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Vegan travel

Food, Places I've Been

Vegan in Split, Croatia – A Guide

August 18, 2016

As I mentioned in my vegan guide to Dubrovnik, Croatia isn’t the easiest place to be vegan in, but I’d have to say that Split is definitely one of the best choices for vegans looking for delicious food in Croatia. Vegans who visit Dubrovnik will have to rely on renting an apartment with a kitchen and cook some food at home, but Split is much more accomodating for vegan foodies. I’d still suggest renting an apartment with a kitchen, because it’s much cheaper than eating out all the time, but if you’re only staying for a few days you’ll survive without the kitchen. When I first visited Split in 2011 none of these places existed/had vegan options, so it’s safe to say that the town has quickly adapted to tourist demands, which is great. So what are the places you can happily enjoy a meal at if you’re vegan in Split?

vegan in split

Lovely Split! (Picture from Pixabay, CC license)

Vege Fast Food
Not so much a restaurant as a take-away fast food joint with veggie burgers, seitan steaks, tofu and the likes. Food is of varying quality but prices are okay. Can be hard to find – look for the sign that says VEGE.
Where: Put Porta 2, Split – just by the green market outside of the walls.  

Matoni
Set outside the old town, closer to the main beach in Split, is Matoni where you can get both meat and vegan options. Vegan options include stuffed red peppers, salad with zucchini and beetroot pasta and a lentil muffin. Great prices compared to the restaurants inside the walls.
Website
Where: Prilaz braće Kaliterna 6, Split

Makrovega
Only a few minutes walk outside of the walls you will find one of the most popular veg*n restaurants in Split: Makrovega. Here you will find vegan burritos, seitan and tempeh sandwiches, and a daily menu that changes but can include salads, soups burgers etc. Plus: vegan cakes! A must for any vegan visiting.
Website (in Croatian)
Where: Lestina 4, Split

makrovega split

Vegan deliciousness at Makrovega in Split.

Up Cafe
Same owners as Makrovega and also all veg*n, Up Cafe offers vegan desserts, tempeh and seitan sandwiches, a hemp burger, risotto, a homemade stew and much more. Has WiFi!
Website
Where: Domovinskog rata 29a, Split – a bit outside of the city centre.

Galerija Food
If you’re looking for a place inside of the town walls with a lovely setting and good food this is a great choice. It’s a mainly meat restaurant but has some vegan options, such as vegan bowls and vegan dessert.
Facebook page
Where: Vuskiviceva 3, Split

Bistro Toc
My favorite restaurant to visit in Split – not only because of the cat that always hangs around! The food is great to and vegan options include burritos, salads and so on… Most (if not all?) of the vegetarian options can be made vegan with a few tweaks. A few minutes walk from the old town. Lovely setting, very friendly staff.
Website
Where:  Šegvića 1, Split

vegan in split

Veggie food at Bistro Toc in Split

Toto’s Burger Bar 
A burger bar, but serves some vegan options as well, such as veggie noodles and zucchini noodles with tomato sauce.
Where: Trumbiceva Obala 2, Split

Wok Bar – That’s All Woks
Up for some Asian wok? Wok Bar mainly serves meat but has vegan options such as smoked tofu with whole-wheat noodles in curry and you can customize your own wok bowl by choosing the exact ingredients you want in it – perfect for those of us who are a bit picky! There are a few seats inside but I’d suggest getting the food to go.
Facebook page (with menu).
Where: Obala Hrvatskog Narodnog Preporoda 25, Split

Bio & Bio
If you’re cooking at home you will be able to find tofu, seitan and other vegan food at Bio & Bio which has many locations in Split and also sells lots of other stuff.
Where: Vukovarska ul. 207  (City Center), Morpurgova poljana 2, and Robna kuća Prima 3 (at R. Boškovića bb).

split

A tiny little moon <3

Food, Travel

Vegan in Dubrovnik – A Guide

July 25, 2016

Being vegan or vegetarian in Croatia isn’t very common. In fact, when some of my (Balkan-based) family learned that I was vegetarian they didn’t believe me, and definitely didn’t believe that I would even survive. 10 years later, most of them have somehow grasped it, but depend on me eating cheese, eggs and such instead. So if you’re a vegan, you’re a rare kind. Traveling in Croatia as a vegan is not the easiest, but luckily it’s getting easier and easier – especially in the more popular tourist destinations. Dubrovnik is one of the most popular destinations in Croatia and once you visit you will see why. It’s a wonderful, beautiful town. Being vegan in Dubrovnik might not be the easiest thing, but I was there just a few weeks ago and did some research on the vegan food scene. Here’s my guide to visiting Dubrovnik as a vegan:

  • Stay in an apartment or a good hotel

When we were in Dubrovnik we stayed in a wonderful hotel that had some options for vegans during breakfast, but not much else. They had rice and soya milk, sourdough bread (which is made with no animal ingredients), lots of veggies and fruit, marmalade and so on. If you’re planning to stay in a hotel, do check in advance what they offer. However, a cheaper alternative to staying in hotels is booking an apartment with a kitchen. I find this option makes me feel more like a local than a tourist and you can often get great tips from the hosts. Try AirBnb, Booking.com or hotels.com (yes they have apartments too!). When you rent your own apartment with a kitchen you can make your own breakfast and on-the-go lunch as well as the occasional dinner. Not only is this a cheaper alternative than eating out all the time (believe me, I’ve learned the hard way!) but you can ensure that your food is vegan. Plus all the veggies are so much more delicious when they are grown in Croatia.

