We're in love with this new bistro in downtown Zagreb
Run by the team behind the Flying Pig on Hvar, Beštija is a fabulous new bistro on Masarykova in downtown Zagreb. Flying Pig is famous for its juicy burgers and moreish sides, but Beštija is breaking away from its parent restaurant with a menu that serves delectably light, fresh food perfect for burning hot summer days in the city. Majoring in breakfast, brunch and lunch, you can start the day with egg dishes and freshly baked sourdough or wholesome cereals. The lunchtime menu changes daily depending on what's fresh at Dolac market, but the line-up usually includes a few meat dishes and a fish and veggie option. Beštija is developing its menu with plans to open for dinner time after the summer season - it opened its doors last Thursday so head there soon for a first taste. Credit: Beštija You can find Beštija on Masarykova 11. RECOMMENDED: Our favourite restaurants in Zagreb.
Don't worry: Zagreb's sacred sandwich shop Pingvin is just closed for refurbishment
Sacred sandwich shop Pingvin enjoys a cult-like status in Zagreb, having served the city's finest and most reasonably priced sandwiches for over 30 years. This carby-pitstop is a defining feature of Zagrebian nightlife, where the drunk and hungry congregate to eat extravagantly-stuffed 20 kuna sandwiches, served until 4 am every day. And not your standard post-night out fare, either - you can opt for sizzlingly fresh steak with roast peppers or a crispy fillet of seabass wrapped in an olive ciabatta. Kebab shop this is not. So the sight of boarded-up windows at Pingvin has left us feeling rather shaken and confused. There's no way that this crazily popular sandwich bar could shut its doors on us, right? RIGHT? Well, Pingvin has broken the uncomfortable silence to reassure us with the news that the city's beloved sandwich bar will be fully operational by May 17 after a refurb. Maybe it's good news, too: the menu is undergoing some changes, with a new seasonal weekly menu plus new soups, salads and puddings. Now you know where to go for your late-night cheesecake fix. You can find Pingvin on Teslina 7, reopening (soon) between 8 am and 4 am.
The best coffee in Zagreb
Zagreb isn't short on coffee shops. The city centre is a parade of glass-fronted cafés and smoky outdoor terraces – many are longstanding independents, and there’s barely a chain-store in sight. Croatians are sacrosanct about their kava: it’s something to be enjoyed leisurely, not slugged from a cardboard cup on the way back to the office. That said, much of what you’ll find in your cup is commercially blended and can be spectacularly bland. Luckily, a cluster of ace coffee-shops are flying the flag for specialist and third-wave coffee – some double up as artisan roasteries, too. We’ve trawled them all to bring you a definitive guide to the best coffee Zagreb has to offer. RECOMMENDED: the best cafés and coffee shops in Zagreb.
The best sushi in Zagreb
Sushi has set Zagreb on wasabi-flavoured fire. The raw Japanese dish is fast becoming the city's favourite world food, and with sushi restaurants springing up all over the place, you can find some exquisite offerings. From 5-star sashimi spots to quick nigiri joints, here are the best sushi restaurants in Zagreb. Feeling hungry? Feast your eyes on our guide to the best Asian restaurants in Zagreb
The best bistros in Zagreb
Once, eating out in Zagreb meant choosing from a slew of local restaurants with menus featuring meat, pastry, and more meat. But the capital's recent gastro-revolution has changed that. A wave of recently-opened bistros are making lunch a more exciting prospect in the capital, and most of them are the projects of passionate entrepeneurs - which means that these independent little places offer top-quality food and hand-selected decor. Like a traditional French bistro, those in Zagreb master breezy, intimate atmosphere, but their menus - often based around global 'street food' - are a welcome update. Here's our batch of the best bistros in Zagreb. RECOMMENDED: more great restaurants in Zagreb.
The best restaurants in Croatia
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Breakfast, brunch and beyond
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.