Saturday, 4 September 2021

Vegefino’s Tofu Omelette Declared Most Innovative Vegan Product at ZeGeVege

ZAGREB, 4 Sept, 2021 - Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković, who on Saturday visited the 13th edition of the ZeGeVege festival of sustainable living, presented an award to the Vegefino company for the most innovative vegan product: tofu omelette.

The director of the company, Tino Pažur, who received the award, said that they had taken over this vegan brand last year.

The company plans to expand its business in Croatia as well as to neighbouring countries, he said adding that their products are in rising demand.

The minister also conferred awards on the family-run farm "OPG Diana Prpić" and the m-creations company.

The two-day ZeGeVege Festival of Sustainable Living opened in Zagreb's main square Trg Bana Jelačića on Friday, featuring health food, plant-based cosmetics and nine restaurants offering vegetarian food.

Eighty exhibitors are offering products made solely from plants, including traditional Croatian dishes, vegetable soups, sausages, spreads and vegan sweets.

The festival is organised for the 13th time by the Friends of Animals association, after last year's break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Sunday, 20 June 2021

First Croatian Plant Based Products Hit Shelves With 7 New Products

June the 20th, 2021 - The very first Croatian plant based products, well, outside of actual plants themselves, have hit the shelves. Seven brand new products made by a Croatian company for vegans and vegetarians are now available on the shelves.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian company Planet of plants is the first Croatian plant based product line that can now be found on store shelves. This is an innovative line of products that are 100% of plant origin, and they were jointly developed and produced by the well known domestic companies Zvijezda and PIK Vrbovec.

The collaboration of these two Croatian production flagships of the Fortenova Group (former Agrokor) has resulted in as many as seven products that are 100% plant-based, with 100% flavour; and do not contain eggs, gluten and soy, which is why they are suitable for both vegans and vegetarians as well as flexitarians.

The Planet of plants line contains a burger, salami, oil, mayonnaise, sauce, spread and diced. Apart from here in the Republic of Croatia, these Croatian plant based products can be found on the neighbouring Slovenian market, and from September onwards in Serbia, with a plan to expand sales to other foreign markets.

''We're extremely proud to be the first on the market to offer local consumers a line of plant based products, which is another proof that in Croatia we have the knowledge and experience to compete with others and with the help of fellow experts, we can develop products that keep up with the pace with global trends,'' said Slaven Ruzic, the director of PIK Vrbovec.

On the occasion of the presentation of the Planet of plants product line, Tomislav Alagusic, the director of Zvijezda, said: ''Plant alternatives to meat are the future of the food industry, so entering a new market is a logical continuation of business for Zvijezda. We're the market leader in the production of vegetable oils and this year we're celebrating 105 years of leading trends by introducing innovative products that meet the needs of consumers. Along with the Planet of plants product line, Zvijezda will also help to raise awareness of the importance of a plant-based diet among those consumers who aren't necessarily vegans and/or vegetarians.''

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Tenth VegeSajam Fair to be Held in Zagreb on 15 June

ZAGREB, 13 June, 2021 - The 10th edition of the VegeSajam vegan fair will be held in Zagreb's main square on 15 June.

This year's VegeSajam will showcase many vegan products, including vegan sausages, salami, different spreads, burgers, biscuits, cakes, sandwiches and various dishes, the Friends of Animals nongovernmental organisation, which organises the event, said.

Also, visitors will be able to taste "the tastiest ready-made vegan ćevapčići available on the Croatian market".

From every purchased product, a kuna will be donated to the Friends of Animals.

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For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Animal Friends Croatia Launches Project to Encourage Vegan Production

ZAGREB, 30 May, 2021 - Animal Friends Croatia has launched a project to encourage domestic producers to produce and sell new vegan products.

The project, backed by the Agriculture Ministry, is aimed at launching and intensifying the cooperation of Croatia's agricultural sector focused on the production of plant products and at promoting the visibility of plant products and a sustainable diet.

