The Moravian city of Brno might not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of vegan-friendly places to visit, but as long as you steer clear of restaurants advertising themselves as offering, 'traditional Czech cuisine,' it's easy not only to survive, but to become spoiled for choice!
For a simple breakfast buffet, check out Tri Ocásci, a cooperative-run vegan venue that is a coffee house by day and bar at night, or if you are comfortable eating somewhere that does serve meat, Café Atlas offers a hummus breakfast platter and coffees with plant milk. Don't fill up too much though, as by European standards in general, lunch is served early in the Czech Republic: deals start at around 11am and finish when sold out, or 2pm at the latest. A typical feature is a daily or weekly set menu of a soup and main, starting at around 90Kc (approx. 3 Euros), with Die Kuche, a vegan bistro within an arts club, offering large portions and fast service. Further changing menus can be found at Spirala (vegetarian with vegan options) and V. Bistro (vegan), the latter of which is connected to a health food shop, or for a quick yet wholesome bite later in the afternoon, consider a burger, hot buffet dish or salad bowl from the vegetarian, vegan-labeling, informal Vegg Go. Dinnertime sees slightly fewer places open, but Forky's, with its noodle dishes, mock fish and chips, gourmet burgers, local wines and ice-creams, comes highly recommended by locals.
If there's one type of vegan foodstuff that Brno deserves to be known for, it's its cakes. If your trip is planned well in advance, ordering some cupcakes from Nebeské Dortícky (pictured) is well worth it. This small catering firm offers a range of beautifully decorated muffins with natural yet strong flavours, with gluten-free options too, or if prefer an eat-in cake shop, try Secret of Raw, or My Raw, situated in an indoor market.
For self-caterers, most supermarkets have a range of vegan snack bars plus staples like tofu and hummus. For the largest selections try the Albert Hypermarket in the Vankovka shopping centre, which carries its own line of vegan patés as well as pre-made salads, tempeh and mock-meats, or the Tesco department store behind the main train station, for the city's largest choice of plant-based cheeses. The international DM chain has several city centre outlets too, where you can find ready-to-cook vegan tortellini, tinned curries and pasta sauces, and also cruelty-free toiletries and cosmetics. Lastly, if you leave by train, you can grab a pre-made tofu salad baguette from BioPoint within the station.
These are just a few of Brno's many options; HappyCow.net has more. The only thing to be aware of is that smaller places tend to be cash only, so other than that, the only thing to worry about is finding time for sightseeing between snacks!
Photograph: Author's own.