Dalmatian Coast Dining

Original open uri20160815 3469 1pyzuzi?1471301939?ixlib=rails 0.3
Dalmatian Coast Dining
Explore the Dalmatian Coast and you're likely to see olive groves, grape arbors, patches of fresh herbs, lemon and pear orchards, well-tended gardens, and fishing gear resting against a fence. In other words, you're going to eat really well.

Additional copy by Anja Mutic.
By Neha Puntambekar , AFAR Local Expert
Photo by Günter Lenz/age fotostock
  • 1 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 1pyzuzi?1471301939?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Eat at a Konoba
    Food at a konoba, a traditional Croatian tavern, tends to be fresh, wholesome, and made with regional ingredients. The pasta is often hand-rolled, the bread warm and right out of the oven, and the meats prepared according to family recipes. Stop in for a meal, and you will likely also get some local stories. Konoba Mali Raj in Bol on the island of Brač and Konoba Idro in Trogir are especially recommended; these classic eateries are plentiful, though, so you can just as easily follow your nose.
    Photo by Günter Lenz/age fotostock
  • 2 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 1kx9vfq?1471301943?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Fine Dining
    From simple konobas to the finest dining, the cornerstones of Croatian culinary tradition remain the same: fresh and local. Voted Croatia’s best restaurant several times, Pelegrini is a major draw for the seaside city of Šibenik. The kitchen turns out inventive interpretations of classic regional dishes at this gorgeous spot, housed in an ancient palace in the historic quarter. For just-caught fish and seafood in a glamorous harbor setting, book a terrace table at Foša in Zadar. Restaurant 360°, with a prime location on Dubrovnik's city walls, offers diners spectacular views of the Old Town harbor and an original take on Mediterranean cuisine.
    Photo by Greg Blomberg/age fotostock
  • 3 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 ilun7g?1471301948?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Quick Local Bites
    For food on the go, it's easy to find a slice of pizza pretty much anywhere on the Dalmatian Coast. Or duck into a pekarna (bakery) to score a croissant, pastry, or sandwich. While there, check under the glass for a soparnik, a flat, double-crusted Swiss chard pie that's a favorite with those who enjoy savory tastes. Burek is a phyllo pastry with a variety of meat and cheese fillings. Perhaps the most popular regional fast food is the čevapčići, a dish of grilled kebabs, chopped onions, and ajvar (a pepper relish), served on a roll. It’s greasy, cheap, and hits all the right notes.
    Photo by age fotostock
  • 4 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 al0guo?1471301954?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Meals with a View
    Above the waterfront, along Dubrovnik’s city walls, numerous cafés and restaurants have set up business. Nautika and Restaurant 360° offer fine-dining experiences with stunning vistas to match. In Zadar, if you can snag a terrace table at upscale Foša, you'll be treated to lovely harbor views. On the island of Hvar, make a reservation at DiVino: With an eight-course tasting menu, an extensive wine list, and a seaside garden seating, this is the perfect place to splurge.
    Photo by age fotostock
  • 5 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 ahz3u0?1471301959?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Oysters in Mali Ston
    Mali Ston is a village on the Pelješac Peninsula famous for cultivating oysters—the rows of bobbing orange floats out in the bay mark the oyster beds. Arrive by boat or by car, but either way, make sure you leave time to explore the 13th-century defensive walls that run between Mali Ston and the adjacent town of Ston. When you've worked up an appetite, head to the waterfront and choose your spot. Kapetanova Kuća in Mali Ston is recommended for its oysters and seafood. Oysters are generally served simply: on a tray of ice, accompanied by a pepper mill and plump lemon wedges. Kamenice in Dubrovnik serves fresh oysters from Ston.
    Photo by age fotostock
  • 6 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 15l32kk?1471301964?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Coffee on the Riviera
    An integral part of the Croatian tradition, kava, or coffee, is enjoyed several times per day—ideally at a café near the water's edge. All along the Dalmatian Coast, promenades lined with cafés function as popular places to socialize and sip a kava. On the island of Vis, stop in at Bejbi, where kava is served with cocktails and sometimes live music. Caffe Bar St. Riva on the Split promenade offers great people-watching and a waterfront view. On Hvar, visit Café Pjaca, a coffeehouse that overlooks the marina and the many glamorous yachts moored there.
    Photo by Martin Moxter/age fotostock
  • 7 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 rbsj8?1471301968?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Explore the Wine Peninsula
    The Pelješac Peninsula in southern Dalmatia is home to some of the region’s best wines. Winemakers here use the local grape, Plavac Mali, a red that's related to the more famous zinfandel. Take a guided tour for stops at big wineries like Matuško and Grgić. To go at your own pace, rent a car (or hire a driver) and drop in at whichever ones you want. Most winemakers provide finger foods in their tasting rooms: local cheese, pršut (prosciutto), chorizo, olives grown in the area, and homemade bread. Zinfandel, in Split, has about 100 bottles on offer, so it's a great spot to toast Croatia’s wine heritage, whether with a rustic Plavac or a complex Dingač.
    Photo by Otto Stadler/age fotostock
  • 8 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 flfx37?1471301973?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Sail Away to Dinner
    Sometimes, the journey to dinner is as much fun as the meal itself: To dine in some local restaurants, you hop in a water taxi rather than a taxi; and instead of directing the driver to a street address, you direct them to an island. At such remote spots, the menu might be limited to the catch of the day, but food doesn't get any fresher. At Toto's, located on Palmižana (a tiny island about 15 minutes off the coast of Hvar), you can dine on just-caught calamari, sea bass, or snapper while seated in a botanical garden. Pojoda, just steps from the riva on the island of Vis, is highly recommended, and Bistro Na Tale on Pag Island is popular for its lamb dishes.
    Photo courtesy of Ivan Pervan/Toto's
  • 9 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 olqdnt?1471301978?ixlib=rails 0.3
    The Succulent Peka
    Peka is both a dish and a way of cooking. Meat (lamb, chicken, or veal) or seafood (fish or octopus) and vegetables are tossed with herbs, wine, and olive oil and placed in a special vessel that comes with a bell-shaped lid (the peka). Everything is then set over a flame or in a hot oven and left to cook for at least two hours. The resulting stew—just succulent meat and flavorful vegetables—is a culinary revelation. One of the best pekas is served on Vis at Roki’s, a small inn situated between vineyards and a cricket field. Note: Due to the extended time required to cook a peka, you'll need to call the restaurant a day ahead to order one.
    Photo by age fotostock
  • 10 / 10
    Original open uri20160815 3469 1cjrb18?1471301982?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Drink Some Rakija
    Rakija (pronounced ra-key-ya) is a regional brandy produced by distilling fermented fruits, nuts, and herbs. It has a high alcohol content. Traditionally, rakija was consumed as a digestif and as a medicinal drink—even today, some grandmothers give a spoonful to children during flu season. Some of the most popular flavors include medica (honey), orahovac (walnut), šljivovica (plum), and višnjevac (cherry). Rakija is widely available, and you can buy some at the local market to take home.
    Photo by Kevin Galvin/age fotostock