Cruising around Croatia’s coast is the perfect way to experience the different culinary delights of each island and region. Croatian cuisine is influenced by various regional and historical factors, being a mix of Mediterranean and Central European cuisine, and has a strong emphasis on fresh ingredients and traditional recipes. So be sure to skip the pizza bars at the harbour front and meander down the cobbled streets to find a Konoba, where you can enjoy locally made dishes for a much more authentic Dalmatian experience!Table of contents
What dishes should I try?
Croatian cuisine is rich and diverse, and includes dishes and recipes that have been passed down through generations. Along the Dalmatian coast, you’ll find that seafood is a significant part of its cuisine. Dishes such as grilled fish, octopus salad, and black risotto are popular to name a few! Or if you fancy more meat-based dishes, then you have to try Cevapi, a type of grilled minced meat shaped by hand, which is a popular street food in Croatia. Cheese also plays an essential role in Croatian cuisine, with varieties such as Pag cheese, Istrian cheese, and Škripavac being the most popular. For our savoury lovers, we recommend trying Burek, a light pastry filled with your choice of cheese or meat, which is a popular choice for breakfast!
Peka actually refers to the domed lid that this dish is prepared in, typically metal or clay variations. Vegetables, with either meat or seafood, are marinated with herbs and then cooked over hot coals, resulting in a rich flavour that takes several hours to achieve. For those wanting to take this experience home with them, here is how to make traditional Peka yourself.
Soparnik originates from the area of Split and is a type of savoury pie made from thin layers of dough that are filled with a mixture of swiss chard, garlic, and onions. The pie is then folded in half and baked in a wood-fired oven until the crust is crispy and golden brown. You can often find it as a snack, especially at local festivals and celebrations, and is such an important part of Croatian culture, that it’s been recognized as a protected cultural heritage by the Croatian Ministry of Culture!
This is a traditional slow-cooked beef stew that is typically served as a main course for special occasions and events. The beef is marinated in a rich concoction of red wine, vinegar, and a blend of herbs and spices, including garlic, bay leaves, and cloves. The marinated beef is then seared in a pan and braised with vegetables, such as onions, carrots, and celery, until it’s tender and falling apart and served with a side of gnocchi. No wonder this is the ultimate comfort food!
Try this little doughnut at Christmas or special occasions, or if we had our way, every day! These little fried sweets are dusted with powdered sugar then dipped in a sauce of honey or jam – yum!
This delightfully creamy cake is made with vanilla custard between layers of pastry and topped with whipped cream. As a classic Croatian dessert, you will find it on the menu in many restaurants you visit and we highly recommend it as the perfect sweet treat to end your meal with.
Which are the best restaurants to try?
You are definitely spoiled for choice when it comes to restaurants around Croatia! From quaint laneway locations to Michelin starred eateries, expect to find everything from the local Mediterranean cuisine as well as the global menu on offer. With so many choices, see some of the highly recommended restaurants to add to your must-try list.
Wines of Croatia
Croatia has a long history of wine-making dating back to ancient times. The country has a diverse range of wine-growing regions, each with its own unique climate, soil, and grape varieties. With a number of wineries sprinkled across the country, some of the most prominent wine regions in Croatia include Istria, Dalmatia, and Slavonia. When sailing around the Croatian coast, the most famous wine growing areas discoverable are Peljesac and Hvar. Known for their robust reds made from the Plavac Mali grape variety, you will find them to be full-bodied with notes of blackberry and black cherry. Živjeli!