Set a few steps from the western entrance to the Old Town, the terrace of Hotel De La Ville captures the days of Korčula’s belle époque. Since 1912, this was the spot to enjoy coffee and excellent wine from local vineyards, where the captains of the docked ships gathered, as they do now regularly at a table near the hotel entrance, reading the papers, discussing the weather and political developments among Korčula’s smart set, beneath the shadow of blooming oleanders. These days, the terrace is just as grand and pleasant and the charm of its bygone past is well preserved, although the menus are updated with trendy summer cocktails featuring gin from the bar’s extensive collection. If you find yourself lingering long after the first drink, preferring the natural shade to the heat of beach, the daytime bites provide excellent replenishment, from the high-grade local pršut, cheese and Torkul olive oil, to the chocolate, carob and orange flavors of the Arula cake from the bakery. At night, the bistro serves traditional dishes with a contemporary French-inspired twist: the handmade Žrnovo makaruni pasta, the risottos, among them a delicious blacker-than-black cuttlefish option, and a selection of fresh fish dishes keeps visitors happy as they watch the sun disappearing on the horizon, followed by orange-infused crêpes or the refreshing lemon sorbet.
A string of venues line ulica Korčulanskog Statuta or the surrounding street of Šetalište Petra Kanavelića in Korčula town – ranging from the dependable (Pizzeria Caenazzo) to the decidedly swish (the LD restaurant at the Lešić-Dimitri Palace Korčula). Alternatively, sample one of the rustic bistros advertised on wooden signs by the road between Korčula town and Vela Luka. Korčula island is known for its sweet cakes and its famous Korčula olive oil, one of Croatia's best delicacies. Under the general heading of cukarini, they come in different varieties, such as pršurate elsewhere called prikle (deep-fried dough with almonds and raisins) and lumblija (sweet bread with wine and spices). Marinero has theirs baked daily. Renowned cakeshop Cukarin is set in a side street in the Old Town.
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