5 Tips for Experiencing the Best of Gluten-Free Prague

October 28, 2015
5 Tips for Experiencing the Best of Gluten-Free Prague

Out of all of the countries I’ve traveled to in Europe, the local cuisine in the Czech Republic is one of the most challenging to manage for someone with a serious gluten allergy. Talk about a country that likes to put flour in everything!

Dumpling are everywhere–small ones, medium ones, and big fat ones that look more like slices of textured bread. The Czechs love their dumplings. They also love sauces. And where there’s sauce, there is flour.

So, how does a gal who’s got a serious gluten allergy survive ‘bez lepkov‘ (gluten-free in Czech) in the capital of meat-covered-in-flour-thickened-sauce-and-served-with-bread?

It takes some exploration and research. It requires going a bit out of the way to catch a certain metro to a certain neighborhood or a certain outdoor market.

But, it is possible to eat really well in Prague–even if you’ve got a gluten allergy. Here are five tips for eating gluten-free in Prague:

5 Tips for Experiencing the Best of Gluten-Free Prague

1. Don’t eat at traditional Czech restaurants

I know, this one is annoying because it’s really fun to try out the local food, and in a lot of European countries, it’s possible to get some traditional dishes without gluten. (Even in Italy, they serve risotto and polenta, which are great gluten-free options!)

The only way to get around all of Prague’s flour-filled food is to find a restaurant where the staff knows English well enough to understand what a serious allergy is. They’ll be able to tell you with certainty that the meat hasn’t been coated in flour and that they’ll leave off the sauce.

2. Shop at farmers’ markets

There are at least a few specialty bio baked goods stands at almost every outdoor/farmers’ market in Prague, and normally at least one or two of these have gluten-free options. Also, even for non-gluten-free and non-food allergy sufferers, farmers’ markets are the way to go if you want to find good quality produce, eggs, and cheese in Prague.

There are numerous farmers’ markets in Prague held in different areas on different days of the week. I recommend checking out the Friday market outside of the Andel shopping center–which is also a major metro and tram stop.

Though small, it has everything you need: high quality small production cheeses (they have a Holland cheese stand as well as an Italian cheese stand), assorted freshly cured olives, farm fresh eggs, much better veggies than you can find in the supermarket, and a lovely stand that sells two to three different types of gluten-free bread and goodies.

There is also a stand that sells assorted raw food goodies, many of which are naturally gluten-free–made from nuts, honeys, dried fruits, and coconut.

The Naplavske riverside Saturday outdoor market hosts a good gluten-free bread stand like almost every other market of this kind. Just make sure to look closely so you don’t miss the tiny signs they use to designate certain products ‘bezlepkovy.’

3. Find the neighborhood Bio stores

The Bio stores in Europe are usually your best bet for finding fresh gluten-free bread (versus packaged stuff like Schar, which is quite dry and tasteless compared to freshly baked breads), a wider variety of flours, and other goodies like unsweetened almond milk. I passed one in almost every neighborhood in Prague.

4. Find the gluten-free-friendly ethnic restaurants

As soon as I got to Prague, I researched the locations of Asian restaurants (other than Chinese, which uses a lot of soy sauce and wheat flour noodles) and other gluten-free-friendly ethnic restaurants. Luckily, I found tons of Asian and Indian restaurants in Prague–varying in appeal. All were affordable, and offered lots of gluten-free options that didn’t necessitate making special requests.

5. Find the big supermarkets

These days, there’s a gluten-free section in almost every supermarket in Europe! That said, all gluten-free sections are not created equally. Many stores have just the bare minimum: a dry, tasteless, packaged loaf of pre-sliced gluten-free bread, a few gluten-free flours or mixes, and maybe a gluten-free sweet, which is usually dry and high sugar.

But, the big centrally located major supermarkets typically have wider selections with stuff like gluten-free cereals, tea biscuits, an assortment of pastas, and sometimes even pizza crusts.

In Prague, the big Tesco supermarket in the Andel shopping center has an especially large selection of gluten-free products. Between the cereal and pasta aisles, you’ll find most of the bio and health foods, including gluten-free cereals, an assortment of tea and digestive biscuits, cookies, breads, crackers, and pastas. And don’t stop there. In the bread section, you’ll also find Schar ciabatta and pizza crusts.

5 Tips for Experiencing the Best of Gluten-Free Prague photo credit by Unsplash.

Have you traveled to Prague? What are your tips for experiencing the best of gluten-free Prague? Email [email protected] to share your tips and advice. We can’t wait to hear from you.

About Brooke Herron

After 14 years in the wine industry working in sales, events, and marketing management Brooke has moved onto a new phase of life as an entrepreneur, aspiring author, and global citizen. When she’s not consulting with small businesses about their marketing/copy-writing and social media needs, you can find her on the road in Europe experiencing beautiful places and writing about it at A Different Kind of Travel.

2 thoughts on “5 Tips for Experiencing the Best of Gluten-Free Prague

  1. Brooke Herron
    October 28, 2015

    Hi Eni-

    haha. that’s great! Will try to check it out next time I’m there.

    But I think you can get what I am saying. Since I have a serious allergy I have to be safe. It is best to avoid Czech Restaurants as a rule because most things have flour or wheat in them (except salads and potatoes which get pretty old after a while and are not my favorite things to eat ..:)).

    I consider ‘gluten free’ restaurants to be specialty restaurants and I definitely always check out as many as possible when I’m able to and nearby. But often it’s quite difficult to go to a certain restaurant if it’s on the other side of the city, and it’s easiest to simply pick the types of places that will be likely to have more options I can eat safely 🙂


  2. Eni
    October 28, 2015

    I can’t agree… Because! We have one restaurant, where they cook awesome traditional czech food in gluten free version! And – They have also gluten free czech beer! I love it.


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