33 Best Restaurants in Southern Dalmatia, Croatia

Ante's Place

$$$ Fodor's choice

Located on the breezy seaside terrace at PineTree Boutique Apartments (and run by the same family), the food at Ante's Place is so good you'll likely eat all of your meals there while on Mljet. It's the best place to try traditional Dalmatian dishes, from lamb or octopus cooked peka-style to plentiful seafood platters and divine lobster spaghetti. The humble hosts will tell you that the food they cook is just the typical stuff they eat at home; if they really eat this well at home every night, you'll consider moving in.

Azur

$$ | Stari Grad Fodor's choice

One of the perennial top choices in Dubrovnik, Azur has a fun fresh vibe and an outstanding menu of Asian-inspired dishes that burst with flavor; favorites include pork belly tacos and Szechuan chili-garlic prawns. With its two shady terraces high up in the Old Town, just beneath the city walls, Azur provides a welcome retreat from the heat and crowds. Azur has a hip soundtrack, friendly staff, and dishes that you won't find elsewhere in Dubrovnik; you'll be happy you found it.

BOWA

$$$$ Fodor's choice

For the ultimate exclusive island dining experience, head to BOWA ("best of what's around"), nestled on its own secluded beach on Šipan with chic cabanas right over the water and a shady dining terrace right beside the beach. Choose between a three- or four-course menu (€90 or €120) or splurge on the seven-course tasting menu with wine pairing (€290); the seafood-centric dishes change regularly but favorites include bluefish tuna tartare, swordfish sashimi, oysters from Ston, and perfectly grilled white fish. The same family of fishermen that owns BOWA also owns the Bota Šare restaurants in Mali Ston, Dubrovnik, Split, and Zagreb; needless to say, seafood lovers are in for a treat. Be aware that if you want to relax on the beach after lunch there isn't much shade, but you can reserve a shady cabana right over the water for the afternoon; the package costs €850 for groups of 1–4 people and includes the three-course menu and a welcome drink. The best way to get there is by chartering a speedboat in Dubrovnik or one of the Elafiti Islands. You can also catch a luxury shuttle boat that picks up and drops off from the harbor at Brsečine, 22 km (13 miles) up the coast from Dubrovnik; reserve your spot ahead of time. If you're coming by car, there is a parking lot at the top of the road leading down to the harbor.

Pakljena 3, Croatia
091-636–6111
Known For
  • Expertly prepared fresh seafood
  • Exclusive dining on a private beach
  • Owned by same family as the Bota Šare empire
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Oct.–May, Reservations mandatory

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Bugenvila

$$ Fodor's choice

One of the brightest culinary stars in the region, Bugenvila is vibrant in every sense, from the flowers climbing the sides of the terrace to the happy patrons tucking into fresh meals that burst with flavor. The menu changes regularly but you can expect surprising and delightful dishes made with fine local ingredients: think green apple dumplings, raw king scallop in strawberry consommé, or lobster bisque paired with grilled wild boar cheeks and parsnip purée. It's hard to imagine a better value than the excellent three-course lunch menu (€29) or the seven-course dinner menu (€125).

Eko Škoj

$$ Fodor's choice

Head to the hills around Žrnovo to this tiny stone konoba, rustically strung with lavender and bouquets of elderflower, and feast on whatever the Marović family has dreamed up for lunch. No matter what the dish of the day, you can be sure it'll be seasonal, local, homemade, and delicious. Call ahead to book lunch, which might include platters of grilled vegetables pulled from their garden, traditional Korčula macaroni, and homemade ice cream.

Gianni

$ Fodor's choice

When the former pastry chef at Restaurant 360 opens his own artisanal ice cream and cake shop in Dubrovnik, you know it's going to be good; Gianni serves up the best scratch-made gelato in town, incorporating natural ingredients and some unusual flavors such as curry and chili alongside traditional favorites like pistachio and chocolate. Don't let the high-caliber credentials intimidate you—this little hole in the wall in the Old Town, located behind the Old Port, is as casual as it gets, with a few outdoor tables where you can hang out and make friends over ice cream, exquisite cakes, and great coffee.

Konoba Feral

$$ Fodor's choice

The village of Lumbarda is known for two things: beaches and Grk wine, and you can enjoy them both at this beachside konoba. You’ll tuck into uber-fresh octopus and other catches of the day right beside the beach while sipping Grk made by the charming local brothers who own the restaurant. Great for a lazy lunch or a romantic dinner, this is one of the best and most reliable spots on Korčula.

