The best restaurants in Dubrovnik
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.
At this top-drawer setting overlooking the Old Port, you get top-drawer cuisine. Here, under the expert gastronomic stewardship of head chef Marijo Curić, you can expect modern Mediterranean dishes and contemporary refashions of Croatian classics. All is meticulously sourced, painstakingly created and immaculately presented, including the desserts. Beg for a booth in the gun chambers.
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 Mali 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.
One of the fine-dining addresses that more than deserves its Michelin-listed status, Dubrovnik spoils you with attention right from the start, with a guest greeter at the bottom of the stairs, a maître d waiting for you at the top, and a qualified sommelier as well as your regular waiter. Fortunately this is more than just fancy-restaurant theatre; the food here is genuinely show-stopping. The menu is classic-European with Adriatic leanings: signature mains stick to solid choices such as sea bass, steak and duck; while an armoury of creative invention is brought to bear on presentation and accompanying flavours.
The challenge of dishing out creative cuisine in a tourist-trudged corner of the Old Town has been well met by the team at Tavulin, gearing a menu towards light bites as well as serious culinary inclinations. It’s with the evening spread that Tavulin’s keep-it-local-but-be-inventive philosophy comes to the fore, with signature dishes like orzotto with shrimps (90kn) and the standout octopus ragout (155kn).
This superbly located eatery sits by the entrance of Buža I, in the heart of Dubrovnik’s historic centre but within easy reach of the sea. Here you can tuck into a reasonably priced, Med- or Asian-influenced cuisine before an afternoon’s sunbathing, or enjoy a nightcap overlooking the waves.
Location, location, location they always say – and this one has a setting second-to-none, right by Dubrovnik Cathedral, its tables spread out at the foot of the steps. That makes it an ideal spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner, that relaxing first coffee as you plan out your day or welcome bowl of salad after a morning’s sightseeing or plate of fresh fish and vegetables following an afternoon at the beach. The menu holds few surprises – but you’re not here for experimental, fusion cuisine.
Amfora is an excellent choice for both meat and fish lovers, its cuisine drawing its inspiration from all of the areas of the Mediterranean while adding some Asian twists. Here you'll find a fusion of styles and influences, from Morocco to Lebanon, and all the way to the Adriatic coast. The menu changes twice a year. Currently it features a house-style traditional beef cheek "pašticada", cooked sous-vide for 48 hours.
Located in the very heart of Dubrovnik’s Old City, in the former Convent of St. Claire, just in front of Great Onofrio's Fountain, this classy restaurant offers a full range of fresh Adriatic fish, clams and crabs, along with locally produced vegetables from just outside Dubrovnik in Konavle. Succulent and substantial main dishes can be enjoyed casually on the courtyard terrace while those after something quicker can pop into the snack bar in the same complex.
Freshly farmed shellfish from the famed oyster beds of Mali Ston are the star attraction at this open-air bar with high stools and high tables, beautifully situated on a raised terrace behind the cathedral. The oysters are served fresh, fried in tempura, or as key ingredient in a sushi roll. There is also a full menu of all other forms of sushi, with fishy Adriatic ingredients well to the fore and some creative Adriatic-Japanese combinations. Fish carpaccios, tuna tartar and tempura-fried shrimps round out the kind of genuinely fascinating menu that demands repeated sampling.