Although there are seafood restaurants in Zagreb, this inland region is better known for roasted meats accompanied by heavy side dishes such as zagorski štrukli (baked cheese dumplings). For dessert, walnut-, jam-, and sweet curd-cheese–filled palačinke (crepes) are on nearly every menu. Balkan-style grilled meats such as ćevapčići (grilled spicy cubes of minced meat,
Balkan-style grilled meats such as ćevapčići (grilled spicy cubes of minced meat, often served with raw onions) are popular, and lower in price than more elaborate main courses. The influence of Slavonia to the east and Hungary to the north is evident in the form of paprika-rich (and salt-rich) dishes, whether fiš paprikas (made from fish and also called riblji paprikas) or various goulashes; likewise, spiced sausages and salamis add further zest. Some restaurants, particularly in Zagreb, and especially those owned and operated by folks from Dalmatia, do excel in fresh seafood straight from the Adriatic. But when it comes to fish, you are likely to find as much or more in the way of freshwater options such as carp, pike, and pike perch. As on the coast, many restaurants serve pasta dishes and pizzas as budget alternatives, but you'll find noticeably fewer restaurants focusing on Italian-style fare; which is not surprising given that this region's history (and cuisine) was more bound up in centuries past with Austria and Hungary, for example, than with Italy. As for prices, expect to shell out about the same in Zagreb for a main course at a good restaurant as you would on the coast. Last but not least, note that some restaurants close for two to four weeks between late July and August 20, when everyone and his brother and sister are on the coast.
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