Pelješac stands at the centre of one of the Adriatic’s richest fisheries, providing local restaurants with an abundance of fresh seafood. Ston, with its oyster beds, is the one town in the region that is known throughout Croatia is a major gastronomic destination, and the peninsula is one of the Adriatic’s main wine-growing regions; famous above all for its outstanding reds. Read on for our pick of the best restaurants in Pelješac.
Set in the secluded bay of the same name an easy drive from Dubrovnik, the Taverna-Kobaš is more than just a family-run restaurant offering classic Dalmatian dishes prepared with fresh local ingredients, prepared in the traditional way. Here you can swim, relax and spend the afternoon, with the meal only part of the experience. As for the food, the menu changes daily, featuring whatever’s just been fished from nearby waters, grown in the family garden and reared within a relatively short radius and barbequed. This being Pelješac, oysters and shellfish come to the fore, mussels and prawns marinated and served as starters or accompanied with pasta. The grilled fish selection includes dentex and amberjack, and if you’re going to splash out on lobster, here’s the place to do it. Boats can be accommodated at the jetty alongside, with fresh water and electricity.
Set back only slightly from the shore, the restaurant of the Mimbelli hotel serves up local seafood with a touch of finesse, offering a range of fish fillets cooked in interesting sauces as well as simply grilled or baked. The list of ‘starters’ also includes some great contenders for a light lunch, with seafood pastas and a choice of dishes cooked Buzara style (mussels or shrimps cooked in wine sauce). Ask about daily specials - the menu may change to accommodate the fresh catch of the day. The wine list contains the best of Pelješac’s whites and reds. The cute, retro-style dining room is tiny, but there’s a small scattering of tables out front and a much bigger area of courtyard seating at the back.
Very much a Ston culinary landmark, Bakus serves some of the best fish and shells in the Adriatic and never goes overboard with its prices. Centrepiece of the menu is fine fish (290Kn/kg) cooked any way you like; but there’s a great deal more to choose from; dishes such as green pasta with seafood, baked shrimps, and black quid risotto all make excellent main-course choices. The broad-based wine list covers Pelješac’s best labels and a lot more besides.
Close to the Hotel Ostrea, the Kralj family own this restaurant, which has already featured as one of 100 Best Restaurants in Croatia. The house where the restaurant is located used to be the home of the captain who was in charge of the longest defensive wall in Europe: Ston. The menu was concocted by a team of culinary experts, the result of this creativity being enriched with shrimps in potato jackets, cuttlefish brodetto with polenta and black shrimps with home-made pasta, among others.
This lively konoba on the seafront at Drače is very good for fresh, locally-sourced fish and shellfish, consumed on a shaded terrace facing out towards the mountains of the Dalmatian mainland. The shrimps and scampi cooked ‘buzara’ style in wine and herbs are well worth trying, as are the grilled seafood kebabs. Something of a social hub on summer evenings, it’s the kind of place where you might just get serenaded by klapa-singing locals.
The restaurant attached to the Boutique Hotel Adriatic, Stari Kapetan delivers both style and substance. It's nautical themed, its interior (subtly) kitted out to look like a ship's lounge. Service is attentive and friendly, and the seafood-focussed menu excellent.