Discovering the flavours of Croatia with Bojana
I had the pleasure of visiting Croatia this summer for the first time since the Coronavirus pandemic began and didn’t realise how much I missed it until I set foot in Zagreb once again. Having been welcomed by the warm climate, friendly locals and stunning scenery, I quickly remembered why I fell in love with the country.
As a nature lover who seeks adventure wherever I can, the National Parks are what drew my attention to Croatia in the first place. From hiking up Sveti Ilija Mountain to swimming in the waters of the Adriatic and everything in between, there are activities aplenty to keep even the most extreme adrenaline junkie entertained. These include zip-lining between canyon faces in Omis, kayaking around the Dubrovnik walls at sunset, and cliff jumping along Croatia’s coastline.
While it was the adventurous side of Croatia that first caught my attention, the food is what took my admiration to the next level. And with restaurants having reopened, food was one of the main focuses of my recent trip. The cuisine in Croatia is varied and intriguing and so I couldn’t help but sample a few of my favourite restaurants and a few exotic dishes during my travels.
Here is a selection of some of the highlights in my latest journey to the Balkan nation.
Vinodol Restaurant – Zagreb
A historic restaurant with tables set under the atmospheric arches of an old cellar, Vinodol is a must-visit when in Zagreb. The dishes are focused on Croatian classics and I dined on a delicious two course meal that began with chicken liver patê with black truffle and Dalmatian prosciutto, followed by Croatian favourite fuži pasta with fresh black Istrian truffles. I washed all these amazing rich flavors with a glass of local Krajančić Pošip Sur Li white wine. A great start to the trip.
2Ribara – Zadar
Having made my way to the Dalmatian coast, it seemed the right time to sample some of Croatia’s famous seafood. The starter of mussels with white wine, garlic, parsley and olive oil sauce was perfectly complemented by a main course of grilled seabass caught directly off the coast. The stunning outdoor terrace made for a wonderful location to be sampling food caught in the Adriatic just a few meters away.
Konoba Pizzeria FERAL – Split
Heading further south down the coastline, I visited Konoba Pizzeria FERAL in Split. Pizzerias are common throughout Croatia, signifying the Italian influence on the Croatian cuisine. However, the real highlight of my meal here wasn’t pizza at all. A local delicacy of fried gavuni – small fish fried whole and eaten like french fries – and a fresh octopus salad sitting in the sun-drenched paved alley while sipping wine and breathing the sea air was a moment that will live long in the memory.
Konoba Joskan – Omis
Next I made my way to the quaint port town of Omis and paid a visit to the best grillmaster throughout town – Konoba Joskan. The open grill in this restaurant fills the air with the tempting smells of expertly spiced, grilling meat. The mixed meat grill was as delicious as it was filling and perfectly paired with a refreshing local Ožujsko lager.
Konoba Stori Komin – Hvar
Potentially my favorite restaurant in the entire country, Konaba Stori Komin in the abandoned village of Malo Grablje combines incredible food with a unique atmosphere. Positioned on a hillside veranda with the sea in the distance, I ordered a starter of anchovies, prosciutto and local cheese to start. For my main course I had an octopus peka – a traditional Croatian dish baked over an open fire – with potatoes and vegetables, which was incredibly tender and flavorsome. Afterwards I treated myself to a delicious apple strudel with almonds. Eating this food whilst overlooking the island’s countryside was a real treat for the senses.
Taj Mahal Restaurant – Dubrovnik
Having reached my final stop in the Pearl of the Adriatic, I decided to try something different so paid a visit to Taj Mahal Restaurant. Despite the fact that the name may suggest that it serves Indian cuisine, the food is actually all Bosnian-themed. The chefs here are passionate about sharing the flavors of Bosnia’s relatively unknown cuisine. I treated myself to a portion of ćevapčići – a grilled minced meat kebab wrapped in traditional flatbread. Sat on the streets of Dubrovnik, surrounded by a welcoming bustle and sipping on a Sarajevsko – local Bosnian beer – with the warm summer sun on my shoulders was the moment that I realised how much I adore traveling.
Restaurant Orhan – Dubrovnik
As my vacation started to draw to an end I decided to enjoy one last portion of Croatian seafood, so visited Dubrovnik’s Restaurant Orhan. Located at the foot of Tower Lovrjenac just a short walk from the Old Town, it is known for its fish platter, which includes seabass and scorpionfish – a delicacy that I highly recommend – and what better way to tie it all off than with a bottle of Istrian-produced red wine from Zozlovic? The perfect end to a perfect return to the world of traveling.
If you want to visit Croatia to try out some of these restaurants – or perhaps discover favorites of your own – then contact our friendly team for tips and a helping hand towards creating your dream Croatian getaway.