Eating Vegan in Croatia
Ever been to Croatia before? If not, I’d recommend it in a heartbeat – beautiful views, gorgeous sunshine, beaches aplenty, the list goes on. But if you’re a fellow plant-eater, there are a few things you may need to bear in mind before your trip…namely, the fact that Croatia isn’t the most vegan friendly place.
Eating Out in Zadar
Zadar is a haven for seafood lovers and anyone looking for something off the grill, but when it comes to vegan and even vegetarian options, there wasn’t, in my experience, a whole lot to offer. We mainly stuck to getting groceries and cooking meals in our Airbnb (I’ll talk more about this later), but on the occasions we did go out, it proved harder than expected to find suitable options. Even after extensive googling, some of the places we’d heard had good ‘vegetarian options’ didn’t turn out as fruitful as we’d hoped.
Luckily, bread and chips were pretty much always on the menu – granted, it’s not the healthiest combo, but I’ll take it!
Eating out in Dubrovnik
Different city, same problem! Again, we did a lot of googling to see if we could find any suitable places to eat, but unfortunately, we encountered the same hurdles. If you’re vegetarian and happy to eat a margherita pizza every night then chances are you’ll be just fine. But for vegans, it’s definitely trickier.
We did manage to find one vegan place in the Old Town of Dubrovnik. It’s called Nishta and it’s definitely worth a stop off if you’re visiting. Their menu changes daily and honestly, I thought it was a little limited. But that said, the peace of mind you’ll get here is more than enough to let that slide! Plus, they make and sell falafel wraps which are SO good. That alone is reason enough to visit!
Don’t worry, I’m not going to teach you how to do a vegan food shop. But it is worth mentioning that despite a distinct lack of veggie options in restaurants/cafes, bigger supermarkets seemed to have a relatively decent selection. Zadar has a few big supermarkets, among them Lidl, Kaufland and Spar. We managed to get our hands on Alpro soya milk and even vegan ice-cream, sausages and cheese!
Spar probably came out on top with a selection of vegan cheeses, ice cream, plant milks and a falafel mix, but Kaufland had a good offering too, including a couple of different vegan yoghurts and some gelatine-free sweets.
Some of this advice has already been touched on in our blog on vegan travel tips, but let’s dive in anyway…
If and where possible, try and get to grips with the basics of the language before you go. Learn what the key ingredients are so you know to look out for them – eggs, milk, gelatine etc. It’s true, English is widely spoken, but you can’t rely on that everywhere you go. If you’re not confident speaking the language (which I definitely wasn’t!) or you’re worried about not understanding someone’s response, you could try using Google Translate and even showing people the translation on your phone screen.
Carry snacks with you – trust me, this one is key!
Pick self-catered accommodation. Not only is this likely to be cheaper, it will give you the peace of mind knowing that if you can’t find anywhere to eat out, you can cook and eat easily in your holiday home/apartment. There are so many Airbnbs and other self-catered properties to choose from in Croatia that you’ll be spoilt for choice.