Eating and drinking in Croatia
Croatia straddles two distinct culinary cultures, resulting in a varied and distinctive choice of dishes constructed from wonderfully fresh ingredients. Both the seafood dishes of the Mediterranean and the schnitzel and strudel dishes of central Europe come together to offer some excellent menus and interesting flavours.
A new breed of chefs are bringing an adventurous and creative approach to Croatian cuisine, and opening some very cool eateries in which to sample it.
There are excellent wines produced in Croatia, some making their mark on the world stage and winning awards, as well as a good choice of fierce spirits.
Croatians attach more importance to lunch than dinner, often eating relatively late in the afternoon. As a result, many eating establishments offer brunch options between 10.30 and midday. Brunch options tend to be smaller portions of the fare served for lunch, with the addition of specials from time to time.
Generally speaking, there are 3 types of establishments in which to find a good meal in Croatia. A Restoran (Croatian for restaurant) and a Gostina, which is also a restaurant but often with more basic fare, a smaller, less expensive choice and more "rough and ready" surroundings. Lastly a Konoba (pub or tavern) often serves hearty, simple, home style local dishes and will likely be frequented by locals enjoying some liquid refreshment with their food.
Pizza is very popular in Croatia and most often are prepared as Italian style thin crust with a wide choice of toppings, many of which are inspired by the region - in particular, seafood pizzas.
Sharing food and drink is very much part of Croatian culture, and with such a great climate for long lazy alfresco lunches, and wonderful ingredients, both from the land and the sea, it is easy to understand why.