The Balkans is a region of the world that’s definitely rocking a meat heavy diet and Macedonia is no exception. However, there are surprisingly a good few many tasty vegan options – especially in Ohrid and Skopje. If you’re into cooking at home like me then you’ll find the produce at local markets to be amazing as well. I actually really enjoyed cooking at home in Macedonia because of this.
Below is my guide to vegan food in Skopje & Ohrid, Macedonia:
Dr. Falafel on Noemvri br. in Ohrid is absolutely delicious and a must visit if in Ohrid. It’s definitely some of the best falafel I’ve ever eaten. On top of that it’s also one of the cheapest which is a killer combination.
Tavče gravče 0r fasoulotavas is a traditional Macedonian dish that’s super good and usually vegan. You should be able to find it at most places. Just be sure to ask before you order it because some places may make it with sausage. It’s traditionally made with only beans, vegetable, and spices in a skillet. Tavče gravče may sound basic but it’s somehow incredibly delicious. The secret must be in the spices.
Fruit Box is a great place to stop by if you’re craving a smoothie, something sweet, or a quick snack while wandering around Ohrid. I had the chocolate peanut butter smoothie along with some of their raw energy balls.
Freshys in Skopje isn’t entirely vegan but they have lots of vegan options. I had the hummus sandwich which was quite tasty. If you eat here it’s also nice to know that Freshys donates 34% of their profits along with giving food to the homeless. They also give discounts to students and single parents.
The Old Bazaar in Skopje should probably have it’s own post. It’s the largest bazaar in the Balkans and the second largest in Europe next to Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. The Old Bazaar has been in existence since at least the 12th century standing as Skopje’s center for commerce. It’s architecture is predominantly Ottoman with some Byzantine style evident. Would you believe there wasn’t even a push by the Macedonian government in making this a main tourist attraction until 2008?
While you should definitely explore the entire bazaar my favorite section is the “green” market. This is where you’ll get the best variety and prices on produce along with an unforgettable experience. I bought something like 4 kilos of Spinach one day for around $1 USD.
Bako in Ohrid on Boulevard Turistichka 77-A is a health food store with a ton of bulk options. There’s a huge variety of snacks, juices, and grains to choose from along with a selection of all natural products.
Bio Cosmos is actually an all natural and organic food store chain in Macedonia so you’ll find them in both Skopje and Ohrid. If you’re in Ohrid then Bako and Bio Cosmos are conveniently located just across the street from each other. They have their own products and you can also buy things in bulk.
Normal Grocery Stores
Vero – I found Vero to have a larger variety of products to choose from than it’s counterparts in Macedonia. This is where I did most of my grocery shopping and prices are quite reasonable if you’re buying local. The bigger hypermarket Vero’s tended to have better quality and variety.
Tinex – Tinex seemed to have less variety and lower quality comparing it to Vero. It’s worth popping in to check on offers.
Note: For produce, I highly recommend buying it from local markets in Macedonia as you’ll find much more variety, higher quality, and it’ll be cheaper. I’d only buy things aside from produce at the normal markets.