Zagreb Street Food is hot!
I’m writing about this topic for the second time in the past two years, this is how hot Zagreb street food scene is. If you simply Google “Zagreb street food”, you’ll get what I’m talking about: numerous “best” lists, resto reviews and street food festivals. Street food became sort of a lifestyle.
Well, not literally street food in terms of food stands, but the food is definitely eaten in the streets, which wasn’t the case a few years ago. Today, Zagreb abounds in bistro-style food establishments and some of them are so popular they represent city’s most prominent social points. Ok, but where’s the street part here?
All of them have one thing in common – a terrace on the street. Generally, these restaurants are tiny in terms of interiors so they base the majority of their business on the street part of their establishment. And it doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter.
At first, when this type of food establishment appeared, old-school restaurateurs argued they are not real restaurants in terms of size or number of chairs and therefore cannot be compared to “proper restaurants”.
Slowly but surely, these bistros took over most of the city’s restaurant clientele as well as tourists. We can’t deny that there was a serious shift in the consumers’ behaviour since many “serious” restaurant-goers prefer to spend their time precisely in these urban locations.
There are several reasons why the street-food scene is so popular: first of all, terrific quality/price ratio; modern décor; friendly staff and finally – interesting offer (menu & wine list). Apparently, people were tired of the existing places and could hardly wait for something new.
Here are some not-to-miss spots:
LARI I PENATI is the first ever street food bistro in Zagreb. A small place on the bottom of not so popular Petrinjska street. Literally on the street (they have a couple of high tables inside and a terrace). With only a few dishes on the menu and interesting wine list, Lari & penati literally started a revolution.
Today, this is a cult place in the city where different cliques mix – whether you want a quick business lunch or an epic birthday bash.
MUNDOAKA STREET FOOD has a rep of one of the best bistros in Zagreb for years now. Their eclectic menu ticks all the boxes of an urban guest – artisanal sourdough bread made in-house, healthy salads, serious meat cuts, Asian influence – you name it, they got it.
POD ZIDOM is one of the most popular places in general. Located right next to Zagreb’s biggest farmers’ market just off the city’s main square, this charming bistro is perfect for food and wine lovers.
Just recently, they (re)opened the once famous DUCK FAST BISTRO which gained a cult status due to their elaborated menu.
RUGEMARIN, XATO, TACO’S & BURGER BARR are managed by the Medak/Šakota chef duo. Known for their original concepts, whatever these two come up with becomes an instant hit. Must see – all three places. Rougemarin is located in an ex light-bulb factory and was one of the first truly industrial venues in Zagreb.
This restaurant and Marin Medak himself raised a small army of chefs in since they opened a few years ago. Tvrtko Šakota is sort of the enfant terrible of Zagreb’s culinary scene, but this guy really knows his way around the kitchen.
OTTO & FRANK in a busy Tkalčićeva street is one of the best bistros in the city. Named after owners’ pets (a dog and a cat), Otto & Frank serves original bistro dishes (breakfast included) thanks to Ana (former highly ranked marketing professional) and has (maybe the best) service thanks to Aleksandar (big scale hospitality professional).
Zagreb has a lot of burger joints offering numerous burger types – from all organic to specialty meats. Also, there is a rise of Asian inspired bistros and we’re soon getting a proper ramen bar.
Wine culture is also on the rise and we have a lot of wine bars. One of the first wine bars ever opened is Basement, located next to one of Zagreb’s most recognizable symbols – Funicular, which offers Croatian wines only and is a great place to start exploring our wine scene.
Zagreb is especially interesting during spring/summer when it abounds with food festivals. Just recently ZG Wine & Food was held on the Gradec plato, location with the best view of the city itself and Zagreb cathedral.
Zagreb’s best restaurants teamed with winemakers and presented their pop-up street food concepts. Warm summer nights were filled with good food, fine wine, and live music performances.
I believe that now you have a good starting point to start exploring Zagreb’s vibrant foodie scene. Enjoy!
by: Lucija Bilandžić of Pleasure Seekers
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