Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Eating Vegan in Croatia and Hungary

I pulled a muscle in my sleep last night! My groin muscle, to be specific. I must have been doing something very violent. It really, really hurts so I didn't do much today. Hopefully it'll feel better in a couple days.

I did get to spend an hour and a half on Skype with my mom this morning. She just got back from her trip to Zagreb, Croatia and Budapest, Hungary and I wanted to hear all about it! She took a group of students there to study emerging markets and meet with business leaders. But she also managed to find vegan food and take a few pictures for the blog!

This picture is from a vegetarian restaurant in Zagreb called Nova that Mom found on the internet. She said it was fairly standard, yet delicious vegan food - not especially Croatian. Unfortunately, Mom said the restaurant was totally empty all night and very difficult to find. Restaurants have been suffering with the economic downturn in general, but I hope that doesn't spell doom for its vegetarian restaurants!

After Croatia they headed to Budapest, which used to be two cities -- Buda and Pest. Pest is the business side and Buda is the residential side, in general. They were visiting Buda and got so hungry they just needed to stop in a restaurant so they quickly found one called Arany Hordo with a veggie plate. Mom was thrilled to find out that the veggie plate was delicious and fancy!

Mom's last restaurant experience was at Govinder, a vegan Indian restaurant in Budapest run by a couple who subscribe to a Hare Krishna lifestyle and have successfully run the restaurant for thirty years. Mom tried a bunch of stuff and said it was all great.

Veggies, croquette, dal, and plum sauce that she couldn't figure out how to use so she dipped everything in.

In general, Mom said it wasn't too hard to get vegan food. There is a lot of cheese and butter in Europe, but it was easy to find veggies cooked in oil and she ate fruit at hotel buffets. I've never been to either Croatia or Hungary so it's good to know there are options!

Have you ever been to Europe? How did you find healthy/vegan food to eat? Are you interested in visiting Eastern Europe? I've been to Europe quite a bit, but not much in Eastern Europe - just Russia and Estonia. I'm very interested to travel there, though!


  1. What an incredible-sounding trip! I never would have guessed that those countries would easily cater to a vegan/vegetarian diet but it's awesome to see how many meatless options there were!

  2. Wow---what amazing sounding food! I haven't been to europe, but it's good to know that if I ever go, I'll have options :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Yeah, I think when most people think of Eastern Europe they think of sausage and schnitzel, so it's good to know there are veggies, too!

  4. Thanks for sharing. Faith, I'm like you, I'd never have thought Croatia would have vegan restuarants. I'm from the UK but have been focussing on USA travel to get my vegan fix. I think Europe is now beckoning..its right on my doorstep anyhow! Erika, will you or your mum try and recreate any of these dishes? I LOVE to do that. Its like bringing the experience home and the smells and tastes zip you right back there...

  5. Yeah you have to go to Europe! I wrote a book about European travel that I'll be publishing reallyreally soon. And obviously the US is pretty sweet, too - we have some awesome vegan restaurants here in LA.

    Unfortunately my mom lives really far away from me so we don't get to cook together, but I'll ask her if she plans on trying to re-create any of the foods. I agree, it is fun!