Istria, Croatia is a major wine and food destination. Although, for us vegan foodies it can be a little more difficult. In a region dominated by influences of the sea, plant-based options are hard to find. To make it easier, we’ve done the work for you and wrote the ultimate guide to eating vegan in Istria, Croatia.
Needing vegan recommendations for other places in Croatia?
Vegan in Istria? Let’s get to it
We spent over 3 weeks in Istria, based in Pula, searching for yummy vegan dishes. During this trip, we spent a lot if time researching, contacting restaurants, and, of course, eating at different places. We’ve compiled a list of the best vegan food options from Pula to Pazin!
All Over Istria:
Pasta is an easy to find vegetarian dish everywhere in the region. Yet, most pastas, like fuzi, contain egg. Luckily, a common Istrian pasta, Pljukanci, is often vegan already without any egg (and depending on the sauce). This pasta is commonly served in dishes with mushrooms, or asparagus most often.
Coffee with nondairy milk was more difficult to find, compared to other destinations we have visited. Nondairy options at a cafe, such as soy or oat milk, are not very common and many cafes we visited did not have any. Ask before ordering just in case, there is most likely another cafe not to far away to try if your first location doesn’t have any.
Vegan Food in Pula
Surya Soul Food– Vegetarian restaurant and yoga studio with tasty vegan options, including smoothies, sandwiches, and desserts. We tried the raw vegan cake (pictured right) that was so tasty!
Hotel Amfitheater – This hotel and restaurant is located near the arena and Titov Park. They have a whole vegan menu with dishes including polenta and risotto.
Fresh Sandwiches and Salads: Wraps, paninis, salads, and smoothies with many vegan choices. Some options include seitan or falafel. We were happy with the options and budget friendly prices!
Asian Bistro by Pralet – We found that the hours on Google are not correct and most days they open at 6pm. They offer a delicious tofu dish and are located in Pula’s Old Town.
Street Food Two – Quick and friendly service with vegan options. Good portions for the price. Located in Pula’s Old Town
Street Food Mini Mini – Small, quick take out with a few vegan options and helpful staff happy to help with English translation.
Agrippina Street Food – Agrippina offers both a vegan burger and vegan tacos. Because of the season, this restaurant was temporarily closed during our visit.
Gelato: Sereny and Pomaj both offer some vegan flavors (mostly fruit options).
City Market: A must see and do while visiting Pula! We shopped at the Pula City Market for most of our groceries. This is a large market open daily with a ton of options!
Bio & Bio: This store is filled with organic and vegan goodness and the only one in the region is in Pula. We found that most grocery stores in the area do not cater to vegans, so this is a must visit for health food and vegan items like tofu, butter, cheeses, and even vegan snack foods!
DM Drogerie Markt: This was very strange to us because we went here for deodorant and ended up finding soy sauce, nondairy milk, and other vegan groceries. In this store (that is similar to a CVS or Rite Aid back home), we found rice and other grains, sauces, cereals, snacks, and even tofu!
Supermarkets in the area include Plodine, Kaufland, and Eurospin, but are hit and miss for vegan specific foods.
Konzum + Studenac: These small shops are very limited. We did not find much at these stores, however, they were good for: pastas, rice, chickpeas, beans, lentils, nondairy milk and other items we wanted like orange juice, pretzels, etc.
Istrian Cooking Class:
During our time in Istria, we were also able to enjoy a VEGAN cooking class! We booked our class with Eat Istria, based in Pula, and had an amazing day cooking 5 different dishes with our host, Goran.
Eat Istria offers many different small group cooking classes and tours. The company strives (and achieves) to emphasize and educate on the unique cuisine Istria offers.
We highly recommend this experience because we enjoyed our class so much. This was the highlight of our time in Pula.
Vegan Options in Rovinj
Bookeria – Vegan options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Smoothies with almond milk and homemade seitan are just a couple highlights of the food here. This restaurant is located in the Old Town area.
Extraveganza the Breakfast Club – Specializing in breakfast all day, this restaurant offers vegetarian and some vegan dishes. Located 5 minutes from the Old Town area.
Balbi – For lunch or dinner head here for a view different vegan options. This restaurant is located in Rovinj’s Old Town.
Tipico Green Garden – Make sure to book a reservation in advance so you don’t miss the opportunity to dine here. Tipico offers two vegan dishes including stuffed zucchini. This restaurant is located 10 minutes from the Old Town by car.
Sweet Corner Vegan & Bio Eiscream, – Added to make sure you aren’t deceived by the name. Although vegan is in the name, the only vegan options are fruit based, so not any different from many other gelatarias which was a little disappointing.
There’s another option we passed that serves vegan fritters and even gluten free options but the picture Sam took of the outdoor sign is missing the title of the place! We have tried searching on Google Maps but can’t find it. If you come across this place let us know where it is! We’d love to try the fritters next time we are in Rovinj! They looked delicious!
Eating Vegan in Porec
Restaurant Artha – The only 100% vegan restaurant in all of Istria. We were super excited to find this place since the rest of the region is so limited. The staff was super friendly and the food was delicious
La Pentola – Three vegan options including a salad, burger, and a pasta dish.
Oliva Grill – Vegan burger and vegan caesar salad
Chilli Fusion Street Food – Although this place was closed on the day of our visit, we read many reviews that said you can switch out tofu for almost any meat in the different bowls!
Il Gelato Salvatore – Vegan options including dark chocolate and fruit options. We LOVE a gelateria with a vegan chocolate option, always exciting to find!
Other Options for Vegans in Istria, Croatia
Konoba Mišo – This restaurant in the old town are of Umag. Here, they offer a vegan risotto dish and a beautiful view during your meal.
Snack Bar Garden – Super cute atmosphere with a playground for kids. Order the veggie burger and make sure to order the other bread option since the regular buns have egg in them. The staff was friendly enough to figure this out for during our visit!
Sadly, we didn’t get a chance to eat during our short trip to this little city. However, we did reach out to some restaurants beforehand, just in case.
Konoba /Trattoria Gatto Nero – This restaurant ensured us they do have a vegan option. So, it may be worth a trip if you are in Novigrad looking for a vegan option.
Konoba Mondo Motovun – This beautiful tavern located in Motovun always uses local and fresh ingredients. It has gained a ton of recognition for it’s delicious dishes and, lucky for us, they serve vegan dishes too!
Zigante Truffle Shop – This company has shops all over Istria with samples to try and a restaurant in Livade (near Motovun). Not only is this the top name of truffles in Istria, they sell products in their shop with “vegan” on the label! This was such a happy surprise, we tasted every one we could!
Konoba Bani – A yummy restaurant located in Central Istria. Konoba Bani offers multiple vegan options, and to make it easier, they are even marked on the menu. Meals include a tofu dish, soup, and a few pljukanci dishes (a traditional istrian pasta).
Heading to Pazin? Alongside the obvious draws of cave exploration, ziplines, and the cliffside castle, we loved the trails that run through and around Pazin. They are super well marked and offer a range of options. We chose the 711 Pazin – Beram – Pazin path. Check out the options here!