Animal Friends Croatia said the domestic producers that wanted to take part in the project should produce a vegan product as desired and/or in line with market needs based on their production.

The product should be a plant version of a product otherwise made with animal ingredients that everyone will gladly eat, independently of their diet. The product must be made without meat, eggs, milk or other dairy products, and honey.

The newly conceived plant products and their producers will be promoted at Animal Friends Croatia social media to link them with consumers.

Applications may be submitted as of 15 June, the date of the VegeFair, and Animal Friends Croatia will award the most innovative products at the ZeGeVege festival in September.

The production and consumption of vegan products is crucial for the survival of humankind as a plant-based diet, apart from saving billions of animals, is healthier, pollutes the environment far less and utilises natural resources more economically, Animal Friends Croatia said.

Cattle-breeding is responsible for 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions as well as for 65% of nitrous oxide emissions, which are 296 times more destructive than carbon dioxide, the added.

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For more news about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 23 May 2021

5 Steps to Making Dubrovnik a Vegan-Friendly Destination

May 24, 2021 - We sat down with Alyssa Isogawa, one of the digital nomads in residence in Dubrovnik, to try and craft five steps towards making Dubrovnik a vegan-friendly destination.

Alyssa is vegan and has been for eight years now. She comes from California which is known for having plenty of vegan-friendly restaurants, shops, and markets. However, she suggests this hasn’t always been the case. Her experience of Dubrovnik is overwhelmingly positive, but getting food was not always easy. She spent one month living in Dubrovnik through the Digital Nomads-in-Residence program. During that month she struggled to keep her diet healthy and balanced. There are some good vegan options in Dubrovnik when it comes to restaurants. Still, the selection is pretty limited. On the other side, there is very little information out there for any foreign newcomers to the city as to how and where to find suitable food.

Through a long coffee-fuelled meeting with Alyssa, we managed to craft a list of 5 steps that Dubrovnik can make in order to become a vegan-friendly destination. Most of these steps would also be of great help for local vegans. Not only that, but the local omnivores might find themselves interested in going vegan a few days a week. This would be good for the environment and the local producers.

Produce Markets and Shops

The main mission of a travelling vegan is to find a reasonably priced, good quality, diverse selection of fresh vegetables and fruits. The good thing about Dubrovnik is: there is plenty of locally sourced, seasonal produce around. There are also a few farmers’ markets, with the biggest one being in the Gruz Harbour area. Along with a few greengrocers in the city, the selection is actually not bad. The problem is, these places rarely advertise. They never advertise to foreigners. This is a clear consequence of short-stay tourism. The average guest to Dubrovnik coming to the city for 2 or 3 days is hardly looking for vegetables to buy during this time.

The potential solution calls for the higher visibility of these businesses. Advertising, branding, and inclusion in promotional materials promoting the city are obvious solutions. Another beneficial thing would be to educate the people selling their produce on the needs and market share of the vegan visitors and local people alike. Various food delivery services have become popular in Croatia. They would probably have an interest in cooperating with these businesses which could then offer online ordering and delivery of fresh produce.

Updated Restaurant Menus

Many Dubrovnik restaurants are lacking a decent offer of vegan dishes. Aside from two dedicated vegan restaurants, very few other places offer quality vegan options. Most of the offer comes down to grilled vegetables or seasonal salads. These dishes don’t have the main food groups necessary for a balanced meal. Carbohydrates, protein, and fats need to be present on the plate in all the vegan main dishes. They rarely are in restaurants offering vegan dishes only to satisfy the format.

Restaurant menus need updating. However, this doesn’t just mean additional work or expense incurred by the restaurant. This means a chance for more business. Most restaurant owners in Dubrovnik underestimate the share of vegan guests. Not only that, but they fail to realise vegan customers usually come to their restaurants with their partners or friends. If the restaurant is not offering vegan options, they will lose not just that vegan guest, but the people they are coming to eat with as well. In order to make their efforts worth it, restaurants need to be upfront with their vegan options. Things like HappyCow stickers or similar signs let the potential guest know the place offers vegan options.

