Travelling vegan in Macedonia

Travelling vegan in North Macedonia

Macedonia is not the most vegan-friendly of countries. Traditional Macedonian food involves quite a lot of meat, but also delicious salads.

If you are up to come up with your own quick vegan meal, some supermarkets have some choice of plant-based milk, nuts, crackers, fruits and veggies.

But there are also some dishes that are vegan in the traditional Macedonian cuisine. Just keep in mind that the word vegan or even vegetarian doesn’t mean much to the majority of people. Plus not all people speak English very well, and because I don’t speak Macedonian either, google translator was my way to go.

Traditional vegan Macedonian Food

While in Macedonia there are a few things that you can’t miss trying.

Ajvar is a spread made out of roasted peppers, aubergine, garlic and olive oil. It goes amazingly well with bread and vegetables. You can find Ajvar in all supermarket. Lutenica is similar to ajvar but has carrots, onion and tomatoes.

Gevrek is a circular bread ring covered in sesame seeds. It’s easily found on the street or in bakeries and is delicious on its own or with Ajvar.

Tavche Gravche is a traditional Macedonian dish that is vegan by default. Its a bean stew made with spices cooked in an earthenware pot. Sometimes it can contain sausage so just double-check before you ask for it. Most traditional restaurants serve this dish.

Polneti Piperki is a dish where peppers are usually stuffed with meat, but some restaurants will be happy to do it with rice and vegetables.

Travelling vegan in Skopje

Skopje the capital city of North Macedonia is probably the place where you will find more vegan option, but with that, I’m not saying that it is a well-spread concept or that it is super easy to find good vegan options.

The Juicy&Co makes a perfect stop for fresh juices, smoothies, fruit salads, muesli bowls and raw balls.

The green market, also known as Bit Pazar located in the heart of the Old Bazaar is the biggest market for fruit and vegetables, a great place to buy fresh produce.

Top 3 vegan places in Ohrid

Chances are, if you are travelling through north Macedonia, you will visit the charming Ohrid. That goes without saying that doesn’t have many options for you to choose from.

Sezers Food & Salads

Sezers serves delicious Turkish salads, soups, grilled vegetables, veggie spreads, and bean salads. It’s a perfect place to go for lunch or dinner. The food is fresh and tasty.

Dr.Falafel

As stated on the name, Dr. Falafel is a place specialized in falafel. Here you can have your falafel server on bread with hummus or you can have a falafel bun with carrot, cucumber, cauliflower and cabbage. Both options are delicious and filling.

Fruit Box

Fruit Box is a juice and smoothie bar that also serves vegan snacks, energy balls and raw cake. Everything I tried was incredible.

Have you been to North Macedonia? Do you know any other Macedonian dish that is vegan by default? 🙂

Going off the Beaten Track, Tallinn Top 3

I found Estonia a fascinating country and the capital Tallinn a super interesting city.  

I was lucky enough to spend quite a long time exploring the city, which allowed me to feel the city and go beyond the most well known touristic attractions. (find here what to do and see in Tallinn)

For me, the following places are an absolute must: 

Top places out off the Beaten Track in Tallinn
Telliskivi Creative City

I really loved exploring Tallinn’s art scene. Telliskivi Creative City, was an abandoned factory area that has been reclaimed as an urban space and is now home to the biggest artistic hub in the country.

At Telliskivi Creative City there are really interesting independent businesses and non-profits, alternative public spaces and great street art.

Here you have an excellent opportunity to get a taste of the local cultural life and hang out in places far from the masses of tourist.

This district is about 15-20 minutes walk from the historic centre, but if you do not want to walk or cycle you can reach it getting the trams number 1 and 2 from the centre, the bus stop is called Telliskivi.

Patarei Prison

The Patarei prison is an imposing, seaside complex in the Kalamaja district that was originally built as a fortress in the 19th, and from 1920 was used as a prison during Soviet times.

What I liked about this place was that it isn’t a regular museum, they only had some posters in some areas with chilling testimonies and facts about life in prison, giving you a glimpse of Soviet-era prison life in all its dreariness. Despite the posters, the prison has been left virtually untouched.

