Surprisingly Vegan Friendly Cities/Towns In Europe + Restaurant Recommendations

Travel, Vegan

I know for me, when deciding where to travel to, I always take into consideration how vegan friendly the city is and how other vegans have rated it. However, after going to the notoriously vegan friendly cities – London, Amsterdam, Budapest (which are all amazing and definitely recommended by me), I found myself wanting to go to countries and cities that weren’t so famous on the vegan radar. This didn’t stop me going of course, and although in some cities – I’m looking at you Split, Croatia – I lived off tomato pasta, I still had a lovely time. On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised by so many countries with how vegan friendly they were and I’m much more likely to recommend these countries to friends and family.

I hope this list shines some light on to other countries in Europe worth making the trip to try their vegan food and you add a few of these countries to your bucket list because they’re worth it!

I’ve also included some restaurant suggestions that you shouldn’t miss when visiting each location!

Belgrade, Serbia

When I first decided to go to Serbia, I really wasn’t thinking about the vegan restaurants or how easy it would be. I am interested in the history of Yugoslavia and when I heard they have a Museum of Yugoslavia, I started making plans to visit. But wow, I was so impressed by the amount of vegan restaurants and supermarket goodies they had. I remember the supermarket we went into had a whole free from section which was filled with vegan/dairy free foods. When we got off the night bus from Montenegro, we were starving and stumbled upon a bakery in the Zeleni Venac neighbourhood, where we went in and explained that we were vegan, and they had so many vegan choices including a mushroom pastry and a vegan cheese pastry. Unfortunately this place has closed down now, however, I still think it shows that even in small bakeries, there are still vegan options.

I have also heard a lot about the Serbian Orthodox Fasting Period and how it is perfect for vegans. This is an eight week fast starting 40 days before Easter Sunday. During this time, Serbian Orthodox avoid meat, animal products including dairy and eggs, as well as fish with a backbone, they do still however eat honey. This will make it even easier to travel vegan in Serbia if you visit during this time!

When visiting Belgrade, I would recommend checking out Radost Fina Kuhinjica which is a secret veggie and vegan restaurant. It can be quite difficult to find as it’s located in a house, but once you follow Google maps to the location, you will see people eating in a restaurant through the window. This does feel a bit rude, maybe because I’m British, but you just need to knock on the window and someone will come out and get you. It’s worth it because the food is delicious, even my non vegan friend said this food was some of the best so take your meat eating friends here.

Vilnius, Lithuania

If you read my best vegan desserts in Europe blog post, you’ll already know how much I loved Vilnius and how amazing their vegan food was. Not just for desserts, but for lunches and dinners too. They even have a veggie and vegan shop called Veggo Shop to pick up your milks, cheeses, meats, that kind of thing. Perfect for trying new products and cooking something for yourself. In my other blog post, I recommended a place called Holy Donut which is perfect if you have a sweet tooth, they serve a selection of donuts as well as a banana and chocolate freak shake which is to die for! I think when a dessert shop like Holy Donut has more than one vegan option, it shows just how vegan friendly the city is.

Whilst in Vilnuis, you should definitely visit GYVAS Baras which is a 100% vegan restaurant. This started out as a veggie restaurant but after only a few months, they became Lithuania’s first fully vegan restaurant. GYVAS Baras opened in 2015 so they definitely know what they’re doing when it comes to vegan food. They also have outdoor seating which is lovely if you visit in the summer, like I did, and the staff are all really sweet. One of the waitresses gave me some tips about where to visit whilst in Vilnius which I thought was so kind.

Manchester, England

I completely understand why London is at the top of the list when talking about vegan cities in the UK, and it does have some amazing vegan restaurants, however, I think Manchester is truly overlooked. Vegans make up about 2% of the UK so of course so many major cities are catering to them and Manchester is no exception, and because it’s not the capital city, it’s no where near as busy with tourists compared to London. I used to study at University near Manchester so I’ve eaten out here more times than I can count and every time I’ve been so happy with the food. I actually used to make my way into Manchester just to eat at these two restaurants because they were so good. If you’re visiting London, it’s worth it to take a trip up to Manchester.