Enriching Local Cuisine

Tied to the previous step, Croatian and Dubrovnik chefs might want to step up and make themselves heard about the vegan issue. The fact of the matter is, there are plenty of Croatian vegans that want the changes described here. There are also a number of talented and highly skilled local chefs. They might be encouraged to re-visit some of the most popular local dishes and create vegan versions of the classics. This action could be tied to promoting local cuisine to the vegan market. Creating new delicious dishes reminiscent of the traditional Dubrovnik cuisine is a great thing in itself. When these dishes are also modern, healthy, and environmentally friendly, the promotional opportunities are endless.

Labelling for Vegan-Friendly Food Items in Shops and Souvenir Shops

There are plenty of food items in Dubrovnik’s shops and souvenir shops. Spreads, preserves, sauces, or pastes are usually labelled in such a way that they are perhaps understandable to local people, but rarely are easy to read for foreigners. Additionally, sales staff often doesn’t know whether certain food items in the shop are vegan safe or not. Many potential buyers will refrain from buying these because of this lack of information. Clear labelling for food that is vegan-friendly would distinguish these items. Education of staff would help this innovation along as well. Much like restaurants with vegan options, shops offering vegan-friendly items could use signage or stickers to inform their potential customers. Sauces and spreads are a great addition to simple vegetable homemade dishes in order to take them up a level.

Education of Dubrovnik Locals

Perhaps the most important step is educating local people about vegan food. The majority of people are not aware of what real vegan food is. Many of them don’t know just how delicious, healthy, and balanced a proper vegan diet is. By raising awareness of the health and environmental advantages of vegan food, Dubrovnik would start a chain of dominoes resulting in becoming a truly vegan-friendly city. With more local vegans and people interested in having occasional vegan meals, businesses would be quick to adapt. The vegan community is tight-knit and dynamic. In an area renowned for locally sourced food, vegetable-based cuisine could be the next big thing, not just for visitors.

Majority of steps proposed in this text stem from problems caused mainly by lack of knowledge or interest. Informative events, pop-up food stands or food trucks celebrating vegan food would do wonders for the local food scene. The future is green. Let’s make Dubrovnik a city of the future!

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For more news in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Vegan Zagreb 2021: A Guide to the Restaurant and Shopping Options

May 14, 2021 – Vegan Zagreb: Your complete guide to the best vegan restaurant and shopping options in Zagreb.

Previously, it wasn't that easy to find vegetarian food in Croatia. In truth, traditional restaurants, including many on the coast, were a little slow to accommodate this lifestyle choice. But, these days, vegetarians are welcomed and recognised as a growing section of visitors to Croatia. Furthermore, there is an increasing number of homegrown vegetarians and vegans in Croatia who need to be catered for year-round. Nowhere does this better than Zagreb.

reBarcy.jpg© Tripu.

Statistically, residents of the city of Zagreb have the healthiest diets in Croatia. And, that diet includes a lot of vegetarian meals, regardless of whether or not you're fully vegetarian. Zagreb is a completely modern, European capital city. Its range of food options is the largest in Croatia. So, naturally, that includes health food, organic produce, vegetarian meals and vegan food.

Vegan Zagreb food can now be found all across the city, with restaurants and specialty stores in neighbourhoods as well as the city center. Zagreb even has its own annual Vegetarian (and vegan) food festival, ZeGeVege Festival. Usually, it takes place in summer.

The best vegan restaurants in Zagreb

Falafel etc.

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Probably the best falafel in Zagreb. Falafel etc. offer original falafel, flavoured with coriander, falafel with beetroot and falafel with sweet potato. Enjoy them in a salad or a wrap. They also have delicious homemade potato fries and sweet potato fries. If you want to read more about Falafel etc, then read our dedicated page here.

Website. Address: Andrije Žaje 60, 10000 Zagreb. Telephone: +385 1 2343 945. Order online from: Wolt here, or the Bolt app.

Vegehop

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One of Vegan Zagreb's oldest and best-loved institutions, Vegehop offers daily specials based on organic, seasonal produce as well as staples like vegan moussaka, salads and desserts.