The building is in a rough condition and to be inside and see the place the same way that it was abandoned sends shivers up my spine. There is an undeniable eerie feeling as you walk around.

Walking around takes a little bit of courage, and you get punched in the stomach many times just from the thoughts that run on my mind imagining the many atrocities that happened on those walls, torture, violence, execution… You can almost smell the fear and desperation that would have hung in the air here.

To visit the exhibition ‘Communism is Prison’ the admission is 5€, and per the patareiprison.org website, it seems that they are aiming to become the International Museum for the Victims of Communism. So I imagine that the building will suffer great changes.

Tallink Spa 

From where I’m from there is no sauna culture, so I thought it was a great opportunity the try it, and I didn’t get disappointed.

A lovely woman I met during my time in the city recommended the Tallink Spa, but there are endless options in the city, for all tastes and pockets.

I paid 14€ to use the Aqua Spa for 3 hours. There you can try a variety of saunas, Jacuzzi pools, and use the large indoor pool and also the open-air outdoor swimming pool.

I never came across such a variety of steam and Finnish saunas it was a great experience.

Let me know if you have been to Tallinn and what places did you like the most.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

A guide to eating vegan in Tallinn

Tallinn can be a feast for vegans

The good news is that there are many restaurants in Tallinn selling vegan food, but on the other side you need to do some research to find them.

Once you do your research you will find out that there are many hidden and not so hidden gems when it comes to eating vegan in Tallinn.

Luckily veganism seems to be on the rise in Eastern Europe and it’s becoming easier to find good places to eat.

During my time in the city, I found a wide choice of cafes and restaurants where you can find plant-based food. So what are the best vegan places to eat in Tallinn?

I have put together a list of the 7 places I liked the most.

Must-visits for vegans in Tallinn, Estonia
Pelgupaik – The Vegan Noodle Place

Pelgupaik is located slightly away from the old town. They serve food is delicious vegan Asian style food and have a wide variety of dishes.

▷ Rohe kohvik

The food at Rohe kohvik is absolutely delicious and the tempeh and cakes a must. Their bowls are also amazing and filling.

It’s a nice place with a minimalist design and great atmosphere. Perfect for lunch. Rohe kohvik is located near Telliskivi, close to the train station.

▷ Vegan Inspiratsioon

The Vegan Inspiratsioon is conveniently located in the Old Town.

They serve a wide range of delicious food. The space has great ambience, nice music and artwork displays.

▷ Lisanna – Vegan Coffee Shop

Lisanna is a vegan coffee shop located just at the end of Old Town, the place has a rustic look, a cosy vibe and delicious treats, from coffees, cakes, smoothies to sandwiches.

I really loved the atmosphere and food.

Tru Kitchen

Tru Kitchen serves really delicious and tasty vegan food. The service is great as well as the interior decorations and music. I loved everything about this place.

The restaurant is located in the Karjamaa cityscape in northern Tallinn.

▷ Von Krahli Aed

This restaurant is super cosy with low lighting, different seating areas, and the food is absolutely delicious. They serve meat but have good vegan options.

▷ Veg Machine

Veg Machine is a food stall inside Balti Jaama Turg, close to Telliskivi creative city.

They serve delicious food, have quick service and nice staff. Both of their burgers are really good and the sweet potato fries with mayo are super tasty. There is limited seating so better for taking away.

▷ Vegan restoran V

The vegan restoran V is probably the most popular vegan restaurant in Estonia.

The food is absolutely delicious and they serve really interesting and unconventional dishes. The restaurant is small and very popular, so booking in advance might be a good idea.

(The head picture from this article it’s a delicious curry from this restaurant)

Have you been to Tallinn? Can you recommend any good places to eat?

I will leave you with a few more watering mouth pictures of vegan food in Tallinn…

Kiev’s Vegan Scene

Kyiv or Kiev is the stunning capital city of Ukraine. If you’re wondering if Kyiv is worth visiting, I say definitely yes!! There are many reasons to visit this city and one of them is the vegan food scene.

