Bosnia and Herzegovina is not particularly vegan friendly as most traditional meals do contain meat. That’s not to say that you won’t find a thing aside from grabbing fruit & vegetables for a home cooked meal, it’s just that it may be a little more difficult to eat out vegan if you are on a backpacking budget. Prior to visiting Sarajevo I reached out to locals through couchsurfing and woke up the next day to a lovely message in my inbox with heaps of recommendations.
Most of the vegetarian/vegan restaurants I found and got recommended I don’t consider budget backpacking friendly, however, they are still worth mentioning despite being expensive by Bosnian standards. There is Karuzo which is a vegetarian restaurant with lots of vegan options, then there is Mala Kuhinja which is famous for it’s innovative dishes and vegan options and then there is Dveri, a small local restaurant with vegan options.
I usually don’t eat out a whole bunch because I love preparing my own food, knowing what’s in it and browsing markets and stores for ingredients. What follows is a list of places I’d highly recommend for grabbing a snack and markets as well as stores that you can go to if you are looking for a vegan specialty item or simply want to cook a meal yourself.
A pita is a filled pastry made of a thin flaky dough and krompiruša (filled with potato) is almost always vegan. In Sarajevo you find pita everywhere – you really can’t miss it. It’s the perfect comfort food, it’s so delicious and I could eat it every day, seriously.
If you are looking for a sit-down place to grab krompiruša then I’d check out Buregdzinica Bosna and Sač. I also greatly enjoy grabbing pita on the go and while you can get it to go at both Buregdzinica Bosna and Sač I love getting it to go from Pekara AS “5” and Pita Ispod Sača.
Buregdzinica Bosna is located on Bravadžiluk 11 and their only vegan pita is krompiruša. Just make sure to order it without sour cream on top and you are good.
Sač is a pita & burek shop that’s a little hidden and located on Bravadžiluk mali 2. Their krompiruša is delicuos and crispy. Sadly their tikva (filled with pumpkin) isn’t vegan as it contains eggs and cream.
Pekara AS “5” has hands down the best krompiruša. Pekara AS is a small chain of bakeries and I popped into Pekara AS “5”. It’s located on Zmaja od Bosne and Lozionicka and by just typing Pekara AS “5” into google it will show you exactly where it’s at. Have a look at their facebook page here.
If you are looking for vegan tikva (filled with pumpkin), then Pita Ispod Sača is your place. Pita Ispod Sača is a very charming shop on the corner of Koturova and offers krompiruša as well as tikva among other pitas and burek.
I love ajvar! Ajvar is a pepper-based super delicious spread made primarily from red bell peppers. It may also contain green pepper, garlic, eggplant, chili peppers and the like. I love pairing it with pickles and bread and also enjoy putting some in my pasta. You can find it everywhere and most grocery stores have half a shelf dedicated to it.
Markets are great for grabbing fruit and vegetables when you are in the mood for a home cooked meal. There are numerous markets in Sarajevo and my favorite ones are Pijaca Markale, Pijaca Koševo-Ciglane and Zelena pijaca Otoka.
Pijaca Markale is a very popular market located in the heart of the city on Mula Mustafe Bašeskije. At the market you find local and imported fruit and vegetables among other goods. Pijaca Koševo-Ciglane is a huge market offering everything from fruits, vegetables to clothing. This market is a lot bigger then pijaca markale and is lined with small restaurants and cafes.
A little further out you find Zelena pijaca Otoka. It’s located on Gradačačka 1 and offers a vast selection of fruit, vegetables, juice, beans in bulk and dried fruit at good prices.
If you are in need of a soy or almond beverage, tofu or a vegetable spread then you may have a hard time finding such items at regular stores however, you do have options. At dm drogerie markt, a german drugstore chain, you can find a wide range of vegan specialty items and the big stores of supermarket chain Konzum also offer milk alternatives although their selection is, from what I’ve seen, fairly small. Who has the biggest selection of vegan specificity items? Mercator on Ložionička 16.
Address: Ložionička 16 (It’s inside the Centar Sarajevo)
Mercator has stores all over the city and we went to the one on Ložionička 16. This supermarket has a whole aisle dedicated to green & organic products. They had heaps of vegan specialty items: tofu, hummus, soy spread, vegan burgers, plant based beverages with chocolate, vanilla, you name it – they had it all. While prices were moderate by Bosnian standards they had a huge selection and if you are in need of something special then Mercator on Ložionička 16 is definitely the place to go.
It was a pleasure to explore a bit of Sarajevo’s food scene and I am delighted to see that there are options. If you have a place in mind that’s not expensive by Bosnian standards please comment down below and I’ll happily include it! 🙂