Seaside Cuisine: 12 Best Coastal Restaurants in Croatia
Summer has once again graced us with its presence, and the call for beach escapades and island-like getaways has become impossible to ignore. Amidst the beauty of the Adriatic coast, a treasure trove of gastronomic gems awaits. From succulent seafood dishes like prawns, lobsters, and squid to savory truffles and brodet (a fish casserole), there’s something for every palate. And don’t forget to indulge in a glass of wine while taking in the breathtaking views. Let’s uncover the best coastal restaurants in Croatia!
12 Best Coastal Restaurants in Croatia
Join us on an unforgettable coastal trip filled with exciting stops as we explore Croatia’s top 12 coastal restaurants. Each coastal restorant provides fantastic opportunities to savor truly magnificent cuisine and create unforgettable dining memories.
The restaurants listed below are not in any particular order. They are provided to inspire you to find your next favorite dining destination.
Konoba Senko, Vis
Nestled on the southern side of the enchanting island of Vis lies a hidden gem that transcends the definition of a restaurant.
It is a place where gastronomy meets storytelling, where culinary artistry merges with the charm of an unforgettable experience.
Senko Karuza, celebrated as a master of the short story, chose to dedicate his life to creating this extraordinary establishment in the picturesque bay of Mala Travna.
This Robinson Crusoe-style restaurant is a place where Senko not only showcases his culinary skills but also treats his fortunate guests to a literary and gastronomic performance.
Accessible primarily to nautical tourists, this serene cove has become the backdrop to an extraordinary rendezvous. It has become a special meeting place for those who appreciate the distinct way of life that Senko lives, and when prepared to leave all the prejudices, an unforgettable culinary experience is waiting for them.
The ambiance and menu reflect the simplicity and charm of the island of Vis, creating a magical place that visitors find enchanting.
If you are fortunate enough to capture Senko’s culinary fancy, you will embark on an true epicurean journey. To set the stage, several of Senko’s legendary rakijas will awaken your senses.
The experience then unfolds with a delectable soup crafted from the freshest ingredients Senko finds at hand.
Next up is a tantalizing pasta dish, followed by a brujet, a local pronunciation of the Italian “brodetto,” a fish stew that showcases the richness of the Adriatic Sea.
The pinnacle of this gastronomic odyssey awaits as a platter of fish from the grill emerges. These are no ordinary fish but the freshest catch of the day.
An experience of this magnitude would not be complete without a harmonious accompaniment, and the Vugava, a local indigenous white wine variety, plays this role to perfection.
Sourced from the sun-kissed vineyards of Vis, this wine adds a celestial touch, enhancing the flavors of the meal and elevating the dining experience to ethereal heights.
Gastro Mare, Kobaš (near Ston)
Gastro Mare is a charming family-owned restaurant located in the picturesque bay of Kobaš on the Pelješac Peninsula.
The restaurant prides itself on offering delicious cuisine based on fresh local ingredients and homemade products, including olive oil, vegetables, and fish.
The owners, Ante Toni and Maja, are dedicated to creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for their guests while serving mouthwatering dishes that highlight the region’s flavors.
The menu at Gastro Mare is known to change daily, depending on the availability of the freshest ingredients from both the sea and the land.
One of the restaurant’s unique features is its open kitchen, where guests can witness the preparation of their meals right in front of them. This interactive experience adds to the overall charm and appeal of the dining experience.
The restaurant has received glowing reviews from visitors and is a popular destination for yachters and tourists exploring the region.
With its 11 moorings of 3 meters deep available for yachts, Gastro Mare has become a favored stop for those traveling along the Croatian coast.
The serene bay of Kobaš and the restaurant’s delectable offerings make it a must-visit spot for food enthusiasts and travelers alike.
Konoba Smokvica, Kornati
Konoba Smokvica is a restaurant located on Vela Smokvica Island in the Kornati National Park.
It offers a variety of Mediterranean cuisine, with a focus on homemade fresh and authentic specialties from the region.
The restaurant prides itself on excellent service, aiming to be a standout presence in the Kornati gastronomic scene.
Konoba Smokvica is known for offering a variety of delicious Mediterranean cuisine, focusing on homemade fresh and authentic specialties from the region.
Some of the best food you can try at Konoba Smokvica might include tasty seafood, fish dishes, and peka – a traditional Croatian dish prepared by slow-cooking meat and vegetables under a bell-shaped lid, resulting in tender and flavorful meals.
The ambiance is often praised by guests, with the location being in the scenic surroundings of the mentioned Kornati National Park, renowned for its stunning natural and underwater beauty.
Restaurant Dvor, Split
Dvor Restoran, also known as Caffe-Restoran Dvor, is a popular Mediterranean restaurant located in Split.
Situated above the popular beaches Firule and Ovčice, the restaurant offers a charming setting surrounded by centuries-old pine trees and terraces.
