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The best Zagreb restaurants

Feast your eyes on the best Zagreb restaurants, from new generation street-food and fusion to high-end, traditional Croatian

© Matt Field/Time Out

This ultimate guide to Zagreb restaurants covers it all: from top-level, splash-out fine dining to street food, traditional wholesome to high-end international, European bistro to east-west fusion. Get stuck in.

Recommended restaurants in Zagreb

Rougemarin

Something of a cult among Zagreb carnivores on account of its delicious gourmet burgers (try the 200g cheeseburger for 36kn), Rougemarin also serves top-notch bistro fare with a small menu of light but delectable meals strong on fish and healthy foods. Three-course set lunches with drink are well worth the 100kn outlay. Boutique Croatian wine, craft beers, and a small outdoor terrace provide further inducements to visit; located amid residential blocks just south of the Radnička cesta business district, it’s not exactly central.

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Out of the Centre

Bistro Apetit

Bistro Apetit offers superb standards of food, wine and service. One key to its success is the location, hidden in a hedged garden on a tranquil residential street, just a short walk north of the city's Gradec old quarter. The cooking mixes the best of Croatian/Adriatic cuisine with the contemporary European mainstream, chef's, Goran Kočiš, recepies. At 70kn-90kn for a starter and 120kn-160kn for a main, Bistro Apetit is by no means beyond the average pocket, and there are always some truly outstanding dishes on the seasonally-changing menu. And the desserts are truly heavenly.

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Zagreb

Rocket Burger

A new crop of quality burger bars sprang up in recent years and this was one of the first, serving deftly grilled patties of pure beef to an appreciative crowd. The cheddar bacon supreme (35kn) is the ruling monarch of the menu, although the pulled-pork sandwich (33kn) also has its devotees. There’s a breakfast option (bacon, eggs and pancakes) available up until 2pm; bottled Belgian beers, Strongbow cider and locally brewed Nova Runda craft beer provide ample excuses to hang around. With a handful of tables on the pedestrianised strip of Tkalčićeva, the setting couldn’t be better.   

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Tkalciceva

Mundoaka

Further proof of Zagreb’s ongoing outbreak of bistro fever is provided by Mundoaka, a cramped but highly enjoyable spot just round the corner from the main square. It advertises itself as a ‘street food’ establishment but offers sit-down fare of the highest order, with an imaginative and globe-spanning menu that takes in ribs, deluxe pulled-pork sandwiches, raw tuna with ginger and a host of other lip-smacking ideas. Soups, bruschettas and cheese platters will more than satisfy the snackers; the prospect of freshly made cakes and muffins may well keep you rooted to your table for one more course. The choice of wines and craft beers admirably complements the food. It’s a busy place and you may end up perching on a stool or sharing a table; there is outdoor seating at the pedestrianised end of Petrinjska in spring and summer.

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Lower Town

Korčula

Korčula is as traditional as it gets. This fish restaurant on the corner of Teslina and Preradovićeva was here long before the trendy bars set up around it. The kitchen turns out high-quality versions of seafood standards, tuna fillets or grilled squid with blitva, as well as a few specialities worth trying, in particular a succulent baked octopus with potatoes (120kn). There are scallops, breaded frogs' legs and grouper or John Dory priced by the kilo. The black risotto (crni rižot) is as good as you'll get anywhere in town. Decent, well priced bottled of Dingač and Pošip (180kn) highlight an excellent wine selection (literally dozens of reds and whites) of similarly Dalmatian provenance.

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Zagreb

Zrno Bio Bistro

Hidden behind Kota, this smart bright bistro serves up dedicated vegan fare, with the accent on wok, noodle and pasta-based recipes. Ingredients are sourced from a local organic farm. There’s a reasonable choice of desserts and the courtyard setting provides something of a calming oasis in this busy downtown neighbourhood. 

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Zagreb

Stari Fijaker

From the embroidered red-heart tablecloths to the dark brown panelling and pictures of old Zagreb, the barrel-vaulted dining room of the 'Old Coach' is a nowadays rather rare example of what pretty much every traditional Croatian restaurant used to look like. The menu is famous for sticking to north-Croatian staples, with schnitzel-style cuts of meat, roast turkey with mlinci (baked pasta sheets), venison goulash, and roast knuckle of veal leaping off the pages of a lengthy and not too pricey menu. Litres of wine run at 60kn. Zagorska soup (23kn) of potatoes, mushrooms and ham is a great way to kick off a meal – and may well be enough to qualify as a lunch in its own right.

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Zagreb

Dubravkin put

Long one of Zagreb's top addresses for seafood, Dubravkin put descended into the doldrums during the 2000s before being successfully relaunched as an upscale wine bar and restaurant in late 2010. Located in a wooded dell between the Upper Town and the Tuškanac woods, it features a cool minimalist interior full of dark-brown furniture tones and low-key lighting. Seafood remains the kitchen's strong point, and both the baked fish (420kn/kg) and a 12-course tasting menu (465kn per person) are well worth the splash-out. Otherwise choose between exquisitely prepared and presented mains such as monkfish in black-olive paste, rack of lamb or ox tail, all in the 130kn range. It's also a stylish venue for an intimate drink, with hundreds of wines to choose from and a tempting menu of nibble-snacks chalked up on a board beside the bar.

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Zagreb

Tač

Critics' choice

Located in Zagreb's hilly northern suburbs, the famly-run Tač strikes the right balance between traditional home cooking and high-quality cuisine. The accent is on Istrian and central-Croatian fare, with freshly sourced ingredients, home-grown vegetables and home-baked bread and cakes forming a crucial part of the operation. The menu is chalked up on a daily basis; cuts of meat and fresh fish are cooked simply and without too many digressions into culinary experimentation. Seasonal specialities, such as spring-time asparagus omelettes or cutlets of young lamb, are quite simply divine. For dessert, the own-recipe Tač Torte (layers of fruity-flavoured sponge-cake and cream) is well worth finding room for.

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Zagreb

Gostionica Purger

Almost halfway between the main square and the train station, this is a classic Zagreb restaurant of once state-owned ilk. The food is sturdy and the dishes traditional. In the no-frills, three-room dining interior, you can expect classics such as sarma (sauerkraut stuffed with minced meat), lamb, veal and seafood. Purger, by the way, is local slang for someone born and bred in Zagreb.

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Zagreb
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