Where to buy healthy, organic, and natural food in Croatia

Bio & Bio Organic Food Store
Bio&bio organic food store

PUBLISHED: 16.5.2023.

Not only is Croatia a country of natural beauty, but it is also a food paradise. Everyone who visits Croatia is amazed by the quality of the food we produce and its rich, full flavors. We are thankful for this luxury and want you also to enjoy it.

Numerous Croatian small entrepreneurs and family farms grow organic and natural crops and produce healthy products. Small local stores, markets, and web shops sell their products around the country and make them available to everyone.

If you are a tourist in Croatia starving for some healthy local food, or you just moved here and are about to start your Croatian journey, this article is for you. Get introduced to healthy food options in Croatia and reliable local stores that will surprise you with wide offers.

In this article, we cover:

The facts are these…

Why is organic and natural food the best choice?

Healthy food is one of the main factors in maintaining your health. It is needed both for your mental health and body and gives you the energy to survive the challenges of everyday life.

Food produced in ecological and organic farming has no suspicious additives, flavor enhancers, or synthetic preservatives and is not colored with artificial colors. Its origin is checked and verified, unquestionable, and safe.

When talking about the flavors, organic and natural food taste can’t even be compared to mass-produced food grown in poor-quality conditions. This is most obvious when eating eggs, fruits, and vegetables, especially tomatoes, salad, and spices. Croatians know this very well since many of us have our own gardens full of delicious greenery.

[Read: Croatian culture of gardening – the most common vegetables, herbs, and flowers]

Healthy food has become a luxury that is sometimes difficult to find. The cost of healthy food can be significantly higher than the cost of food you can buy in any store.

Croatia can still be thankful for having reliable local resources providing healthy food for our residents and visitors.

Where to get healthy food in Croatia?

If you are looking for fresh and healthy food in Croatia, the best option is to visit a local market. See what you can buy from locals and family farm owners and support them.

Almost every city in Croatia has a market where people sell homemade products or grown food. You will find charming local markets even in smaller cities. Arm yourself with fresh fruits and vegetables, honey, jams, cheese, eggs, and meat.

If you need help with Croatian terminology, view our fruit translation cheat sheet here and vegetable translation cheat sheet here. You can also download them to your mobile phone and quickly find translations. Use it once you get to the market or when you can’t remember the name of a particular food.

[Read: A local’s guide to buying food at Croatia’s farmer’s market]

Sometimes you may also come across self-service machines selling homemade honey, fresh milk, and dairy products. They are usually placed in visited locations such as city squares and next to shops or hair salons.

Croatia has many organic and natural food stores, including physical and online stores. In addition, these stores often offer gluten-free and vegan products, products for diabetics, and products with less salt. In stores, you can find:

  • Bread and bagels
  • Coffee
  • Cosmetics
  • Drinks
  • Flour
  • Food supplements
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Grains and flakes
  • Natural cosmetics
  • Oil
  • Pasta
  • Ready meals
  • Salty and sweet snacks
  • Sauces
  • Spices
  • Spreads

A list of healthy food stores in Croatian biggest cities is available here.

Most large chain stores have separate sections with healthy food and online stores. Some of them are DM, Müller, Interspar, Kaufland, and Konzum. They often offer various loyalty programs and discounts.

[Read: Biggest discount and loyalty programs in Croatia]

If you have Croatian friends or neighbors who have their own gardens, there is a big chance you will get something from them occasionally. We often exchange or give food to each other.

For example, if my friend has too much salad in the garden, they will give me some without any expectations. I will provide them with something else another time. This is normal for Croatians, and we adore this tiny gesture!

[Read: How to understand the Croatian culture]

Why buy healthy food from Croatian family farms?

Many locals have their own family farms called OPG, where they grow and produce healthy food. Buying fresh food from local farmers benefits everyone – you, them, and the state.

Homemade products are much tastier and healthier than the ones you buy in a shop. You may also stay stunned by the creativity of the locals. They experiment a lot so that you can find the same type of product made of different ingredients and flavors.

[Read: Guide on how to open and close OPG (family farm) in Croatia]

Buying from farmers is a great choice since the production and energy costs significantly rise. Droughts and floods in Croatia are becoming more frequent and often destroy crops. Everything they earn helps them cover basic expenses and maintain production.