It has gained acclaim and recognition in the culinary world, being featured in prestigious guides such as Michelin Guide Croatia and Gault & Millau for Croatia.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of delicacies prepared with fresh and locally sourced ingredients, showcasing the rich flavors of the region.
The restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine, and its menu features a balanced selection of dishes, including both meat and fish options.
Dvor Restoran has become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering a delightful combination of delectable food, serene ambiance, and scenic views.
Whether one is looking for a romantic dinner, a family gathering, or a relaxing meal with friends, Dvor provides an inviting atmosphere for all occasions.
Zrno Soli, Split
Zrno Soli is a well-known restaurant located in Split. The restaurant offers creative Mediterranean cuisine under the guidance of a renowned chef who is prepared to take on endless culinary challenges.
It prides itself on using fresh and locally sourced ingredients to ensure the dishes retain all their natural benefits.
The restaurant provides a wonderful dining experience with a stunning view of boats, yachts, the sea, and the center of Split, especially from its terrace on the first floor of the ACI marina.
The restaurant has been operating since 2011 and has gained a positive reputation over the years, attracting both locals and tourists alike.
It has received recognition from the Michelin Guide Croatia from 2018 – 2022, further establishing its reputation for quality cuisine.
In addition to the stunning views and delightful dishes, the restaurant offers various service options, including dine-in, takeaway, and delivery.
It’s a seafood restaurant, so seafood enthusiasts are likely to find an array of delicious dishes to choose from.
Konoba Šoleta, Kornati
Konoba Šoleta is a restaurant located in a small bay within the beautiful Kornati archipelago in Croatia.
It is known for its traditional, rustic ambiance, providing a homely and welcoming atmosphere for its visitors.
The restaurant is highly praised for its excellent food, particularly dishes like octopus, squid, and other seafood delicacies, which are among the highlights of its menu.
Both locals and tourists find this place popular due to its stunning surroundings and welcoming staff.
Restaurant Pelegrini, Šibenik
Housed within a 15th-century Gothic palace in Šibenik’s historic center, Restaurant Pelegrini effortlessly marries history with gastronomy.
The Michelin-starred restaurant showcases dishes that pay homage to Croatia’s, especially Dalmatian region, rich culinary heritage, with a modern twist.
The seafront terrace offers a mesmerizing panorama of the medieval town and the azure waters of the Adriatic.
Near the seafront, opposite Šibenik’s UNESCO-listed cathedral, Pelegrini is possibly the best restaurant on the Croatian coast.
Chef Rudolf Štefan takes inspiration from Venetian, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and French cuisines, all historical influences in Croatia.
Moreover, creativity abounds with local seasonal ingredients – mussels, oysters, sea urchins, fish, and lamb.
We suggest trying out the Pelegrini at sea, which is a one-of-a-kind gourmet adventure that involves sailing with a proficient skipper who also happens to be a chef at Pelegrini.
Restaurant Nautika, Dubrovnik
Nautika Restaurant is a renowned fine dining establishment located in Dubrovnik. Situated at Pile, near the western entrance of Dubrovnik’s Old City, the restaurant offers a truly unique and breathtaking view of the Adriatic Sea and the fortresses of Lovrijenac and Bokar from its terraces.
Nautika is highly regarded for its exceptional Mediterranean cuisine, which blends tradition, quality, and creativity to provide an innovative and refined dining experience, mainly focusing on seafood dishes.
Whether you prefer an elegant or casual dining experience, Nautika aims to deliver a memorable culinary journey that will be cherished for a long time.
The restaurant prides itself on providing top-notch service with a friendly smile and meticulously prepared food.
The menu offers a selection of delectable dishes, including various seafood options like Dalmatian-style lamb, green noodles with shrimps and prawns, and daily offers of first-class fish.
Nautika has earned significant recognition and praise, as evidenced by its inclusion in the 2023 Michelin Guide Croatia.
Agli Amici, Rovinj
Agli Amici Rovinj is a distinguished restaurant located in the charming town of Rovinj.
The restaurant is renowned for its high-quality cuisine, overseen by the acclaimed Italian chef Emanuele Scarello.
His culinary expertise has earned the restaurant a Michelin star, adding to its prestige in the gastronomic scene.
Situated between the Grand Park Hotel, one of the most luxurious hotels in Istria, and the ACI Marina, the restaurant offers a stylish and elegant dining experience with a stunning terrace that provides a picturesque view of Rovinj’s old town.
The restaurant’s menu showcases an exquisite blend of Istrian flavors with an Italian twist, making it a delightful destination for food enthusiasts seeking unique and innovative dishes.
Visitors can expect a sophisticated and elegant ambiance, perfect for enjoying a memorable evening with loved ones.