I will leave two recommendations for Manchester since I know the area a lot more compared to the other locations. Firstly is Lotus Vegetarian Kitchen, this did close down for a while but it has opened back up. This is a fully vegetarian Chinese restaurant, however most of it is vegan. They have so many vegan versions of classic Chinese dishes such as duck pancakes, prawn toast and egg fried rice. It’s amazing what they do and everything is delicious. My second must-visit in Manchester is Little Aladdin which is a fully vegan restaurant offering curries as well as American style food such as burgers and chicken nuggets. The stars of the show really are their curries; they’re all made from scratch by the family and are made with love. You can try three curries with rice for only £5 which I think is an amazing price!

Skopje, North Macedonia

Are the Balkans just great for vegans or what? Not only does Skopje have a variety of vegan restaurants, they also have so many vegan and accidently vegan snacks available in supermarkets, and my personal favourite the BBQ Lays that are vegan friendly and unfortunately we don’t have in the UK but taste incredible. I even found that many restaurants and takeaways serving mainly meat had vegan options. When I was visiting, I went to La Puetra which is a burrito place that had four vegan choices, which I was surprised about. Skopje is also really inexpensive, and two burritos only cost us £2.80. The perfect destination for a vegan on a budget, proving that you don’t need to spend a lot of money when travelling as a vegan!

For really good vegan food when in Skopje, you have to visit Vegan 365 Kitchen, it’s only a short walk away from the Bazaar. There is a wall dedicated to vegan and veggie posters, all with really sweet messages on them about loving all living beings and reasons to go vegan. The staff are so so lovely, we were trying to order a cab to take us to the bus station but we were having trouble with language barriers and pricing so one of the ladies who worked there called the cab company for us and sorted it all out, which was really sweet. The food was incredible, I had a cheeseburger and the sauce that came with it was amazing. Also, heads up if you love gherkins, this is the perfect place as they filled my burger up with gherkins, I love them but I understand not everyone shares this same opinion.

Freetown Christiania, Denmark

Okay so this isn’t actually a city but rather a commune located in Copenhagen but since it is its own little town and I haven’t seen many people talk about the vegan scene in Christiania I decided to add it to this list. When I first heard about Christiania, it was actually my main reason for going to Copenhagen, I was fascinated by a community that has its own rules independent from the rest of Denmark and where cannabis is being sold in the street from market like stalls. If you don’t know much about Christiania, it’s worth searching up for yourself and I’ve never visited anywhere quite like it. It has beautiful landscape views, gorgeous nature and amazing art dotted around the whole town, and free toilets which is very rare in Denmark! It is also completely car free which is one of the reasons I think it’s kept so nice so make sure you walk or take public transport to the gates.

When visiting Freetown Christiania or Copenhagen in general, you must visit Morgenstedet which is a fully veggie café though from what I remember everything was vegan when I stopped by. They change dishes constantly so you can go a few times and try new foods. They have a selection of different salads and hot dishes and you decide on a few to try out. I always think this type of café is a great idea because I’m so indecisive when there’s more than one vegan option and I want to try everything. The food here tastes amazing, everything tastes homecooked which I love and you can tell that the chefs put a lot of effort into the food and making sure it tastes incredible. If the weather is nice, they have a cute outdoor seating area with wooden tables which I think is perfect for the atmosphere.

This is the end of my surprisingly vegan friendly hotspots in Europe. I really hope you enjoyed reading this and were able to add a few more countries to your list of must-visits. You definitely won’t be lost for food in these cities. Let me know what country surprised you with how vegan friendly it was!

I hope you’re having a lovely day or night wherever you are!

The Best Vegan Desserts In Europe

Vegan

Whenever I eat out, whether this be in London or elsewhere, I love to get dessert. Being a vegan, there is a common misconception that the only dessert available to us is fruit, which of course has been the only option before, however, I’ve been lucky enough to try some of the most amazing desserts and you wouldn’t even know they were vegan!

I usually find my vegan food hotspots using HappyCow, a great website and app filled with vegan and veggie restaurants, food trucks, and everything in between, including fully vegan supermarkets.

I really hope this blog post helps you when searching for that sweet treat on your next adventure, and you enjoy all the amazing food that comes with being a vegan.

Holy Donut in Vilnius, Lithuania

Holy Donut is a cute little café selling, of course, donuts. They have six vegan donuts which are clearly labelled as vegan so there is no confusion. When I was there, I got plain chocolate and chocolate with pistachio. I believe the signs for the donuts were only written in Lithuanian which is something to be expected, so I picked two that I thought looked the best.

