Tuesday 2 February 2021

Vegan Ljubljana and Slovenia

vegan ljubljana slovenia

Slovenia is without a doubt one of my favourite countries in Europe: eden-like nature, kind people, adventure activities and, of course, delicious foods. It's capital, Ljubljana, is actually the greenest capital in Europe and not only does it have six exclusively vegan restaurants, the range of cuisines in these restaurants is extensive: from traditionally Slovenian all the way over to Asia and Africa and back again. Put simply: it's very easy to find vegan food in Ljubljana. Slovenia holds a special place in my heart because it's where I fully started to understand the atrocities of the dairy industry. But this post is about you not me, in it we'll look at vegan restaurants in Ljubljana and how to be vegan in Slovenia in general. (And if you want the full story on how Slovenia made me vegan check that fully narcissistic post of mine <3 div="">

1. Vegan Restaurants in Ljubljana

vegan restaurant ljubljana

There are six vegan restaurants in Ljubljana: Veganika, Restavracija Mandala, Kucha, Gaudi, Loving Hut Express and it's sister food cart of the same name. I personally recommend, well, all of them!! But I appreciate that's not so helpful if you're just passing through, so I'll elaborate! Kucha and Veganika offer Slovenian / European foods, so if you're in the market for traditional(ish) foods of the country you're visiting (which I hope you are), head to these. If you only have time for one I'd go for Kucha because they have vegan cheeses, but Veganika has bio wine, so yeah, tough decision. Gaudi and Restavracija Mandala both offer Indian food, but in my opinion (as a Brit who is not an authority on Indian food, despite having eaten a lot of it), Gaudi is more authentic (but both are fantastic)!

When it comes to location, all of these vegan restaurants are very centrally located in Ljubljana, apart from Kucha (which is a little way north of the city) and Loving Hut Expresses's food cart. All in all, there are plenty of Ljubljana vegan restaurants so you'll be very satisfied gastronomically. I'd also like to give a special shout out to Skuhna which was established as a non-profit to a) help integrate newbies and b) give people a chance to try diverse (and delicious) cuisines. Their menu changes pretty much every day and they don't always have a vegan option, but the day I went they did and I had a delicious Zimbabwean dish. So yeah, not vegan everyday but the fact that they are trying to bring humans together is wonderful in its own right.

2. Vegan in Slovenia

Accidentally Vegan Slovenian Dishes

As is the case with most places and their capitals, Ljubljana has way more vegan restaurants than the rest of Slovenia. Actually the rest of Slovenia has five vegan restaurants in total, compared to Ljubljana which has six. So what do you eat when you're travelling Slovenia as a vegan? Good news: eating as a vegan in Slovenia need not be a nightmare. Firstly there are a few accidentally Vegan Slovenian foods like:

  • Aleluja, which is a thick soup made using the peels of a turnip and buckwheat flour (which is a staple in many Slovenian dishes). It is a traditional Lent fasting meal, hence it is vegan! Warning: it may be served with bacon or cracklings! Double check yours doesn't :)
  • Jota, which is a hotpot/stew made from sauerkraut, beans, turnip, garlic, onion, flour among other things.... mmmm :) Once again: watch out for lard and/or added pork!
  • Kaša (kasha) in Slovenia means porridge made from water and buckwheat groats (sometimes mixed with other cereals like oats, barley, millet and/or rye);
  • Loška medla is a porridge specifically made from millet and buckwheat;
  • Mešta is a thicker variation on porridge, made using wheat and buckwheat flour plus boiled potatoes. Beware: cream and lard or cracklings are sometimes added!
  • Ajdovi žganci is another national Slovenian dish that’s usually vegan (once again, the staple buckwheat flour, water, salt, and oil, sometimes barley and corn). Beware: some regions serve cracklings, meat sauce, or the like so make sure to inquire!

Slovenian Dishes Easily Veganized

Secondly, there are many Traditional Slovenian foods that can easily be veganized:

  • Potica, a nut roll made from a rolled pastry (which can be dairy-free but inquire), filled most often with ground walnuts, tarragon, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds or poppy seeds. Mmmmm!
  • Prežganka is the name of Slovenia’s national soup. It is traditionally made with eggs, but you might be able to order it 'brea jajc' ('without the eggs')!
  • Mineštra(related to the Italian minestrone soup) may be another “accidentally” vegan option, which may be made from onions, lentils, cabbage, garlic, broad beans, mushrooms, carrots, asparagus, and turnips, beetroots and potatoes, rice, peas, basil or parsley... watch out for lard and pork chops, though! Check if they have a meat-free option.

3. Day Trips from Ljubljana for Vegans

Lake Bled

Chances are if you've heard of Slovenia (and aren't getting it confused with similarly-named Slovakia), then you'll have heard of the number one tourist attraction: Lake Bled. For those that haven't, well now you have, lol, it's the number one tourist attraction of Slovenia and it's a lake. Okay, so what's the big deal? Well, for starters it's a very stunning lake - all year round. Picturesque. And, despite it being so popular, it's big enough to not be crowded, and there are so many cool and different things to do there. Outdoor activities in Slovenia, Lake Bled like paragliding and canyoning are my personal recommendation - don't just go there for the gram! Get some exercise and experiences too :) Other options include hiking around the entire lake, paddling out to the island in the middle or even getting married on that island :D the possibilities are vast.

Big Berry

vegan glamping slovenia

Last time I went to Slovenia I worked with the luxury glamping company Big Berry. I was on a press trip for my other blog (Travelling Weasels) and they pushed the boat out showing me (and Tanbay) the best of Slovenia: the food, the wine, the sights and more. So that I, in turn, could show my readers. It was hands down the highlight of my summer and I recommend you give them a whirl (full Big Berry luxury glamping review). Glamping is a great way to connect with nature without giving up the home comforts we all know and love (good nights sleep, wifi, clean clothes etc).

4. Wrap Up: Vegan Ljubljana and Slovenia

All in all, Slovenia is a relatively easy country to travel to as a vegan. Considering how small Ljubljana is, it's amazing how many vegan restaurants they have there. And in my experience, Slovenians are helpful and kind (okay, I got the odd eye roll or two for being vegan, but the end result was always the same: delicious, vegan food - I call that a win! PLUS the chief eye roller of them all apparently liked me after the nth time I went to her restaurant, she gave me a big load of rakia. Yey.) Also, here is a vlog of our time at Lake Bled - enjoy :)

P.S.: If you're interested in an app designed for vegans & wanna support the vegan movement and us, veganvstravel as well, use this link plz to download Abillionveg. When registering, please use our referral code: TRAVELLINGWEASELS. If you wanna know why we think this is a great app, read here.

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