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Eating Out | A Gluten Free Guide to Prague

By Lucy.

 

This year I turned 30, so to celebrate, my boyfriend and I decided to plan a trip away to Prague.

Before doing any research I had imagined eating out in The Czech Republic as a coeliac vegetarian to be a bit of a struggle, and I was braced for little to no choice. Luckily for me, and anyone else planning on visiting, there was plenty to choose from and I didn’t go hungry once. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten better whilst abroad.

After some googling and scouring Trip Advisor I had a small list of places I wanted to try, but was surprised by how many other great restaurants we discovered while we were there. I should imagine there are plenty more gems to be found, but here are my favourites.

 

White and Crispy

 

White and Crispy is an entirely gluten free pizzeria and bakery located outside of the main tourist areas in Prague. It’s about a 20 minute walk from Charles bridge, but close to plenty of tram stops and you won’t regret making the effort to visit. We ate here twice during our short stay because everything was absolutely delicious – it’s worth the trip to Prague for the pizza alone! The base was thin and crisp, and the toppings fresh and tasty – if you’ve ever been disappointed with the tiny size of GF pizzas at home, this is the restaurant for you.

Prague

Between us, we tried the Margherita, the Vegetariana and the Quattro Formaggi, the latter of which was a white pizza without tomato sauce. All three were amazing, and the best gluten free pizza I’ve ever eaten. The owners are Italian and very friendly, everything’s homemade with fresh ingredients. I also tried the tiramisu and a little creamy cake which were both fantastic.

Prague 2

The atmosphere was casual, it’s a tiny little shop with very limited seating, but the pizzas can all be taken away if there isn’t room inside. They also sell bread and pasta, I bought some spaghetti but haven’t had chance to try it out yet.

It was a total bargain given the quality. If you’re ever in Prague, this is one restaurant you must not miss.

 

Alriso Risotteria Italiana

 

Alriso is another entirely gluten free Italian restaurant, but a lot closer to the centre of Prague this time. I was so excited to try this place, and it didn’t disappoint at all – we ended up here twice as it was so good!

Inside it’s a small intimate restaurant, with excellent and attentive staff. It was busy both evenings and had a cosy and romantic atmosphere.

There were fewer vegetarian options, but still enough choice that it was difficult to decide what to try. I opted for tomato and mozzarella gnocchi one evening, and spinach and gorgonzola risotto the next, which were delicious and I would recommend them both. My boyfriend, who isn’t gluten free, raved about both of his meals, which I do have to admit, did look very good.

Prague 4

Once we’d ordered we were brought a paper bag with some gluten free bread inside, and some olive oil to dip it in, which was a wonderful surprise. It had a dense and cakey texture and tasted great. These little touches are what made the experience so special, as I usually have to miss out on this sort of thing at home because of a lack of choice or risk of cross contamination.

For dessert, between us, we tried the chocolate fondant, tiramisu and panna cotta, but the tiramisu stole the show – it was perfectly and creamy and had a wonderful coffee flavour.

For three courses each, and a bottle of Prosecco, Alriso worked out at around £30 a head, which, considering how much we enjoyed the great food and service, was a total bargain. It was the most expensive restaurant we ate at during our stay, but was absolutely worth it.

 

Lavande

 

Lavande was one of a few restaurants we discovered during our stay, when looking for somewhere to eat during the day. They have an a la carte menu for the evenings, and a specials menu for lunch, which changes daily. The menu and specials were clearly marked, with vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and dairy free options available.

The staff were very friendly and the service was great, the restaurant was modern, bright and airy, and had a vibrant and lively atmosphere.

I had the halloumi burger on a gluten free bun, which was a real treat, served with salad. It was great, and my boyfriend enjoyed his beef special very much too.

If we ever return to Prague I would love to visit Lavande for an evening meal. It was busy during the day however, so it might be worth booking a table if you have your heart set on a particular evening.

 

Vegan’s

 

We discovered Vegan’s by accident while on the way to Prague Castle. We were both worn out from a long day of walking and sightseeing and wanted somewhere to stop for a drink.

Located at the top of three flights of stairs, Vegan’s is a light and airy restaurant covering two floors. It also has an open terrace, which looks out over the rooftops of Prague, which was lovely, but a little chilly for the time of year we were there.

I hadn’t planned on eating, but once I saw the menu I knew I couldn’t leave without trying something.  The gluten free options were clearly marked and there was so much choice it was hard to pick! I was tempted by the guacamole and crackers, and the marinated peppers filled with aubergine, but in the end I went for the tofu burger, which was served on top of a potato gratin with pickled cabbage and rocket. This was my first experience in a vegan restaurant, and I was blown away by how delicious everything was, and I was so pleased I gave it a try.

Prague 6

I also tried the homemade raspberry lemonade, which was filled with fresh crushed raspberries, which was a lovely accompaniment to the meal and very refreshing. This is another restaurant I’d love to re-visit if given the chance, and I think it would be a great setting for a romantic meal.

 

Svejk Restaurant U Karla

 

Svejk Restaurant U Karla specialises in traditional Czech cuisine, which I wanted to try as most of the other eateries we visited during our stay were European. They have a separate gluten free menu, which you have to ask for, and serve gluten free beer – which is a necessity if you’re visiting Prague!

The dining area is a large and open, with dark wood and traditional Czech décor.

The menu doesn’t have a huge amount of choice if you’re vegetarian, but I opted for the fried cheese, served with chips and tartar sauce, which was great. I’m a sucker for anything gluten free fried in breadcrumbs or batter because it’s not something I can be bothered to cook at home so it’s a real treat. The chips especially were delicious. I also tried a side of Czech dumplings as I was curious to see what they were like. They were soft, comforting and very filling – I practically had to be rolled home!

My carnivorous boyfriend had the chicken schnitzel, which he really enjoyed. We both loved the sauerkraut, which came with our meals, I’m not usually a fan of cabbage, but it was delicious and I’m pleased I got to try something new.

Prague 7

Neither of us had any room left for a dessert, which was a shame as they had quite a few gluten free options, including pancakes and an apple strudel!

The service was attentive, but a little brusque, I wouldn’t let that put you off though, as the food was great and we had a really enjoyable evening in this part of town.

 

Overall I was really pleased with the amount and variety of gluten free food in Prague, I found a lot of the cafes and coffee shops had cakes available, which was a lovely surprise, and almost all of the servers spoke very good English. I didn’t feel limited by my diet once.

I’d love to visit again one day, Prague is an exciting and vibrant city with so much to do, and so much wonderful food to eat!

 

About Lucy

Lucy is a contributing author at The Gluten Free Veggie. She is a 30 year old vegetarian Coeliac with a passion for great recipes! Check out all of her posts here. When she’s not cooking up delicious treats, Lucy is creating greetings cards for her business. Check out her Facebook page here.

 

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Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s recipe here.

Social Media:

Facebook

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie

Twitter: @theGFveggie

Tumblr: glutenfreeveggie.tumblr.com

E-mail your questions or suggestions to: glutenfreeveggieblog@gmail.com

 

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Recipe (GF, V) | Pear Crumble

By Lucy.

It’s that time of year again when the leaves are turning, the days are getting shorter, and all I want to do is snuggle up on the sofa with a blanket and a book. What better way to enjoy the autumnal weather than with a bowl of crumble – warm, comforting and delicious!

This is one of the first recipes I learned to cook after my diagnosis, it’s really easy and the total prep time only takes about 15 minutes. You can substitute the pears for different fruits – I particularly like doing this recipe with plums.

The crumble topping does include gluten free oats, some coeliacs can’t tolerate oats, if you’re one of them feel free to leave them out – it tastes just as good without!

pearss

Ingredients

 

For the filling

600g pears

4 tbsp caster sugar

Knob of butter

 

For the crumble

160g plain GF four

80g butter

50g ground almonds

50g GF oats (optional)

70g caster sugar

pearsshhh

 

Method

  1. Peel the pears and remove the cores. Cut them into equal pieces, and place them with the butter and sugar in a saucepan on a low heat until they begin to slightly soften. This should take between 5-10 minutes.
  2. While the pears are cooking, find yourself a decent sized mixing bowl and rub the butter and flour together until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. This is easier with a block of butter, as the texture is firmed. Then stir in the almonds, caster sugar and oats.
  3. Carefully place the pears at the bottom of a medium sized oven proof dish, and sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 190°C for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the sides are bubbling. If the top starts to catch, cover it with some kitchen foil.
  5. Serve with cream or custard!

pears

About Lucy

Lucy is a contributing author at The Gluten Free Veggie. She is a 29 year old vegetarian Coeliac with a passion for great recipes! Check out all of her posts here. When she’s not cooking up delicious treats, Lucy is creating greetings cards for her business. Check out her Facebook page here.

 

strip-for-blog

Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s recipe here.

Social Media:

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-b7T1VFTZqYq15aPvdlNwA

Twitter: @theGFveggie

Tumblr: glutenfreeveggie.tumblr.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theGFveggie

E-mail your questions or suggestions to: glutenfreeveggieblog@gmail.com

 

Recipe (GF, V) | Spinach and Feta Quiche

By Lucy

Summer is upon us and it’s the season for barbeques, picnics and alfresco dining, which can be tricky if you’re Coeliac and vegetarian as so many traditional English staples include gluten and meat. But you don’t have to feel left out, there are plenty of treats available to us, we just have to get inventive!

