Where to eat on Rab Island...
This konoba received the Certificate of Excellence for 2014; it's almost all-year round opening times are a good indication of its popularity with locals as well as tourists. Offering a wide range of dishes including octopus with eggs, beefsteak with prosciutto and cheese and a variety of seafood, it's good to remember that dishes "pod peka" take a little more time to cook, so if you're starving, get in their Adriatic platter for starters - it will give you a taste of many island dishes whilst you wait.
Distinctive dishes are served in this Old Town spot with a warm, rustic indoors and a split-level roof terrace – though the only view is other rooftops. Local specialities include Rab-style fish soup with good-size chunks of fish, mussels, a scampi, potatoes and rice in hearty broth; and ‘fish prepared in the manner of a good housewife of Rab’, ie baked. Look out too for fillet of shark, and langouste lobster, grilled or broiled.
Uphill from the beach and across from the Hotel Lopar stretches this beautifully sculpted terrace, where palm trees grow from a tiled floor, providing a sought-after shaded spot for pleasant meals in an attractive, casual atmosphere. Fortuna has the usual seafood offerings, plus mackerel, hake and sole – lobsters are ordered a day in advance. Check the chalkboard for specials, written up in German.
The star of this hotel restaurant is it's beautiful alfresco dining; a deserved winner of "best terrace" on several occasions thanks to the fine view and Mediterranean vegetation. It's a great place to try traditional Rab Island dishes. You'll also find a tank of lobsters, a display of prosciuttos and a museum of olives.
Simple, fresh food served by friendly staff in large portions. 3-course meals cost between 110-180kn per person. A good point: Wifi is available. A bad: there is almost no view whatsoever.
Near Lopar’s ferry slip on the main road is a pretty porch/terrace, covered with vines that appear to have been growing since this opened as a restaurant in 1971. Though the atmosphere in this family-run establishment is relaxed, food and service are taken seriously. The speciality is lobster how you like, top-quality white fish or calamari Feral-style, ie stuffed with fruits de mer, potatoes and local green blitva. Book a day ahead for fish stew old-fisherman style or suckling pig on a spit.
In the Old Town, around the corner from the main square, the Santa Maria creates an impression with its pretty interior of rough stone walls and gorgeous sea views. Little wonder that this was a palace 200 years ago. Lovely outdoor seating also faces the harbour. The food does justice to the setting: excellent scampi and seafood; steaks and stews. It’s a little bit pricier than the local competition but reasonable all the same.