Where to Eat, What to Drink in Croatia

Apr 14th, 2007, 03:40 PM
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Where to Eat, What to Drink in Croatia


We're travelling to Croatia for 17 days in June/July, renting a house in Cavtat for a week in the middle. We'll be staying at The Regent Zagreb for 2 nights, then onto Rovinj for 2, Trogir 2 nights and then to the house, near Dubrovnik. On the way back, 1 night in Zadar, 1 night in Plitvice and then one near Zagreb airport. We like local, traditional slow cooking but can also be 'wow'd' by amazing food - lucky us if it's all at the same meal ;-). Any recommendations? or must haves? Also, what do they drink before or with dinner? Wine? Beer? Spirits?

Have found fodorites to be most realiable, so reaching out to any foodie that has been to Croatia. Thanks in advanace!
Gina2003 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 04:06 PM
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I had very good lamb once. Normally I kept drinking beer when I was there. I can't remember the other meals.

blackduff is offline  
Apr 16th, 2007, 08:12 AM
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In Zagreb, I highly recommend Stari Puntjar for fine Croatian cuisine. Ask for directions at the tourist office.
In Dalmatia, grilled fish and all seafood is excellent (though overpriced in Dubrovnik). Potaotes and swiss chard ("blitva") is served on the side.
Pag cheese, prsut, adn olives are all excellent.
Ston (north of Dbv) is famous for oysters/mussels.
Google to find out more about fine Croatian wines. The beer is good too. Different regions have different spirits, often you are treated to these gratis after dinner (I especially like the pear liqueur).
yorkshire is offline  
Apr 16th, 2007, 10:52 AM
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For lunch, search out a "burek" (a puff pastry pie stuffed with either cheese, meat, or cabbage). The people will love you for ordering one of their specialties.

For a nice dinner, seafood is great, along the coast. But you really must try to find a small, locals' restaurant where they roast a lamb on a spit. That is heaven!

And to drink with lamb or seafood, there are various fine local wines.

And be a real "local" and order "loza" (a plum brandy/slivowitz), to start your meal. Don't stop at just one!
Castleblanca is offline  
Apr 16th, 2007, 11:10 AM
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Save the slivowitz for after the meal, especially if you are having more than one..............you might never end up eating if you have them before! Have fun in Croatia! pp
peppermintpatti is offline  
Apr 16th, 2007, 11:21 AM
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Byrd is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 08:10 AM
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Thanks everyone, some great suggestions. Can't wait to try it all.
Gina2003 is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 10:09 AM
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Unfortunately June/July is too early for fresh white truffle season! However, you can still have some good dishes with preserved truffles. Istrian truffles are even better than those from France and Italy in my opinion.

Along wtih prsut, Pag cheese, spit-roasted meat and olives I would recommend:

octopus salad
shellfish and crab risotto
grilled stuffed sardines
roast chicken or lamb under a lid (peka)
grilled squid
heck - any seafood/shellfish/fresh fish!
handmade pastas

Man, am I jealous - Croatia is so utterly fabulous! Be prepared to have the time of your life.
travel2live is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 10:37 AM
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We ate at a lovely Bosnian restaurant in the heart of old Dubrovnik named Taj Mahal - I don't get the name, but it really is a Bosnian restaurant I promise! The food was delicious and the atmosphere warm, cozy and inviting.

You MUST have a drink at Cold Drinks Buza, a bar literally on the rocks outside the historic walls in Dubrovnik. The views, especially during sunset, are nothing short of spectacular. If you walk the perimiter of the city walls you will see the small hole in the wall and the "cold drinks" sign that leads to it.

We had pizza at Mea Culpa in Dubrovnik one night and it was really good.

I too recommend burek for lunch. Its especially great when your busy sightseeing and don't want to stop for a sit-down lunch. We had them in Dubrovnik and in Split.

tcreath is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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Strongly second the recommendation of pizza at Mea Culpa in Dubrovnik, plus it is a scene. All the pizza I had in Croatia was delicious. All the shellfish I had in Croatia was delicious. Most of the fish I had was delicious, but not all. Beware of the pricing of fish: the menu price may be per kilo, and it can add up quickly.

