restaurant to the list as – as the name says – it focuses on raw food. I only went there once last year but I was amazed by how good food can be. It was really impressing but unfortunately the atmosphere was quite dull since our table was the only ‘active’ one. I sure hope they’re still open, but I do wonder how often they have customers.
Other vegetarian/vegan friendly restaurants, I would also recommend:
It is an Indian restaurants. Although there are actually more Indian restaurants in Brno, I have only tested this one.
6. Hacienda Mexicana
Obviously, a Mexican restaurant I like.
A Russian restaurant where I had some really good baked eggplant with tomatoes and Parmesan and everyone wanted to taste a bit of my dish that evening.
8. Bistro Franz
This restaurant seems quite posh and pricey but worth going every once in a while. They use local products and the atmosphere is really nice. One could call it hipsterish though.
Also, here’s a list with [probably] all the veggie restaurants in Brno, addresses and websites. You can also find here some restaurants I didn’t mention since I’m almost never able to get there in time.
Since this is just a subjective overview of restaurants I like here in Brno, I’m aware that there is room for improvement. So, feel free to share your experience and opinions.