Konoba Mate

$$ Fodor's choice

In the courtyard of an old stone cottage in the tiny village of Pupnat (34 km [21 miles] west of Korčula Town), this welcoming restaurant is worth the effort to get there, thanks to its gourmet fare prepared from the family's own farm. The menu changes seasonally, but look out for the house specialty: a platter of homemade pršut (prosciutto), goat's cheese, olives, and eggplant pâté.

Pupnat 28, Korcula, 20274, Croatia
020-717–109
Known For
  • Organic vegetables from family garden
  • Excellent value for high-quality food
  • Traditional meals with a twist
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Oct.–Apr. No lunch, Reservations recommended

Kopun

$$$ Fodor's choice

The name of this eatery refers to capon, the rooster cooked in a bitter orange sauce that was a delicacy during the time of the Republic; it's just one of the classic Dubrovnik recipes that this charming local favorite has chosen to reinvent. The mission here is to take the most traditional Croatian dishes and put a modern spin on them, like their mouthwatering take on the typical brodet fish stew. With a lovely terrace at the top of the Jesuit Steps and a timeless menu, Kopun is quickly establishing itself as one of the best restaurants in town.

Pantarul

$$ | Lapad Fodor's choice

A little off the beaten track in Lapad but worth the trek, this bistro is a love letter to the gastronomy of Dubrovnik; even the name means "fork" in the local dialect. The menu changes weekly but there are a few mainstays like sea bream, foie gras, and super tender ox cheek, all accompanied by fresh local produce from nearby farms. With quirky artwork adorning the walls, stacks of cookbooks on the shelves (including a couple by the owner, a successful food writer), and a super welcoming atmosphere, Pantarul is the kind of restaurant where you linger for a few hours, eat a great meal, and leave with a few new friends.

Restaurant 360

$$$$ Fodor's choice

With its location right on the city walls and romantic views over the Old Port, not to mention the extraordinary five-course tasting menu from Dubrovnik-born-and-bred chef Marijo Curić, Michelin-starred Restaurant 360 offers an unparalleled fine dining experience. The exquisite tasting menu is a culinary adventure that will surprise and delight you with its sophistication and simplicity in equal measures; settle in for a few hours to savor the view and enjoy the ride.

Aterina

$$

Follow the scent of fresh basil to Aterina, a playful restaurant occupying a square on the periphery of the Old Town, with views to the palm-lined promenade and sea below. Order the "small plate" to try a sample of each of the tapas-style starters including cheese, smoked ham, anchovies, and marinated vegetables. Don't leave without trying one of the excellent desserts, such as basil cake or peaches in Grk.

Trg Korčulanskih Klesara i Kipara 2, Korcula, 20260, Croatia
091-986–1856
Known For
  • Fresh light fare that highlights local ingredients
  • Extensive Korčula-focused wine list
  • Breezy Old Town location
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Oct.–June

Bota Šare Mali Ston

$$$

Occupying a 14th-century salt warehouse, Bota Šare (owned by the Šare family of fishermen who own some of the best seafood restaurants from Dubrovnik to Zagreb) is known for its menu of outstanding locally caught seafood. Order the fish platter for two to try a selection of the best catch of the day, and ask about boarding a boat to try oysters right from the channel where they are caught.

Bota Šare Oyster & Sushi Bar

$$ | Stari Grad

Using the best local bluefin tuna, shrimp, and shellfish, Bota Šare turns its fresh catches into beautifully presented sushi, sashimi, carpaccio, and tartare. The spot is owned by the Šare family of fishermen who operate some of the best seafood restaurants in the region, including Mali Ston, making this the ideal place to try the famous Mali Ston oysters (if raw oysters make you squeamish, try them tempura-style). The restaurant is located in a shady alcove near the Cathedral in the Old Town; it's small, so reservations are recommended.

Đura Baglivija 1, Dubrovnik, 20000, Croatia
020-324–034
Known For
  • First sushi restaurant in Dubrovnik
  • Japanese spin on local ingredients
  • Shady location near Cathedral
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Reservations recommended

Croccantino

$

If you have to wait to board the ferry from Orebić to Korčula, you'll be relieved to find Croccantino just around the corner from the port. This fun, colorful little café right along the waterfront promenade serves exquisite homemade gelato, artisan cakes and cupcakes, and excellent smoothies, coffee, and milkshakes.

Estravaganca

$$$

The epitome of a hidden gem, there is no menu or prices at Estravaganca, just a chalkboard with the catch of the day and the owner who will rush out to grab your boat ropes, show you to your table, bring out the fish for you to choose from, then light the fire and grill it right in front of you. Most days there are mussels and oysters kept in the sea and pulled out just minutes before they're put on your plate; same goes for the crab and lobster, which is then cooked in a spicy buzara sauce with homemade pasta. You can get there by car, but the best way to arrive is by boat.

Lovište, Croatia
098-944–7099
Known For
  • Fresh seafood pulled out of the sea and cooked in front of you
  • Reachable by a steep narrow road or by boat
  • Secluded location right on the beach
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No dinner

Gelateria Dubrovnik

$

In a city full of ice cream shops, family-run Gelateria Dubrovnik is the original. There's a reason why there's always a line out the door—and it's not just because they give free cones to local kids. They make all of their ice cream in-house, and what started with just 4 flavors is now 32, with the original recipes passed down to the current owners from their fathers and grandfathers before them. For the record, the original four flavors were chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and lemon.

Gradska Kavana

$

Occupying the ornate Arsenal building on Luža Square, Gradska Kavana remains Dubrovnik's favorite meeting place for morning coffee and cake, breakfast, or an evening aperitif. The grand café has an ample summer terrace and is a perfect spot for people-watching and admiring the sites that surround it, including Rector's Palace, Sponza Palace, and the Cathedral. City Hall is located just upstairs, so you'll often see news cameras and journalists outside waiting for politicians to emerge.

Kamenice

$ | Stari Grad

Overlooking the morning market and pigeons of Gundulić Square, Kamenice is a local institution popular for the fresh oysters for which it is named, plus generous platters of girice (small fried fish) and pržene lignje (fried squid). It's cheap and cheerful, offers unbeatable value for the location, and is much-loved by locals and tourists alike.

Gundulićeva Poljana 8, Dubrovnik, 20000, Croatia
020-323–682
Known For
  • Cheap prices and large portions
  • Dubrovnik institution
  • Great fried fish and black risotto

Kapetanova Kuća

$$$

Known throughout Croatia, this long-standing favorite helmed by chef Lidija Kralj has been synonymous with Ston and fresh oysters for more than 45 years. Located in an old stone home on the Mali Ston waterfront and slightly more upscale than other nearby restaurants, people come from far and wide to feast on the shellfish here, as well as the plentiful black risotto and unusual stonski makaruli, a cake made from pasta, nuts, sugar, and cinnamon, unique to Ston.

Obala dr. Ante Starčevića 9, Ston, 20230, Croatia
020-754–264
Known For
  • Local oysters, mussels, and clams
  • Excellent black risotto
  • Nationally celebrated female chef

KIWI

$

European food rule number one: if you see locals lining up for ice cream, get in that line. That's certainly the case with KIWI, the island's oldest ice cream shop; grab a seat outside to try traditional pastries such as klašuni (walnut pastries) and cukarini (handmade biscuits), as well as muffins, strudels, and homemade ice cream that does Korčula's Italian heritage proud.

Konoba Belin

$$

For such a small village, Žrnovo is home to a surprising number of great restaurants, most located in old stone homes and run by the families who own them. Konoba Belin is one of the originals and the best, where you'll linger for a few hours over platters of grilled seafood or the local delicacy Žrnovski makaruni; call ahead to arrange a lesson on how to roll macaroni.

Žrnovo 50, Korcula, 20275, Croatia
091-503–9258
Known For
  • Great place to try Žrnovski makaruni
  • Cash-only policy
  • Welcoming atmosphere
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sept.–May. No lunch

Konoba Kod Marka

$$

With a prime location overlooking the harbor in Šipanska Luka and sensational sunset views, Kod Marka is renowned among sailors and yacht guests as one of the best seafood restaurants and hidden gems in the region. There's no official menu—you just grab a seat on the terrace, order a glass of wine, and enjoy whatever the chef has prepared that day. Expect about four courses, which might include an anchovy platter to start, fresh prawns, octopus cakes, and a whole sea bass to share.

Šipanska Luka, Lopud, 20223, Croatia
020-758–007
Known For
  • Local favorite
  • Seaside location
  • Four-course seafood menu
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Oct.–May, Reservations recommended

Konoba Kolona

$$

Located one street behind Tiha Bay, Konoba Kolona is a firm favorite for seafood among locals; the owner is also the fisherman and the cook, so you know you're in good hands. It has two large covered terraces, plus indoor seating and reasonable prices for popular dishes such as lobster by the kilo, mussels buzara (in tomato and white wine sauce), and octopus carpaccio.

Put Tihe 2, Cavtat, 20210, Croatia
020-478–787
Known For
  • Fresh seafood
  • Popularity with locals
  • Friendly service

La Villa Restaurant

$$$$

Located in a stone villa on the Lopud waterfront, La Villa offers an immaculate dining experience with friendly service and a great local wine list. Expect beautiful dishes made with premium ingredients such as scallops, foie gras, langoustines, and lobster tail. It's expensive but so are most of the restaurants around Lopud, so at least you know the quality here is going to be exceptional.

Obala Iva Kuljevana 33, Lopud, Croatia
099-222–5115
Known For
  • Seaside location with large shady terrace
  • Sophisticated dishes with top-notch ingredients
  • Friendly professional service
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Oct.–May, Reservations recommended

LD Restaurant

$$$$

Head chef Marko Gajski's menu here elevates exclusively seasonal Croatian produce—think wild asparagus in spring, strawberries in the summer, truffles and root vegetables in the fall—and local seafood such as lobster, Ston oysters, and scorpion fish into fine-dining creations. With an outdoor seating area stretching along the Old Town's fortified wall and panoramic views of the Pelješac Peninsula and the archipelago, you can enjoy your meal while admiring the very terroir from which it was gathered. As Lešić Dimitri Palace did for lodging on Korčula, LD Restaurant brings a whole new level of sophistication to the island's dining scene, along with its first Michelin star. 

Don Pavla Poše 1–6, Croatia
020-601–726
Known For
  • One Michelin star
  • Excellent chef's tasting menu available
  • Panoramic views from outdoor tables
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Oct.–June, Reservations required

Nautika Restaurant

$$$$ | Pile

Occupying the beautifully restored 19th-century Nautical Academy building just outside the Pile Gate, Nautika has a solid reputation as Dubrovnik's finest restaurant. With an unrivaled view over Fort Lovrijenac from its two terraces, plus an exceptional seasonal menu showcasing the best local ingredients (particularly dishes featuring lobster from Vis or Adriatic shrimp), it's a reliable choice for a formal meal. Choose between the à la carte menu or the chef's tasting menu (seven courses for €164).

Brsalje 3, Dubrovnik, 20000, Croatia
020-442–526
Known For
  • Long-standing Dubrovnik institution
  • Five- or seven-course tasting menus available
  • Romantic seaside terraces overlooking Fort Lovrijenac
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Oct.–Mar.

Nishta

$$ | Stari Grad

Specializing in vegan fare, this playful eatery on Prijeko Street has just a dozen tables and is deservedly popular; for years it was the only vegan option in town. Their menu changes regularly, but you can expect Indian-inspired dishes, different soups and salads, falafel, and freshly made desserts.

Piknik

$$$$
For a totally different foodie experience, order a Piknik. You'll get an insulated backpack thoughtfully stocked with gourmet Croatian goodies—ham, cheese, fresh fruit, homemade baked treats, and lemonade, plus chilled wine or craft beer and everything you need to get set up: blankets, utensils, and a map to the best secret beach or panoramic viewpoint to enjoy it. Twenty-four-hour notice required.

Proto

$$$$ | Stari Grad

Located right in the heart of the Old Town, Proto dates back to 1886 and most locals will respectfully acknowledge that it's still one of the best in town. It has hosted everyone from King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson to modern-day celebs and sports figures who come to try its menu of premium local seafood and reliably prepared Dalmatian dishes. Opt for the five-course tasting menu (€100), which includes the catch of the day, or go for the à la carte menu; the seafood platter for two is an excellent choice.

Široka 1, Dubrovnik, 20000, Croatia
020-323–234
Known For
  • Cool history
  • Fine dining in the center of the Old Town
  • Excellent seafood platter for two
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Reservations required