Over the last few years, Kyiv has seen a mini-boom of vegan restaurants and the eco-friendly community keeps growing rapidly.

During my time in Kyiv, I did encounter lots of great vegan food. For what I understand its’s partially due to religious reasons. I was told that in Orthodox Christianity there are several fasting periods, during which specific animal products are not consumed.

They abstain for 40 days leading up to Easter, for a period in May/June,  for the first 14 days of August, and from 15 November to 24 December, and all year round on Wednesdays and Fridays.

For that reason, most restaurants have a ‘fasting menu‘ (‘Lenten menus’ – постное меню in Russian) that is mostly composed of plant-based dishes.

Communism also ‘helped’. There are great vegan products (not labelled as such), originated during the Communist era. In order to reduce costs and shortages, they used plant-based ingredients, instead of expensive animal products.

Apart from religion and communism veganism is on the rise in general, and Kyiv is not an exception. There are many great vegan places to eat around the city.

When you eat at a non-vegan place notice that they eat quite a lot of сало (lard), сметана (sour cream) and sometimes there are small amounts of meat ‘hiding’ in some dishes.

Vegan Restaurants, Cafés and Bakeries:

B12 candy bar is a vegan bakery, with a small shop attached located in the historic part of the city. Also offers salads and sandwiches. A great place for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Soupculture is famed for the various soups served in edible bread bowls.

Nikogoneem located in a plaza-style area with multiple vegan restaurants. They serve amazing tofu and seitan burger.

KOLO, is a lovely restaurant in Podil with a cosy interior, that serves homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, wraps and desserts.

Sereda, sells delicious cakes, fresh juices and smoothies. The place is also bike-friendly.

Orang+utan offers a rich selection of vegan sandwiches, salads and smoothies.

Cafe Imbir near the Olimpiska metro station has a cosy atmosphere and great vegan and vegetarian food. You can even find a few raw vegan options.

Bessarabsky Market,  it’s an indoor market full of stalls, farmers stands, and restaurants. There are several vegan options in this marketGreen 13, sells wraps, sandwiches, burgers, salads, soups and desserts. Ra.Man. has a wide selection of vegan ramen, six types of bowls, pitas and desserts.

To find other vegan places in Kiev happycow is your best friend!

Where to Find Vegan Food in Kiev

I’ve found that there are great 100% vegan restaurants but also interesting local restaurants with at least one meatless option everywhere. So I would say that is quite easy to travel in Kyiv as a vegan.

The trendy district called Podil is probably one of the best neighbourhoods for vegan food in Kyiv.

There are also some excellent local events such as the monthly flea market Kurazh Bazar (with delicious street food) and the annual Kyiv Vegan Boom festival, with a food court and market set up on the bank of the Dnieper river.

So I assure you, you will not go hungry in Kyiv. I think the scene there is going to get better and better and it’s definitely a city to keep your eye on.

Vegan-Friendly Places to Eat in Cambridge

2013-05-14 00.24.53.jpegIf you are vegan or vegetarian you know that sometimes can be difficult to find a place to eat, but you don’t need to worry, Cambridge has plenty of options. As a vegan living in Cambridge for 4 years, I will give you an insight of the best places to eat while you are visiting this extraordinary city.

Stem + Glory, Chesterton Road or Kings street –  it’s a strict vegan place more suitable for breakfast, lunch or brunch.

Stir, Chesterton Road – Delicious coffees and cakes plus veggie brunches and lunches.

Rainbow Vegetarian Café, King’s Parade – this is a well-known multi-award winning veggie cafe and restaurant specializing in vegan and gluten-free food.

Arjuna Wholefoods, Mill Roadit’s a worker’s cooperative, and great to grab a snack or a vegan lunch.

Fudge KitchenKings Parade – they make artisan fudge and offer dairy-free fudge made with soy cream.

Curry King, Jordans Yard Bridge Street – it’s an Indian restaurant and almost all the menu can be served with vegetables instead of meat.

