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Thread: Vegan in Croatia

  1. #1
    flying plum's Avatar
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    Default Vegan in Croatia

    Zagreb, more specifically. Looks like (fingers crossed) i'm going to be living out there for about three months at the end of the year. Just wondering what it's like for veganism? I assume that it's a lot like the rest of continental europe where you get a bit of a blank look in restaurants, but are things like soya milk, tofu etc reasonably easy to get hold of? Also, are they prohibitively expensive? I'm going to be there on a self-funded internship, so money is going to be very tight!

    I know there is at least one member from Zagreb on these forums, but any other info would be awesome

    amanda

  2. #2
    pavotrouge
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    I'd love to hear about it, too. From what I've heard Southeast Europe must be a ghastly place for vegans.

    Happycow lists some vegan-friendly places, though, but I guess you've already looked it up: http://www.happycow.net/europe/croat...reb/index.html

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    hokay, i'm definately going (woo hoo!) so any information, gratefully received!

    amanda

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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    i was googling through information and only found this:

    - tofu, 500g, 30KN (about 4 or 5,4 USD)
    - soy milk, 1l, 18KN (about 2,5 or 3,2 USD)

    i think it shouldn't be a big deal to find it in store (not in small ones, though) ... but croatian people say it's still a luxsus being a vegan (cow's milk is 3 times cheaper, for example).

    i don't know Zagreb well, i know Rijeka better ... i'll try to contact an old friend from croatia and ask for some more information .

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    thanks anouk i have googled a few things, but a lot comes up in croatian, and sadly i'm only just beginning to learn the basics of that language!

    amanda

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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    i tought so . i can understand croatian pretty well, i'm lousy at speaking. slovenian and croatian language aren't as chalk and cheese, but ... if i'll be somewhere close to zagreb i'll let you know (usually i'm more around Rijeka or some island ... Krk and south).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    well, i' here now! so far, i've eaten lots of tomatoes and bread lol. also, veggies and beans. i did find soya milk the other day though, but didn't get it cos had a long walk home. good to know it's there, but its 19kn (about 1.90) for the UHT alpro boxes, so i think it shall ahve to be more a treat, rather than a regular purchase.

    my flatmate is an ex-veggie - she now eats fish and some chicken - but it's good because she at least kind of gets where i'm coming from. acutally, what i've noticed here is when you say your veggie (wasn't sure if the word vegan was understood), once they get their head around the fact that you don't eat fish, the immediate assumption is that you don't eat dairy or eggs either, which i found interesting. although the whole 'hidden' eggs and dairy thing is not something which occurs to people. but slowly...

    language is a bit of a problem though. i ate half a packet of sour cream and onion crisps last night without realising it thinking the picture on the front was GARLIC and onion. oh well...another bit of vocab to add to the list...

    amanda

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    Sounds as if you're doing well, and not in any danger of starving, amanda! Interesting that they assume veggies are vegan. Have you tried eating out yet?

    Are you studying there, if I may ask? Have fun, anyway.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    i haven't tried eating out yet...i have a suspicion it will be very hard. pasta seems to be fresh i.e. with egg and most vegetarian dishes contain a lot of cheese. the language barrier makes explaining myself difficult and i intelligently left my vegan passport at home. i also get the feeling i might come across as a difficult foreigner...

    however, i have discovered that there are about four veggie restaurants, one of which is vegan macrobiotic, and doesn't look that expensive, so i do have options, which is good.

    i'm not studying but volunteering for three months at Centar za mirovne studije (Center for Peace Studies) - www.cms.hr, which is a human rights organisation that does all sorts of stuff, with a reasonably large focus on GLBTQI rights and other forms of discrimination.

    amanda

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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    That certainly sounds a worthwhile use of three months. I would have thought there ought to be some other veg*ns at the Peace Studies place so perhaps you could get up a gang to eat out - safety in numbers etc.

    Not too impressed with the English version of their website unless I clicked the wrong button How's your Croatian coming along?

