Restaurants

The best places to eat throughout Croatia – restaurants and cafés reviewed by our experts

The best Asian restaurants in Zagreb
Restaurants

The best Asian restaurants in Zagreb

Looking for Asian food in Zagreb? A decade ago, there wasn't a stir-fry in sight, but that's all changed in recent years. The 'Asian food' umbrella is, of course, a wide one, especially when you consider the delicious tapestry of ethnic cuisines that make up the eats of the East. Truth is, Zagreb has been slow on the uptake - but what the city lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality. These days, Cro-Asian gastronomy packs real culinary clout. Fusion joints like Time Restaurant & Bar specialise in destination dining, while more specialized restaurants serve up Japanese dumplings and Korean kimchi. Chopsticks at the ready - here's our list of the best Asian restaurants in town. RECOMMENDED: More great restaurants in Zagreb

New community-run kitchen celebrates diversity at Rijeka's Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
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New community-run kitchen celebrates diversity at Rijeka's Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

It's not for nothing that Rijeka has the reputation of being the most liberal-minded city in Croatia. As a longstanding port, Rijeka more than most has become used to welcoming travellers, their culture and their cuisine. What's more, Rijeka is the point at which old Croatia met the formerly Italian Istrian peninsula. It is also a key city of the old Austro-Hungarian empire. Linked to its heart by rail, it was the first popular, modern tourist destination of the empire. Within the last century, Rijeka became an important immigration destination because of the city's growing industries. Though some of its industries have faded from importance, as has its standing as a key maritime centre for central Europe, Rijeka's time-honoured experience as a meeting point of different cultures and ideas shapes the city even today Now a new meeting and dining experience in Rijeka aims to celebrate the city's openness and diversity by offering visitors the opportunity to samples foods of different cultures and exchange ideas with other guests across their shared tables. The new venue, called Kitchen, will be housed in the Benčić complex, within Rijeka's new Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. It is positioning itself as a place for locals and travellers to meet and to exchange ideas. It will catalyse such discussions by offering a menu that exudes diversity with recipes being drawn from several ethnic groups that have left a mark on the city. The Kitchen is the heart of the home, where

And the winner of Zagreb Burger Festival is.....
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And the winner of Zagreb Burger Festival is.....

The 2018 edition of Zagreb Burger Festival has come to a close, with the announcement of the festival's best-judged burgers being released on its final day. Over the course of the festival's 11-day run, over 190,000 people visited the event, making it the most successful yet. The number of burgers was matched by an extraordinarily large amount of beer sold and serviettes handed out, although ketchup and mayonnaise could still be seen creeping from the corners of many mouths long after the burgers had been eaten.  There were three categories in which burgers were judged; one award was made by public vote, another by food bloggers and the third by mainstream food media. Visitors were able to sample food from 18 different caterers, who visited from as far as Split and Pula, although a significant number of Zagreb-based entrants were also present. The award given by public vote was considered to be of most significance, with Mason Burgers & Stuff winning first place. Pula-based Mason also snagged the award last year, making them Croatia's undisputed burger kings. Zagreb's Burger Bar came second, with Đurina Hiža, who travelled from Varazdinske Toplice to take part, coming in third place. The first place award from food media was again won by Mason Burgers & Stuff with second place taken by first-time entrants, Zagreb's Kascheti. Đurina Hiža again came in third. The food bloggers award first place went to The Burger Bar, second place to Submarine with street food outlet Cellar

Need to pig out? Slavonian pork restaurant opens in Zagreb city centre
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Need to pig out? Slavonian pork restaurant opens in Zagreb city centre

Need to pig out? A new restaurant specialising in dishes made entirely from Black Slavonian Pig has just opened in Zagreb. The new restaurant, Lokal, is located on Teslina, right in the city centre, and on the same site formerly occupied by Duck Fast Bistro. The restaurant is open for breakfast, offering choices like bacon of Black Slavonian Pig with scrambled eggs or Slavonian breakfast. At lunchtimes, they offer dishes such as black pig burger, bruschettas or pan-fried pigs liver, with alternating daily specials. Reasonable menu prices position the restaurant within the bracket of the best-loved fast food outlets on this busy Zagreb thoroughfare. Black Slavonian Pig, or fajferica as it is known locally, was first bred on the estate of Count Pfeiffer in Orlovnjak near Osijek at the end of the 19th century. The pig is a cross between the rare breed Berkshire, which offers premium pork with a high-fat content, one of its derivatives, the US-bred and extremely large Poland China and the Large Black Pig, sometimes called the Cornwall Black. All three ancestors are wholly or mostly black-coloured and are prized by chefs for their flavour, which is closer to boar meat in its depth than standard, intensively farmed pork.