Espresso Library, East Road – This cafe has plenty of vegan options for breakfast and lunch.

Market HillMarket Square (10am-4pm) – this is the local market, not all vendors show up every day, so you never know exactly what you’ll find, but for sure you have a couple of options to choose from, like falafel, smoothies, breads, cakes, churros, noodles, cookies, muffins, flapjacks and, dumplings.

DopplegangerTrinity Street, delicious vegan burgers.

Cham Cafe, Mill Road, small place that serves vegan turkish food like meze platters, vegan Gózleme, vegan börek, soups and cakes.

Always check if there is a vegan market or the  Cambridge Vegan Fair happening while you are visiting the city. It’s an immense sea of stalls, serving a bit of literary everything.

If you are with friends that are not vegan, all restaurants (one better than others) will have options for you, even the pubs. If you don’t want to waste time and money, you can always grab a packed meal at one of the many small street shops.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

Tips of what to visit in Cambridge  ◀︎

SaveSave

SaveSave

Vegan Portugal, where to eat (guide)

Being a vegetarian/vegan in Portugal is not easy, especially if you are traveling relying mostly on restaurants and cafes.

The restaurants have usually 4 main options in their menu (not very vegan-friendly): appetizers, fish, meat, and desserts. however in most places you w,ill find a friendly Portuguese that will try to help you, and will create something with the things they have in the kitchen, you just need to explain correctly what you eat and don’t eat, otherwise you will almost for sure be served an omelet or a lettuce salad 🙂

Veganism and vegetarianism has been growing in the country since the last decade, and lots of new restaurants and cafes are popping in from north to south. To make your life easier I will leave a list of great places that you should try if visiting Portugal:

(V) includes: vegan + vegetarian + ovo-lacto-vegetarian options

💚 NORTH

Oporto

Espinho

Matosinhos 

  • Da Terra -Rua Afonso Cordeiro, 71 Matosinhos (V)
  • Pé de arroz – Rua do Godinho, 866  4450-029 Matosinhos (V)

Aveiro 

  • Musgo – Rua Tenente Rezende, galerias do Rossio B, 3800 Aveiro (V)
  • Ki Macrobiotico-  R. Cap. Sousa Pizarro 15, 3810-164 Aveiro (V+ macrobiotic)

Guimarães 

Castelo Branco 

  • Namaste – Rua de S. Jorge, 21-23 Castelo Branco (V)

Braga

💚CENTRE

Lisbon

  • Os Tibetanos- Rua do Salitre 117, 1250-198 Lisboa (V)
  •  PSI – Alameda Santo António dos Capuchos, 1150 Lisboa  (V )
  • Jardim doSentidos – R. da Mãe de Água 3, 1250-154 Lisboa (V)
  • 26 – Rua Vítor Cordon, 26, Chiado, Lisboa (V)
  • Vegana Burgers –  Saldanha Residence, Av. Fontes Pereira de Melo 42, 1050-010 Lisboa (Vegan)
  • Foodprintz – R. Rodrigo da Fonseca 82B, 1250-38 Lisboa (Vegan)
  • Terra Rua da Palmeira, 15, Príncipe Real, Lisboa (V)
  • Jardim das cerejas – Calçada Sacramento 36, 1200 Lisboa (V)
  • Oasis – R. Marquês Sá da Bandeira 76, 1050-099 Lisboa (V)
  • Tao – 1100 026, R. dos Douradores 10, Lisboa (V)
  •  Miss Saigon – Rua Cais das Naus, Lt. 4.01.01, Parque das Nações, Loja i, 1990-305 Lisboa (V)
  •  Bio – R. Francisco Sanches 39, 1170-140 Lisboa, (V)
  • Espaço da Rosa – R. Acácio de Paiva 11A, 1700-503 Lisboa (V)
  • Espiral – Praça Ilha do Faial 14 A, 1000-168 Lisboa (V)
  • The Food temple – Beco do Jasmim 18, Mouraria, Lisboa (V)
  • Princesa do Castelo – Rua do Salvador 64 A, Lisboa (V)
  • Pachamama – Boqueirão Douro n.46, 1200-163 Lisboa (with V options)
  • Água no bico – R. Gaivotas 8, 1200-066 Lisboa (V)
  • Veganeats–  Rua Cavaleiro de Oliveira, nº42 Lisboa (Vegan)
  • Paladar Zen – Av. Barbosa du Bocage, 107 C 1050-031 Lisboa (V)
  • Tamarind – Rua da Glória 43, 1250-115 Lisboa (with V options – Indian)
  • Cantina do templo Hindu – Alameda Mahatma Gandhi 1600-500 Paço do Lumiar, Lisboa (V)

