Restaurants

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

World on a Plate Festival
Things to do

World on a Plate Festival

This year, the World on a Plate festival returns with a celebration of food culture from all over. Zagreb's main square is set to host street food vendors and representing different communities – expect Thai, Japanese, Turkish, Russian and German street-food as the focus of the event. But, drawing the crowds and making this such a memorable experience is the accompanying cultural programme. This includes various styles of international music, with some singers and musicians in traditional folk costumes. Dancers taking part in the programme can be dressed quite spectacularly. There are educational talks and workshops too throughout the lively 11-day duration.

Time rolls out new Japanese-Adriatic fusion menu 'Cromakase'
Restaurants

Time rolls out new Japanese-Adriatic fusion menu 'Cromakase'

On a street corner close to Zagreb’s main square, Time Restaurant & Bar opened in 2015. It has since become one of the trendiest eateries in the Croatian capital – but also embodies the realisation of a personal dream. 'This space at Petrinjska 7 was previously owned by family friend,' said Time owner Davor Bienenfeld. 'I decided to take it over, upgrade it considerably and turn it into one of the most popular places in Zagreb, while bringing the concept of an all-in-one bar and restaurant to the capital.' That’s not the only concept here. 'We decided to complement exotic and fusion cuisine while still offering guests classic Croatian dishes such as Adriatic squid, Kvarner scampi, tuna from Ugljan, and traditional domestic desserts with a modern feel,' explains Davor. An array of familiar Asian-fusion dishes, like teriyaki, sushi and Thai curry, zing with Adriatic freshness. In similar vein, an adventurous new menu, launched in the late spring of 2018, creates another winning fusion. 'We call it Cromakase,' says Davor. 'So, while this is in a Japanese style, we are still focusing on the finest Croatian food. As far as this is concerned, the name does seem to be quite suitable. The Cromakase menu is easiest to describe as a fusion of Adriatic flavours and Japanese meal preparation techniques. Several sequences are followed by carefully selected Croatian wine pairings to maintain complete authenticity. The Cromakase menu changes daily, depending on what's fresh. There mig

The best coffee in Zagreb
Restaurants

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
Restaurants

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
Restaurants

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

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
Restaurants

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
Restaurants

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.

Nautika • Dubrovnik
Restaurants

Nautika • Dubrovnik

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.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars

Recommended restaurants in Dubrovnik

Restaurant 360
Restaurants

Restaurant 360

Set within the great walls of Dubrovnik with impressive views over the port, 360 effortlessly blends its historical setting with a progressive, forward-thinking menu. Head-chef Marijo Curić has created a fantastic array of Mediterranean-spanning dishes, where the emphasis is very much on well-sourced, well-presented food influenced by the Adriatic. The menu changes constantly but 360 is particularly skilled with seafood, modern Mediterranean dishes and innovations of Croatian classics. This is upscale, sophisticated dining at its best. Without being too stuffy or formal, they pride themselves on providing a casual vibe where creative cuisine takes centre stage. Matched by an extensive wine cellar, great service and a truly superlative location, 360 is the hottest table in town.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Takenoko
Restaurants

Takenoko

Takenoko lays legitimate claim to the first Japanese restaurant in Croatia – when they set up their flagship restaurant in Zagreb, the country sat up and took notice. Fifteen years on, the capital brims with Asian-fusion joints and Takenoko have opened up two more premises. In Dubrovnik, head chef Mario Starman creatively melds Asian flavours with superbly fresh Mediterranean ingredients – the result is first-class sushi platters and Cro-Asian dishes served in artful arrangements. The minimally-adorned restaurant has a contemporary, relaxed feel, with a spectacular terrace overlooking the City Walls.

