Top Restaurants on the Dalmatian Coast
Long lunches on sun-dappled terraces, wine tastings in rolling vineyards, dinners created around the freshest possible seafood: dining on the Dalmatian Coast means taking full advantage of the bounty of this rich region. Sip bright white wines and deep reds from Croatian vineyards and nibble local olives and fresh oysters right at the water’s edge. The tastes of Adriatic cuisine are as sunny and memorable as the coastal landscapes.
Ul. Svetog Dominika bb, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
This extraordinary restaurant holds a prime position in Dubrovnik: It’s located on the city walls with wide-open views of the old town harbor. The expert staff puts a unique spin on Mediterranean cuisine and presents it in an almost artistic manner. Enjoy the kitchen’s take on a regional favorite like sea bass roasted in cabbage leaf and drizzled with dill-and-mint-infused oil, or an elaborate specialty like the slow-cooked veal cheeks with morel mushrooms and parsnip cream. With its extensive wine and liquor cellar, Restaurant 360° is the place for memorable special occasions. (Open for dinner only.)
4A Palmotićeva ulica
Wine is an integral part of life on the Dalmatian Coast, a region with many indigenous varietals; a visit to Dubrovnik shouldn’t go by without a glass of local wine. Tucked away on Palmotićeva Street off the main Stradun, D’Vino offers cozy interiors as well as atmospheric seating at tables set on the narrow thoroughfare outside. Try a glass of something new from the impressive selection of local producers—the knowledgeable staff can help guide you in choosing one. D’Vino features several tasting experiences that highlight the region’s star wines: the Konavle Valley’s refreshing Malvazija, potent Plavac Mali reds from the Pelješac Peninsula, and Korčula Island’s fruity Pošip whites. Pair the wines with a platter of prosciutto and Croatian cheeses for a wonderful welcome to Dubrovnik and its wine region.
Boškovićeva 5, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Barba offers a fresh take on fast food, serving tasty items like octopus and shrimp burgers, anchovy sandwiches, and fried calamari, all made with today’s catch. Located on a small side street off Stradun, the shop is tiny and friendly—the perfect pit stop during a day of Dubrovnik sightseeing. Snag the prime table by the front window and watch the rivers of people entering town through the Buža Gate as you eat. Then, be sure to contribute to the restaurant’s growing collection of wooden forks, on which customers from all over the world write messages commemorating their travels.
9 Crijevićeva ulica
Climb the grand baroque staircase and pass the Jesuit church, cross Gundulić Square, and follow the COLD DRINKS WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VIEW signs. Then, yes, walk through the walls. Buža translates to “a hole-in-the-wall,” and a hole-in-the-wall it is, one that leads to a cliffside ledge with a bar on it. From the moment you order a cool beverage off a simple menu, you begin to unwind. The backdrop to your drink is stunning: a sky-high stone parapet on one side and nothing but the blue sea between you and the horizon. This is the ideal spot for swooning over Adriatic sunsets.
Gundulićeva poljana 8, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
This iconic restaurant in the Old Town of Dubrovnik stands out, even against the backdrop of lively Gundulić Square and its innumerable pigeons. From the blue-and-white-striped chairs on the outdoor terrace to the fresh seafood coming out of the kitchen, everything about Kamenice delights. As such, the affordable spot has earned a devoted local following. Settle in for dishes like mussels buzara, black risotto, fried small fish, and just-caught calamari. If you’re a fan of oysters, you’ll also want to order the succulent ones on offer here—sourced from nearby Ston Bay, they’re so fresh you can still taste the clean, salty Adriatic with each slurp.
7 Poljana Ruđera Boškovića
Facing the impressive Jesuit complex in the Old Town, Kopun is just far enough from the tourist hot spots to elevate its already good food with a pinch of serenity. The menu here focuses on traditional delicacies from the region, including a buzara stew with mussels and a capon prepared from a 16th-century recipe with Eastern spices, honey, and sour orange (there’s also a 19th-century version sprinkled with porcini mushrooms). The wine list boasts several lesser-known local producers, so be sure to ask your server what pairs best with your meal.
2, Ul. Cvijete Zuzorić, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Its name honors an avant-garde woman poet from Dubrovnik’s golden age, Cvijeta Zuzorić. Its menu, by star chef Jeffery Vella, honors one of the Cvijeta’s tenets: No compromising on the things you believe in. And what the staff believes in here is that the dishes must be creative, the ingredients fresh, and the wine list enticing. Start with the octopus mini burgers on olive focaccia, then enjoy a gilthead bream fillet cooked in parchment, and end your meal with peach and mascarpone crumble. Dine on some of Dubrovnik’s tastiest treasures from your seat in a charming stone alleyway, watching the passersby.
