Vegan Croatia Guide: Is Croatia Vegan Friendly? (2024)

Are you looking for a vegan Croatia guide? If you are wondering about the vegan scene in Croatia, you reached the right place! 

It does not matter if you are traveling in Croatia, an Erasmus student studying abroad in Croatia or coming here on a digital nomad visa. 

I‘m vegan and Croatian, and recently I’ve lived in the country for a while again. As a vegan in Croatia, I was pleasantly surprised with the variety of vegan food in Croatia compared to 5 years ago!

If you are wondering if is Croatia vegan friendly these days, consider yourself lucky!

The range of vegan food in Croatian supermarkets is blooming, and it is easier than ever to be vegan in Croatia. All of the products I recommend are available countrywide, as long as there is one of the mentioned stores near you.

Keep reading for everything you need to know to find the best vegan food in Croatia!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. I hope you find the information here helpful!

Travelling as a vegan in Croatia

two female hand holding an ice cream in a cup with rovinj old town in the background

Is Croatia A Good Destination For Vegans?

Yes, Croatia is a great travel destination for vegans. 

Veganism has significantly grown in popularity over the past couple of years, and Croatian supermarkets stock multiple vegan alternatives to all popular Croatian foods. Moreover, fresh fruits and vegetables are abundant in Croatia.

As you will see later in the article, you can choose between many plant-based milk options, vegan meat alternatives, and snacks in nearly every store. 

However, as you travel around Croatia, you will notice that vegan options in restaurants differ.

If you visit Zagreb, you will think it is easy to be vegan here, as there are multiple vegan restaurants in the city. 

At the same time, there is not a single fully vegan restaurant in Osijek, the fourth largest city in Croatia. You will likely have to make a meal of side dishes in many smaller town restaurants.

Coastal destinations like Pula or Zadar are adding more and more vegan options on their menus, but fully vegan restaurants are still rare.

That is why, as vegan, Croatian supermarkets will be your best friend!

How to recognize vegan products in Croatia?

I can’t show you every vegan product in Croatian supermarkets, but I will teach you how to recognize them. 

The Croatian word for a vegan is simply just: vegan, or sometimes they will write 100% biljno – meaning 100% plant-based.

The easiest way to recognize vegan food is when they have the official vegan sign on them. Make sure that it says vegan and NOT vegetarian under the V symbol!

Nonetheless, many brands just write the word vegan on their products, without the official sign. You can trust those too!

How to recognize non-vegan ingredients in the Croatian language

When scanning the ingredients, these are the words to look out for:

  • Mlijeko (milk)
  • Sir (cheese)
  • Maslac (butter)
  • Jaja (eggs)
  • Med (honey)
  • Želatina (gelatine)

Due to allergen regulations, all of those words, except for honey and gelatine, will be written in bold print. That makes it easy to spot the non-vegan ingredients without reading every word on the declaration.

vegan food in croatia
vegan milk alternatves in croatia

Shopping for vegan food in Croatia:

So here is the ultimate question, which Croatian supermarket is the most vegan-friendly? Surprisingly enough, they are all pretty good! Though, my favourites are Interspar and Kaufland.

Vegan products in Kaufland, Croatia

Most Kaufland stores stock most major brands of vegan-friendly food. Such as Alpro, Beyond Meat, Garden Gourmet, and Oreo. 

Also, you can find most accidentally vegan and new plant-based Croatian products. For instance, Boom Box oat-based drinks and snacks, Planet of Plants meat alternatives, and others. 

Kaufland has a brand of vegan-friendly products called Take it Veggie. Their smoked tofu is the best tofu you can find in Croatia. They also have plant-based milk, yogurt, and meat alternatives.

Kaufland shopping must haves:

  • Take it veggie – smoked tofu
  • Take it veggie – regular tofu
  • Take it veggie – plant-based yogurt
  • K Classic – apple pie cookies

Vegan products in Interspar, Croatia

Interspar is one of the first stores to bring out new vegan products. Big stores have a wide assortment of vegan speciality products ranging from milk to meat alternatives, chocolate spreads, and energy bars.

Interspar has a brand of vegan-friendly products called Spar Veggie. They offer tofu, meat alternatives, hummus, plant-based milk, and more! 

Interspar vegan shopping tip:

  • Interspar and Spar’s stores have a 10% discount every Monday on most vegan items storewide!

