Just a few hundred yards uphill from the tip of the harbour awaits cuisine that you’d walk much farther for. The sheltered terrace has no spectacular vistas: the most interesting sight is the wood-fired grill, and the fresh fish sizzling on it. There’s a big kitchen inside too, ready with a range of seafood, including scallops, sea snails and other lovely shell-dwellers. They’re famous for their brodet, with thick tomato sauce and a wealth of fish and seafood. Charming servers make you feel at home. It’s easy to see why this place is a favourite among locals.
One of the fancier spots on Veli Lošinj’s little harbour, the Koliba has offerings like a tasty shark steak with a delicately garlicky sauce, a brodetto tomato-based fish stew, and baked fish. Calamari can be had fried, grilled or stuffed with seafood, and lobster comes grilled or with spaghetti. Along with the usual steaks, meats also include lamb on a spit.
The hulking oven here turns out the kind of pizzas that would pass muster in Italy: a perfectly molten mix of cheese and sauce atop a thin, crispy crust. Despite the casual rustic feel, attention is paid to detail. Each table gets a Peugeot pepper grinder, the pizza comes with a sharp, heavy stainless steel knife, the servers are fast, and the food has been fussed over.
White tablecloths, attentive service and wonderful food make this place feel more upmarket than other fish-oriented restaurants in Veli Losinj’s main harbour, but the prices here are competitive. Fresh bruschetta, made of chopped tomatoes and garlic with thick, flame-broiled toast, is slapped on the table as soon as you sit down. The servers are familiar with the offerings on the long list of Croatian wines. You can see fish delivered here by boat in the morning, and come lunch time have that fresh catch, steak or lamb, cooked over a wooden flame on the terrace, which is at the bend in the harbour and has great views of both the town and the sea.
This charming spot is run by chef Marco Sasso. Born in Pisa, Sasso was one of the first truffle dealers in the United States before coming to Croatia. He gets the fungus fresh from Istria and applies it in starters, such as tuna carpaccio with marinated celery roots and truffles. Other ingredients come fresh from the sea on which the terrace is perched. Desserts include own-made panna cotta or chocolate mousse.