Many farmers offer online orders and delivery to your home address. If you don’t like to spend time shopping, an ideal alternative is to order the food online. After a while, you will probably find your favorite producer and stay loyal to them.

[Read: Croatian farms and food suppliers with online ordering and home delivery]

How to find gluten-free food in Croatia

You must be extra careful if you are allergic to gluten or have celiac disease. Restaurants, bakeries, and shops that offer gluten-free food will have special signs on their menus or food packages. Look for the phrase bezglutenski which means gluten-free in Croatian.

However, it is always the safest thing to ask the staff about the food ingredients before you make an order. You can also call the restaurant before you visit them to check the options and make a reservation.

[Read: All the Croatian vocabulary you might need at a restaurant or cafe in Croatia]

If you are looking for a restaurant or a bakery with gluten-free products, you can ask locals, tour guides, or hotel staff to ask for referrals. You can explore gluten-free restaurants and bakeries in Croatia here. For more information about the gluten-free diet in Croatia, view this guide.

Here are some gluten-free restaurants and bakeries in the largest Croatian cities:

  • Dubrovnik – view here
  • Rijeka – view here
  • Split – view here
  • Zadar – view here
  • Zagreb – view here

If you travel to rural places or somewhere in nature, the chance you’ll encounter a gluten-free restaurant or bakery is limited. For example, if you go hiking, the chances that a restaurant in a mountain lodge will offer a gluten-free meal are very low. Inform about the options from locals and bring your gluten-free snacks with you.

To make things easier, you can get a Croatian celiac disease card, which describes the celiac disease and food that contains gluten. If you provide this card when visiting a restaurant, caffe bar, or hotel, the staff will easily understand your food requirements. You can buy this card here.

Organic and natural food stores in Croatia

We made a list of the most accessible shops for healthy food in Croatia.

1. Bio&bio

For an expat, bio&bio is truly a gem. They specialize in organic and natural produce and food, eco-minded home products (like cleaners and the like), natural cosmetics, and nutritional supplements.

Bio&bio stores are across Croatia, so if you live in one of the major cities, chances are you are within arms reach of one. A list of bio&bio stores is available here, and their web shop is available here.

They have a blog where they publish articles about organic products, their properties, and their effects on our bodies from the inside and outside. The blog is available here.

In addition, they publish information about organic food and recipes in their e-books, which are available here.

Podcast lovers can enjoy the bio&bio podcast that covers current topics related to healthy living. It is available here.

Web site | Facebook | Instagram

2. BURZA hrane

Burza hrane (Food market) is a specialized web site that connects food producers and buyers from Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Austria, and the European Union. On this web site, you can order products from family farms (OPGs), small and medium food producers, and small food processors.

Burza hrane is available in Croatian, English, German, and Slovenian here.

Web site | Facebook | Instagram

3. Garden

Garden is an organic, natural, and healthy food store available in Zagreb and Rijeka. View their locations here. You can also order their products online on web shop available here.

If you want to find original recipes for all occasions and learn about healthy lifestyles, view their e-books here.

Web site | Facebook | Instagram

4. GlutenBio

If you eat gluten free-food, GlutenBio is the right choice. They offer exclusively gluten-free products, and their physical store is available in Zagreb. You can also order products online here.

Web site | Facebook | Instagram

5. Grga Čvarak

Grga Čvarak is one of Zagreb’s pioneers of small shops offering products from local family farms and small producers.

Facebook

6. Harissa

Harissa is the finest store that offers a diversity of spices from all over the world, tea, coffee, nuts, and dried fruit. Something original from Harissa is a best-buy gift to any gourmet.

Harissa physical stores are available in Zagreb, Split, and Rijeka at these locations. Their online store is available here.

Web site | Facebook | Instagram

7. Mrkvica

Mrkvica stores offer high-quality, healthy food produced by family farms. It is available only in Zagreb, and you can view their locations here.

Web site | Facebook | Instagram

8. Tvornica Zdrave Hrane

Tvornica Zdrave Hrane (Healthy Food Factory) is a chain of shops available in Zagreb, Varaždin, Rijeka, Pula, Zadar, and Split. They nurture an individual approach to every customer, give free advice on nutrition, and create their own recipes. You can view their locations in Croatia here and their web shop here.

Web site | Facebook | Instagram

View our other food articles


Sources: 
bio&bio
BURZA hrane
Tvornica Zdrave Hrane
Mrkvica
Harissa
Grga Čvarak
Garden

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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