Vegan products in Lidl, Croatia

Lidl is a place to get all the essentials and speciality vegan products. They have a brand of vegan-friendly products called Vemondo

The vegan offer in Lidl is seasonal. You might not find the same products every time you go, and sometimes there will be more or fewer choices.

Vegan must-haves in Lidl:

  • Next Level frozen burgers
  • Vemondo vegan cheese slices
  • Chef Select Hummus 

Vegan products in Konzum, Croatia

Konzum often has a wide assortment of vegan products other stores don’t stock. Here I am talking about big Konzum stores, such as Super Konzum. Small neighbourhood stores will rarely have any vegan products. 

They don’t have a brand of vegan food themselves, but you can be sure that you will find everything you need here. It is a great one-stop option, even though some things can be cheaper elsewhere. 

Vegan products in Plodine, Croatia

Plodine is the last one on my list because most stores don’t have well-known brands of vegan products – Beyond Meat or Garden Gourmet or many speciality vegan products on their shelves.

However, you can still find everything you need if you stick to basics, and they stock all Croatian vegan brands!

Speciality stores with vegan products in Croatia

Before veganism became more popular in Croatia, health and bio-food stores were the only places to find vegan options. 

While you can still find many vegan options in bio stores, they will be pricier than in supermarkets.

Vegan food in Tvornica Zdrave Hrane, Croatia

This health food store started as an online store, and only recently, they opened up many stores across the country. 

They offer store-brand health food items for the best price on the market. If you are lucky to have Tvornica Zdrave Hrane close to where you are staying, you won’t lack any essential vegan products. 

While they are not entirely vegan, they offer every vegan essential you might need.  You can find plant-based milk, spices, tofu, superfoods, vitamins, and cereals. 

What to get in Tvornica Zdrave hrane:

  • 1kg Peanut butter 100%
  • 1kg chia seeds
  • 1l Tamari sauce
  • 100gr Matcha powder

Vegan food in Bio & Bio, Croatia

Bio & Bio stores have been around for a very long time. They were one of the first health food stores in Croatia, and years ago, you could only find vegan items there!

Every product in the store is bio-certified, and they stock many brands you can’t find anywhere else. However, it is the priciest store on this list. 

Unexpected places to find vegan products in Croatia – drugstores!

dm bio shelf

Drugstores in Croatia sell more than just cosmetics. You can almost do your whole grocery shopping in Croatian drugstores. 

Vegan food in DM, Croatia

DM, a German drugstore chain, has a vegan-friendly and bio-food brand – DM Bio. Also, their store brand Balea cosmetics is predominantly vegan-friendly. 

Vegan food in Muller, Croatia

Muller is another German drugstore chain with a large selection of vegan-friendly food and cosmetics. They have their food brand – Bio Primo, but they also stock popular vegan brands such as Veganz and Alnatura. 

Vegan food in Bipa, Croatia

Bipa is another popular drugstore chain in Croatia. They don’t have a food brand but stock Tvornica Zdrave Hrane. The offer is limited, but you can find peanut butter, spices, chia seeds, flour, oats and more. 

Farmers’ markets/ green markets

vegetables on a farmer's market in pula

I can’t conclude this guide to vegan food in Croatia without mentioning farmers’ markets. Head to the farmer’s markets for Croatia’s tastiest seasonal fruits and vegetables.

It is common in Croatia for small family businesses to produce smaller or larger quantities of fruits and vegetables and sell them directly to customers at farmers’ markets.

These markets are typical in Croatia, and you will find this traditional method of selling local food in almost every city. For example, Dolac is a famous farmer’s market and a must-visit in Zagreb

Markets are usually open in the mornings until lunchtime, and if you want to get the best products, go early in the morning as they tend to sell out quickly. 

The markets are predominantly cash-only, so be sure to have some euro coins with you!

Accidentally vegan food from Croatian brands

If you visit a smaller coastal town or a Croatian island, you might not find the big supermarkets I’ve mentioned here. Similarly, if you are on a road trip through Croatia and stop at a gas station along the way, your options will be minimal.

Luckily, many Croatian brands produce accidentally-vegan products! That is good news because those are the products you can find in nearly every store in Croatia! 

While you might not find speciality vegan products in small Croatian stores, they almost certainly stock accidentally vegan products from Croatian brands.

