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Food in Istria is more sophisticated and varied than in the rest of Croatia. Culinary tourism is one of the region's biggest draws, and you will get (for a price) a markedly better meal here than elsewhere in the country. The quaysides and old town squares have a plethora of touristy restaurants, and many new exceptional places have opened in recent years, helping to set the standard for the country's
The quaysides and old town squares have a plethora of touristy restaurants, and many new exceptional places have opened in recent years, helping to set the standard for the country's gastronomical identity. Istrian food today means fresh and simple seafood dishes, locally made fuži (egg noodles), elegant truffle sauces and flavors, and earthy pršut (air-dried local ham), alongside the familiar Italian staples of pizza and pasta. Seafood is usually grilled, baked in sea salt, or served crudo (raw) with a dash of local olive oil. Truffles are the superstars of the interior villages and work their way onto autumn menus in pastas, game dishes, and on beds of homemade polenta. Keep your eyes peeled for traditional favorites like supa, a brew of red wine, sugar, olive oil, pepper, and warm, toasted bread; and meneštra, an Istrian minestrone soup, both popular in winter. All these gourmet aspirations mean that dining in Istria can be costly relative to much of inland Croatia. Average prices for main courses start at 50 Kn for pasta and pizza, and move up to 80 Kn, or even twice that, for seafood (much of which is priced by the kilogram) and certain beef dishes. For a quick and cheap, albeit greasy, lunch, you can buy a burek (a curd-cheese or meat-filled pastry) in a bakery for around 12 Kn apiece.