By Alex Cote
Despite meat being a staple ingredient in traditional Croatian cuisine, vegetarians can still indulge in savory meatless options in Croatia. The trick is knowing where to look. While most menus offer a vegetarian section, there has to be more to being meat-free than bread, pasta, salad and grilled vegetables. That’s why several Croatian restaurants are progressing to offer creative, vegetarian options.
The trick is knowing where to look. While most menus offer a vegetarian section, there has to be more to being meat-free than bread, pasta, salad and grilled vegetables. That’s why several Croatian restaurants are progressing to offer creative, vegetarian options.
Though there’s certainly more than what compiles this list, here’s a selection of meatless “foodie finds” to try while traveling in Croatia:
1. Nishta (Zagreb, Dubrovnik)
Consider Nishta the Holy Grail for vegetarians in Croatia. The entirely meatless menu takes on a health-food theme peppered with international inspired cuisine. Cracker pizza, curry, falafel and homemade desserts, are each crafted with thoughtful ingredients, often locally sourced. From the meat-eater to the picky-eater, everyone is bound to find something to satisfy his or her palette. Nishta offers a Zen escape from bustling streets of Zagreb and Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
2. Toto’s Burger Bar (Split)
Don’t be deterred by the name. Toto’s offers a selection of options for both carnivores and omnivores. This self-service hot spot offers comfort food with a healthy kick, such as zucchini noodles, vegan cakes, sandwiches, and salads that will actually curb your appetite. Best of all, meals here are sure to not break your wallet. The funky décor and welcoming staff are the finishing touches on a casual, yet trendy dining experience.
3. Vegehop (Zagreb)
Tucked in the backstreets of central Zagreb, this quaint hole-in-the-wall takes a modern approach to vegetarianism. The menu offers imaginative meatless dishes, matched with a tranquil environment. Indulge in the moussaka, zucchini cannoli, and vegan chocolate mousse. The statistics about meat consumption and environmental degradations on the menu is a clear indication that at Vegehop has a mission behind their cuisine.
4. Njummy (Zagreb)
Njummy is yet another meatless gem coming out of the heart of central Zagreb. This contemporary café is extremely vegetarian and gluten-free friendly, perfect for a mid-afternoon snack or hearty dinner. Quinoa veggie bowls, corn tacos, and Caprese salad are among the refreshing diversity of menu options. Njummy is an affordable find with a modern ambience that’s hard to beat.
5. Makrovega (Split)
This restaurant is a must if you’re a vegetarian wandering through the Old Town of Split. Makrovega accommodates all dietary restrictions, including vegan and gluten-free, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy veggie wraps, burritos, and strudels with the cheapest prices in town.
6. Mex Cantina Bona Fide (Dubrovnik)
Most people don’t exclusively come to Croatia for the Mexican food, but Mex Cantina Bona Fide satisfies those irresistible cravings. Located in the backstreets of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, here’s a hotspot that tourists and locals love. Treat yourself to vegetarian tacos, burritos, Greek salad, or chips and guacamole. The relaxed atmosphere and unique aromas are only secondary to the delicious food. Though not exclusively a vegetarian restaurant, Bona Fide offers some of Dubrovnik’s most unique vegetarian dishes.