These Were My 7 Favourite Places To Eat in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Honestly for the three and a half days we stayed in Old Town Dubrovnik, I don’t think we had a bad meal. We pretty much also did not stop eating. There is an insane amount to choose from when you arrive in Dubrovnik to eat, and there are still things like simple grilled fish I wish I could have eaten and I must enjoy the next time I’m in Croatia. But, for now, to help you choose where to book for your trip to Dubrovnik, here are my favourite places we ate in Dubrovnik, plus a few extra dishes at the end that are local specialities you really must look out for!
As I’ve already posted a full review I won’t expend too much time here on 360 Dubrovnik, except to say it was one of the best meals of our lives, even with my job as someone who is lucky to enjoy Michelin starred and other fine dining experiences a little more than your average food and dining enthusiast! If you’re in Dubrovnik for a special occasion you must book a table – reservations open for a table exactly a month before online and they’re highly sought after, so set an alarm to be on the case the moment bookings open and you’ll be rewarded by a table up on the city walls overlooking the Old Port as the sun goes down, stunning food, perfectly matched wines and a level of service I’ve experienced little of before, taking attention to detail to the max. Oh, and it was cheaper than our other fine dining experience in Dubrovnik (we did one on the first night and one on the last) so it’s actually quite good value!
The food is so good and copious in Dubrovnik that you’ll find yourselves wanting something super light and relaxed. That is where Ala Mizerija comes in, a relaxed beach bar in a hidden cove just a few minutes walk away from the Old Town. It is something of a hidden gem that serves excellent and ice cold Croatian beers as well as a selection of snacks – they do good fries, and I can really recommend the anchovy bruschetta and the chicken spring rolls – oddly a very popular snack in Croatia. Looking at the tables around me, the octopus salad also looked good (something you must try at least once in Dubrovnik), the Greek salad, as well as the baby fried fish finished simply with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Grab a seat overlooking the water, and plan to stay for a while.
Another light, this time street snack pick of mine is Holy Burek – I loved their veal burek so much I had it for breakfast two days in a row! Burek is a Balkan pastry consisting of stretched layers of flaky, buttery sough, filled typically with cheese, greens or cooked meats. Usually sold in squares or spirals, here they’re presented to you in handy batons to much as you wander through the back streets of Old Town Dubrovnik planning your day.
Owned by the same hotel group as Holy Burek, Above 5 is the rooftop restaurant above the luxurious boutique Hotel Stari Grad. The food is excellent, and I like that as a tasting menu you choose 3 or 5 dishes from the a la carte, and not everyone at the table has to have the same thing! The French Martini’s we had in the reception bar awaiting our reservation were exceptional – the best cocktails we had in Dubrovnik – almost everything was delicious (one of my starters was a little disappointing), and I’m still thinking about the local homemade Croatian pasta (a similar shape to Italian pici, but short shapes rather than long strands) cooked in a lobster tomato bisque, with a perfectly cooked lobster tail crowning the plate.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind: first is reservation times, you can either eat at 6pm, or later at 9pm. We could only get a 9pm table so be prepared to sit down late (by British standards, anyway!) but get the 6pm if you can – I know you’ll be eating early but the rooftop location makes it perfect to watch the sunset over the city as you dine. Also: the whole of the Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so none of the hotels in the Old Town have lifts – which means you’ll be climbing about 6-7 flights of stairs to your reservation with only the cocktail in your hand for assistance. Finally, our dinner at Above 5 cost more than that at 360, and 360 had much better food, better service and a better atmosphere, so book that instead if you can! And, bizarrely for a luxury European hotel, they don’t take Amex so make sure you have an alternative card as it is a lot of cash to have on you!
Poklisar is an excellent, casual Mediterranean restaurant with tables outside (most dining in Dubrovnik is done outside) in the Old Port making it great for people watching as well as lunch (when we went), drinks before dinner (this was also us on another occasion) and dinner. As an added bonus there is also a discount off your bill included if you’ve got the Dubrovnik Card which gets you discounts on lots of historical site tickets etc.
I can highly recommend the pizza (good, proper, simple Italian style), wonderfully soft garlic flatbreads, the Croatian meat and cheese platter to get an idea of local flavours (their cured meats are a lot more pungent than the Italian ones I was used to, but still delicious, their smoked sausage is a must try and their local sheep cheese is also worth seeking out – with the flavour of feta, but a lot firmer and with a cleaner taste) and their fantastic calamari – some of the best, freshest and crispest I’ve ever eaten – served with an unnecessary aioli and an exceptional mango and chilli salsa. Reader? I ate 3/4 of that plate you can see in the picture all by myself.
