If you’re thinking about visiting Croatia, YES ABSOLUTELY DO IT, don’t forget to add Zagreb to your itinerary. I wish I added more days to the Zagreb portion of our trip. It was beautiful and the food was fantastic. So below is a list of all of my favorite places we ate in Zagreb, and one in Rakovica that was so amazing it needed to be on this list.
This is the most expensive restaurant on my list and absolutely worth the splurge. If you make your way there I highly recommend doing the tasting menu with the wine pairing. This was both my first restaurant in Croatia and my first tasting menu I’ve ever experienced and it really set the bar high. When I think of tasting menus I always expect the portions to be tiny and the experience to feel quite stuffy. This was not that at all. The portions were small enough to where you don’t fill up on one course but big enough to where we left completely stuffed. We also did the wine pairing and, as someone who knows nothing about wine, I highly recommend it! It was so much fun and if I could go back there right now, I would.
First up was little cracker bites with tasty items filled that I don’t remember what the fillings were now but I also had no idea then either.
Next was some amazing focaccia bread and sea bass tartare. I am not really a fish person, but my husband LOVED it, so if fish is your thing you will too.
The following dish was the best pasta carbonara I have ever had. The homemade pasta noodles were thick and sooo good.
This next was my FAVORITE DISH!!! Pear risotto paired with a pear wine. This is one of the only wines I remembered. It wasn’t that the others were bad, I liked them all, I just know nothing about wine. But this one I remember the flavor being very pear-y and I loved how clever it seemed. The dish gave me everything: it gave me soft, crunchy, cold, hot, sweet, creamy, and salty. I want a bowl of this right now.
Now for the beef. I am going to quote the menu directly here for the description because just wow. “Ribeye tagliata- dry aged ribeye, liquid parmigiano reggiano 16 months, arugula sprouts, balsamic vinegar beads.” The beads were absolutely lovely. It really says a lot about the risotto dish that this wasn’t my favorite, I mean look at it!!
For dessert we got to choose from a list of delicious sounding options. We ended up picking a creme brulee situation with basil, fresh berries, and a balsamic glaze and an orange chocolate cake. Both were fantastic and very different from each other. One was rich with a refreshing hint of orange while the other was creamy with a wide variety of flavors that really worked well together.
To end our meal we were served two local liqueurs. One was clear and really rough going down and the other was a red wine liqueur that was so tasty I got seconds. If you get the chance be sure to pick yourself up some Teranino when you find yourself in Zagreb. It is local to Zagreb specifically so as long as you are there be sure to grab all you can!
One of my favorite things to do when traveling is trying what their version of a different country’s cuisine is. It’s always fun for me to taste how different it is based on how much closer or further away they are to that country than we are. This was my first Sri Lankin restaurant and it did not disappoint. We both ordered their special that was a sampling of the different items they carried. The special came with fried fish cutlets, fried rice, some stewed meats, an egg, and your choice of curried meat. You also got to choose what spice level you preferred which is always fun.
The last of my favorites that was inside Zagreb was Royal India. I will say although the food is fantastic keep in mind this is more of a family style ordering system. It’s best to order a bunch of dishes to share and not just one dish for yourself as the portions are too small to eat that way. The chai and the mango lassi were soooooo good and their highest level of spice was perfection (if you’re into spice, if not maybe don’t do that.)
Not quite Zagreb:
Fast Food BBQ
Now for the one that we ended up at on our way back into Zagreb from a road trip. This place was exactly what we needed after spending hours exploring a national park: Fun burgers, cocktails from bottles, and puffy french fries. I ordered the Mexican burger and my husband ordered their bbq burger. Both were gorgeous and delicious. I also ordered two cocktails that they said normally (pre pandemic) they would make themselves but because they were no longer getting as much business as they did beforehand they couldn’t afford to do it that way. So if you go there after their tourism bounces back up I am sure you are in for some tasty hand made cocktails but if not, bottled is still a nice alternative.
If you find yourself planning a trip to Croatia I highly recommend making sure to add Zagreb to your places you must see and hopefully give some of these places a try. And if you’ve already been, let me know in the comments what some of your favorite places or dishes were you tried when you were there last.