Agli Amici Rovinj has garnered positive reviews from both locals and tourists, praising its outstanding cuisine, attentive service, and beautiful setting. As a result, it has become one of the must-visit dining establishments in Rovinj for those looking to indulge in a culinary journey.
For a memorable dining experience that brings together Italian-inspired creations and local ingredients in an enchanting setting, Agli Amici is an ideal choice.
Konoba Batelina, Banjole
In the charming Istrian fishing village of Banjole, Konoba Batelina is a gastronomic gem that lures seafood enthusiasts from around the globe.
This family-run tavern excels in serving freshly caught fish and shellfish. The owner, Chef David Skoko, is renowned for his passion for local fishing traditions and will regale you with stories as you savor each flavorful bite.
The restaurant’s name “Konoba” refers to a traditional Croatian tavern or eatery that often serves regional and local specialties.
Batelina has received praise from both locals and tourists for its fresh and high-quality seafood preparations.
The restaurant’s reputation has not only spread within Croatia but also on an international scale.
Restaurant Damir & Ornella, Novigrad
Damir & Ornella is a seafood restaurant located in Novigrad-Cittanova in Istrian penninsual.
The restaurant offers a menu with a focus on seafood, including traditional, homemade tagliatelle and raw fish dishes, among others.
It prides itself on providing its guests unique and delicious culinary experiences, offering a break from ordinary food.
Restaurant Puntulina, Rovinj
Puntulina Rovinj is a renowned restaurant and wine bar in the heart of the old town of Rovinj, one of the must-visit places in Croatia.
The establishment prides itself on serving its customers some of the finest local and fresh produce.
Inspired by Rovinj’s surrounding culture and beauty, Puntulina offers a delightful dining experience featuring Mediterranean and regional cuisine.
Some of the main dishes on their menu include the beefsteak tagliata, among other delicious options.
Puntulina’s ambiance is enhanced by its seaside location, offering a relaxed setting with a terrace that highlights stunning sunsets, seafood dishes, and steaks.
Additionally, the restaurant offers an extensive wine list to complement its delectable food offerings.
What food is most popular in Croatia?
From the fertile plains of Slavonia and Baranja to the sun-kissed shores of Dalmatia, the gastronomic delights of Croatia are as rich and varied as its landscapes. So, prepare your taste buds for a delightful journey through some of the most delicious and iconic dishes this captivating country offers.
- Crni rižoto aka black risotto: locally known as “crni rižot,” Black Risotto is a culinary gem found along Croatia’s coastline. This exquisite dish is made with cuttlefish or squid, infused with olive oil, garlic, red wine, and, most importantly, squid ink, which imparts a striking black color and an intense seafood flavor. Don’t be surprised if your mouth and teeth turn black after indulging in this delicacy; the unique taste and experience make it completely worth it.
- Boškarin: the white-grey, long-horned Istrian oxen, hold a place of honor in Croatian cuisine. Revered as a gourmet delicacy, you can find this exceptional meat served in various forms at top restaurants and traditional konobas (taverns). Enjoy Boškarin as carpaccio, in savory sauces with pasta or gnocchi, as salami or steak, and even relish its sumptuous tail soup.
- Brudet, brodet aka brodetto: hailing from Italy’s Marche region but embraced by coastal Croatians, Brodetto, also known as “brudet,” is a fisherman’s stew with a fascinating history. Traditionally cooked over an open fire using the day’s fresh catch, the stew was preserved with ample vinegar for a couple of days. Croatian cooks, inspired by their Italian neighbors, use a tomato base to create this mouthwatering dish.
- Čobanac aka Shepherd’s or Slavonian meat stew: for a hearty and spicy culinary experience, look no further than Čobanac, a Slavonian stew lovingly prepared in a kettle over an open fire. This soul-nourishing dish, cherished by shepherds after a day of hard work in the fields, combines various meats like pork, beef, and sometimes game or lamb. The fiery kick comes from the addition of dried hot peppers, infusing the stew with warmth and flavor.
- Dagnje na buzaru aka Mediterranean mussel stew: indulge your taste buds with the exquisite flavors of Dagnje na Buzaru, a native Dalmatian seafood delicacy. The name “buzara” traces its origins back to the Venetian galleys, where it referred to the kettle used to prepare food for the crew. Along with Mediterranean mussels, this delectable stew may also feature succulent shrimp or crabs, all bathed in a rich broth of white or red varieties. Served with pasta or creamy polenta, this dish embodies the essence of Mediterranean hedonism.
- Sarma aka stuffed cabbage: sarma, a staple of Croatian winter cuisine, is a comforting delight that traces its roots back to Turkey. The traditional continental version involves minced pork mixed with rice, wrapped in tender cabbage leaves. Served with creamy mashed potatoes, this dish graces tables throughout the Balkans, comforting hearts and stomachs on chilly winter days. The Mediterranean variant, on the other hand, uses vine leaves to encase the flavorful meat mixture, offering a lighter and refreshing taste perfect for summer.
- Filane paprike aka stuffed peppers: as the warm summer breeze sweeps over Croatia, filane paprike emerges as the season’s delightful counterpart to Sarma. This authentic Croatian summer dish stars vibrant bell peppers with a tantalizing blend of minced meat and rice. Cooked in a tangy tomato sauce, the stuffed peppers offer a milder taste, perfect for sunny days. Enjoy them with creamy mashed potatoes or fresh, crusty bread, and you’ll savor a taste of Croatian summer on your plate.
- Fuži and pljukanci: prepare to fall in love with two pasta stars of Istria – Fuži and Pljukanci. Fuži, quill-shaped homemade pasta, boasts a versatile nature that pairs well with truffle cream sauce or mild red sauces featuring beef, boškarin, chicken, rooster, or wild game. Meanwhile, pljukanci, resembling the shape of green beans, offer a chewy and delightful pasta experience, and let’s not forget about the beloved njoki (gnocchi).
- Fiš-paprikaš aka fish stew: fiš-paprikaš, a fiery fish stew, is a true gem from the culinary treasure chest of Slavonia and Baranja. This tantalizing dish features a medley of river fish, generously seasoned with dried sweet and hot peppers and a touch of wine. Accompanied by homemade wide noodles, the spiciness of fiš-paprikaš is a tribute to the cultural exchange between Croatia, southern Germany, and Hungary. Savor its richness and spiciness with a glass of good wine to complete the experience.
- Peka: embrace the heartwarming tradition of Peka, a tender meat and vegetable dish also known as “ispod čripnje” (under the bell). This delightful delicacy is cooked under a terracotta or iron lid over burning embers, imparting a unique and comforting flavor to dishes that may include octopus, lamb, veal, or chicken, often accompanied by potatoes.
- Tartufi aka truffles: the enchanting Motovun forests in Istria are home to some of the world’s highest concentrations of truffles. While Croatian tartufi may be less famous than their Italian counterparts, many argue they boast a more robust aroma. The best part? You can savor a generous truffle-infused multi-course meal in Croatia at half the cost of a similar experience in Italy.
- Pašticada aka braised beef: step into the world of Dalmatian indulgence with Pašticada, a majestic dish that tops the list of Croatian culinary complexity. Made of marinated stewed meat, this dish varies from household to household, with some using beef fillet, while others opt for beef leg with prunes and apples. After marinating in a tantalizing blend of cloves, bacon, and vinegar, the meat is cooked in prosecco and fruit for hours, creating a truly divine dish. Served with homemade potato gnocchi or bread dumplings, Pašticada is a treasure worth savoring.
- Tartufata s pljukancima aka truffle sauce with spindle pasta: Istria unveils its gastronomic jewel with Tartufata s Pljukancima, a dish celebrating the region’s prized white Istrian truffles. Paired with small spindles of pasta, the truffle sauce comprises a delightful medley of button mushrooms, olive oil, and the unique white truffle. Unlike its imitators, the white truffle thrives only in Istria, Italy, and France, earning its place as a culinary gem and a true symbol of luxury.
- Janjetina na ražnju aka spit-roasted lamb: December, January, and February are eagerly anticipated months in Croatia, as they herald the prime time for savoring young, spit-roasted lamb. Hailing from the islands of Pag, Cres, and Krk, this dish celebrates the finest Croatian lamb, reared on local herbs and grass. The preparation and spices are paramount to the dish’s success, with skilled masters earning admiration for their art. Pair this succulent feast with the perfect choice of salt and let the flavors transport you to culinary paradise.
- Dalmatinski pršut aka Dalmatian prosciutto: indulge in the savory pleasure of Dalmatinski Pršut, a cured ham that embodies the essence of Dalmatia. Made from pork leg and salted with sea salt, this prosciutto undergoes a meticulous process of smoking and air-drying in the famous Croatian wind, the bura. After at least a year of patient maturation, the prosciutto emerges with a distinctive flavor, best enjoyed thinly sliced with homemade bread or as a delightful complement to chicken and pork dishes.
- Zagorski štrukli aka cottage cheese rolls: delight in the heartwarming tradition of Zagorski Štrukli, a cherished specialty of Croatian Zagorje. As a protected autochthonous Croatian dish, its preparation is an art passed down through generations. These delightful rolls come in two savory variations: cooked in salted water and served with melted pork fat and fried breadcrumbs, or baked.
As you traverse Croatia’s captivating coastline, remember that the country’s culinary treasures are just as precious as its natural beauty and historical sites.
Embark on this gastronomic journey, and you’ll find that the best way to savor Croatia is through the delectable creations of its coastal restaurants, each promising an experience that lingers in your heart and on your taste buds for years to come.