One of my great frustrations is that we could not stop at any of those places along the highway where they had lamb and pigs slow roasting on a spit (had to catch a plane). They looked fabulous!
Ackislander is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 01:50 PM
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We didn't see any roadstands for lamb or pig (that was probably because we were there in November), but we did see tons of orange stands on the drive up to Split from Dubrovnik. We stopped and got a bag of about 15 small oranges for just a few dollars and snacked on them for the remainder of our trip....delicious!

tcreath is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 03:53 PM
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We stayed at Mlini, just up the coast from Cavtat, toward Dubrovnik, and visited Cavtat several times by boat. You will love it.

We stayed at Hotel Astarea, a huge tourist hotel, but only had one meal there - awful. We did eat at a tiny restaurant on the shore near the hotel - it may be owned by them - and found it delightful. It was called the Konoba Astarea.

We also ate at another place in Mlini that was simpler, but just lovely. I'll copy the portion of my trip report that describes it:

"I was not feeling too chipper, so we limited our first day’s activity (Saturday) to a stroll along the front to a lovely, simple, restaurant, the Konoba Lanterna. The dining room was a few steps up from the promenade, and we got a table looking out on the small harbor and the sea. There was a big trunk of some sort of tree growing right up through the dining room floor and going through the roof. I popped outside to find it was really a grape vine that spread, outside, over the roof and to a neighboring roof. Bunches of ripening grapes were hanging down --- nice.

I had a green salad and a pork cutlet, while Tammy ordered a chicken dish, which turned out to be wonderful. Chicken breast stuffed with scrambled eggs, ham, and cheese, dipped in a light batter; all crispy. I tasted some of hers and concluded I had made the wrong choice, even for a guy trying hard to stay on a low-carb diet.

We both had that dish again a few nights later."

You can get to Mlini, and Dubrovnik from
Cavtat by the little launches that run up and down the coast. As I recall, it cost about 60 Kuna round trip from Mlini to Dubrovnik. Much nicer than the bus or driving. Approaching Dubrovnik old harbor from the sea is a memorable experience.

You will love Croatia!

nukesafe is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 05:11 AM
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Sounds like we'll be eating well! as we travel the Dalmatia coast. I love that we can take a boat from Cavtat to both Mlini and Dubrovnik..it will be great to be in a house in Cavtat for 7 days! Cold drinks Buza, sunset, Pag cheese, spit roasted meats & burek...life will be good! Thank you.
Gina2003 is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 11:16 AM
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Is there anywhere in Dubrovnik to find this spit-roasted meat?!?! Or is it only on the roads outside? It sounds wonderful but we'll only be in Dubrovnik and I'd hate to miss out! Thanks!
travellamb is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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My wife is Croatian and therefore I have had the chance to eat in some different places. If you want the roasted lamb (usually its lamb) then you need to drive up into the hills above Split and go to Klis. Small town - famous for its bbq pits. Lovely place on a hill top with a Venetian fortress. There are two or three restaurants that do the roasted lamb.

As for other foods - try the mixed grill if they have it. Seafood is usually good but tell them you want it grilled with olive oil and thats it.

I wholeheartedly disagree with Burek. Nasty heavy stuff. My father in law won't even touch it as it was what they were given in the army. They tend to be heavy, greasy and salty.

Croats drink slivo at all times - even for breakfast with a couple of slices of tomato and a slice or two of sir (cheese - pronounced "sear"). Its actually quite a wake-up call served like that.

In the fall and winter Croatians make excellent cabbage rolls. In the summer they do stuffed peppers - equally good.

For wines - ask the manager of the restaurant what he likes - that has never failed me. As for beer - they make it in the German style so nothing special there.

Oh, and Croatians love desserts, especially cakes. Save room for them.
TorontoSteven is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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I think that burek can taste different depending on where you get it. We had an excellent one at a cafe in Dubrovnik but a horrible one in Split that was definitely on the greasy/salty side.

tcreath is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 01:01 PM
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I also just now noticed that you asked about spirits and beer. We actually had several decent beers in Croatia. Our favorite was Karlovacko, made in Karlovac in norther Croatia.

tcreath is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 09:57 AM
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Try expensive but with splendid view in Dubrovnik , Atlas Club Nautica.

If you have time while in Istria ,had down to Opatija - Volosko for the meal of your holiday. Restaurant Le Mandrac ( www.lemandrac.com ) as you asked traditional food with "wow".
guraman is offline  
May 27th, 2007, 06:13 AM
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As we'll be renting a house in Cavtat for a week (starting June 27th), we'll be looking for outdoor food market either in Cavtat or nearby towns to pick up fresh local items. Does anyone know of weekly markets in the area? Again, thanks for the great suggestions.
Gina2003 is offline  
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