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What to Eat in Croatia if You’re Vegetarian

restaurant in Dubrovnik Croatia
17 Nov

What to Eat in Croatia if You’re Vegetarian

Croatia’s delicious cuisine has been sculpted over hundreds of years, through cultural influences from the bordering countries and regional variations altering the very essence of its core dishes. While many of the national foods of Croatia often feature meat, especially seafood as a result of its location on the Adriatic Sea, there are plenty of delicious vegetarian options as well.

From hearty pasta dishes to tongue-tantalizing risotto, there are numerous restaurants up and down the coast which serve these fantastic traditional dishes. To ensure you’re fully prepared for a trip to Croatia and what you can eat on your travels, make sure to read on!

Is Croatia vegetarian-friendly?

Like most countries across the world, vegetarianism in Croatia is quickly becoming more and more recognized as the years go on. Most restaurants in Croatia now have vegetarian options on their menus and even offer vegetarian alternatives to popular Croatian dishes. 

While the country’s history with vegetarian cuisine may not be as long as other European countries, it is becoming more universally accepted throughout the country as tourist numbers rise and more people switch to a plant-based diet. So to answer the question, is Croatia vegetarian-friendly? Yes, it is extremely vegetarian-friendly, allowing you to fully embrace the local delicacies to your heart’s content.

restaurant patio with tables set up overlooking the ocean

Larger cities, such as Zagreb and Split are not only popular tourist destinations but are also some of the best locations to find vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Croatia. Unlike the smaller towns and villages, establishments here are more likely to have dedicated vegetarian dishes or marked vegetarian options on the menu.

Although Croatia is vegetarian-friendly, it is worth doing your research before traveling to this destination. As with exploring anywhere new, when it comes to having a dietary restriction it is best to be prepared and be able to communicate your dietary needs to the local food establishments.

To say “please, vegetarian option” use the phrase “Molim vas, vegetarijanska opcija”.

For more help on how to order food in Croatia, check out our Croatian words for tourists guide to learn more useful Croatian phrases and sayings. 

To ensure you are fully prepared for your trip to Croatia, plan a custom food tour with our team. Our Croatia travel experts are extremely knowledgeable regarding all things Croatia, including helping you to choose the best spots for your travel itineraries that meet your dietary requirements. For help planning your trip to Croatia and ensuring it is vegetarian-friendly, get in touch with our team today.

We also offer an exclusive wine and culinary delights tour around Croatia that is perfect for travelers looking to embrace Croatia’s cuisine. To ensure you have the best experience while traveling with us, please contact our team about your dietary requirements before booking. 

Vegetarian food in Croatia

We’re all guilty of looking up a restaurant’s menu to decide what we’re going to order before sitting down in the establishment. So why would it be any different in another country? To save you the trouble of pulling out your translation app and trying to decipher if a dish is vegetarian-friendly, we have put together a comprehensive guide to the best vegetarian food in Croatia.

That’s right! All the traditional dishes of Croatia that are both delicious and vegetarian friendly in one useful guide. Don’t let yourself get the food-anxiety while on holiday. Allow yourself to sit back and enjoy your dining experience knowing exactly what you’re ordering while traveling in Croatia. Here are the best vegetarian dishes in Croatia:

Ćoravi gulaš

Croatia does love a good hearty goulash and Ćoravi gulaš is a dish that perfects this. It’s a vegetarian dish that consists of potatoes, onions, carrots, and peas cooked in a tomato base which is flavored with a variety of tasty herbs and spices such as paprika, parsley, bay leaves, and garlic. 

Depending on the cook’s preference it can be served with a watery base or thickened up with flour to create a more filling dish. Often this tasty Croatian vegetarian dish is served with a dollop of sour cream on top to give a creamy texture and add an extra burst of flavor to your taste buds. 


Štrukli is a staple vegetarian food in most diets for those situated in the northern part of the country. It’s a dish that can be served in a multitude of ways – boiled or baked, sweet or savory and offered as a starter, main course or even in some cases as a dessert.  

It consists of pulled dough stuffed with various types of fillings such as fresh cheese, poppy seeds, pumpkin, spinach, or fresh fruits if you’re opting for the sweeter option. While cooked, Štrukli is often stuffed and boiled in soup. 

vegetarian food in Croatia - Štrukli 


This Croatian speciality is great for lovers of eggs. Similar to an omelet, fritaja is a dish that uses egg as its base, combining vegetables like asparagus, spring onion, mushrooms, and herbs together in a hearty tasty dish. It’s a versatile and satisfying option for vegetarians and extremely popular with locals during the springtime when ingredients are at their freshest.


This is certainly a favorite amongst tourists seeking vegetarian food in Croatia. Hailing from the Dalmatian region, soparnik is a traditional savory pie filled with Swiss chard and red onions squished between two thin layers of dough. 

What makes this dish so special is how it is baked. Cooked on a bed of hot coals covered with ash, this technique of cooking enhances this dish’s tasty flavor. Once baked, this traditional pie is brushed with olive oil and topped with garlic for seasoning.

vegetarian food in Croatia - Soparnik

Grilled vegetables

A popular dish throughout the Mediterranean is grilled vegetables, seasoned and let to cook on an open top fire. But this also happens to be a popular vegetarian food in Croatia. Vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers, are commonly found in the Croatian variation of this dish and are often seasoned with olive oil, garlic, and herbs.

Pasta, Pizza and Risotto 

Just a stone’s throw away across the Adriatic Sea, Italy has had a huge influence over Croatia’s cuisine, much of which can be seen in the variety of Croatian dishes sold throughout its establishments. In fact, on almost every street you wander down, you will be able to find a restaurant with some Italian-inspired dishes being served, such as pizza, pasta and risotto, most of which are vegetarian-friendly.

While you may be pretty familiar with these foods back home and looking for something a little bit more adventurous, don’t fret. These dishes are often made locally in a traditional manner, featuring a variety of local ingredients like asparagus, mushrooms, and truffles, which you won’t find anywhere else! 

vegetarian food in Croatia - truffle pizza


You’ll be pleased to know that many of the desserts in Croatia are vegetarian-friendly and are the perfect end to a hearty Croatian meal. From creamy gelato to flaky pastry goods, there are plenty of desserts to choose from that will meet your dietary needs here in Croatia. 

Finding Vegetarian food in Croatia

Join us on our exclusive wine and culinary delights tour to try the best traditional treats and local dishes that Croatia has to offer. Or start planning a custom vegetarian food tour with our travel experts today. Not only can we help you find the best restaurants and accommodations that meet your dietary needs, but we can also support you in organizing a fantastic vacation abroad. 

While Croatia may be becoming more vegetarian-friendly, it is always best to be prepared and by booking your trip with our team of experts, you can ensure you will be! Get in touch with us to start booking your vacation to Croatia today. 

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