    I went to Zagreb once (briefly) in the 1970s - wonder if I'd recognise it as the same place now?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    does that button still not work? sorry! my croatian is minimal - heh heh! fortunately, everyone is a competant english speaker, so we can communicate. i'm learning slowly

    and no, sadly no veggies at CMS. there's only 8 of us, and they're all hardcore meaties. ah well...

    amanda

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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    oh, and to answer your final question...the centre of Zagreb hasn't changed much in the last thirty years from what i can tell. maybe a few more chain shops than there were, but there's not even that many more of those. still very much independant over conglomerate. which is cool, actually.

    aanda

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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    I'm going to Croatia in May for a freediving holiday with a couple of omnis.

    I don't know exactly where yet and I don't know anything about Croatia lol.

    So any tips on how to get vegan food would be handy!

    I'll update here when I get more info of where we will stay etc.


    Cheers,

    John.


    edit: sorry to hijack the thread - it seems like a logical place to post.

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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    Hi John, I live in Zagreb, so I can give you advice or answer any questions you have about Croatia, feel free to ask.

    As for food, well it depends on which city you will stay in, most of the vegan stores are in bigger cities like Zagreb, Rijeka, Osijek and Split - there you have stores called "Bio & Bio" which have the most vegan food.

    But even smaller cities have supermarkets called "Konzum" and "DM" (which is a cosmetic store) where you can find tofu, soy, soy drinks, etc.

    In those stores you will find brands like "Alpro Soya" and "Schneekopfe" which are in my opinion the best!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    Hi people,

    sorry, but I'm not very active in this forum any more because of lack of free time, so I saw this thread just now. Flying plum, please visit me in our office any weekday, the address is Animal Friends (Prijatelji zivotinja), Gajeva 47. It's near the main train station and hotel Esplanade, you will find us easy. We are AR organisation, and we are all vegans.

    In the meantime, visit our website in english and find info about available vegan food in our Veggie guide: http://www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr/index.en.php?id=404 .

    Hope to see you,

    vuycha

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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    Vanya: Thanks that's awesome! I still don't have exact details of where I'll be but I'll update here soon when I've found out. Thank you so much for the info!

    Vuycha: Your website looks great, I'll check it out when I get more time (at work at the mo).

    Looks like being vegan in Croatia isn't too difficult then. That's helped put my mind at rest.

    Cheers!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    Thanks, Johnstuff, if you have any questions feel free to ask.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    I'm going to Dubrovnik for a few days later this month. So far I haven't found a lot of vegan options there...basically the only listings on happycow and others sites are one restaurant (Nishta) and one whole foods shop (Bio and Bio). So should I just have dinner at Nishta every night or does anyone know of any other options in Dubrovnik?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    Hi,

    I don't know of any other vegetarian restaurants/clubs in Dubrovnik, usually we get the information as soon as they are opened anywhere in Croatia. I hope you will have a good time :smile:
    http://www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr/index.en.php

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    Quote vuycha View Post
    Hi,

    I don't know of any other vegetarian restaurants/clubs in Dubrovnik, usually we get the information as soon as they are opened anywhere in Croatia. I hope you will have a good time :smile:
    Thank you, vuycha! I'm sure I'll have fun, I've heard Croatia's lovely. I'll just stick to Nishta if I can't find anything else in Dubrovnik. Is it possible to get vegan food at non-veg restaurants in Croatia? Are there any typical Croatian dishes that are vegan or easily veganised? I have a copy of the Vegan Passport (which explains veganism in a bunch of different languages) so I thought I'd bring that.

