We’d planned to spend day three in Vienna and had booked a Student Agency bus to take us from Brno to the Austrian capital first thing. We both woke up weary eyed around 6am – neither of us having slept more than three hours for some unknown reason. We’d walked a lot the day before and the only reason we could think of was that we were just massively over-tired. We made a mutual decision to abandon our plans for Vienna and spend another day in Brno. Luckily, Student Agency’s tickets are super flexible and we were able to cancel free of charge right up to an hour before. As we had planned to leave at 9am, we were able to get a full refund.
With Mum in bed attempting to go back to sleep, I headed out to explore Brno solo; first stop was the Capuchin Crypt. On one side of the Cabbage Market (or Zelny Trh square) you’ll find the Capuchin church and monastery. I ended up walking to the Crypt via the Cabbage Market and couldn’t help stopping off to browse the endless stalls of fresh fruit, veg and plants. I bought a kilo of strawberries for £2/ €3 and a large chunk of juicy watermelon for £1/ €2.
The Capuchin church’s pastel yellow exterior is simple and clean, decorated with Baroque sculptures dating back to 1765; the interior is small with delicate, ornate walls. It was a little hard at first to find how to get to the crypt – you have to squeeze through a very claustrophobic alleyway on the left into a small courtyard which is home to the reception. Entry is 35 Koruna for students, 70 for adults and an extra 30 if you want to take any photos.
The church’s underbelly holds an eerie collection. Alongside some original paintings and walls lined with historical facts, the crypt is also home to a large collection of mummified monks. These Capuchin monks were buried beneath the church over a period of 300 years along with other prominent personalities from the Baroque period, such as an architect who’s work included the Brno Cathedral. The bodies were never meant to be preserved, but the conditions within the crypt (geological composition/ air flow etc) were accidentally perfect for mummification. It really is quite remarkable; you can almost see each person’s personality or pain etched on to their faces – one poor lady doesn’t look too comfortable and it turns out she was buried alive. Definitely one of the creepiest things I’ve done – I was in the main crypt alone at one point and was convinced once of them would turn their head towards me…!!
After the crypt, it was time for elevenses – I’d heard about an all vegan bakery and was keen to check it out! Charakter bakery is a short walk from Freedom Square or Zelny Trh (The Cabbage Market) and has a small collection of baked goods on offer. The interior is really well thought out and I loved the styling – even more so when my coffee was served to me on a slice of tree trunk! There was a selection of bread rolls (I had to buy a pizza roll) along with seitan stuffed baguettes, cheese and tomato bakes, an apple cheesecake and a chocolate and walnut cake. I opted for the latter to accompany my soya latte. Id definitely recommend paying this little place a visit if you’re in Brno – the cakes are delicious and the portion sizes very generous.
As I’m pretty much always thinking about food, my next stop was lunch! I wanted to try the Junk Food Cafe as I’d heard great things about this vegan restaurant. It was the opposite end of town, and after walking half a mile in the wrong direction at first, I had worked off the cake in time for my arrival. It’s a little tricky to find the restaurant as it’s tucked down a few side streets just outside of the main city centre, so I’d recommend looking it up on a map beforehand. It was a very comfortable 19 degrees, so I decided to sit outside, perusing their substantial menu. I was really keen to try their dish of the day (lasagne) as I haven’t had a vegan lasagne yet and I know I’ll be disappointed if I attempt to make one myself! Sadly they had already sold out by the time I got there, even though it was just 12.30. This place was rammo – get there early folks! I went for the Punk burger instead and was very happy with my decision. People weren’t joking when they said this places’ portion sizes were colossal. My tempeh burger was as big as my head and the salad accompaniment can only be described as a mountain! The menu also had a selection of pastas, mains and hotdogs as well as 11 other burger options. Prices were very reasonable too – my burger and side cost 125 Koruna – about £3.60/ €4.60.
After lunch, it was time for a quick rest back at the apartment, to try and shift my food baby and collect my Mum after her peaceful morning. We decided to walk to Vegalite for dinner (yes more food) as it was one of the restaurants which was furthest away from the city. In doing so, we discovered a whole other side of Brno we wouldn’t have seen otherwise! Walking away from Freedom Square, we passed by three more huge churches, ‘Jakubske nam’ square (complete with giant horse statue) and ‘Moravske nam’ (a small green space/ walkway). We happened to pass by Forky’s, one of the vegan restaurants on my list and the food looked AMAZING. We continued on to find Vegalite, but once there we weren’t that bothered by their menu options that day, so headed back to Forky’s.
The food at Forky’s tasted even better than it looked! I went for the ‘NoFish and chips’ – I was expecting battered tofu, like I’ve had at Loving Hut before but actually this was a little different. It had been marinated for so long that it was the juiciest tofu Ive ever tried. It had a meaty/ fishy taste to it and came with a seaweed and mixed leaf salad and sliced fried potatoes. Mum went for the cheeseburger – a crispy patty topped with sliced vegan cheese, onion, tomato and pickles and accompanied by a side of rustic fries… YUM! The food was outstanding and the decor inside is great, really clean and modern. It was a great way to end our food-filled third day in Brno!
>Top vegan restaurants in Brno 🙂