Belgrade for vegans

This post had to wait for me to finish Altai and I’m fighting the urge not to finish reading the Wu Ming book about Thomas Muntzer right now, both great books.

Belgrade or Beograd as the locals call it is the capital city of a country -Serbia in a region – the Balkans-  that strongly identifies itself as having a meat eating culture, bare that in mind when I get excited about the smallest of vegan discoveries. Sometimes I am reminded of what it was like being vegan in the 1980’s  U.K.! And no the new era of awareness of the effects of meat and dairy farming on climate change and the end of the world as we know it has not permeated the public consciousness over here or they just don’t care!

Having said that there are some vegan delights to be found if you know where to look. Also there is that other factor that harks back to the days when there were very few vegan restaurants anywhere and if those that did exist were often run my religious nutters! Great food terrible leaflets! Serbia has its own Orthodox Christian church just as crazy as the catholic one but fiercely different from it – supposedly! The one thing they do do differently is “Posno” food! On fridays they do not eat anything that contains meat or dairy, they do eat honey and some aquatic animals. It being a church dominated country you can get Posno food all over the place. I was told that some processed cheese that is  considered “posno” actually has  asmall percentage – considered insignificant- of milk in it, so you might want to check. But I have had several Posno pizzas with thick chewy vegan cheese on that was pretty good for the price!

As you may know I do reviews for Happy Cow, so you can see all my Belgrade ones here and of course all the other places, reviews and info too.

I will through up a bunch of photos and describe the food available and give suitable links.

Part of the amazing selection of sugar free vegan cakes (raw) at Zdrawo Slatko. This used to be in the basement of the Millenium centre in the very centre of Belgrdae but now is based at the food market Palilulska Pijaca. The cakes are all great whilst the raspberry cake makes Sanja swoon just at the thought of going back for another!
There are not so many vegan options for those who like to sit out on the streets and wallow in Balkan street cafe culture. That tends to mean putting up with loads of smokers! But the FitBar in the Nušićeva little road which is mainly pedestrianised is a good opportunity to do so! There are not loads of vegan options but they are clearly marked and the staff certainly knew what vegan meant. The food was good but not exciting. FitBar has two other outlets that I’ve not tried yet!
A small Lebanese place with four clearly marked vegan options. Three of which are “snacks” the fourth with falalfel and houmous I have not tried. Simple thin pitta bread with an enticing selection of herbs and spices on them this was an interesting and affordable find!
Our “snacK’ next time I’m in BG, I’ll try the rest!

 

This woman makes what I am reliably informed is the best Rakjia and also a mean Ajvar. The market is a mix of a flea market and fresh fruit and veg with this and a few other homemade food stalls in the far corner. She has a facebook page!
Smokvica has several outlets around Belgrade, all rather posh. We went to one that had only one vegan option – so we gor two!. We later realised their bigger place on Molerova is more vegan friendly. Still the tofu thai curry was not too hot so I was happy but this place was packed with hipster and monied types and I doubt I’ll ever go there again.
Hleb i kifle or Bread and Muffins is a chain of bakeries dotted all over Belgrade. They have a wonderful dark black visage with impossible weird writing on the outide. This makes the big bright vegan sticker in the middle of each window all the more wonderfull and visible. Tey have abunch of premade slads labelled as vegan but the real delight of this place is their mushroom pita or burek. For less than a quid one gets a warm tasty savoury pastry with either potato or mushroom inside. The photo shows a happy Jon with one of each coming out of the bakery on Kneza Mihaila the big pedestrianised street in the centre of town.
Kljuch Bakery is an interesting option for anyone with Serbo Croatian language skills. They have more vegan pita/burek options than anyone else but they foten need ordering in advance. Pictured here are three I got for breakast one morning. They include a spinach and leek pita and a mushroom one made with buckwheet flour. I look forward to trying their other offerings one day.
This Pita Bar is typical of many all over Belgrade. Most will have at least one vegan option, a potato pita and often a sweet one either apple or cherry depending on the time of the year. If you can’t find a good vegan place then anywhere that says Pita on the outside is probably worth checking out!
Lebovski is a bakery chain that does good artisan style bread and three vegan pita options.
These are the rather supierior Pitas available at Lebovski.
Zrno Ra is all vegan which is cool as they don’t speak any English! They specialise in making pastries and the like from buckwheat and spelt flour. Their stall is right next to the Zdrawo Slatko stall in the Palilulska Pijaca food market, a little vegan treasure trove!
Neven is a small friendly helathfood shop with a good range of vegan stuff including tofu, tempeh and seitan. Not all their products are well marked but the staff are friendly. Don’t buy the local vegan yoghurt that comes in a plastic bottle, its terrible! but then again thats the only one available anywhere in Belgrade!
We stumbled upon this place whilst looking for the Kljuch bakery, that is actually next door! Rice kings have several clearly marked vegan desserts. Very nice and not too expensive. They do lots of social media!
A Blueberry and chocolate rice dessert, yum yum!
Ozzy Nuts is a suprising little gem of a shop that does freshly made nut butters. Its almost next door to the 24 hour pizza place below!
The 24 hour pizza shop that has a posno / vegan pizza, thats cheap!
Wok Republic has a couple of places around the world and one of them in Belgrade almost directly opposite the 24 hour pizza place above!  The interior is all flashy Americana and a bit noisy for my taste but the food was pretty good.
The Savannah snack bar is a friendly little joint out in Novi Beograd run by a mother and daughter combo. Its a lovely little place to stop if you’re not in a rush and want to eat at an all vegan place which, Im assured, it will soon be! They do Beyond burgers and lots of potato waffles!
This is a seriously “well meaning, well being” place thats very small and friendly and it’s called Dumbir which means ginger. Most of the food is pre packed ready for a quick service. Its healthy and all vegan and some of it rather good.
The selection of goodies, smoothies and juices in the Dumbir counter.
Mayka is a veggie vegan place in the cafe quarter of central Belgrade. It is not cheap but two of the best meals I have had in the city were had at Mayka. Avoid the upstairs which is full of smokers. There is outdoor seating. Recommended is the “Belgrade Steak” featured in this photo which included a supremely succulent seitan steak in a tasty sauce. The fish and chips option pictured below was also an absolute joy aswell.