This is one of my favourite summer time recipes as it can be made in advance, is easy to transport, and it’s just as delicious eaten hot or cold. It also includes one of my all time favourite food combinations – spinach and feta.

Gluten free pastry is notoriously difficult, the lack of gluten in gluten free flour means it tends to crumble and fall apart. I discovered this recipe soon into my diagnosis, and have tweaked it over the years, it’s now pretty much fool proof and I’m no longer nervous baking with pastry!

Pastry

 

Ingredients

For the pastry

125g butter

225g gluten free plain flour

2 eggs

1 tsp xanthan gum

 

For the filling

100g  frozen spinach

50g feta cheese

50g cheddar cheese

2 eggs

125ml milk

2 tsp dried mixed herbs

A few grates of nutmeg

Salt and pepper

Pastry case

 

Method

  1. Take the spinach out of the freezer, leave it in a bowl to defrost, and preheat the oven to 225 degrees Celsius. Next, get started on the pastry by adding the butter, xanthan gum and gluten free flour to a bowl and rubbing them together between your fingers and thumbs until they form the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Beat the egg, and add it to the bowl with the flour and butter. Using a butter knife, cut through the mixture until it starts to come together, then use your hands to form the mixture into a ball. You want the pastry to be soft and pliable, similar in texture to playdough. Lots of things can affect the consistency of the dough at this point, from the brand of flour used to the size of the eggs. If the dough is still a little wet and sticky add in some more flour. If it’s a little dry, beat another egg and add it in slowly a small amount at a time. If it’s a little crumbly add another ¼ tsp of xanthan gum. With traditional pastry it’s recommended you chill the dough before using it, but I’ve found with GF pastry this is counterproductive and it works better when soft and a little warm.
  3. Now comes the tricky part! Flour your work surface well and slowly and gently roll out the dough to about ½ cm thick. It might crack a little around the edges – this is normal, don’t panic.
  4. Grease the tin with butter, and carefully lift the pastry into the tin. This is the hardest part of the whole operation, but the dough should hold together!
  5. Using a piece of spare pastry carefully push the dough down into the tin. I learned this tip while watching The Great British Bake Off and it really works – the pastry is a lot softer than your fingers and the pastry is a lot less likely to crack. Trim off the edges, and stab the bottom of the pastry with a fork (this stops it from rising when you bake it).
  6. Line the pastry with baking parchment, add in baking beads or rice and blind bake on 225C for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the pastry case from the oven, and take out the baking beads and parchment. Next, beat an egg, and using a pastry brush, brush a layer of the egg over the inside of the pastry case, including the sides. Return the case to the oven for another 5 minutes. The egg wash fills in any little cracks or gaps in your pastry case and ensures the quiche won’t leak.
  8. Remove the case from the oven and leave to one side to cool, while you make the filling. Check the spinach and see if it has defrosted, if not, put in in the microwave on a low power setting for a few minutes at a time, or run it under warm water. Once it has defrosted fully, squeeze out any excess liquid – the spinach needs to be as dry as possible to stop the quiche from going soggy. Cut the spinach up into small pieces and set it to one side.
  9. In a jug, combine the two eggs, milk, cheddar cheese, herbs, nutmeg and a good amount of pepper. The feta is quite salty, so be more careful with the salt. Arrange the spinach evenly inside the pastry case, and crumble the feta over the top. Gently pour the egg and milk to the top of the pastry case.
  10. Carefully transfer the quiche to the oven, bake for 25-30 minutes at 200C, until the top is brown and the quiche is firm.

Lucy blog photo

 

About Lucy

Lucy is a contributing author at The Gluten Free Veggie. She is a 29 year old vegetarian Coeliac with a passion for great recipes! Check out all of her posts here. When she’s not cooking up delicious treats, Lucy is creating greetings cards for her business. Check out her Facebook page here.

 

strip-for-blog

Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s recipe here.

Social Media:

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-b7T1VFTZqYq15aPvdlNwA

Twitter: @theGFveggie

Tumblr: glutenfreeveggie.tumblr.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theGFveggie

E-mail your questions or suggestions to: glutenfreeveggieblog@gmail.com

 

 

New Writer!

The Gluten Free Veggie is excited to announce the introduction of a new writer!

Lucy is a vegetarian Coeliac with a passion for cooking and creating new recipes. She will be contributing a recipe once a month and has lots of exciting ideas to bring to the blog!

She has already proven herself to be passionate about the blog and has some delicious recipes in the works. If you would like to send in any recipe suggestions don’t forget you can contact us via e-mail at glutenfreeveggieblog@gmail.com.

Her first recipe will be published on Monday 4th September (here she is with a sneak peek!). Once her recipes are published you will be able to see them all here.

Let’s give her a warm welcome!

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