  21. #21
    patientia
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    It is possible to get vegan food in non-veg restaurants, but:
    - for every dish you order ask if it contains any animal ingredient, and then list the ingredients, because, some waiters think that vegans eat fish
    - ask if vegetable soup contains non-vegan broth
    - ask if grilled vegetables/mushrooms are prepared on the same grill as meat, some restaurants will prepare them in a skillet instead of grill if you ask
    - explicitly ask for no butter if you order cooked or braised vegetables
    - don't expect tofu or seitan in conventional restaurants, some vegetables are the best you can get, unless the restaurant is really expensive
    - Chinese restaurants tend to have a few tofu dishes, ask if they use fish sauce
    - you can order vegetarian pizza without cheese in most pizzerias, but ask if the dough contains milk or eggs
    - learn Croatian and Bosnian profanity, so that you can tell if the waiter deserves a tip

    Swiss chard is popular here, with potatoes, or with fava beans. It's eaten as a side dish, but you can order it with some salad.

    You can buy enough food to survive in bio&bio but check the ingredients. Their cakes usually have white couverture that contains cow milk. They don't care if something is non-vegan as long as it's organic. They sell zeljanica, it's tofu and leafy greens pie (spinach, Swiss chard and/or nettle) and I think their sweet pies are vegan, too.

  22. #22
    patientia
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    I haven't been to Dubrovnik in years, but I found this discussion:
    http://www.dubrovnik-online.net/foru...hp?topic=102.0

    If you happen to visit Split, check Makrovega - their macro-menu is vegan:
    http://www.makrovega.hr/#/gdje-smo/

    Hope you have a good time

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    Quote mariana View Post
    Thank you, vuycha! I'm sure I'll have fun, I've heard Croatia's lovely. I'll just stick to Nishta if I can't find anything else in Dubrovnik. Is it possible to get vegan food at non-veg restaurants in Croatia? Are there any typical Croatian dishes that are vegan or easily veganised? I have a copy of the Vegan Passport (which explains veganism in a bunch of different languages) so I thought I'd bring that.
    You can get vegan food at non-vegan restaurants as anywhere else in the world, but that really depends on how nice/smart/patient waiter you will get. You can always get pasta with tomato salsa or something like that. Check the prices before ordering, Dubrovnik tend to be pricey.
    http://www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr/index.en.php

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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    Thank you so much for the advice patentia and vuycha! I'm always a bit wary of trying to get vegan food in non-vegetarian restaurants especially without calling in advance or knowing what options they have because so often the servers don't seem to understand what veganism entails (and that's even in the US or UK where I don't have a language barrier). Maybe I'll try a Chinese restaurant (I speak Mandarin so that might help, too) or just stick to Bio&Bio and the one restaurant, Nishta (I'll probably also go into Nishta for a meal and ask if they have any advice for vegan food in Dubrovnik).

    Unfortunately I'm not going to Split, but maybe next time. Haha, I love the advice on learning Croatian and Bosnian profanity!

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    I contacted the one Dubrovnik resident on Couchsurfing who mentioned vegetarianism in his profile, and he sent me a nice response about where to find food there (though since he's lacto-ovo it seems he doesn't have much experience of vegan food). I'm just going to copy and paste most of his message (just edited out any identifying markers) for future reference in case anyone else goes to Dubrovnik:
    Being a vegetarian in Dubrovnik was a bit of a chore. You get pretty tired of the pizza, pasta and salad. But there are a few options to mix it up.. although I'm not going to lie, it's still tough. As far as being Vegan is concerned, you will have a very hard time. I'm not sure how flexible you are on the vegan part but you may be stuck on "roasted veggies" for a while if you don't do any dairy.

    First of all Nishta is the place to be. They recently close smoothie bar though so dubrovnik is without smoothies as of late. I know the owners of Nishta and they make great food. They also try to offer everything with a Vegan option so if you let them know, they'll try to accomodate you. It's not the cheapest meals in town, but it's certainly some of the best vegetarian food you can get in town. It's run by a swiss couple... Tell them I sent you. Traveled through India with them a few years ago and helped them come up with the indian dishes!

    As far as other eats, it does get a bit more tedious. Too often "vegetarian" is often considered "not-so-much meat". You may need to clearly state you want something without meat... or "nema meso" as I would say.

