The best Dubrovnik restaurants

Dubrovnik restaurants were once tourist traps, but now the local dining scene is blessed with venues of serious quality. Discover all in our guide to eating out in Dubrovnik

© 360 degrees

Dubrovnik restaurants are beginning to offer the culinary quality and variety that should be expected of such a luxury destination. And dining in Dubrovnik needn't cost an arm and a leg: many places offers simple, wholesome dishes at wallet-friendly prices.

The best restaurants in Dubrovnik

Azur

This superbly located newbie sits by the entrance of Buža II, and quickly went to number one on TripAdvisor in its very first season. Here you can tuck into a reasonably priced, Med-and-Asian-influenced main here – fragrant meatballs in a chicken-coconut broth, perhaps, or Adriatic prawn pouches on grilled aubergine in a red-curry-and-coconut sauce – before an afternoon's sunbathing or nightcap overlooking the waves. Starters include mussels in beer butter and chili, and Dalmatian tom yum soup.

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Dubrovnik

360 degrees

Headed up by Jeffrey Vella, former chef at Zagreb's Hotel Esplanade, 360 degrees offers both a top-drawer setting in the Sveti Luka bastion, and top-drawer cuisine the melds the best of contemporary Mediterranean cuisine with Croatian tradition. Meticulously sourced food is painstakingly created and immaculately presented, with stand-out mains including sea bass with confit of artichokes and asparagus, steamed turbot with apricot puree, rabbit and pigeon. It also boasts what is quite possibly Croatia's longest (and most expensive) wine list, including a whole page of champagnes. The terrace bar has the best cocktails in town. They don't take reservations (unless you are a VIP) and treat customers on a first-come-first-seated basis. If you can, beg for a booth in the gun chambers close to the sea.

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Dubrovnik

Nautika

Rumoured to be entering its last season at the current, Pile-Gate location, Dubrovnik’s most prestigious culinary spot offers two panoramic terraces of starched white-tablecloth formality. To get full value for your holiday blow-out, book sea-view tables Nos.30-38 on the Penatur terrace or Nos.56, 57 or 64 on Lovrijenac. Chef Mario Bunda insists on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients – shellfish feature in dishes from the Elafiti isles such as Lopud brodet with polenta and Šipan fisherman’s carpaccio, or there are lobster medallions from Vis. Diners can also opt between three kinds of menu.

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Pile

Konoba Dalmatino

For traditional food, served with finesse, and with a reasonable price tag, Dalmatino takes some beating. It's located in an old house that has been renovated to show the original stonework at its exposed best. The menu is as straightforwardly Dalmatian as the name of the restaurant, featuring plenty of local fish and fowl, although a lot of creativity has gone into the details – grilled fish might be served with a colour-coordinated array of Mediterranean vegetables instead of the usual blitva. A lot of effort goes into the desserts – for some, it's the Dalmatino cheesecake that deserves the superlatives; others swear by the chocolate mousse. The place is run by a South African of Korčulan descent, so it's no surprise that the wine list veers enthusiastically towards the fine whites from that island.

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Dubrovnik Riviera and Islands

Oliva Gourmet

An offshoot of the Oliva pizzeria just across the alley, Oliva Gourmet aims to inject a touch of 21st-century pizazz into traditional Adriatic dining. The designer interior transforms a traditional stoneclad space into pop-art heaven, with a slate grey floor, white and pink chairs and unabashedly loud purple tablecloths. The menu sticks to what the locals do best, with shellfish starters and fillet-of-fish mains taking up most space in the menu. Look out in particular for traditional Dubrovnik staples that local grannies may still make but which have largely disappeared from restaurant menus: notably chick-pea soup (a light affair best treated as a starter; 30kn) and šporki makaruli (pasta tubes bathed in mixed-meat goulash; 80kn).

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Dubrovnik

Konavoski Komin

Classic eaterie outside Dubrovnik towards Cavtat, well worth the effort of heading out of town for. Ham, lamb, cheese in olive oil and veal are the specialities, served by staff in traditional costumes. Phone to order a dish ispod peke, slow-cooked under hot coals 'under a cooking bell'.

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Dubrovnik

Shizuku

Opened by a Japanese couple in 2013 this pretty much ticks all the boxes – fine sushi and sashimi prepared with attention to both detail and authenticity; a good choice of Japanese meat dishes and soups; and moderate prices.  Located near the beach in Lapad but slightly set back from the tourist areas in a residential neighbourhood, it’s popular with the locals and also does a brisk take-out trade. Japanese spirits and beers help to stretch out a long and satisfying evening. 

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Dubrovnik

Kopun

Kopun is local dialect for capon, the fleshy rooster that was once a mainstay of European dinners and feasts. And, not surprisingly, it's Croatian-raised capon that provides much of the inspiration behind the menu at this new-in-2012 restaurant, with speciality dishes such as roast capon in mushroom sauce, and capon with oranges and honey – the latter dish lovingly described in sixteenth-century Dubrovnik playwright Marin Držić's comedy 'Dundo Maroje'. Pièce de résistance, however, is the capon stuffed with a rich filling of herbs, meat and vegetables, a dish sufficient for a party of three or four – although you really ought to order it a day in advance to make sure they've got the necessaries. Kopun's menu also features some exquisite fish and seafood, alongside traditional Dubrovnik favorites such as šporki makaruli (locally-made pasta with goulash sauce), all washed down with the help of an intelligently compiled list of Istrian and Dalmatian wines. The interior is a breath of fresh air too, eschewing Dalmatian folksiness in favour of bright-white minimalism with artworks on the walls. Outdoor seating shelters under a triple-branched pittosporum tree, with the façade of the Jesuit Church in the background.

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Dubrovnik Riviera and Islands

Konoba Ribar

On the same street as the Aquarium, this is a local (mainly seafood) place for locals at local prices. It does a lovely grilled beef steak (90kn) too, plus home-made pršut ham and wonderful cheeses. The small interior is decorated with paintings by local artists while outside are tables for 25-30 people. In winter, they offer 25kn-30kn marenda lunches, beans and sausages, tripe and cod, all home-style.

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Dubrovnik

Oyster & Sushi Bar Bota

Freshly farmed shellfish from the famed oyster beds of Ston are the star attraction at this open-air bar with high stools and high tables, beautifully situated on a raised terrace behind the cathedral. The oysters are served fresh, fried in tempura, or as key ingredient in a sushi roll. There is also a full menu of all other forms of sushi, with fishy Adriatic ingredients well to the fore and some creative Adriatic-Japanese combinations. Fish carpaccios, tuna tatar and tempura-fried shrimps round out the kind of genuinely fascinating menu that demands repeated sampling.

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Dubrovnik Riviera and Islands
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