Traditional Croatian Food (and Drinks)

Traditional tavern Dalmatia

What do Croats drink and eat? What dish can be called a Traditional Croatian Food and where can you taste it? Find out Now!

What to eat and drink in Croatia?

Traditional Croatian Food (and Drinks)

What do Croats drink and eat? What dish we Traditional Croatian Food and where can you taste it? If you’re at sea, you’re expected to reach out to fish. But, what could you order in a small town after, say, sightseeing of the Plitvice Lakes?

Read this useful blog and explore Croatian gastronomy. After reading – we do not answer for attacks of hunger!

Traditional Croatian Seafood

If you have decided to visit the islands while you are in Croatia, you have made the right decision. Not only You are going to meet locals and explore the island, but You will find out the traditional food of the place. With the surface of a small country, there are over a thousand islands and islets, each of them having its history, story, secrets, and recipes!

All way down, from the northern Adriatic to the Dubrovnik Aquarium a wealth of gastronomy is waiting for you. When we talk about the coast and islands, of course, fish and seafood will take the main place on the plate. And with full rights.

Split Traditional food Croatia sardines
Split and Matejuška's Morning Catch

Let’s start with the most basic grilled fish. The most popular fish are sea bream and sea bass. But you should know that many of them come from fish farms. Thus we prefer different kinds of fish sardines, red mullet, hakes, or maybe the best mackerel. If you don’t take care of the bill, go for the dentex fish, the most appreciated Adriatic fish. Traditionally Croatian Fish Dish implies swiss chard or potato salad with onions. Don’t forget the season Salad – tomatoes, olives, capers, cucumbers…with domestic(!) olive oil and vinegar.

Buzara should be your next choice!

Buzara is a method of cooking seafood, mainly crustaceans and shellfish. Only domestic ingredients make this dish so popular and tasteful! White wine, garlic, parsley, and breadcrumbs. And of course plenty of shrimps – fresh and local!

Sardines Grilled Traditional food
Traditional Fisherman's Plate, Island of Hvar - Jelsa

Have you ever heard of Peka? If Yes, hope you did try it. If no – listen carefully! You have to taste this beauty!

This traditional Croatian dish proves that simple recipes are often the tastiest ones. The secret lies in the quality of the food, freshness, and spices harvested in our own garden. So we have meat Peka or Fish Peka ( the best meat choice is the Veal, if possible from the Dalmatian island or hinterland, and octopus for Fish Peka, due to its juices).

Traditional Peka Meat Fish
Dalmatian Peka With Octopus or Meat



You can put any kind of meat and veggies in a tray, salt, spices, oil, and cover it with a bell-like lid. Placed in a fireplace, covered with embers.

It cooks for two hours, but after about an hour or so, the lid is lifted, meat is turned, and some other spices are added, like a mix of honey and cognac with Mediterranean herbs.

If you decide to visit The island of Vis, there is one thing you have to find and taste. “Vis Pie or Komiža Pie” – in Croatian – Viška or Komiška pogača. Well, Vis and Komiža are two main villages on the island. Therefore there are two versions of this pie – every village has its own!

A scented cake from the island in which all the benefits of the Mediterranean are packed – anchovies, onions, olive oil, and white wine. This is a version from Vis! And people from Komiža put one ingredient more –tomatoes!

After baking and cutting in squares before serving, Viška pogača has been enjoyed by generations of people from Vis for over 2000 years.

“I can’t stand people who do not take food seriously.”

Oscar Wilde
traditional tavern food croatian
Typical Menu in Croatian Tavern


Where to eat fish in Split?

 Check out the list of the most popular restaurants and taverns!

Zora Bila, Otprilike ovako, Zrno Soli, Konoba Matejuška, Duje….

Find your favorite and Bon appetit!

Traditional Croatian Meat Dishes


As Croatians love to say – Sarma is the smartest symbiosis of the flora and fauna world😊

Sarma (stuffed sauerkraut) is, during the winter, the most wanted dish in Croatia.  The stuffing is the same for both dishes, minced meat and rice with spices, but with sarma, stuffing is wrapped in sauerkraut instead of bell peppers. Another yummy dish for cold winter days. The sarma is eaten at home and in guests, will be prepared by your mother or grandmother, mother-in-law or you will eat it simply as lunch on a break from work.

Queen of Traditional Cuisine – Pasticada

Speaking of the cult Traditional Dalmatian dish, we have to say more about  Pašticada with Gnocchia “Queen of Dalmatian cuisine”. This is the dish in which Dalmatia exudes and smells this deep connection between Dalmatia and the historical roots of the Mediterranean! Its sweet-sour-salty flavor comes from old Greek and Roman cooks, it has been nurtured in our regions and survived until today.

There is no Dalmatian and seaside place that is not proud to have the right recipe to prepare it. So every community has its own Pašticada and every family has its own recipe. It is not easy to prepare, but every effort is worth it!

If you are lucky enough, you might have a chance to find someplace or a local tavern with  Young lamb! Lamb is gentle, very aromatic but easily digestible meat that is traditionally eaten during the holidays, so it is often found on the Easter family table.

It’s the most delicious from the roasting spit, and worldwide the most popular is the one from the island of Brač. There’s another good reason to visit this island.

As far as prices in classic restaurants on the Adriatic are concerned, count on a decent main meal with a side dish costing about 15-20 €. It can be cheaper, it all depends on your expectations.

Restaurant Traditional Food

Pocket Food Vocabulary

How to Say..

Good Day! – Dobar dan!

Fish – Riba

Meat – Meso

Wine  – Vino

Table – Stol

Salad – Salata

Beer – Pivo

Good Apetite! – Dobar tek!

Waiter – Konobar

Bill – Račun

Thank You – Hvala ( Fala )!


What People in Croatia Drink?

Well, more or less, everything! We don’t have any traditional Croatian drink, like Japanese sake or Mexican Tequila. But we like to drink and sake and tequila 😊 But, in general, we are the beer and wine ‘drinkers’.

There are as many Dalmatian islands as there are varieties of wine.

Wine production is a part of our culture, it has been produced here 2000 years ago! Today we have small amounts of wines, in comparison with European countries, but we have the quality to be discussed! Plavac, Crljenak, Pošip, Malvazija, Grk…Explore the world of Croatian Wines

In the last few years, many Craft breweries have appeared in Croatia producing top-quality beer. And if it’s to trust tourists, those industrials aren’t that bad as well.

Traditional food and drinks
Cherry Rakija for better start/end of the meal

Rakija – don’t go home before trying it!

It is grappa, made of grapes and different flavors and herbs – cherry, carob, honey, lemon, even lavender or fig. Just ask for it in any restaurant and let your Traditional Croatian Gastro moment starts!

Here, in Croatia and Dalmatia, we love food, and the culture of sitting around the table with your friends and family, talking, eating, and laughing, is a part of us. You’re invited to sit! 

Croatian Traditional Desserts

Split Cake and Makarska Cake are the bombs among sweets and a great moment for taste traditional Cake As our grandmothers used to do. Furthermore, Fritule you can buy on riva in Split streets or some bistro, and we recommend Luka Ice Cream & Cakes.

There you can find home made Ice Cream and Splitska Cake, like so many other sweets for closing your Traditional Croatian meal!