Although the donuts were tasty, for me, the star of this place was the freak shake. Just look at it! They do only have one vegan freak shake which is banana and chocolate, I’m sorry if you don’t like banana! Luckily for me, I love the banana and chocolate combo, definitely one of my favourites. This milkshake was vanilla ice cream, soya milk, whipped cream, bananas, chocolate and black chocolate crumbs around the edge of the glass with a chocolate covered banana sticking out the top. I loved this milkshake so much I went to this place twice during my trip to Vilnius, pretty common for me to do this since I won’t have the chance to taste this again, for a while at least.

N’ice cream factory in Warsaw, Poland

To me, the concept of this place is really fun and I would recommend them for vegans and non-vegans. You start with a base, this is either soy based or sorbet for vegans, I went with the soy one and then you can pick other ingredients or treats to mix together, using liquid nitrogen to create an ice cream flavour. This includes things like biscuits/cookies, chocolate, nuts, berries and fruit. I’d never had this type of ice-cream before and was really interested in how it works and what it would taste like.

You could definitely play it safe if you go here and mix flavours together that you know work well together, therefore you won’t waste your money if it doesn’t taste good. My method for some reason was to just pick flavours I liked and hope for the best. I went for Oreo and Halva, which I really enjoyed and would recommend it to everyone reading.

Txarloska in Bilbao, Spain

This place I actually found accidently whilst in Bilbao, we had just left our Airbnb and were making our way to the main tourist spots when I spotted this fully vegan bakery, which made me really excited. I decided on the carrot cake and it was delicious. The cake was fluffy and light with a creamy cream cheese frosting on the top. They have a huge selection of cakes, muffins and cookies, some of which are gluten and sugar free that I’m sure will also be decadent and full of flavour. I love how this place takes vegan treats and caters it to other allergies and requests.

I love to support and eat at fully vegan places, so I was really happy to find this place. They also sell other vegan treats such as chocolate bars so I also picked up one of those. If I didn’t find this on my last day in Bilbao, I definitely would have gone back there to try the other cakes they had.

MakaMaka in Split, Croatia

I’m not sure everyone will count this as a dessert or even something worth mentioning as it’s already vegan without any adjustments but sometimes, when travelling, you need something sweet that’s also light and refreshing, especially in a hot country like Croatia. This is where MakaMaka comes in, with their açaí bowls. I ordered this from a food stall by the coast although it seems they have a restaurant, also in Split.

This açaí bowl was much needed when exploring the streets of Croatia in August; it kept me hydrated, gave me energy and was so tasty. This was very easy to eat whilst I continued to explore the city. They had a few different choices for toppings at the stall and they have more at the restaurant itself so both are a great choice. This is topped with banana, granola, hemp seeds, almonds and peach. This was called the Rio Açaí Bowl. If you’re from the UK, or any colder climate place, and you haven’t eaten peaches in a hot climate country, please do, it will change your life.

Arthur Ice Cream in Bratislava, Slovakia

Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of my ice-cream from here (was obviously too excited to eat it) but it’s the only place I’m going to get my ice-cream from in the future when in Bratislava. They have a selection of ice creams and sorbets, which I think is perfect. I’m not sure about other vegans but I know I’m sick of going to ice-cream shops and the only choice is sorbet.

Some of their ice-cream flavours include coffee, lavender, chocolate and pistachio. whilst their sorbet flavours include strawberry, pineapple, passionfruit and mango. All the flavours are clearly marked vegan so there is no confusion or hassle with having to ask. I went for the pistachio, which was incredibly creamy and the quality of the ice cream was amazing. These flavours don’t seem to be too common for vegans so it was great to be able to try these flavours again and they still taste just as good as I remember.

Those are my top vegan desserts I have come across whilst travelling Europe, I’m sure I have many more treats to try and I can’t wait to see what amazing creations people will come up with in the future for vegans! Whether this has helped you with picking your next holiday destination or just made you hungry, I am so thankful you took your time to read this and I hope it helped you.

If you’ve tried any of these or have any other recommendations for your favourite vegan dessert spots, please let me know. I would love to try the best vegan desserts throughout the whole world and maybe one day I will achieve this.