Restaurant Kopun is a fantastic spot on the square opposite the Church of St. Ignatius. The food is exceptional, full of local dishes cooked to perfection, with fantastic staff, a lovely atmosphere and great entertainment as it is one of the spots where Old Town Dubrovnik’s army of wild cats congregate at night, who are great fun to watch.
My best tip for Kopun, however, is to come hungry as the portions of modern Croatian cuisine are absolutely huge! And to get the Capon, it is their house speciality, inspired by a 16th century recipe its delicate meat is served in a heady sauce of orange, cinnamon, peach and raisins. Honestly, the flavours were incredible. Also on the must order list is the staggeringly large starter of the local cuttlefish risotto made with cuttlefish ink, which is seafood perfection, slightly more toothsome than an Italian risotto, and at Restaurant Kopun is jazzed up with fresh scallops, cherry tomatoes and basil. And, the Croatian fishermans stew, a whole fish simmered in a brilliant tomato sauce flavoured with olives, capers and perfectly cooked shellfish with blocks of polenta in the middle. I seriously regret not being able to finish it all – honestly, with the size of the starters get a serves one portion (you can also get sharing portions) to serve two of you. And don’t worry, a bib is provided!
You’d think in Croatia all my food picks would be, well, Croatian, but you must make time to experience some Bosnian cuisine from across the border at Taj Mahal. We had no idea what to expect, but we had a fantastic dinner served by lovely Bosnian staff so keen to show us their cuisine, paired with some frankly terrible Bosnian wine served in impossible to drink from glasses! Honestly, they have a great G&T menu so go in that direction instead!
We started with a Bosnian Mezze. We both loved the cured sausage and I hoovered up the wafter thin and wonderfully flavoured slices of tongue, though both of us were less sure about what was described as ‘biltong’. Though not to J’s taste I could not get enough of the japrak (stuffed vine leaves with rice and mint), I enjoyed the kajmak (a type of light cheese similar to clotted cream) stuffed peppers but only had a bite or two, quickly assessing they were something I was not supposed to be eating, and we both adored the sweet pickled peppers.
We shared a pair of mains, both of which were also excellent. Pictured above, Ćevapi is a traditional dish of grilled minced meat kebabs stuffed into their excellent fluffy flatbreads, served with kajmak and plenty of chopped white onion to suit your personal tastes. The meat was delicious and had taken on so much smoke from the fire, and I was charmed that it came with a stick of mint chewing gum on the plate: as our server explained to us, depending on how much onion you want to add things can get pungent! Not pictured but also highly recommended was the chicken breast stuffed with rocket, feta and rice – tender, succulent, and also having taken on the flavours of the grill, it is honestly one of the best pieces of chicken I’ve ever tasted, and what is more the raw courgette salad – something ordinarily he’d never even agree to – that came with it J ate and enjoyed!
What else should I not miss?
We were only in Dubrovnik for three full days after our arrival dinner at 360, so obviously there is so much more we could have eaten and so many more places we wish we could have tried. However, there are a few more miscellaneous items we (okay, I!) managed to seek out that you must put on your ‘to eat’ list in Dubrovnik:
The fortified town of Ston, just up the coast from Dubrovnik are famous for their oysters, so obviously I had to try them. A few hours before our late dinner at Above 5 the staff at (the excellent looking by the way) Oyster and Sushi Bar Bota were kind enough to let me perch on a table that was booked for later to enjoy a plate of them along with another excellent glass of Croatian white wine. I’d not had flat oysters like this before and while I think I do enjoy the fat mouthfeel of the oysters we have here in the UK a bit better, I really enjoyed their briny, plumpness, as well as their slightly smooth finish – perfect with just a spritz of fresh lemon, and nothing else.
The gelato is excellent in Dubrovnik. Pictured above is the pistachio scoop I cooled down with up on the city walls, which was lovely but did not have as pure a pistachio flavour I usually like, but I can seriously recommend the local lavender flavour (a big local product) from Sladoledarna Dubrovnik and the exceptional mint chocolate chip at aROMA Gelato, both located on Stradun.
Whilst I admit that it won’t be for everyone, of you love seafood and you don’t mind different textures, get an octopus salad, on the menu almost everywhere you might stop for a casual lunch. It is light, fresh, unusual, and slightly addictive, and a real taste of Dubrovnik I wish I could have enjoyed more of.