If you’re vegan or vegetarian (or just want to know where to find decent restaurants/cafes in Dubrovnik) then welcome – this post is for you!
I spent five days in a very beautiful, very sunny Dubrovnik in June and everything about the place was gorgeous – the food was no exception. You will find that pretty much all restaurants in Dubrovnik have vegetarian options (the standard of which varies), and a great deal also have what I suspect to be “accidentally vegan” options as well.
Dubrovnik is situated on the Adriatic sea, so it’s no surprise that you’ll find a tonne of seafood restaurants around the place. Coastal Croatian food is also heavily influenced by Italian and Greek flavours, so you will also see a lot of pizza, pasta and Mediterranean dishes on every menu. Unlike Britain (thankfully) olive oil is used predominantly instead of butter/margarine/animal fat, so many of the risotto, pasta and sides of bread will be vegan friendly. The Mediterranean diet is mostly plant based anyway, so it’s not a problem!
First stop was the much raved about Nishta. A warning here – pre-book. So many people were turned away while we were there as they were fully booked from 6pm onwards. Our table was booked twice after us! As you would expect from such a busy restaurant, as the food is brilliant and (according to Happy Cow) it’s the only vegan/vegetarian cafe in the city walls. So we went there twice!
On our first trip to Nishta I had the Bar-bea burger which is a barley-bean-smoked seitan burger with Naan bread instead of a burger bun, topped with onion and BBQ sauce and served with sweet potato fries. Brilliant.
Other half had the falafel which I was a bit jealous of, but after tasting my burger I thankfully didn’t have food envy!
The second time we went to Nishta I had the Pastalicious – fried rice noodles, tofu, ginger and vegetables in a hoisin sauce. It might look small but there were plenty of noodles in there and I was stuffed afterwards.
Other half had really awesome looking tempeh burritos (which were vegetarian due to the cheese and sour cream).
We decided to treat ourselves to dessert the second time around and we both had the chocolate mousse. It doesn’t hold a candle to my aquafaba mousse, but it was nice enough!
I think the best food I had in Dubrovnik would have to have been at Gusta Me, just outside the city walls. A really lovely (quite fancy) restaurant overlooking the harbour, with a lot of seafood and various meats on the menu. The harbour looks beautiful when the sun is setting so try to go there early evening if you can. When I was doing my restaurant research I noticed they had one vegan option – grilled smoked tofu. I’m so glad I went there because it was crazy good – the best tofu I’ve had to date, and I’ve had a LOT of tofu! Fantastic service as well, would highly recommend this place to anyone. Shame they don’t have more vegan/vegetarian options, but I’m sure with time that will come.
I also had fruit carpaccio for dessert, because I’m a pig!
Near our apartment was a pizza and pasta restaurant (Pizzeria Storia) that we walked past every day and always craved their food. The tasty smells spilling out of their kitchen and into the alleyway were hard to resist! I was contemplating getting a pizza but had to try a traditional Italian spaghettini aglio e olio. This is so easy to make at home (garlic, olive oil, chilli flakes and spaghetti – done), but why not try it out when you’re just over the Adriatic from Italy?! I asked for some rocket (arugula) to be added (I saw they had it on other dishes on the menu) so that I was getting at least a bit of greenery! Good value here too, and my other half’s pizza looked delicious.
Konoba Moskar is in a great location off the main street (Stradun) up some stone steps into the small side streets as you head towards the mountains. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes around that area so if you are visiting make sure you have a look around. This is where my current obsession with orzotto and barley comes from – thanks Konoba Moskar! I had the orzotto with zucchini (courgettes) and flax seeds. Doesn’t look like much but it was as filling as it was delicious.
Most places we went to filled us up with bread and olive oil as well (and occasionally olives!) so we never went hungry. If you’re a fan of rosé you have to try some of the local wines while you’re out and about. You’ll find that the wine there is super cheap if you pick some up from a supermarket (around £4 per bottle!), so stock up for your apartment if you’re on a budget.
If you head over to Lokrum Island have no fear – vegans friendly! Lacroma snack bar serve quick and simple lunches of sandwiches and salads, and they’re right near the boat drop off point. There were plenty of vegetarian options and a good vegan option of a salad with vegetables in season and a tasty bread roll on the side. If you have plenty of time in Dubrovnik make sure you head over to Lokrum . It’s ten minutes away by boat (which runs every 15 minutes from the harbour) and full of rabbits and peacocks. Needless to say there are also gorgeous views of the city walls from the east side of the island. Great place to go for a picnic, and also if you’re a Game of Thrones fan!
There are a couple of restaurants with fantastic views of Fort Lovrijenac and Tvrðava Bokar just outside the city walls to the west. It’s quite a touristy area where all the jet-ski, kayak, boat tour, bus tour etc. people try to get you to buy tickets for their various experiences. Dubravka 1836 was on my list to visit so we had brunch there one day (we were hungover, hence brunch and not lunch/dinner!). They do a good vegetarian option (which is also vegan if you don’t have milk in your tea/butter on your toast) with roasted veggies, seasonal fruit, toast and preserve, tea and juice for 62 kuna. If you do try their lunch or diner menu though let me know, as the range looked decent.
Another restaurant that was on my list was Spaghetteria Toni. They have a huge selection of pasta (granted, a lot was vegetarian and not vegan) and plenty for the carnivore in your life. I went for the grilled vegetables with rice and asparagus sauce with a side of fries, as I wasn’t sure how big the grilled veggies would be. Unbelievable – I obviously didn’t walk away hungry!
We went to Marco Polo to have a fancy meal one evening, as the menu looked quite nice and the pictures I’d seen of the place online looked lovely. Highly recommend going there – the service, food and location were all spot on. It was a toss up between the wok rice noodles or the tofu steak with crunchy wok vegetables. Tofu wins out again!
Before our mains arrived we were treated to a complimentary shot of broccoli soup. Other half was hesitant at first, but of course it was delicious.
The last meal of the holiday was across from Saint Ignatius Church at Konoba Jezuite. Seeing as this was our last meal we went all out! Bread, olives, sides and mains. As was the theme of the holiday, I ordered roasted vegetables with tomato rice, a side of fries and some green olives.
So there you have it, a quick run down of what I ate in Dubrovnik, vegan-style. All the food service staff in the city walls speak English so if you need to know more about something on the menu they are always willing to help out. The city itself is stunning, and it was probably the best holiday I’ve been on in my life. Would go back in a heartbeat!
#nowplaying Interpol – My Desire