Eating out on your Croatia holiday

What is Croatian cuisine?:

Coffee and cake in Dubrovnik's Old Town square

Coffee and cake in Dubrovnik's Old Town square

Food styles in Croatia are varied, depending on the regions, but broadly they can be categorized into two main groups – the inland and the coastal areas.  There is a distinct difference in the types of foodstuff and styles of cooking between the two main regions.  Cuisine in the inland are influenced by Central European countries like Hungary and Vienna, whereas the coastal regions have been greatly influenced by the long period of Venetian rule – pasta dishes and pizzas can be found virtually everywhere. Seafood is plentiful along the coast, but they are not necessarily cheap.

Traditional and Favourite foods

Croatians of course have their own traditional cuisine and their favorite foods include spit-roasted lamb and suckling pig, grilled fish, calamari cooked in various styles, barbeque dishes, raznjici (similar to shish kebab), cevapcici (Croatia’s answer to the hamburger), mixed grill, prosciutto and sheep’s milk cheese, or smoked ham and cottage cheese with sour cream, fish stew and venison.

Burek is a common pastry you’ll see all over Croatia.  It can be filled with cheese (often feta), minced meat, potatoes or other vegetables.  It was a favorite breakfast food with farmers and fishermen.

Pag cheese, made on the island of Pag, is a delicacy throughout Croatia.  It is a sharp tasting sheep’s milk cheese, often served thinly sliced with olives on the side, as an appetiser.

Palacinke is a crepe-like dessert which is often stuffed with walnuts or chocolate and sometimes served with ice cream.

Typical Festive Dishes

As with many traditional cultures, food plays a important part of any traditional festivity and as such every holiday has its own typical food:

  • Pilgrimages and fairs – Pork and potato stew
  • New Year’s Day – Pork
  • Good Friday – Cod
  • Easter – Ham and boiled eggs with green vegetables
  • Harvest time – Kulen (hot-pepper flavored sausage)
  • St. Martin’s Day – Goose
  • Christmas – Bakalar (dried cod prepared in a variety of ways), turkey and other fowl, as well as sarma (meat-stuffed cabbage leaves)
  • Weddings – a variety of dishes and lots of cakes and biscuits are served
  • Doughnuts are part and parcel of carnival festivities and in the south there is a similar fried sweet dish known as hrostule.

Where to eat in Croatia?

Croatia is a very popular tourist destination with independent travellers, tour groups as well as cruise liners.  There is no shortage of eating places and restaurants, konobas, gostinicas and pizza joints can be found all over peninsula, especially in the popular tourist resorts.  Restaurants tend to be the more formal dining places attached to hotels or resorts, serving international cuisine.  For something more local, head for a konoba or gostionica.  These are the equivalent of a trattoria or taverna and are less expensive.

If you don’t fancy any of the local dishes, there’s always the pizza to fall back on.  The pizzas here are really good.  We had a very nice one in Dubrovnik and came back for more the next day.

What do you think? Please comment below to tell me.


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