  • Nischta

Nischta is one of my favorite restaurants! Not only in Dubrovnik but one of my all-time favorites. I’ve written about it here before. The menu is vegetarian and vegan and most of the vegetarian tems can be ordered vegan, which is great. The food is absolutely delicious and the staff is really friendly. It is located on one of the small streets, parallel to the main street in the Old Town, Stradun. Make sure you book a table ahead if you’re eating dinner there though, as it is often fully-booked during evenings.  I could eat here every single day, but beware it’s closed on Sundays.
Where: Old Town, Prijeko bb
More information an d menu on website.

vegan in dubrovnik

Bowl with rice, veggies and tofu

  • Marco Polo Restaurant

Marco Polo is a regular restaurant but also serves vegan food. There’s a vegan salad with apples, walnuts, and cranberries, a tofu steak with wok vegetables, and wok rice noodles with veggies and soya sauce. Although I unfortunately didn’t have time to visit the restaurant, I hear it’s very good. We did walk past it and it looks very nice so I definitely recommend coming here if you’re visiting. Plus, it’s perfect if you’re with a meatie who craves something other than veg food.
Where:  Old town – Lučarica ul. 6
More information and menu here

  • Bio&Bio

Bio&bio is a health store with shops throughout Croatia and makes it that much easier to be vegan in Dubrovnik! The Dubrovnik shop is located a bit outside of the Old Town but you can easily walk there or take the bus from Pile gate. Here you’ll find lots of vegan food – vegan snack bars, plant-based milk, patés, tofu, seitan “meat” and other vegan items. Shop ’til you drop and go cook yourself a lovely meal before you head out for the evening.

Where: Vukovarska 36, Dubrovnik (walk there or take the bus from Pile gate to the Tommy centre). You can buy tickets on the bus.

  • Be nice and ask!

Most restaurants who don’t have anything for you on the menu will make something just for you. They are used to tourists and you’re probably not the first vegan to walk into the restaurant, so don’t be afraid to ask. I normally ask the host/hostess before entering if they have anything I can eat and if they don’t, they often say which dishes the chefs can make for you. If they don’t have anything, well, at least you’ve let them know there’s a demand for it.

  • Farmer’s market

Buy fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruiton the daily open farmer’s market in the Old Town. Get there early and buy everything from juicy, ripe tomatoes to herbs and olive oil at better prices than in the supermarkets. There’s also a farmer’s market in Gruz (by the harbour in Dubrovnik) but it’s also a fish market so be prepared to see a lot of dead fish 😉 .

Dubrovnik farmer's market

Gruz farmer’s market

I think that covers it for now, but as soon as I hear more about new vegan-friendly places I’ll make sure to add them here – do let me know in the comments if you’ve found a good restaurant or shop with a proper vegan selection. So as you can see, although Dubrovnik isn’t covered with vegan restaurants on every corner, being vegan in Dubrovnik can definitely be done with some research and planning – and preferably a small kitchen.

Travel

How To Be An Animal-Friendly Traveller

June 13, 2016
animal-friendly traveller

Summer’s coming up and most of us leave our countries of residence to soak up the sun, culture and ambience of another country with our loved ones. For many, this involves going some place new and discovering what the local attractions have to offer. Unfortunately, it often involves some sort of animal activities: zoos, dolphin shows or something else where people who are curious and love these creatures are drawn in and unbeknownst to themselves support an industry that is inhumane for the very animals we care about. You don’t have to stop eating local meats or cheeses if you don’t want to, but being an animal-friendly traveller is actually really easy and makes all the difference for the animals.

The animals in question do not have to be endangered species for it to be animal cruelty – rather it’s about the conditions they live under and how they are trained in order to follow instructions from humans. I’ve made the mistake myself in my younger days, not realizing that my well meaning and curiosity was in fact contributing to the exploitation and cruel treatment of the animals. So here’s how to make sure that you are an animal-friendly traveller this summer and all the summers to come!

Avoid zoos, acquariums, riding on elephants etc.

Does the activity involve watching, touching or taking pictures with animals who are confined and not in their natural environment? Are you offered to ride an elephant, a camel or a donkey? Be smart about it. Many zoos and acquariums claim that they are doing conservation efforts and study the animals but that is not a good reason to keep them locked in small confinements, much smaller than their natural habitat. There are countless examples of this, SeaWorld being the most famous one, where animals die from being mistreated. While elephants and camels do get to walk around, they also stand in the sun for many hours just waiting for tourists to pass by and often have to carry hundreds of people per day. Sometimes they are left with no water or food and are trained, often with cruel methods, to not be agressive towards humans. If you wouldn’t ride an elephant in its natural habitat, please don’t do so elsewhere either.

Is a sanctuary a sanctuary?

Many places claim to be sanctuaries for animals, but many of them have proven to have hidden agendas and in fact exploit the animals themselves. Google the places you plan on visiting or contact a local animal right’s group and ask them if the place treats its animals well. Just because a place claims to be saving animals, doesn’t mean they necessarily do. This is especially true in Asia, with many elephant or tiger “sanctuaries” who invite tourists to pet the wild animals.

Don’t buy cruel souvenirs

Many places you can buy souvenirs made from animals – shark teeth necklaces, “medicine” made from animal blood, shells from turtles or sea animals etc. Don’t buy these! Most places have other beautiful, hand-made souvenirs that you can take home instead of something that has put an animal through torture.

Speak up!

Here’s one I think that especially us Scandinavians need to be a lot better at! Often we tend to not speak up in order to avoid confrontation but it’s really, really important that you show that animal cruelty is not okay. If your travel agency offers excursions where animals are exploited – let them know it’s not okay! If you see something on the street where an animal is exploited or hurt – please do speak up! Report offences towards animals to the local authorities. If you see a hurt or homeless animal – contact a local shelter. If travellers show that we do not accept animal cruelty, travel agencies, hotels and governments might move towards a more humane tourism in their countries.

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Photos via Pixabay.com/CC0 Public Domain