travel vegan

Is Ljubljana a vegan-friendly city?

What is it like travelling as a vegan? As a raw vegan? What’s the vegan situation like in Ljubljana?

Travelling as a vegan is just as easy as travelling as a non-vegan. If you like to eat out, for the best vegan dining experience I recommend researching vegan-friendly restaurants in advance using Yelp or HappyCow. Lazy vegans might choose the more adventurous route by simply walking into any restaurant and sorting a meal. It might just be a baked potato and some veggie sides, or fried chips, but you’ll find something edible. Check out My tips for eating out as a vegan for more useful info. Vegans really can eat anywhere!

I’ve travelled all over the US and am just now starting to make a dent in my international travel bucket list, and I’ve never had an issue finding vegan options in restaurants, cafés, airports, or hotels. Yes, even basic continental breakfasts have vegan food. Think bagels, peanut butter, jelly, and fruit.

It’s true that some cities are “better” for vegans than others, but this means better for vegans who like to eat out. Glasgow is considered a vegan paradise because it has several all-vegan restaurants and scores of other vegan-friendly or almost-vegan places.

But veganism isn’t just about eating out at all-vegan restaurants. Veganism, from a diet point of view, means avoiding the consumption of any animal products. This basic premise of a vegan diet is easy to satisfy. You could travel anywhere on Earth and find vegan staples like rice, beans, potatoes and some type of fruit and veg. Obviously, you won’t find these in a place like Antarctica and I doubt you’ll be visiting anytime soon, but if you do, you’d bring food with you anyway.

I’m always baffled when someone complains that they can’t find anything vegan to eat (besides chips, of course). Any place you visit has grocery stores and food shops, packed full of vegan food! The entire produce section is vegan, and staples like pasta, rice, beans, frozen and tinned veggies, and (unfortunately) many processed foods are vegan.

I understand that new vegans aren’t up to speed on all the processed food that happens to be vegan (or accidentally vegan, as they say), but that shouldn’t matter. If you’re struggling to find vegan food, you’re either not looking or your definition of food is so far removed from what real food actually is. Real food like fruits and veggies is 100% vegan 100% of the time.

So when people ask me what it’s like to travel as a vegan, I tell them it’s easy because that’s the truth. Now we vegans might not be able to ‘indulge’ in the meal provided by the airline whilst on a flight, but we’ll be fine if we plan ahead. (Some airlines do offer vegan food. Request it when you purchase your ticket and verify it a few days before your flight, just in case!)

Eating as a vegan requires extra planning and I never see it as a big deal. You might need to bring your own food instead of eating fast food at the airport and you’ll definitely need to read labels. Researching menu options before going out to eat can’t hurt either.

Is extra planning so bad? Shouldn’t we all want to eat with intention, so we know we are eating the best food possible?

In my opinion, travelling as a raw vegan is even easier than travelling as a vegan who likes to eat out. Eating out is rare so my planning is simple. It involves asking locals where I can find the tastiest produce in town, searching Google Maps for food shops, visiting various food shops once I arrive to see what produce they offer and compare prices, and researching what produce is in season.

Raw vegan food is everywhere! All food shops have some sort of fruit or veggies for me to munch on. Some fruit is more difficult to eat on the go, however. Peaches need days to ripen so I can’t just pop into a shop and have peaches for lunch, so I keep my eye out for grapes, watermelon wedges, berries, or whatever fruit is in season. Alternatively, I can keep peaches at the flat to ripen and bring them with me. This just requires planning in advance.

The vegan situation in Ljubljana is just like the vegan situation in any of the other places I’ve visited. It’s perfectly fine!

8 replies on “Is Ljubljana a vegan-friendly city?”

Agreed – I’ve lived all over the world, and travelled extensively, and have never, ever had a problem finding vegan food. Even here in meaty Belgrade!

In fact, there are health food shops every couple of hundred metres here – I’ve never seen so many in my life – and almost all of them carry smoked tofu, vegan spreads (not just butter subs but savoury spreads too), munchies, seitan products, yoghurts, etc. So even if someone is here who doesn’t have access to cooking facilities, or just doesn’t want to cook, vegan food is readily available. And let’s not forget the abundance of fresh produce on offer. Belgrade is pretty much vegan paradise!

Yet some people I’ve come across claim that it’s not at all vegan-friendly… despite the growing number of vegan eateries (15 at last count, I think) and the markets.

Speaking of paradise, you may have noticed that tomatoes are called paradižnik. In Croatia and Serbia they’re called paradajz. Both of which mean… paradise! Apparently, when tomatoes were first introduced to Slavic lands, people had no idea what to call them but someone decided that ‘they taste like paradise’, so that became their name! Isn’t that a lovely story? And certainly, domači paradižnik/paradajz well-deserve their moniker!

Do try out Zaživ (flourish) and Ajdovo zrno (buckwheat grain) – the latter of which is a raw café. Zaživ is new, and according to my friends who’ve eaten there, is great. I don’t know how many raw dishes they have though.

By the way, Air Serbia offers raw vegan meals on all their flights, even the one-hour ones. If you ever fly with them, just ask for a vegetarian Jain meal when booking your seat.

The Jain meals are also considerably larger than the other types they provide. They won’t win any gastronomy awards though but honestly, just the fact that they are available is enough for me, and the food, in my experience, is very fresh.

For vegetarians, Air Serbia also offers fasting meals (posno), which can be ordered with or without fat. Huzzah for strict orthodox Christianity! 😉

Almost all Asian airlines I’ve flown with offer Jain meals, and some also have vegan meals that do contain garlic and onions.

That’s amazing that Belgrade has so many vegan places! I’ve heard good things about the two vegan places you recommended here, but I’m content with my watermelon so I haven’t eaten out at all. Maybe next time! 😄

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