Website. Address: Vlaška ul. 79, 10000 Zagreb. Telephone: +385 1 4649 400. Order online from: Vegehop website.

Zrno bio bistro

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Daily specials of organic, vegan food, much of it sourced from their own organic farm.

Website. Address: Medulićeva 20, 10000 Zagreb. Telephone: +385 1 4847 540.

Green Point

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Vegan Zagreb and vegetarian fast food for those who like to eat fresh and healthy, with a range of burgers, salads, sandwiches, wraps and more.

Website. Address: Varšavska ul. 10, 10000 Zagreb. Telephone: +385 1 4833 667. Order online from: Wolt here, Pauza here.

Simple Green by Jelena

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Vegan and raw food restaurant with a vegan and gluten-free bakery attached.

Website. Address: Zelinska 7, Martinovka 10000 Zagreb. Telephone: +385 1 5561 679. Order online from: Wolt here, Pauza here, Glovo here or the Bolt app.

OAZA Joyful Kitchen

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Nutritionally balanced vegan fast food restaurant offering different daily specials from Monday - Saturday.

Website. Address: Radićeva ul. 9, 10000 Zagreb. Telephone: +385 97 660 2744. Order online from: Wolt here, Pauza here, Glovo here or the Bolt app.

bio&bio cafe

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Food-to-go options from the cafe outlet of this popular organic, health food store chain. Specialty coffee, fresh juices and smoothies with salads, vegan sandwiches, strudels and cakes from an organic farm.

Website. Address: Ilica 5, 10000 Zagreb. Order online from: Wolt.

Vege Fino Za Sve

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Healthy vegan fast food, with sandwiches and soups a specialty. They also have a range of health foods ingredients and accompaniments on sale in the shop section.

Website. Address: Lavoslava Ružičke 48, 10000 Zagreb. Telephone: +385 98 777 577. Order from: Vege Fino Za Sve website

Barcode Mitra

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Raw food and vegan food, with burgers a specialty. Reputedly, the best vegan burgers in Zagreb.

Website. Address: Zagrebačka cesta 113, 10000 Zagreb. Telephone: +385 1 6272 927. Order online from: Glovo here, Pauza here, Wolt here or the Bolt app.

Bistro Gluten

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Photogenic cafe with cakes, coffees and craft ales, out near the Faculty of Economics.

Website. Address: Sesvetska ul. 3, 10000 Zagreb. Telephone: +385 99 815 8890.

Non-vegetarian restaurants that do great vegan food in Zagreb

While all of the following Zagreb restaurants have vegan food on their menus permanently, they still may be more used to catering for vegetarians, not vegans. Furthermore, for many of the outlets that are part of Zagreb's exciting and ever-growing international food offer, they don't necessarily view their food as specifically vegan, even though it is. For them, dishes such as hummus and falafel are made traditionally. And, those traditional recipes simply just don't contain meat or dairy. So, it might be worth letting the restaurant know in advance that they'll be catering for vegans. Certainly, it's a good idea to inform your waiter when you sit down to eat. (for instance, some Indian restaurants and some Turkish food outlets in Zagreb use ghee - clarified butter - in otherwise dairy and meat-free meals).

Namaste

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Arguably the most authentic Indian restaurant in Zagreb and certainly a contender for Zagreb's greatest international cuisine outlet of all. Sure, there's more for vegetarians than there is for vegans, but you definitely won't miss the meat here - these guys really know how to cook without it. If you want to read more about Namaste, then read our dedicated page here.

Website. Address: Selska cesta 217, 10000 Zagreb. Telephone: +385 01 6264 458.

Curry Bowl

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The first restaurant in Croatia to offer authentic food from Sri Lanka. Notably, Sri Lankan cuisine relies much more on coconut milk than the yoghurt or milk found in some dishes from the Indian sub-continent. Therefore, it's good for vegans. Sadly, this restaurant/chain's signature dish, Kotthu, is still without a vegan option. But, they do a specialty vegan curry and the 'Deviled vegetables' vegan options. If you want to read more about Curry Bowl, then read our dedicated page here.

Website. Address: Tkalčićeva 44, 10000 Zagreb. Telephone: +385 1 5579 175. Order online from: Glovo here, Wolt here, Pauza here or the Bolt app.

Royal India

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Because of the specific type of Indian cusine they cook, vegans might have to be a bit careful here. Royal India uses milk in some of their specialty breads, and cheese in their vegetarian curry. However, their vegetable biryani is fully vegan. If you want to read more about Royal India, then read our dedicated page here.

Website. Address: Tkalčićeva 26, 10000 Zagreb. Telephone: +385 1 4680 965. 

Koykan World Food

reeePXL_090316_12715922.jpgVegan Zagreb: Koykan World Foods © Dalibor Urukalovic/PIXSELL.

With three outlets in Zagreb, Koykan specialise in fresh, healthy food. While not vegetarian, they do make a particular effort towards vegetarian and vegan customers. In fact, the fully vegan options on their menu actually outnumber their vegetarian options. Namely, salads, wraps, kebabs, falafel.

Website. Address: 3 outlets in Zagreb - Arena Center, Gajeva, Tkalčićeva. Order online from: on Wolt, you can order online from all 3 outlets, check here. On Glovo here, on Pauza here or the Bolt app.

Saralee's

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The hot, sour and sweet flavours of authentic, low-fat Thai cuisine at this daytime take away. Generally, Thai cooking uses coconut milk instead of dairy milk. Furthermore, every item on Saralee's menu has a vegetable or tofu version. It includes popular salads, soups, rice and noodle dishes. If you want to learn more about the chefs who run Saralee's, then read about their previous venture here.

Website. Address: Trg Drage Iblera 10, 10000 Zagreb.

Layali Lebanese restaurant

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Authentic Middle East food, with lots of delicious vegan options like falafel, hummus, muhamara or fatoush. If you want to read more about Layali Lebanese, then visit our dedicated page here.

Website. Address: Tkalčićeva 59, 10000 Zagreb. Telephone: +385 99 746 1646. Order online from: Wolt here.

Byblos Lebanese Restaurant

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Lots of vegan options from this Lebanese restaurant in downtown Zagreb, including salads, falafel and dips.

Website. Address: Teslina 4, 10000 Zagreb. Telephone: +385 95 512 4001. Order online from: Wolt here.

Gajbica

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Healthy, organic food and raw food with vegans and vegetarians especially well catered for. Salads, soups, desserts and smoothies.

Website. Address: Vlaška ul. 7, 10000 Zagreb. Telephone: +385 915 141 274.

Cafe bar Alegria

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Homecooked, seasonal meals in the Zagreb neighbourhood of Vrbani. This cafe bar has a different offer each day, so it's worth checking in advance if there's a vegan option.

Website. Address: Rudeška cesta 246, 10110 Zagreb. Telephone: +385 1 4824 387.

Vegan take away Zagreb options

Almost all of the above restaurants use food delivery websites and drivers. The four main websites/apps that offer food ordering and food delivery in Zagreb are Wolt, Glovo, Pauza and Bolt. Either on their websites or apps, you can see the menus of each restaurant and fast food outlet they cover. Vegan and vegetarian options are clearly marked on each menu. 

Where to buy vegan food in Zagreb

If you prefer to prepare your vegan food yourself, there are lots of places in Zagreb where you can buy ingredients. From health food stores like bio&bio to daily markets and supermarkets, Zagreb is a city that will easy facilitate your vegan cooking and vegan meals.

Specialty shops

reeeeDSCF5864-2.jpegVegan Zagreb: Pekinška Patka © Mateo Henec.

For international cuisine condiments and ingredients, including lots for vegetarians and vegans, try Pekinška Patka international minimarket. Find them in the courtyard, just off the main street at Vlaška ulica 78, 10000 Zagreb.

Zagreb markets: Dolac, Kvatrić and more

reeee_MG_7752.jpegVegan Zagreb: Dolac market © Marc Rowlands.

Zagreb has several daily markets where you can buy fresh, seasonal produce, including every fruit and vegetable that grows in Croatia, plus some imported. Also, you can buy homemade vegan produce like honey, tomato passata and condiments like ajvar (it's a dip made from peppers and aubergine). If you're going to visit one of Zagreb's markets, like Dolac in the centre, or Tržnica Kvatrić to the east, try to go before midday.

Supermarkets

reeee_MG_9096.jpgVegan Zagreb: Alternative food section in a larger Interspar outlet in central Zagreb © Marc Rowlands.

Every large supermarket in Zagreb now has a section dedicated to alternative foods/health foods/organic foods/whole foods. You can find lots of ingredients to facilitate your vegan lifestyle and vegan diet, such as a range of non-dairy milks, meat substitutes and much more. Generally, the larger the supermarket, the bigger their offer of specialty foods and ingredients will be.

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Croatia Becomes a Destination for Vegan Sailing Vacations

May 13, 2021 - This season, the Croatian coast has something to offer - vegan sailing vacations. Alvus Sailing has launched a new sailing tour with vegan dishes on board!

Although there are a handful of restaurants and shops with vegan options in big cities, on the Dalmatian Coast, Croatia has not been considered a travel destination for vegan vacations. That is, until now!

Matea and Marina from Alvus Sailing created a Vegan Sailing Vacation - a 7-day sailing tour from Split with vegan cuisine on board.

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"The combination came as a natural consequence of our passions," Matea explains. She finished a sailing major in Zagreb and worked as a skipper in the summer, while Marina practiced plant-based cuisine. Partners at work and in life, they proposed the idea to their friend from a travel agency and the new tour was born.

It keeps up with trends in the sphere of caring about the meals of the guests during longer sailing trips. Here in Split, we already have companies that are trying to offer clients more than prosciutto & cheese - that actually doesn't fit for vegans. Enthusiastic sailors cook a dinner for the guests by themselves. "Since it is very cozy to have someone cook for you on the boat, I thought that could be a very good offer for tourists in general," Matea adds.

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Besides, vegan cuisine for the tour is already thought out and tested many times by Marina. She is inspired mainly by Mediterranean cuisine which originally contains a lot of vegan dishes but also mixes it with Asian tastes. She uses different combinations and cooking methods to get different tastes and provides the guest on board 3 vegan meals with snacks per day. It seems especially valuable for regular vegans who, aside from top vegan vacation places, mostly in the US and Canada, still have this fear of eating only peanut butter and jelly on the whole trip. Split's offer of food witnessed positive changes over the last decade. Comparing blogs of vegans traveling in Croatia, we can see them reporting about 1 place per day for vegan meals in the city 12 years ago and, respectively, about 2-3 vegan places per day in 2020. However, even now it's recommended to have your vegan snacks with you while traveling, because it's not easy to find everywhere in Croatia.

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Vegan Sailing Vacations welcome not only a vegan audience. For non-vegan people, this tour could be even more of an astonishing surprise, its creators suggest. Marina is willing to show the process of cooking vegan food and share recipes with anybody interested. As well, the guests will be able to participate in collecting edible wild plants on islands and implementing them in meals.

Meals on Marina's table look very delicious. But as a non-vegan person, I always wonder whether you will be strong enough for sailing stuff if you eat only plant-based dishes. The adventurous girls prove by their own experience that it's possible to strong as a vegan. Matea is working also as a fitness trainer.

"I can just say, I had a boxing session on Palagruža".

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Your Guide to the Best Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Croatia

When thinking of Croatian fare, the first thing that usually comes to mind is most likely that perfectly cooked lamb on a spit, čevapčići, grilled fish drenched in garlic and olive oil, or simply anything but vegetarian. Over the last few years, vegetarian restaurants with vegan and gluten-free perks have found their way across the country, and you’ll be surprised when we tell you that this list names just a part of what Croatia has to offer.

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