Find out all you need to know about the best Croatian food and drinks before your trip.
Croatia has a rich history of food and drinks, influenced by the Mediterranean and the diverse cultures of the Balkans. The most iconic Croatian dishes range from the austere marine food recipes to heartier meals with flavors from the Balkans. If you wish to have a complete culinary experience, check out our Croatian food guide as you begin your trip to the pearl of the Adriatic. Before you arrive, keep in mind these Croatian food tips:
Must-Try Croatian Foods
Here are the top dishes of the Croatian food scene that will help you eat like a local:
It may not look like much, but cevapi is Croatia’s go-to meal with its delicious taste and availability. It is grilled skinless sausages made of minced meat (usually a lamb and beef mix). Varieties exist in proper restaurants or street food eateries. It is of Balkan origin, traditionally served with flatbread, onions, and ajvar, a red capsicum relish. Ajvar can be hot or sweet based on choice, and you can order in different portions. It is a perfect example of Balkans-meet-Dalmatian tradition for food in Croatia.
Whether as a quick bite or a fancy starter at a restaurant, with or without champagne, oysters are a popular dish across the Adriatic. The ones in Dalmatia are specifically sought out for their strong flavor. You will find the best oysters in and around Dubrovnik, coming from the bay of Ston. The finest oysters come in March and April as the water is cooler. Nevertheless, locals make a strong case that Croatian oysters will be the best you have ever tasted.
The Dalmatian provides the main ingredients to iconic Croatian food. ‘Black Risotto’ is one of them, an essential in every menu with its plain but pleasing taste. Risotto rice is cooked with squid ink, which gives it a black color and an ominous look. But, it is an absolute must-try if you are into marine food. Try it as a starter or an afternoon snack. Local wine complements its soft spicy taste perfectly.
Pasticada represents the classical side of Croatian food, served traditionally in gatherings, festivities, and cultural occasions. It is beef slowly cooked in a sweet and sour sauce and served with gnocchi. Varieties exist in different restaurants, but the best ones always include homemade pasta. The oldest pasticada recipe dates back to the 15th-century Dubrovnik. You will relish the sweet hint of the dessert wine, prošek, in its sauce.
You will come across the fragrant rožata in almost every cafe and restaurant across Croatia. Don’t be mistaken by its looks, it is not the usual crème brûlée or flan that you are used to seeing in Europe. Rožata features rozalin, a local rose liqueur that is arguably one of the loveliest things you will taste as part of your Croatian food journey.
Must-Try Croatian Drinks
Wine has always been of fine quality and tasteful nature across the Dalmatian. And the elegant pošip wine is a variety you cannot miss. The white Pošip grapes have grown on the island of Korcula since ancient times, and today few established families of the island continue the ageless tradition of wine-making. Naturally, tasting pošip wine in Korcula is an entirely unique experience. But you will find fine bottles all across Croatia.
Slavonian Plum Brandy
Slavonia, one of the four historical regions of Croatia, is where the most authentic Croatian food recipes have emerged. Plum brandy is among them, one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in Croatia. The quality of the ripe plums receive international attention. They give the drink an amberish color which makes it all the more irresistable.
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