Restaurants in Croatia
Croatia's various regional cuisines reflect the influences of the many nations that have passed through the country over the centuries, though broadly they can be divided into two groups: the Mediterranean dishes of its coast, with seafood dominating menus and Italian, specifically Venetian, influences, and the continental cuisine of its interior, where dishes recall Austrian and Turkish specialties.
Items to seek out at Croatia restaurants include brudet, a fish and tomato stew common in Istria and Dalmatia and often served with polenta, and lamb cooked on a spit, usually accompanied by only a simple green salad. One of the best restaurants in Croatia, Konaba Adio Mare is an atmospheric option in Korcula's old town, where guests dine on seafood and other local specialties at long communal wooden tables. If it's a warm evening, ask to be seated on the terrace with a view of the clock tower. Before dinner, you can drop by what was possibly the birthplace of Marco Polo. (Korcula was controlled by Venice at that time, though many historians question Korcula's, and Croatia's, claim to be the home of the explorer.)
Ascend a narrow staircase in the oldest part of the city to this 14th-century family home-turned-restaurant. Waiters wear traditional costumes and the dining room has basic but ancient touches like bare stone walls, wicker lamps, wooden benches, and folk music.
Run by the same family for more than 75 years, Old Town’s most elegant restaurant has a large selection of fresh catches, along with pastas and smooth Dalmatian cheeses.
Just a short stroll from the sea, this casual tavern specializes in authentic Dalmatian cuisine. Inside, the dining room is furnished with simple wooden tables, and the walls are decorated with everything from vintage photographs to heritage fishing gear and traditional farming tools.
The terrace of the Belveder restaurant, a mile and a half outside of Cetinge, has a stage-set view of the mountains that once made it a favorite picnic spot of King Nicholas. The meat is succulent and tender and the waitstaff invisibly attentive.
East of Old Town’s main square, this small seafood restaurant is located on the first floor of a Gothic-Renaissance house dating from the 15th century.
Lokanda’s owner, Mario Hajdarhodic, recently opened this bar and lunch spot in an old boatbuilding warehouse, in what was the city’s covered boatyard in medieval days.
Located on the southern coast of the Adriatic Sea, this seafood-focused restaurant is located inside the former Dubrovnik School of Maritime Studies. In the lobby, there is a large stained-glass ceiling in the shape of a compass.
On the pastoral island of Vis, off Croatia's Dalmatian Coast, this harbor-front restaurant has wooden tables inches from the water, with views of the old stone-and-terracotta architecture of Komiza and the rocky, pine-draped mountains beyond.
The scene here is reminiscent of fin de siècle Vienna, making the ornate café a fabulous spot for dessert: try the cake or a rich hot chocolate.
This small restaurant is well-known among local clientele for its traditional preparations of seafood. Dishes like fish soup, shrimp with white risotto, and buzzara – a dish of scampi and mussels cooked in bouillon – are favorites at Rozari.
The difference between Lokanda and other seafood restaurants in town is the local-to-visitor ratio, which often favors the local crowd. They know to book a table to ensure their lunch of black cuttlefish risotto with prawns. Don’t worry if you don’t have a reservation; lines move swiftly.
Though its pricey seaside sister restaurant Nautika gets all the press, Proto is a better choice; it charges half as much for the classic fisherfolk recipes it has been dishing out in the heart of Dubrovnik's old town since 1886.
Located down a cobbled alley from the main square, Macondo is known for fresh seafood and an old-fashioned atmosphere that echoes its ancient Groda neighborhood. The dining room is simply styled in light tones, wooden furniture, and canvasses of modern art.