The best Rijeka restaurants
Restaurants

The best Rijeka restaurants

Rijeka majors in fish, seafood and simple Venetian-inspired dishes, thanks to its seaport location and cultural mixing with nearby Italy. Rijeka has a handful of upscale restaurants that provide international culinary quality, but you can also experience some local specialities at more affordable restaurants. Read on for our critic's guide to the best restaurants in Rijeka. RECOMMENDED: Everything you need to know about Rijeka.  

The best restaurants in Croatia

Recommended Zagreb restaurants
Restaurants

Recommended Zagreb restaurants

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.

The best Dubrovnik restaurants
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The best Dubrovnik restaurants

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 Rijeka restaurants
Restaurants

The best Rijeka restaurants

Rijeka majors in fish, seafood and simple Venetian-inspired dishes, thanks to its seaport location and cultural mixing with nearby Italy. Rijeka has a handful of upscale restaurants that provide international culinary quality, but you can also experience some local specialities at more affordable restaurants. Read on for our critic's guide to the best restaurants in Rijeka. RECOMMENDED: Everything you need to know about Rijeka.  

Recommended Split restaurants
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Recommended Split restaurants

The Split restaurant scene's culinary revolution is a recent phenomenon and one that's still booming. Decent and diverse eateries seem to be opening on an almost monthly basis, making Croatia's second city a gastronomic destination equal to almost any in the country. Split is not only a tourist playground – it's a living, breathing, dining-out city for locals too.

Recommended restaurants in Dubrovnik

Nautika
Restaurants

Nautika

Dubrovnik’s most prestigious culinary spot offers two panoramic terraces of starched white-tablecloth formality. 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.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Restaurant Ankora
Restaurants

Restaurant Ankora

Sitting on a terrace of the Ankora, eight kilometers west of Dubrovnik, you may get the impression that you are sitting on the deck of a boat. Not only is the sea within easy reach, all 80 seats by the water – an eastern wind brings fragrances of the Mediterranean herbs used to make home-made grappa, gladly served to you as you sit down. Since you are so close to the waves, it comes as no surprise that the menu is full of fresh fish, shellfish, scampi and lobster, prepared in the traditional Dalmatian way. A variation on this theme is seafood pasta and risotto. Reservations are recommended on balmy summer evenings.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Fish Restaurant Proto
Restaurants

Fish Restaurant Proto

The seafood-oriented Proto, recent recipients of a Michelin recommendation, sits in the heart of the Old Town and claims a tradition dating back to 1886. It was here that Edward VIII entertained Wallis Simpson in the 1930s. Executive Chef Boško Lonac oversees squid and lobster in simple, traditional but superbly balanced sauces as well as fresh shellfish from Ston up the coast and popular local meat dishes. The extensive wine list covers just about every quality tipple that Croatia has to offer. Choose between restrained elegance in the 1930s-influenced dining room or the recommended first-floor terrace with great Old Town views. Booking essential.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Restaurant Amfora
Restaurants

Restaurant Amfora

Amfora is an excellent choice for both meat and fish lovers, its cuisine drawing its inspiration from the all areas of the Mediterranean while adding some Asian twists. Here you'll find a fusion of styles and influences, from Morocco to Lebanon, and all the way to the Adriatic coast. The menu changes twice a year. Currently it features a house-style traditional beef cheek "pašticada", cooked sous-vide for 48 hours. This technique is also used for some fish dishes. All pastas, gnocchi and breads are prepared in this kitchen. Fresh autochthonous ingredients are provided by the local produce market - the blue-fin tuna is line-caught. Meat is supplied from the small farms located in the continental part of Croatia. Premium specialities are made of black Slavonian pig and simmental beef. The wine list is long, andmainly local, while the olive oil is extra-virgin - note the bottle ofTorkul from Korčula on every table. The modern interior can host up to 40 guests, while the outdoor seating provides a view of an orchard and 32 more seats. Reservations are recommended in high season, especially for groups of six or more.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Restaurant Amoret
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Restaurant Amoret

Thirteen wonderfully decorated apartments at three different locations in the Old Town. All apartments come with kitchenette, TV and free wifi. In summer, stays of under four nights will be subject to a slight surcharge, but prices are still very good for the quality of the accommodation and the location.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars

Recommended cafés

Botaničar • Zagreb
Bars and pubs

Botaničar • Zagreb

Botaničar is a stylish café, bar and sometimes art gallery near the botanical gardens. One of Zagreb's best-looking venues, the café is like a lookbook for retro furnishings; the well-lit room is scattered with '70s hairpin-legged tables and bright velvet sofas. The cafes aesthetic theme is inspired by the nearby gardens: leafy plants are everywhere, with hanging creepers flowing out of oak cabinets The drinks-only menu features coffee from Zagreb roasteries, a selection of craft beer and a respectable list of domestic wines. A soundtrack of gently jazzy music and the occasional chanson provides a relaxed, low-key atmosphere. The café gets buzzier when the after-work crowd arrive. An outdoor terrace overlooking the National Archives provides further inducement to visit in summer.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Booksa • Zagreb
Bars and pubs

Booksa • Zagreb

Zagreb’s prime literary club also doubles as a café, a collective run by two enthusiastic women. There is a symbolic membership fee of 10kn/year, but members can then enjoy WiFi, carefully chosen music, a laid-back atmosphere and regular events that include readings by the big beasts of the local literary scene – with occasional ones by visiting English speakers. Thursdays are reserved for unplugged concerts by local musicians. The twice-weekly Mercredi Français pulls in the capital's Francophone community. There’s also a small library of English-language books. Good coffee and several varieties of leaf tea help to make Booksa well worth the quick tram ride or ten-minute walk from the centre.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Cogito Coffee • Zagreb
Bars and pubs

Cogito Coffee • Zagreb

Flagship city-centre bar of the Cogito bean-roasting outfit, this recently-opened clinic for unrepentant caffeine-a-holics is just off the main street, at the start of the mysterious, half-hidden passageway which leads from Varšavska through to Masarykova. Minimally decorated save for some salvaged furniture and a few pictures, it serves a hard-to-beat brew, plus leaf teas, some freshly-squeezed juices, and that’s about it – save for some muffins and cookies provided by the Piknik bakery and sandwich bar. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Book Caffe Dnevni Boravak • Rijeka
Bars and pubs

Book Caffe Dnevni Boravak • Rijeka

Living-room-style hangout that will appeal to those who like a bit of culture with their coffee – the floor-to-ceiling shelves are absolutely stacked with books, CDs and vinyl LPs, while a small annexe serves as a cute art gallery. Literary readings and live music feature several times a month; on other days it serves as a mellow social hub for the city’s reading, writing and chatting community.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Cele Café • Dubrovnik
Bars and pubs

Cele Café • Dubrovnik

First opened in 1932 by a certain Celestin 'Cele' Šikić, this busy place is one of a gaggle of cafés grouped around the Stradun's bustling eastern end. Given a thorough refit in the winter of 2010-11, Cele was relaunched as a 'brunch&bar', serving all-day breakfasts (omelettes, croissants, cereals), salads, wok-fried dishes and burgers – until 5pm, when it reverts to its primary function as a drinking venue. Cele's sizeable pavement terrace can be mobbed by tourists in high season, and the place only really comes into its own when the midsummer deluge has receded.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Pod Zidom Coffee, Food and Wine Bar • Zagreb
Restaurants

Pod Zidom Coffee, Food and Wine Bar • Zagreb

Opened in June 2014, Pod Zidom has effortlessly elbowed its way to the top of the wine-bar league, offering an affordable-to-expensive mixture of great Croatian wines, a range of Mediterranean-style lunches and tapas dishes, regular live music, and a wonderful outdoor terrace overlooking a street that’s very central but also slightly hidden from the hubbub of the main square. Done out in a mixture of greys and pale wood tones, it manages to look smart but laid back at the same time. The weekday ‘set lunches from Dolac market’ are a steal at 40kn-55kn. 

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars

Breakfast, brunch and beyond

Breakfast in Zagreb guide
Restaurants

Breakfast in Zagreb guide

With an increasing number of Zagreb’s guests staying in private rooms and apartments rather than traditional hotels, the need to find a good breakfast has never been greater. There were always plenty of cafés in Zagreb but few of them bothered to cook up food of any kind, never mind a sizzling pan of bacon and eggs. Until now. As well as a new genre of café, you are likely to find a designated breakfast menu in an increasing number of restaurants too. Here are seven of the best places to start the day.

Eggspress
Restaurants

Eggspress

This restaurant hatched out of nowhere – taking over the long defunct and dusty-windowed Pushkin’s Restaurant on Boškovićeva, just off Zrinjevac square. Devoted entirely to eggs, this outlet has already proved popular with Zagreb’s Saturday morning crowd, with a world-spanning selection of egg dishes – there’s perfectly poached Eggs Benedict, omelets, Shakshuka; whatever way you like yours, Eggspress have it cracked – but with most dishes veering towards the 100kn mark, the concept doesn’t come cheap. Inside, the bright, modern interior features exposed brickwork, acres of seating and a grand piano – slightly incongruous with its barmy eggs-only concept menu.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Otto & Frank
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Otto & Frank