    Some places worth checking out...

    Spaghetteria Toni. It's pasta... but it's damn good. and very reasonable considering. The tortellini is great... and most dishes don't have any meat in them but many do have dairy... so watch out.

    Taj Mahal - ironically it's not indian food... it's bosnian. Typically they love their meat... so it's not my first choice for veg food but they do a roasted veg plate that is a decent meal. Also a good place to take a meat eater while you can still eat something veg.

    There's a few pizza places worth checking out... although you will get tired of it soon enough. If you're into pizza but without cheese try the line "Nema sir molim"... which means "no cheese please!" Sounds like " Nay-ma See-er mo-lim". Hope that works out for you.

    Tabasco pizzeria - it's just above the upper old town entrance. A few steps to get there but it's certainly the best bang for your buck. 70 kuna gets you a massive pizza that will stuff two people.

    If you're staying in the old town and don't feel like climbing those steps, check out "Mia Culpa" pizzeria. 50 kuna gets you a full meal and then some.

    For a nice simple pizza, try Oliva pizza. It's simple, tasty and reasonable.


    If you're looking for something on the go, there are a few sandwich shops operating around.

    Mrvica is open late in the old town. It's north side of the main street.. I believe the 6th street from Pile gate. Always people there.. they serve mediocre pizza but the sanwiches are a very reasonable late night bite as you transition from the bars to the club.

    Katie O'connors irish bar has reasonable food. they do simple sandwich and chips for 30 kuna. They have decent coffee too. It's also a great place to grab a pint later in the day.

    Other places worth mentioning but don't offer anything too amazing...

    Arsenal wine bar does a a few veg dishes... noodles... some cheese platters and maybe some roasted veg.

    Anyways Dubrovnik is not the ideal place to be vegan or vegetarian but things are changing slowly but surely. It's worth the hardship as the town is truly an amazing place, especially this time of season. Go for a swim, enjoy a cocktail and watch the sun go down. Take in all the old city has to offer.
    It doesn't sound like there are that many options, but some at least...I will see what happens and post about my experiences on here later!

  26. #26
    我看得懂 mariana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    Dubrovnik was really beautiful, but too full of tourists for my taste (I know, I was a tourist there but still hated tourists--I'm difficult to please!).

    The night I arrived was a Sunday, and Nishta (the only vegetarian restaurant in town) was closed, so I ended up having a cheese-less pizza. I didn't have any trouble ordering it as most people in the Old Town seem to speak English. But they did bring it out to me with cheese the first time and I had to send it back. The next door Nishta was closed for lunch, so I just ended up getting some fruit, bread and olive oil, and peanut-flavoured Kroki Krokit (puffed corn snacks) at a small supermarket. After that, I ate every meal at Nishta. It wasn't the best veggie restaurant I've ever been to, but it wasn't bad and it wasn't overly expensive either. The owner was really nice--I ended up talking to her a bit since I was in there so frequently, and she even gave me a free dessert my last day there. I highly recommend Nishta!

  27. #27
    patientia
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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    I'm glad you managed to have some concrete vegan meals in Dubrovnik. Kroki kroket is tasty, but it sticks to my palate If I visit Dubrovnik, I'll definitely eat at Nishta.

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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    Quote patientia View Post
    Kroki kroket is tasty, but it sticks to my palate
    Haha, it did to mine too but I was just so excited when I came across it in the supermarket (I was stuck in a mini mart for an hour while it was raining so I just read labels the whole time to see if I found anything vegan!).

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    Default Re: Vegan in Croatia

    Handy thread for me, as I am off on holiday to Dubrovnik next Saturday, really looking forward to it, but knowing it's not going to be easy to eat out in restaurants. We will probably stick to Nishta and i'll cook in our apartment some nights, my case is already nearly full of stuff like soya milk, oat cakes, pasta and rice. Was hoping vuycha might be able to work out a few translations for me, I will contact through the animal rights website.

    Thanks for the other advice!

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