Apart from the obvious options like canned beans, flour, and ketchup, I don’t think we need to address them. 

Most of these are snacks and cookies, but they can save you in a food emergency! 

picture of three bags of vegan croatian snacks smoki

Some of the best accidentally vegan cookies and chocolate from Croatian brands are: 

  • Napolitanke (only chocolate cream, nougat, hazelnut, and fruit), 
  • Prekrašni cookies (only cherry and apple flavor), 
  • Paris Nero ( Oreo’s alternative)
  • Bajadera chocolates – a fancy gift to buy when visiting your vegan friends

Accidentally vegan snacks in Croatia:

  • Smoki (Stark, Bobi-flips)
  • Čipi Čips ( the original salted version, paprika is not vegan!)
  • Štapići (Koestlin, Vic and Bobi. Kviki are not vegan!)
  • Elephant pretzels (these might not be a Croatian brand, but they are my gas station go-to!)

Croatian brands of accidentally Vegan mayo and spreads:

  • Omegol spreads and mayo
  • Thomy delight mayo, chili, garlic, and tartar (all of these have posno written on them!)
  • Zvijezda margarine
  • Sanna hummus

Eating out as a vegan in Croatia

Finally, I will briefly talk about eating in Croatian restaurants as a vegan. Eating out as a vegan in Croatia can be challenging. While vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants exist, most places are unfamiliar with a vegan diet. 

You might have to explain what vegan is or check that the “vegan option” is actually vegan. People tend to confuse it with vegetarianism or consider fish an acceptable option. 

My go-to in non-vegan restaurants is usually a vegetarian pizza without cheese.

My best advice is to check out the Happy Cow app and follow the recommendations. If there is nothing on the app, then try out your luck!

Zagreb is the most vegan-friendly city in Croatia, but there are a couple of fully vegan restaurants even outside the capital in cities like Zadar, Split, and more!

If you’re looking for a quick snack while you’re out and about, look for Mlinar bakeries! I loved their potato pie for years and from May 2023 they started selling vegan “meat” burek and vegan “hot dog” in phyllo pastry.

Absolutely delicious and a perfect way to try some vegan typical Croatian food.

vegan pizza in tivoli pula

Safe choices in non-vegan Croatian restaurants:

  • pasta with tomato sauce (if pasta is egg-free), 
  • vegetarian risotto without butter or meat-based stock, 
  • salad without feta cheese, 
  • blitva i krumpir (potatoes and chard – a popular side dish on the coast) 
  • grilled vegetables
  • vegetarian pizza without cheese
  • Soparnik (traditional Dalmatian chard-based pastry – accidentally vegan)
  • Potato burek (traditional phyllo dough pastry – potato version is usually vegan)

Useful vegan phrases in Croatian

  • Ja sam vegan. (I am vegan)
  • Imate li veganske opcije? (Do you have any vegan options?)
  • Ne jedem – meso, ribu, mlijeko, sir, jaja, maslac, med. (I don’t eat – meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs, butter, or honey)
  • Alergičan/Alergična sam na …. (I am allergic to…)
  • Imate li biljno mlijeko? (Do you have plant-based milk?)
  • Da li je tjestenina s jajima? (Are there eggs in the pasta?
  • Da li je juha kuhana s mesom? (Was the soup cooked with meat?)
  • Možete li napraviti rižoto bez maslaca? (Can you prepare rice without butter?)
is croatia a good travel destination for vegans pinterest pin
pinterest a complete vegan guide to croatia

Final Thoughts: Vegan Croatia Guide

Croatia is not the most vegan-friendly country in Europe, but it is getting better!

It is actually quite easy to be vegan in Croatia, as long as you cook your own meals.

Unfortunately, there are not that many vegan restaurants throughout the country. Most are based in Zagreb and regular restaurants rarely have vegan options or even understand what vegan is.

However, more and more vegan products pop up in stores each year! It is so easy to get vegan groceries in the supermarkets and cook your meals.

So where are you going in Croatia? Are you spending your holidays on Pula beaches or a quick city break in Zagreb on your backpacking Europe itinerary?

Similar Posts

One Comment

  1. Wow, what a wonderful comprehensive guide to visiting Croatia and living in Croatia as a vegan. I run a vegan active holiday business on Vis Island and it’s been amazing how the vegan options have increased over the last few years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *