Tantalize Your Taste Buds With The Best Croatian Seafood Dishes
Looking for an authentic Croatian experience? One of the best ways to live like a local, is to eat like a local. But with so many unique and wonderful Croatian dishes to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where to start. So let’s make the decision a little easier for you! If food is the way to a person’s heart, then you’ll surely be in love with Croatia after trying some of their best Croatian seafood dishes.
So, fans of seafood dishes look no further! From grilled fish to perfectly seasoned shellfish, Croatia is a hub for seafood lovers and worth visiting just to indulge yourself in these scrumptious cuisines.
Why is seafood in Croatia so popular?
To the western side of Croatia lies The Adriatic Sea which has been a great food source for the Croatian people. With over 400 species on Croatia’s doorstep, it’s no wonder seafood has become a staple in the Croatian diet.
This convenience has played a huge influence on traditional Croatian cuisine with many dishes incorporating seafood and shellfish as the selling point of the meal. Here are some of the tastiest Croatian seafood dishes you need to try on your visits to this seafood fanatic country.
Must try Croatian seafood dishes:
The coastline of Croatia stretches for over 3000 miles, giving you dozens of opportunities to enjoy delicious seafood. It doesn’t matter if you’re staying in Split, Dubrovnik, Pula or Zadar, you’ll be welcomed with an array of fresh seafood dishes to enjoy every day.
So if you consider yourself a bit of a foodie and want to experience the local cuisines, staying close to the coast will give you the best options of meals to choose from. Here are some of favorites for you to order:
Octopus Peka is unquestionably one of the most popular Dalmatian seafood dishes you’ll ever find in Croatia and can be ordered in most restaurants along the coast. This delicious dish is slow-cooked in a traditional cooking pan called a peka that comes with a bell-shaped iron lid.
Cooking octopus in this way makes it juicy and tender and is one of the tastiest ways you can eat cooked octopus. It is often flavored with spices, garlic, lemon and black pepper with various vegetables such as potatoes, onions and carrots added to the dish truly making it a flavorsome and hearty meal.
Although black risotto may not be exclusively native to Croatia, it has become a staple in the Croatian diet and the quality of Croatian seafood makes this dish stand out in particular. It can be found in numerous Dalmatian taverns and restaurants along the coast and we would highly recommend ordering it as a tasty lunchtime meal when visiting Croatia.
Different types of Croatian seafood can be used in black risotto such as cuttlefish, squid and mussels, but it is what is used to color this risotto that makes it so special. Cuttlefish and sometimes squid ink is mixed into the rice during the cooking process to give it its unique black color. Be warned, your teeth and lips will likely be stained black whilst eating this dish.
If you’re looking for a dish that showcases local shellfish, buzara will be your go-to every time. Buzara is a delicious plate that piles up super-fresh scampi, shrimp and mussels or clams as the main ingredients. These are thrown into a pot to be cooked with garlic, tomato paste, parsley and breadcrumbs.
Mali Ston Oysters
A list of the best Croatia seafood would not be complete without Mali Ston Oysters on it. Found in Mali Ston Bay in Dubrovnik, these may be some of the best oysters you will ever try.
The clean and salty waters of The Adriatic Sea give these oysters the perfect conditions to grow. The minerals of the water tend to infuse into the seafood giving it a fresh and delicious taste. It is possible to order these oysters in most seafood restaurants along the coast and we would highly recommend adding them to your bucket list of foods to try in Croatia.
One of the most traditional ways to eat fish in Croatia is brudet, a hearty and warming fish soup prepared all in one dish. Depending on where you visit, each Brudet dish you try will be different as season and location can play a major impact on how this dish is made.
It’s said that every family and restaurant has its own way to cook this staple, but at its heart is whitefish and shellfish – the type of which varies in every town – slowly cooked with onions, tomato sauce, spices and chilli peppers to give it a bit of warmth.
If any of these dishes sound like something you’d like to try, why not join our Croatian Culinary & Wine Tours, which allows you to mix and match locations in both Croatia and the neighboring country of Slovenia. Stay in boutique hotels, visit state-of-the-art kitchens, meet local chefs and eat in some of the nation’s most talked-about restaurants, all with your own knowledgeable local guide at your side.
If you’re looking for something a little more bespoke, try creating a custom tour with us which gives you a true and authentic taste of Croatia. Speak to a member of our friendly and knowledgeable team today.