Vegan in Montenegro

Food in Montenegro is a combination of Mediterranean and Balkan I think. Bakeries abound, often with many accidentally vegan pastries and ingrediants on the labels if you can read the language. But there are no real buregdzinica, so I was disappointed to find krompirusa did not live up to anything close to Bosnian standards. Pizza is widely available, and salads are generally good, although more on the tomato-cucumber side and less cabbage-oriented. My favourite, a common side dish in Croatia as well, is Dalmatian potatoes, which is just boiled potatoes and chard, and magically delicious.

As far as I could tell there is only one fully vegan place in the whole of Montenegro. This is Paradise Foods in Budva. As well as making delicious, abundant and unbelievably cheap hot and cold meals, snacks and desserts, they also make seitan and tofu and other things in-house and supply many health food (zdrava hrana) stores around the country.

I was fortunate enough to be staying behind one such store, Ibis in Bijela, so I got to eat Paradise Foods seitan and tofu, not to mention delicious small cakes, every week from there. I went to Budva twice, and Paradise is conveniently located between the bus station and the beach, so I could stop for an extended lunch on my way in, and then get there before they closed at 9pm to pick up more supplies to take home on the way back. One morning I worked from there for a few hours, eating continuously; they have wifi and a couple of power outlets, though not a huge amount of indoor seating.

In Bijela itself is a place called Bura, a mostly-fish restaurant that has a good selection of salads and potato sides, plus a tofu salad which is large balls of battered deep fried tofu on the side of a large seasonal salad. The tofu inside wasn't seasoned at all, so it was kind of mediocre, but it was nice that they tried. And the location by the sea, plus power and wifi, makes it a good place to hang around nonetheless.

I found a couple of places with vegan cheese for pizza. One is Ombra in Kotor, who have a whole vegan menu (pizza, pasta and a sandwich) but the pizza was really good. Another is Olive at Sveti Stefan; initially the waiter said they didn't have vegan cheese, and it's not listed anywhere, but I'd read a review on happycow from the week before to say they did. He discovered that they did in fact, and I got my vegan cheese on pizza in the end. They also have pastas and salads that can be veganised. It's not the cheapest, but that's to be expected in the location.

In Herceg Novi are two cafes side by side, next to the water if you follow the boulevard around towards Igalo from the old town. One is Peter's Pies and Coffee, which is vegetarian although without a lot of vegan options. Some energy balls, one main dish that is probably vegan, and plant milks for drinks and smoothies. Along further is Barbarella, which is an omni place but with a whole vegan menu. I tried quite a few dishes as they are fairly small (but the prices match), including varenyky dumplings (potatoes or cherries), pasta, and couscous.

In Podgorica I stopped by Republic of Good Food. They have a vegan section on the menu, which includes a chickpea dish, and avocado pasta. They have a lot of juices and smoothies too, and everything that is vegetarian is labelled. I'm sure more of their vegetarian dishes are already vegan or could be veganised, but I didn't ask.

I couldn't find vegan cheese anywhere in the whole country. Asking for 'biljni sir' at the cheese counter in Idea or Voli will get you a plant-based pizza topper cheese (Alpenland Topsy, from Greece I think) but it contains casein so it's not actually vegan. Even the fancy 'green bazaar' store Bonella in Tivat didn't have vegan cheese. The nearest place I think if you're desperate would be Bio & Bio in Dubrovnik, but I like to adapt my diet to what is available and it feels like needing to use my passport to get vegan cheese is kind of cheating.

Things I did in Montenegro that weren't eating.

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