Serbia (and the Balkans in general) is renowned for its incredible meat dishes, so needless to say it isn’t the easiest place to be vegan. It isn’t all lost of course, and Belgrade is becoming increasingly accommodating to ethically aware eaters. These are the best vegan spots in the Serbian capital.
One of the best restaurants in the Balkans regardless of cuisine, it stands front and centre of Belgrade’s fight for meals without meats. It isn’t exactly easy to find, located in an apartment building near Kalemegdan, but it is more than worth the effort. Summer is clearly the best time to visit, as the enchanting (a word we don’t use lightly) garden is perfect for meals that are as social as they are romantic, with not a pljeskavica in sight. The name loosely translates as ‘the joy of a fine small kitchen’, and that just about sums it up.
Retro, retro, vintage and a little more retro, you know where you stand on this particular mast. Old sofas, chairs and tables make up the interior, and you may convince yourself that you’ve somehow managed to go back in time, although you need to check your health if that is the case. The food is the only thing that isn’t retro, streams of modern cuisine and not a ćevapi in sight. Dishes from all over the world are served here, making this one of the most modern restaurants in the city, provided you eat with your eyes closed.
A commitment to raw food at Zdravo Živo | @ Zdravo Živo/Facebook
The raw food craze hasn’t quite taken over Belgrade as it has many other capitals throughout Europe, but its presence is definitely felt out here in New Belgrade. The name loosely translates as ‘Hello Life’, and you’ll feel well and truly revitalised after eating the none-more-healthy food on offer. Raw juices are also available, to help wash down some of the most delectable fare in the city.
While the combination of jazz and yoga might put some on edge, the conservative need not be afraid to visit this trendy Beograd spot. Located on Belgrade’s longest street, ‘health’ is the vital ingredient as soups, salads, sandwiches and more are served in a variety of arresting colours. The menu isn’t huge but neither should it be, with the focus purely on quality ingredients and an ethical approach.
Elegance personified at Mandala in Belgrade | @ Mandala Restoran/Facebook
Ticking all of the necessary boxes for any hungry vegan, Mandala is unlike almost any other restaurant in the capital. The focus is well and truly on the organic, and all the ingredients are as locally sourced as they can be. The vegan influence comes from high up here, and there is no doubt that this is a restaurant with its focus firmly on the future. Great staff too, which always helps.
There is plenty of colour in the food at Glow | @ Glow Restaurant/Facebook
Located on one of Belgrade’s most famous streets inside the city’s most famous hotel, Glow is on to a winner from the start. When you throw in the no-smoking rules and the adherence to a healthy menu, you get a restaurant that almost convinces you that you’ve managed to leave the Balkans altogether. Glow isn’t for those looking to tighten the purse strings, but it is certainly for those who want to avoid animal products in the classiest of settings.