Mandala is the fanciest and most expensive hippy retaurant I’ve been to in Belgrade. The food is excellent, the service was also delightful. I would have liked a bit more food on my plate for that many dinar. I almost screamed when I smelt someone smoking inside the restaurant!!! This savoury pancake was a real treat…
… this dark luxurious dessert which was strongly recommended to us by the waitress and she was right! The combination of the sorbet and the super rich but not too sweet choclate was incredible.
This is a posno cheese pizza from a pizza takeaway place. It was big enough for the two of us and there was loads of fake cheese – hiding under the rocket! – these vegan options are often available in pizzerias in BG and relatively cheap.
Ćao Šećeru, or Bye Sugar is an all vegan cake shop that has some superb raw cakes. It’s friendly and has a few seats outside. Often rather busy in the evenings.  I’d love to go here everyday and persuade them to make some new varieties of cake.

There is another cake place that must be mentioned, though I seem to have deleted all my photos from there! Poslasticarnica Suma make their own cakes, many vegan and without sugar. I’m told they also do some very fine wine! It is situated just at the top of the “bohemian” quarter that gets featured on all the adverts for Belgrade, but don’t let that put you off!

more to come!

 

 

 

2 Replies to “Belgrade for vegans”

  1. Oh, I missed this one with all the food!
    Hope Sanja and everyone you know in Serbia is OK.
    (What does Sanja do? Any chance she gets to visit soon?)
    We can go to Germany now, but don’t suppose we will this year.
    Saw all the garlic! (Was that your garlic that Marko posted on Fb?)
    Just had my first customer of the day, £2 for beans after 3 hours. I should have sent her out as she didn’t have a mask on. I’m behind perspex unless I go out. Dunno if I’m supposed to send such customers away. (They are threatening £100 fines in England when they start masks on 26th.)
    Veggies have some funky masks made of old Veggies T-shirts.
    Some plonker with too much money paid £40,000 for church by us. He will only be there for 2 months a year. His BIG homes are in Portugal and Oman apparently. Suppose it is quite good it is someone who won’t be there much. (Told Mark he’s spending £75,000 on windows. The roof is being totally replaced. Wonder what he’ll do inside it. At least we are there to bring down the tone of the neighbourhood!)
    Wish we were getting to try invite ourselves this year. X

    1. Sanja has arrived! After much panic and fear she made it across and could stay for up to 3 months!! No idea what MArko posts on FB but he and Sunni picked a load of garlic the other day! Maybe you can get a job cleaning the neighbours empty house and mowing the lawns! You are welcome whenever you can make it! We will try and get Sanja a visa to visit the UK.
      x
      jon

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