Domaldova ul. 2, 21000, Split, Croatia
At the heart of Diocletian’s Palace, this colorful bar—a recent addition to Split’s dining scene—is already a favorite for its globally flavored tapas-style dishes. The menu is small but far-flung, featuring everything from burgers to a number of plates with an Asian twist. The Japanese steamed pork buns are particularly delicious; other bites include pickled oysters, barbecue ribs, shellfish custard, and cheese and charcuterie platters. Guinness is on tap and the cocktails are great. Torito serves breakfast, too, as well as freshly squeezed juices and smoothies all day.
3 Ulica Petra Kružića
As the daughter of one of Croatia’s most legendary chefs, Ivana Gamulin felt inspired to follow in her late father’s footsteps and open a restaurant. The result is Villa Spiza, a countertop spot within the palace walls, where she and her sister serve up Dalmatian soul food made with fresh, local ingredients. The menu changes daily depending on what’s available at the market but always features regional specialties like seafood risotto, fried calamari, and just-caught fish. For its comforting fare and low-key vibe, the restaurant is beloved by everyone from bohemians and backpackers to tried-and-true locals—which is always a good sign when searching for somewhere to eat. Service is friendly, but come prepared to wait—Villa Spiza doesn’t do fast food.
Ul. Marka Marulića 2, 21000, Split, Croatia
A tribute to the zinfandel grape, which originated in Croatia, this restaurant and bar features a zin-centric wine list but also showcases regional favorites like Plavac and Dingač. Of its 100 wines, it offers about 30 by the glass, encouraging guests to taste their way through Croatia’s wine heritage. Pair your drinks with one of the restaurant’s three-tiered platters, which come loaded with Dalmatian bites, then settle in on the terrace for some live music. If you’re hungry for a full meal, opt instead for the five-course “Taste of Dalmatia” menu, which includes everything from seared Adriatic tuna and homemade oxtail ravioli to calamari stuffed with ricotta and sun-dried tomatoes. Come morning, Zinfandel also serves breakfast, which diners can pair with champagne or fig-flavored travarica, a local herb grappa.
Trg pet bunara 1, 23000, Zadar, Croatia
On the edge of Zadar’s historic quarter, steps from Pet Bunara Square, this Slow Food–inspired restaurant invites you to linger over your meal. Grab a seat in the exposed-stone dining room or out on the olive tree–fringed terrace and dig into traditional Dalmatian dishes prepared with local, mostly organic ingredients. Pet Bunara even makes all its bread and pasta on-site. Try the orzotto (a pearl-barley stew with smoked mussels), the excellent octopus salad, and, for those with a sweet tooth, the divine fig cake.
2 Ulica kralja Dmitra Zvonimira
For a seafood experience featuring fresh-caught Adriatic fish, book a table at this lovely restaurant in the small harbor of Foša Zadar, right by Zadar’s ancient city walls. The interior incorporates original details, like exposed bits of stone walls, in an overall contemporary design, but the real standout is the terrace that extends into the port. It’s the perfect setting if you want to pair your meal with stellar vistas. Though the meat dishes here are great, seafood is the highlight. The menu changes according to the morning’s catch, but often features shrimp gazpacho, gnocchi with black cuttlefish ragout, and grilled Adriatic Sea bream with fresh herbs.
Ul Jurja Dalmatinca 1, 22000, Šibenik, Croatia
Voted Croatia’s best restaurant several years in a row, Pelegrini is reason enough to visit Šibenik. The talented owner and chef Rudi Štefan continues to raise the bar at this gorgeous spot, which is housed in an ancient palace. In nice weather, book a table on the small terrace with sea views. Once seated, decide how many courses you want—there’s a minimum of three at lunch and five at dinner—then sit back and let the culinary adventure begin. Attentive waiters will bring out beautifully plated dishes celebrating regional flavors with a global spin. Think amberjack tataki, monkfish tripe, beef-cheek pasta, and tongue cubes with breaded sage, all paired with top-notch local wines.
Brsalje ul. 3, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Right by the Pile Gate, in a beautifully restored maritime school, Restaurant Nautika feels special even before you taste the food. With mesmerizing views of Kolorina Bay beyond and Lovrijenac Fortress looming overhead, this elegant restaurant has a fresh spark about it. The chef often does the marketing himself, browsing the stalls at the local market for organic and locally grown produce and freshly caught seafood—the only ingredients used at Nautika. The kitchen works magic with the ultra-local stuff, turning out small wonders like lobster medallions and sesame-crusted tuna. The inspired cuisine, especiailly when coupled with the location make the Nautika experience nothing short of spectacular. (If the view isn’t enough, you can occasionally spot celebrities among your fellow diners.)