Written by Nevena Nikolić, Vegetarian Food Enthusiast Living in Belgrade
One of the biggest issues when traveling abroad as a vegan or vegetarian is – will there be anything for me to eat?
The panic gets even greater when you realize that all of the food people are going crazy over in Serbia (pljeskavica, ćevapi, komplet lepinja) is just different types of meat! So, how to be vegetarian in Belgrade?
Fear not, my fellow vegan/vegetarian, because Serbia has many surprisingly delicious meals for you – only if you know where to look.
Traditional Serbian Food Without Meat
I will not lie to you and tell you that there are many main dish options for you in traditional Serbian restaurants – but a cheaper and even more delicious meal for you lies in starters.
Prebranac (oven baked beans) with some pogača (tradicional bread) or pekarski krompir (oven baked potatoes) could be your choice. What about grilled vegetables? Or deep fried feta or hard cheese?
There are also many salads you can add to them – grilled spicy paprika in garlic and oil could be your option, or what about šopska salata made of cucumber, paprika, tomatoes, onions and cheese?
If you avoid dairy just switch šopska with its cheese free version – srpska salata and you are guaranteed to have one of the best meals of your life.
Ajvar and Kajmak
Restaurants will often offer you two staples of Serbian cuisine – ajvar and kajmak. Kajmak is “Serbian butter” but no butter will ever taste as good as kajmak does.
Ajvar is vegan friendly. It is difficult to describe the taste of this heavenly product that by sight resembles jam made of grilled paprika – definitely a must try on your trip to Serbia.
If you want to try Ajvar by yourself, and not in the restaurant, we suggest Bakina Tajna or Todorović ajvar that you can buy at any supermarket.
If you want to buy Kajmak, you can find good quality at farmers market (pijaca), rather than the supermarket (the one from the supermarket is never as good).
Veggie Friendly / Not Traditional Restaurants
You can find many vegan or vegetarian friendly restaurants around the city with many interesting but non traditional options.
One of our favorites are Restoran Tri and Mezerestoran Dvorište (both near the Parliament) – both of them have a beautiful garden for summer night dinners.
If you are more interested in a good veggie pizza option you should go to Majstor i Margarita (Balkanska street) or Pica Fabrika (Vračar).
If you are more interested in Mexican food, Taqueria in the city center could be your best choice (and they have an amazing Sangria).
There are also many chinese restaurants with vegan friendly options (the best one being Wok Republic).
Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants
There are three famous vegetarian restaurants in Belgrade:
1. Radost fina Kuhinjica,
2. Mayka and
3. Veggessence – probably the best one out of three with the best quality / cost ratio.
Veggessence is especially good for lunch, since they offer a different daily menu every day and also do delivery (they are also zero waste).
Mayka has over 30 dishes, and their seitan stakes are amazing, but they are definitely pricey.
Radost is the most famous one, a bit less pricey compared to Mayka but with noticeably less choices to choose from (I think there are around 5-6 dishes to try from).
Hungry After a Night Out
Fancy deep fried cheese with fries and salad in a pita? Check Goldies in Cara Dušana. Falafel? You can find it at Zeleni venac. What about burek with mushrooms, or cheese or maybe potatoes? You can find it in any bakery in the city. What about sweet or savory crepes from Glumac?
You see there is nothing to worry about, only that you could gain some weight!
What is your favorite vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Belgrade? Tell us in the comments below!