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

Fish restaurant Proto

The seafood-oriented Proto claims a tradition dating back to 1886. and it was here that Edward VIII entertained Wallis Simpson in the 1930s. As well as squid and lobster in simple, superbly balanced sauces, there's fresh shellfish from Ston up the coast. You can spend an enjoyable hour over the fish platter for two, and the extensive wine list covers just about every quality wine that Croatia has to offer - an award-winning sommelier is quick to offer up smart suggestions, pairing both domestic and international wines with meat and fish specialities. Recently refurbished and relaunched, Proto has been tastefully modernised, but keeps in with the antiquated elegance of the building. Beautiful old maps and antique oak panelling nod sympathetically to its past. The look is sealed with words of scribes: choice verses from local Dalmatian poets adorn the ceiling. Booking essential.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Azur
Restaurants

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.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars

Recommended cafés

Eli's Caffè • Zagreb
Bars and pubs

Eli's Caffè • Zagreb

'You are now entering Evolution Area' says the sign on the door, which leads through to a coolly minimal white space with a handful of tables grouped around the bar. For several years now Eli's has been Zagreb's leading venue for quality coffee, leading a brown-stuff brewing revolution that is slowly spreading to the city's other bars. It is also one of the few cafe-bars that has remained 100% non-smoking, ensuring that you can actually taste and smell whatever it is you're drinking. A foxy young professional clientele gather here to gas, goss and guzzle coffee from 100% arabica beans selected and roasted by the café owner Nik Orosi, the country’s first specialty coffee roaster and supplies a half-dozen cafés with enough taste to want the best coffee in town.

Time Out says
4 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.

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.

Dežman Bar • Zagreb
Bars and pubs

Dežman Bar • Zagreb

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
Café Dubrovnik
Bars and pubs

Café Dubrovnik

Set in the hotel of the same name, overlooking the main square, this is one of the most revered coffeehouses in Zagreb, exuding classic charm and providing smart service. The location, of course, simply can't be beat.

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.

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
Bistroteka
Restaurants

Bistroteka

Opened in late 2014 and already a leading light in Zagreb’s ongoing bistro revolution, Bistroteka strikes the right balance between snack-nibbling informality and slap-up sit-down dining. The menu displays a playful interest in an anything from Croatia to the wider Mediterranean and the Far East, ranges from thoughtfully compiled ciabatta sandwiches to major meat-and-two-veg meals, all of which is prepared and served with aplomb. The menu changes according to what’s fresh and seasonal; daily specials are chalked up on a board. The in-the-know wine list offers a good mixture of boutique and mainstream production from all over Croatia. The place itself is a pleasant place to sit and contemplate the good things in life, with white-painted brick ceiling, kooky light fittings and unobtrusive background pop. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Jutro
Bars and pubs

Jutro

Tucked into a quiet courtyard on Teslina, a street busy with restaurants and bars, Jutro is as restful a spot as you’ll find in central Zagreb. White-painted wooden furniture, house plants and colourful cusions create a laid-back, home-from-home ambience. Bags, jewelry and hand-painted umbrellas add an arty-crafty vibe – they are made by local artists and are for sale. Serious care goes into the coffee, and there’s usually cheesecake or chocolate cake in the counter-side cake stand. 

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Oranž
Restaurants

Oranž

There's an increasing number of smart-and-comfortable cafes in Zagreb that do the coffee-and-cakes thing respectably well. What distinguishes Oranž is the sheer scope and quality of what's in the display window: plumping for the impossible-to-resist lemon-and-lime meringue pie simply makes you pine for all the other cheesecakes and gateaux that you could have had in its place. There is also a respectable number of sandwiches, quiches and salads, but it's the sweet side of Oranž that will hold you in repeat-visit thrall.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars

Beer and burgers in Zagreb

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
Restaurants

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
Papa’s American Bar
Restaurants

Papa’s American Bar

Located in the same building as the Tuškanac cinema and spreading its outdoor seating across the its housemate’s terrace, Papa’s works equally well as an eating or drinking venue, with club sandwiches, hot dogs, wraps, and highly regarded burgers driving home the Transatlantic theme. There’s a list of original-recipe and classic cocktails and some great bottled beers – including Croatian Vukovarsko, Czech Kozel and Brooklyn Pale Ale from across the pond. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars