Eastern European cuisine has evolved over the years from its yummy-yet-meaty reputation and veggie travellers are well-catered for at these delicious destinations.*
Sofia in Bulgaria
Traditional flavours and new combinations in Sofia
Sofia’s reputation as a travel destination grows every year, and the city’s restaurants have diversified their menus to keep pace with their international visitors. Alongside traditional local favourites like dark rye bread, banitsa rolls and walnut cookies, visitors will find dozens of vegan-friendly desserts such as mint truffles and small vegetarian eateries like SunMoon and The Little Things.
With mouth-watering delicacies like this on offer throughout Sofia, it’s no wonder the city has been endorsed by international travellers as the most vegetarian-friendly city in Eastern Europe. Many of the city’s best vegetarian cafes are found in the University district so it’s worth staying nearby, somewhere like the ever-popular Apartment Sofia Central.
Wroclaw in Poland
The Wroclaw Main Market Square
Visiting Wroclaw for the first time is a dizzying blur of colourful townhouses, Gothic cathedrals and modernist masterpieces. With this visual feast on display, regular refuelling stops at the city’s Old Town cafés are a delicious necessity.
Vegetarians will find rich pickings around the Ostrów Tumski (Wroclaw’s ancient cathedral island) including VEGA Bar, the city’s first vegetarian restaurant. With a menu full of organic, locally sourced produce and a regular series of workshops, VEGA Bar sits at the heart of both Wroclaw and the city’s vegetarian community. Stay less than a 1-minute walk from Wroclaw Main Market Square at these stylish self-catered apartments.
Krakow in Poland
International cuisine in Krakow
When visiting Krakow it doesn’t matter if you’re vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian, there’s something for everyone. Start your culinary explorations on Krupnicza Street, an up-and-coming area of Krakow that is full of vegetarian restaurants, including Indian thali at Pod Norenami, potato pancakes at Green Way, and spicy stews and dumplings at Veganic.
For your evening meal head into Krakow Old Town and pay a visit to Vegan Burger, another of the city’s achingly trendy and utterly delicious vegan restaurants. Or, if you visit during the winter months, save your appetite for some oscypek (smoked cheese, grilled over open-air burner) at the Krakow Christmas Market. Then sleep it all off at the historical Residence9.
Prague in Czech Republic
Edible flowers at Restaurace Satsang in Prague
Prague is known for it’s warm hospitality and vegetarian travellers will find themselves spoilt for choice. Most of the vegetarian restaurants are clustered in the north-east of the city, with regional south-eastern-inspired dishes proving to be especially popular at venues like Govinda, “K” - The Two Brothers, and Beas Vegetarian Dhaba.
If you’re after a brunch spot look no further than Restaurace Satsang. This vegetarian restaurant is known for its ‘build-your-own-scramble’ menu, stacks of pancakes and endless mugs of that rich, dark Czech coffee. It gets busy so give yourself a decent chance at grabbing a table and stay at the nearby Family Lorenz & Coffee House.
Saint Petersburg in Russia
Café Ukrop in Saint Petersburg
The vegetarian restaurants of Saint Petersburg tend to combine casual dining with hearty dishes that will help fuel your exploration of the city. Café Ukrop is a great example, with regulars dropping in throughout the day while tourists make themselves at home with a plate of herb rissoles and a book from the café library. And you can continue the cosy, literary theme by staying at the nearby Friends by the House of Books.
The Vegetarian Café Samadeve is a vegetarian café that offers seitan goulash and traditional Russian salads, alongside game nights, concerts and art therapy, which feed the mind as well as the belly. Meanwhile at the Prekrasnaya Zelyonaya Vegetarian Cafe you’ll find simple salads, pastas and soups, served in a homely atmosphere and with plenty of good cheer.
** The data scientists at Booking.com looked at the most highly rated cities in Eastern Europe for ‘vegetarian food’.