Sintra

  • Espaço Edla –  R. Dr. Alfredo da Costa 52, 2710-523 Sintra (with V options)
  • Tinkly – Estr. do Rodízio 2, 2705-335 Colares (V)

Sesimbra 

  • Aloha Café – Rua Gil Vicente nº 30B, Cotovia, Sesimbra  (with V options)
  • XL da Carlota –  Rua Basilio Teles, nº 196, R/C – Quinta do Conde Sesimbra (V)

Coimbra

  • Cozinha consciente – Rua de Olivença, Galerias Topázio nº 9, 2º andar loja 35, 3000-306 Coimbra (V)
  • GreenSide – Celas, R. Parreiras 31, 3030 Coimbra (V)
  • CAFÉ SHANTY – Avenida Sá da Bandeira 33/35 2º andar, loja 230 Galerias Avenida, 3004-544 Coimbra (with V options)

,Cascais 

Oeiras 

  • Convicts –   Rua Desembargador Faria, n.º 31 Oeiras (V)

Almada 

  • Veg-e-tal – Av. D. Afonso Henriques 8A 2800-009 Almada (V)

💚SOUTH

Évora 

  • Jardin do chá – Largo Mario Chico, 17, 7000 Évora.(with V options)
  • Salsa verde – Rua do Raimundo, 93 – A – Évora (V)
  • art cafe  – R. de Serpa Pinto 6, 7000-505 Évora (with V options)

Beja

Faro

Albufeira

Alvor

  • Azul Algarve – Rua do Rossio Grande Lt E/F Loja C Alvor, Faro, Portugal (V)

Portimão

  • Vegetarianus – R. da Quinta do Bpo. 17, 8500 Portimão (V)
  • Armazém integral – Rua das comunicações lj B, Ed. Casas do Rio (V) shop+caffe   
  • Mercearia Bio – Rua das Comunicações, Edifício Casa do Rio Loja C 8500-657 Portimão (Vshop+caffe   

💚Islands:

Madeira

Azores 

  • Casa do Jardim – Rua do Marques, 110, Angra do Heroísmo, azores (V)

Notes:

*Most Portuguese soups are vegan and you can find them everywhere for about 1.50€ – 3.00€. They’re really delicious and always cooked freshly from scratch.

*The bread is great, make sure you try a good Broa de milho (Corn bread), or Pão Alentejano (a bread originally from the region of Alentejo)

  • If you are visiting Portugal during fall or winter time you’ll find street vendors  selling castanhas assadas (baked Chestnuts)

*While in the country, try a good olive oil, and olives.

*Don’t miss the opportunity to drink some Porto Wine, red and white wine, medronho (kind of fruit brandy, distilled from wild strawberry ), Ginja (sour cherry liqueur)

*seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables are great, find them in the open markets. All Portuguese towns have markets offering a daily show of fresh locally farmed fruit and vegetables.

*drink a Café (coffee)

Have fun, enjoy the country and the food!

🌱Let me know if is there any other place that you recommend 😀

💛🌿Get inspired by the photos

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Exploring Glasgow for free, Scotland

Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city, and a great place to start a trip to Scotland. Despite overshadowed by the famous Edinburgh, this city is at least equally amazing. I need to say that in the end of my visit I was totally in love with this city, that once was a former industrial powerhouse, but now is a cultural hub, with lots of interesting things do do and see.

