Vegan in Porec, Istria, Croatia
We found a real hidden vegan gem in a small city of Porec, and I am super excited about sharing it with you. North-west region of Croatia doesn’t have many vegan places, so I totally understand your frustration if you decided to come here anyway. Lot’s of sun during summer months, clear and clean sea, great beaches – yes. Vegan options? Not so much. If you read my Vegan in Malinska post you already knew that, but since Porec is a good 125 km (77 miles) apart it doesn’t hurt to repeat that.
Vegan Porec? That’s Artha!
If you are staying anywhere on the Istrian peninsula, Bistro Artha is a must see. Fear not, you will not be merely “seeing” the Bistro since there is plenty of great food over there. We’ve tried as much as we could on the menu, and have lot’s of photos to share, so you will get a good insight on what to expect. Artha has a warm family feeling since the people that are serving you are likely mother and daughter, and in the kitchen are the father and another daughter. We heard many guests asking the owner how come they decided to open a vegan restaurant. It was simple for them, entire family eats that type of food, they didn’t have anywhere to eat, so it was very natural for them.
We heard so many different languages at Artha. Italian, German, French, English and off-course Croatian just to name a few. Since we visited Artha on several occasions, we’ve had the opportunity to hear a lot of stories. Some of the vegan guests have picked Porec specifically because of great food Artha offers. You’re a vegan, so you can relate. You go on a vacation, and there are no vegan options in town. You either have to explain to a French chef “No butter, please”, or that equivalent. Or, you have to cook yourself, on vacation. Not to mention, sometimes, honest mistakes happen. I remember once hearing from the waiter “Oh, absolutely no cream in there. Just a little bit of Grana Padano. Just a little bit.”. Perfect…
Soy latte, almond milk coffee and vegan options in Porec
In Artha (Porec), you can drink coffee with soy late and almond milk. The one you see in the photo above is with soy, and it has very good cream and is very tasty. As far as we know, this is the only vegan coffee option in Porec and neighboring cities. If you know any other, please let us know in the comments, and we will update this information. Another important piece of information is that when it comes to “morning coffee”, you will probably not be able to drink it Artha. In the summer of 2018, they had a bit weird working hours, so they open at 11AM.
Artha working hours:
Monday – Saturday: 11h-15h. 18h-21h.
Then, betwen 15h (3PM) and 18h (6PM) they are closed Monday to Saturday. So, if your plan is to go to the beach after launch, and then come back again for afternoon coffee/dessert or early dinner, you will need to change your plans.
OK, enough with the boring stuff! Bring on the food! Hope you are not hungry because this could incur some serious mouth-watering…
Vegan soup in Porec, made by Artha
We started our course with a daily vegan soup. Actually, I’ll just call it soup, because everything is vegan, so no point in me writing vegan soup, vegan coffee, vegan naam, etc. You are safe here, animals are safe here, everybody is safe here. To top it off, it’s dog-friendly. So, back to the soup. On that day, the daily soup was asparagus soup and needless to say it was great! Check out the photos below.
Also on the menu, you can find miso soup, and we know for a fact that in other occasions you might expect soup out of leek (also in the photos below). If you are lucky, you can even chose between two different daily soups.
Naan with hummus and vegetables
On our second trip, for an appetizer instead of the daily soup (with a heavy heart) we skipped the soup and went with naan with hummus and vegetables. The soup was so good, that it was super hard to order something else. Oh, the sacrifice I go through. 🙂 Luckily the naan with hummus and vegetables was so tasty that we quickly got over the soup! I asked them about the hummus and learned that they make it themselves. This is not something you can buy in the store. And I’ve never eaten naan before, so that was a pleasant surprise as well. You can see it on the photos below, and as far as the taste goes, imagine something between a Mexican tortilla and an Italian pizza that’s made in Asia.
What about salads?
When my fiance and I were spotting the place, we didn’t eat salad as a meal itself (like the one they have with tofu or seitan) but as a side dish (see photo above). We ate regular seasonal salad and Istrian salad (remember, we are on the Istrian peninsula) and you can see from the photos the size of the portion. I can’t make a guess or recommendation about the salad with tofu… maybe next time.
And now finally the main course! On day one, my fiancee had tofu with legumes, while I had vegetable patties with vegetables on the wok. Looked good, tastes good, and while done eating we were full! I am not sure if we would feel full if we skipped the appetizers. I don’t know how much you, dear reader, usually eat, but if you have salad as a side dish, or a dessert afterwards I would say you would feel full.
On our second day, we had a vegan plate for two. You can’t miss it on the photos below. It’s a large plate, filled with grilled vegetables, tofu, soy and vegetable patties. You also get deep-fried tempeh and some side dish, rice, legumes and spinach. I have to say, I wasn’t to excited about the soy, not a personal favorite, but everything else was yummy and it disappeared!
What’s for dessert?
I know, I know… You are probably hungry as it is, if you are still reading this. I swear to you, I had to make a lunch break during the creation of this post, but such is life. We are not done yet! It’s dessert time, and again you are going to have a hard time choosing. Every day, there is “daily tart” and / or pancakes. Again, these are vegan pancakes. For those of you that don’t know what tart is, it’s pastry, similar to cake. You know, that sweet thing you eat that’s between cookie and a cake. Like a small fruit pie.
Anyway, the ones I had was a cherry pie, and jaffa cake. Since it took me this long to explain the word tart, I don’t even dare to begin to explain the origin and meaning of the word jaffa… Suffice it to say, it was a chocolate cake with orange flavor.
Now we can take a breather from all this tasty food. So what else is there? While we were on the Istrian peninsula we enjoyed our time in Porec! As you can see from the gallery below, it’s a beautiful little town with some historical landmarks. Not to mention the Blue Lagoon and the Green Lagoon, not exactly within walking distance for some (3km Blue Lagoon, 4km Green Lagoon) but definitely too close to miss! For a piece of the action, check out the video and photos below.
On the other hand…
After Porec, we went on to see Medulin and Rabac. Although very nice places with some very nice beaches, vegans won’t find much interesting besides that. Finding a place to have coffee or ice-cream is probably impossible. If you do find a place, let us know and we will check it out. Oh well, it doesn’t hurt to check out some photos and hope that one day every town in Istria will have a vegan restaurant like Artha. In the meantime, we have to keep promoting vegan lifestyle, support entrepreneurs that do that and help transform people for our own sake.
All the photos and videos were taken with iPhone 7 Plus and were not altered or enhanced in any way.