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Food in Croatia: Top Gourmet Experiences Of The Coastal Region


Croatia, a land of nature, culture, and history, is also home to a delectable culinary scene that’s rich and varied. Particularly along the coast, Croatian food is as fresh as the Adriatic Sea and as flavorful as the Mediterranean herbs that grow in abundance. If you're planning to travel along Croatia's coastline, let your taste buds guide you. Here are some gourmet experiences that you shouldn’t miss:

Aminess Hotels & Resorts

Meet our friendly hotels and campsites in Croatia's top destinations: Istria, Dalmatia and Kvarner.


Food in Coastal and Inland Istria

Istria, the largest peninsula in Croatia, is known for its lush landscapes, rolling hills, and gourmet treasures. Some of the top Istrian specialties include:

  • Truffles: the forests of Istria are famous for their truffles, especially the white truffle, considered one of the most prized in the world. These are shaved over pasta, risotto, or eggs, delivering an earthy and luxurious flavor.
  • Olive oil: Istria is also known for its flavorful extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil tasting is a must-do while visiting, with some of the world's best oils being produced in this region.
  • Istrian ham (pršut): this air-dried ham is a staple and is often paired with cheese from the region, best enjoyed with a glass of Malvazija or Teran wine from local wineries.
  • Seafood: along the coast, feast on fresh catches of the day, particularly the sole, seabass, and the sweetest of scallops.

There are endless spots throughout the peninsula to try out these delicacies, which range from traditional konobas to high-end restaurants. If you find yourself in the Novigrad region and are looking for a top-quality yet relaxed spot, our recommendation is to visit Half8 restaurant, where you can explore highlights of Istrian cuisine in a cozy seaside ambiance.

For great grill dishes make sure to stop in La Gradela, a charming Mediterranean restaurant with an open BBQ kitchen. And if you crave some excellent classic and local-inspired pizzas, trattoria Il Cantuccio will be a top pick.

Food in Coastal Dalmatia

Dalmacija is the largest coastal region which stretches from Zadar on the north, all the way to the southernmost part of the coast, south of the world-famous Dubrovnik. Right in the middle you’ll find the incredible Makarska Riviera, a stunning stretch of coast known not only for its beautiful beaches and striking Biokovo mountain but also its vibrant culinary scene. While here, try out:

  • Peka: this is a traditional Dalmatian dish where meat or fish (often lamb, veal, or octopus) and vegetables are slow-cooked under a bell-like dome. The result is a tender, juicy dish infused with the flavors of herbs and wood.
  • Grilled fish: the Adriatic Sea provides a bounty of fish, which is best enjoyed in its simplest form - grilled, seasoned with olive oil, garlic, and lemon.
  • Dalmatian prosciutto: similar to Istrian, but with its distinct flavor and a bit different method of production, this prosciutto is a delightful introduction to any meal.
  • Dalmatian desserts: don't forget to indulge in local desserts like rožata (a caramel flan) or fritule (mini doughnuts) that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Same as in Istria, there are plenty of traditional spots to try out the Dalmatian delicacies. However, if you’d like a truly decadent foodie experience, check out the luxurious Above rooftop restaurant in Makarska. The breathtaking ambiance of the incredible rooftop terrace overlooking the Adriatic and Dalmatian islands is a perfect spot to try out the haute cuisine twists of local gastronomic traditions.

Food on Croatian Islands

The Croatian islands are not only paradise for beach and nature lovers but also gourmands. There are more than a thousand islands, islets, and reefs, so you can imagine how diverse the local gastronomies are. Just to get a taste, we’ll highlight some of the most popular ones - Krk on the north, and Korčula on the south.

Island of Krk

While visiting one of the most popular destinations of northern Adriatic, don’t miss out on these delicacies:

  • Krk cheese: made from the milk of the island's sheep, these cheeses have a savory and slightly tangy flavor, thanks to the unique nutrition of sheep, which consists of the island’s aromatic herbs.
  • Šurlice: handmade pasta often served with a goulash-like sauce or seafood.
  • Krk wine: Vrbnička žlahtina is a white wine sort indigenous to the island, and it's a real treat for wine lovers.

Island of Korčula

Korčula is a perfect place to hide from the crowds and disconnect from everyday life, and here are some of the island’s specialties:

  • Žrnovski makaruni: A type of handmade tubular pasta typically served with beef sauce.
  • White fish brodet: a sumptuous fish stew made with a variety of fish, tomatoes, and wine.
  • Grk and Pošip wines: the island is known for these two wines, with Grk being cultivated almost exclusively in the village of Lumbarda.

You can experience the islands’ delicacies in 7seas restaurants, available on both Krk and Korčula islands. Both restaurants are well known for their stylish interiors and exteriors, impeccable service, as well as creative menus filled with locally sourced ingredients for an elevated authentic experience.

All in all, Croatia's coastal region is a food lover's dream. The intertwining of the land, sea, and centuries-old traditions creates a symphony of flavors waiting to be explored. As you travel the coastline and islands of Croatia, it's evident that food is not just sustenance but an art, a celebration, and a beautiful expression of this nation's heart and soul.

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