Glasgow is today a cosmopolitan city, with a rich history,  and a national cultural hub, home to many great museums (most of them free). The museums and art galleries have superb collections, that will surprise you as much as surprised me.

We landed at Glasgow’s airport and got the connection to the city center, using the bus 500, that takes 30 minutes to be on the Queen Street, close to George Square, in this short trip it’s already visible the historic sandstone buildings and modern architecture.

For my surprise Glasgow serves very weird food from deep-fried piza or even fried Mars, but the vegan options just kept surprising me. I need to say that the claims that Glasgow is the mecca in Scotland for vegan food lovers may be very true!

We visit the city by walking around, without taking any public transports (what was probably a mistake, at least is what my legs and feet were saying).

We started our trip, walking around the city centre without a plan towards George Square, that is the heart of the city, and has impressive Victorian buildings and statues paying homage to the Scottish greats. From there we went to the Gallery of Modern Art,  where is the famous statue of the Duke of Wellington wearing a traffic cone as a hat.

While walking around, we just did a stop at Glasgow Central Station, not to take a train but to have a look at the arquitecture and its glass roof. Here you can also join a tour that supposedly  reveals some of the station’s hidden secrets 🙂 I can’t say that’s true, because I haven’t done it.

From the train station it’s only a couple of minutes’ to the Lighthouse, on Buchanan St. This place can be a bit difficult to find but deserves the effort. The building was designed by the Scottish architect Charles Mackintosh back in the 19th century, and is an exemple of Art Nouveau. Today is the centre for Design and Architecture, and has many different exhibits and galleries.  Including a free exhibition on Mackintosh’s work. From the lighthouse, you have an incredible skyline view of Glasgow.

We kept walking till we got to the river side that has a path along the River Clyde great for a walk or even cycle, from where you can see modern buildings like the Clyde Auditorium (known as the Armadillo) and the titanium-clad Glasgow Science Centre.

Then was time to visit one of the city’s most famous museums, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. This museum is definitely a must see. But not before a lovely man invited us to take a coffee and some biscuits at a local church, the Sandyford Henderson memorial church.

The Kelvingrove is an immense place with a great a collection, that you will enjoy even if your are not an art person, because part is a art gallery and part history museum. Essentially, it’s an art, life science, and cultural museum rolled into one, with plenty to see, housed in a beautiful historic building.

From here across the park is the  University of Glasgow, an imposing gothic-style buildings that reminds vaguely Harry Potter.

The Glasgow Botanic Gardens are located in the heart of city’s West End by the River Kelvin, and are a short walk from the university, and a must go if you are a nature lover like me. The gardens are lovely and the glasshouses looked like they were straight out of the Victorian Era revealing exotic ferns and tropical plants as you go.

The Riverside Museum,with its Zaha Hadid-designed sinuous curves, is another must. The museum is dedicated to transport and travel. the exhibition is very interactive and even has a recreated street taking you back to 1890s Glasgow, where you can pop in into different shops. From here you can take a tour of the Glenlee, a restored tall ship, If you fancy something like that.

Once in the city center we went to visit the the 15th century house, Provand’s Lordship, the oldest in Glasgow and the magnificent Cathedral.

The  Necropolis, it’s right behind the Cathedral, and it’s a cemetery with distinctive, decorative tombstones which are works of art in themselves designed by major architects and sculptors of the time. The necropolis is located on top of a hill and has great views to the city and the Cathedral.

The People’s Palace and the Winter Gardens are a great museum to have an insight about Glasgow’s history, and t’s located in southeast Glasgow.

Glasgow’s street art is visible over the city, Smug One is an Australian born street artist based in Glasgow that has painted enormous murals.

If you are planning your trip bare in mind that the weather can be very unpredictable so just pack clothes for each of the 4 seasons 🙂 I suggest at least 3 days if you want to visit Glasgow properly but I recommend 4, for the sake of you legs and feet 🙂

If you have the time, away from the city there are plenty of remote places to explore.. be happy and have fun..

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha