Vegan / Vegetarian Foodguide: Belgrade
A few weeks ago I was invited to Belgrade for a wedding and as I got a few serbian friends, I asked them for food recommendations. They all gave me the same answer, that I wouldn't really find vegetarian or even vegan food anywhere in the city.
I took this as a challenge and I`m incredibly happy to be able to present you some freaking fantastic restaurants in Belgrade that are either completely plant-based or are vegetarian with many vegan options!
Vegessence is a completely plant-based restaurant in the west of Belgrade, a bit off the beaten path but next to a local market and the river promenade. They put a lot of effort into their zero waste concept as well as having their ingredients locally sourced and offer a well-balanced menu. You can either eat a la carte or enjoy their daily menu, which includes a three course lunch meal.
What's also quite unique about them: while you can enjoy your food in the beautiful, very light flooded restaurant, they also offer a delivery service which is available as a daily or weekly delivery. How cool is it to get your vegan, organic lunch delivered to your office every day for a very small price?! The packaging they offer is also recyclable and again, has a strong focus on being zero waste. If you are based in the city center you can get your delivery by eco bike which is another pretty amazing thing.
You may already realised that I was absolutely blown away by both the concept, the restaurant itself and the food of Vegessence. I had a tomato soup, a burger with probably the best vegan mayo I ever had (and I tried many!) and some peanut butter sweets as a dessert. This was hands down some of the best food I ever ate, the owner, Ana, is such a sweetheart and all the staff was incredibly kind. The tomato soup balanced so perfectly with the balsamic they used, the pickles were such nice, light alternatives to fries and as I took the dessert with me, I shared it with some other guests in my hostel and they all absolutely loved it!No matter if you're vegan, veggie or just love great food, please go and visit Vegessence if you ever find yourself in Belgrade. And if you are based in Serbia's capital, get it delivered to you and try out this example of how food should be served.
Zdrawo Slatko is a brand from Belgrade that specialises in raw, vegan sweets. They have their own small store inside of the Millennium shopping center in the city centre of Belgrade at floor and their treats are also available in many supermarkets in the frozen section all around the country. They also have a brand called RO! which has a range of vegan/raw puddings and smoothies.As you can see, they have many different little treats available and they all taste really good. I love the fact that you can get them in normal stores and that they are available for the greater public. It's just a bit sad that they aren't offered fresh anywhere else than in this small store. My personal favorite was their classic raspberry black chocolate cake, which is absolutely amazing and a must try. But the smoothies and chia puddings from their RO! range were nice too, it's something that is available in many other countries already but is just slowly being established here. And I really like that they try to do it with a local brand instead of a big international one.
This little gem was actually one of the first restaurants I found searching for vegetarian places in Belgrade. It offers both vegetarian and vegan dishes, all made with love and seriously big portions so I would highly recommend to come by hungry! It is located very close to the fort, but you have to know where to go as it is quite hard to find.The restaurant itself doesn't have a sign and when you enter the house, you have to get through the door that looks like you will enter a flat and there is just a small piece of paper attached to the door that tells you that you are at the right spot. The moment you get in, you stand in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen: it is quite dark, with dark wood and grey walls but decorated in such a detailed way that you instantly feel at home - you cannot believe your eyes when you see the building from the outside. I wouldn't mind if my actual flat would looks like this!If the weather is good, they also have an equally stunning backyard with a small garden and chill out area.The food itself is prepared by cooks that they call artists, and they truly are. I got to try three dishes, and all of them were out of this world tasty! The vegetarian Quesadillas with salad were perfectly matched, the Ramen had a extremely well spiced tofu in it which I would die to have it one more time and a zucchini salad that looked like a pure piece of art. I personally don't even like any kind of lettuce in my salad, but I ate all of it as the sauce was so delicious! The waiter and cooks were also really kind and helpful, loved to have a chat with them and they genuinely seemed interested in what I do.This is undoubtedly one of Belgrades best hidden secrets, and one you shouldn't miss out whenever you are in town.
This small café is a ten minute walk from the main shopping street and looks quite unspectacular from the outside. As soon as you enter, two of the kindest people I have ever met, the owners of the store, will welcome you to their world of vegan, raw and sugar-free treats. Everything on their menu is very well marked, they got gluten-free options and as I already mentioned, it's all raw vegan. They started off with some energy balls, and now offer various cupcakes, cakes and pancakes.The shop is going so well that they can offer a second location in Belgrade. They also sell their own version of Nutella which is mouth-watering good and I would have loved to take some with me, but the airport security didn't love it as much as I did. Everything is made from scratch, you can also order beforehand or just grab what you like, either for take away or eating at the café. There is also a small outdoor area right in front of the shop, even though it faces the road it is quite nice as it is a less busy side street.Be aware, as it is so good you may want to try more than one thing but it fills you up really quickly, you could probably have rolled me out of the store as I ate that much food. If you're in for sweets, dessert or just a cup of coffee, this is the place to go!
Remember the Millennium shopping centre I mentioned when I talked about Zdrawo Slatko? Right at the entrance there is a huge sign that says Veganski Kiosk, and it belongs to a teeny tiny little window shop on the left side of the shopping center.
It was started by a single women who decided to make vegan treats and sells them. Her children manage her marketing and online presence while she bakes all the treats, fresh sandwiches and juices. The lovely lady gifted me one of her sandwiches, she had a few different ones on display but I opted for the one with smoked tofu and carrots which was absolutely delicious!This is probably the perfect place to stop if you want to get a quick lunch or need a piece of cake on your way home/back to your accommodation and I can highly recommend taking a look.
You may have seen the word posno at some point, it shows that the food is vegan as it is the description for what Serbian orthodox people eat during their lent. So that means that it actually isn't that hard to get something vegan in normal stores as you just have to look out for food that is labelled with posno.
I had one of the best vegan food I ever tried in Serbia´s capital, it feels like as they aren't endless options and they want to attract people who are interested in eating healthy and conscious, all the food is of really high standard. I also have to mention that everyone was extremely kind, open and nice!
Until the next time, Belgrade!