Occupying a premium spot on Zagreb's bustling thoroughfare Tkalčićeva, Otto & Frank is a bistro with an emphasis on breakfast, booze and bar snacks. Finding a flawless full English in Zagreb isn't easy — breakfast here is a typically light affair, constituting pastries, cheese and cured meats, but there's a growing rooster of restaurants you can go to for a good fry-up, and Otto & Frank lay on a killer all day breakfast. A stellar cast of craft beers from local breweries provide speedy replenishment for your hangover, and a daily selection of soups, salads and sandwiches are decent for the lunchtime munchies.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Dežman Bar
Bars and pubs

Dežman Bar

Thank to a gaggle of designer stores the narrow, arcade-like Dežmanova is fast becoming one of Zagreb’s coolest addresses, an impression only bolstered by the opening of this chic new café-bar. The interior is as modernist as they come but soothing with it. Matt-black walls jostle with warm woody tones, and geometric light fittings convey an arty bent. As far as the drinks are concerned the accent is very much on quality at a decent price – coffee is supplied by local direct-trade roasting outfit Cogito, beers include the locally brewed Zmajsko Pale Ale, long drinks a refreshing Bellini (25kn), and there’s a good wine list with plenty of sparkling options. The cakes are hard to turn down, and there’s an evening menu of pršut and cheese platters.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Kava Tava
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Kava Tava

Consisting of a wooden-shed bar surrounded by a scattering of stools and chairs, the al-fresco Kava Tava delivers just about everything that makes a good café – except, arguably, for four walls and a roof. It occupies the north-western curve of Britanski trg, the square that hosts a Monday-to-Saturday fruit and veg market and a hugely popular collectors' fair on Sunday mornings. What makes Kava Tava unique in Zagreb's cafe-land is the all-day breakfast menu, comprising eggs and bacon, eggs and sausage, cereals and muesli. Sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers and pršut platters are also on offer. Otherwise the quality coffee will keep you motoring, and there's a full range of wines and beers (including Leffe, Erdinger and Paulaner). It's as popular in winter as it is in summer, with mulled wine and shots of Istrian rakija warming the cockles.

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars

Beer and burgers in Zagreb

50 A Burger & Champagne Bar
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50 A Burger & Champagne Bar

Handily located behind the main square, this funky burger bar is the result of a global journey spanning New York, Hong Kong and Hvar. The vibe is lively, friendly and perfect for a casual meal and a few cocktails before you head out woozily into the night. Glazed soft-as-cotton brioche buns are stuffed with juicy, dripping patties. The menu uses local ingredients wherever possible, featuring Pag lamb, Istrian truffles and Dalmatian fig jam. There are nods to the owner’s New York/Hong Kong upbringing too with pan-Asian flourishes like bao buns packed with beef, kimchi and wasabi mayo and bowls of ramen broth with silky noodles. Service is unfailingly welcoming. The proprietor Adena parades the tables hawkishly to ensure everything is served properly and on time, occasionally stopping to carouse with the guests. Vegetarians are well-catered for, uplifting to see in a city where restaurants usually toss a few symbolic crumbs at vegetarians (or dry clods of falafel.) Here, you can substitute any burger combo with a veggie pattie and meals can also be prepared for vegans. The wine list is pleasantly varied, and there is craft beer on tap from Zagreb’s Garden Brewery. The cocktails are intoxicatingly good. Avoid the overly sweet ‘boozy’ slushies, delivered in plastic bags tied up with little bows of hessian, they’re a bit gimmicky and extortionately priced. And the bill? Compared with its competitors, 50 A Burger isn’t cheap but an extra 20-30kn (€3) is a perfectly reasonable

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Submarine Burger
Restaurants

Submarine Burger

Can burger-flipping be a sustainable, ecologically responsible industry? Well Yellow Submarine is certainly giving it a go. The submariners pride themselves on making thick, succulent burgers from organic local beef, garnished with local škripavac cheese and veggies. Smokehouse (36kn), featuring bacon, mushrooms and smoked cheese, is just one of several imaginative combinations. Fast food this good should be enjoyed slowly – the mellow wooden-stool interior is a pleasant place to sit.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Rougemarin
Restaurants

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.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Burgeraj
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Burgeraj

A small but perfectly chosen menu has made Burgeraj one of the city centre’s cult eateries. The spicy Pepper Jam Burger or the shiitake-filled Tamari Burger are worth making a pilgrimage here to try out. The interior looks a bit American diner-ish and the excellent drinks list (Fentimans Ginger Beer, Californian Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, local Pale Ale from Zmajska Pivovara) makes this a great place to hang out – it’s just a shame there’s only enough room for about 16 people at a time. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Rocket Burger
Restaurants

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.   

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars