Although there are seafood restaurants in Zagreb and large towns like Varaždin, 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 (well-seasoned
sausage links, 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 dishes, whether fiš paprikaš (made from fish and also called riblji paprikaš) or various goulashes. 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 more freshwater options such as carp, pike, and pike-perch. Many restaurants serve pasta and pizza as budget alternatives, but there is not as much Italian-style fare here as there is on the coast. If you head to Varaždin or a smaller town, prices will drop somewhat, though not dramatically. Last but not least, note that some restaurants close for two to four weeks between late July and August 20, when everybody heads to the coast.
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