Travelling to Prague with food allergies
Finding information about travelling to Prague with food allergies was actually really hard. I asked the internet and didn’t get any response. As far as my googling went, I couldn’t find much either.
On top of it, I don’t travel often to places where I don’t know the language, let alone have a crazy hard time just saying hello. So I went into this trip with a big question mark hanging in front of me.
How did it all go!? I must say I was very pleasantly surprised by how accommodating everyone was when catering to my food allergies.
Accommodation & Preparation
The reason we went to Prague was to visit my cousin who lives there with his girlfriend. We stayed with them at their apartment, which set my mind at ease going into a trip where I had no idea how allergy-friendly places and people would be. My cousin knew about my allergy card and had a colleague who is celiac translate it for me. This way the language and message would come across the same culturally as mine does in English.
Most people spoke pretty good English, but having my card as an accompaniment when explaining my allergies was hands down a necessity. Once waiters read the card, they understood the severity and importance of no cross-contact. Also, since most of them had never seen such a list of allergies, they wanted to ensure I was safe. I am not normally a fan of people feeling sorry about my allergies, but in this case, it created empathy, and so they acted like my allergy champion.
Number one tip if you are travelling to Prague with food allergies: bring an allergy card.
Grocery Stores in Prague
I only visited one grocery store while in Prague and was happy to see that they did have gluten-free and dairy-free options. However, they did not have any specific free from brands for other allergies. They did have some foods from Germany that I recognised. So keep your eyes peeled for imported food as you may find something you know.
For the most part, the labelling on products was inconsistent and in multiple languages, just none I spoke. I tried using the google translate app with the image function, but it had a hard time reading the words.
I did not have any packaged food while there because I didn’t feel comfortable with the way things were labelled and my translation abilities.
Allergy-Friendly Restaurants in Prague
We ate out three times and each one was great!
Restaurace Na Klárově
This restaurant is located very close to the tourist areas, which is usually a red flag for me. But my cousin had been there a few time and he really liked it. At first, they were nervous about my allergies, but after reading the card, they realised that most of my allergens were not on their menu. They prepared a variation of something on their menu using only whole foods and olive oil. The food was delicious (even though it looks super plain). I felt in good hands because each waiter knew about my allergens.
As much as I am not a fan of eating in tourist areas, the upside is that the waiters spoke excellent English.
We had a coffee here the day before and just loved it. The menu sounded amazing, but it contained some of my allergens, so I was very hesitant about going at first.
We decided to eat there after speaking to the waiter and knowing that the restaurant wasn’t too busy, so the kitchen had time to prepares something safe. I was able to have their risotto without peas. It was sooooo good!! They did an excellent job at catering to my allergens and were patient with me triple checking that I was going to be safe.
I found this place by googling and saw that they had gluten-free foods marked on their menu. This signifies they have at least some understanding of allergies/celiac. Plus sometimes when this is marked when not required, it means someone they know or someone who works there is celiac.
My meal was simple and safe. The waiter was rarely around, so I was not sure if they were able to do something for me, but in the end, the manager brought out my food, so it was taken seriously. I just wish I had known before the food came out. Communication was not ideal, but the food was fresh and most crucial allergen-free.
And the verdict on travelling to Prague with food allergies
I would say that travelling to Prague with food allergies went really well. We had three excellent meals out, all of which were spontaneous, and I was able to find safe foods at the grocery store.
My biggest takeaways are: bring an allergy card and be prepared to do a little more explaining that you are used to.
The people are very friendly, however, may be less chatty than you are used to, so don’t expect epic conversations about your allergies. In general, I did get the feeling they weren’t treating the allergies seriously, but when the food came, it was apparent.
Did I miss anything? If you have questions about travelling to Prague with food allergies, shoot me a message, and I will see how much I can help 😀
Kortney is your typical atopic triad! She manages asthma, eczema, environmental and food allergies. Kortney is a co-creator of the online community Allergy Travels and co-host of The Itch Podcast. She wants to spread joy in a community that can easily see the hard side of life with atopic disease and believes that you can have a full life with food allergies, it may just be lived a little differently!
In Prague last year we utilised Marks and Spencers food halls to do most of our groceries as their labelling is amazing and always has English as it’s primary language. Great selection of fresh food, packaged items and redi -meals.
In Paris next month I’ll be utilising M&S there too.