Croatian food is known to be savory and flavorful, using ingredients that are unique to certain locales such as seafood, peppers, olive oil, cheese, and wine.
The people take pride in using only fresh, unprocessed ingredients, with less to zero artificial flavorings or preservatives.
If you’re going to be in Croatia soon, one of the best experiences you’ll have includes sampling their food, particularly the traditional ones.
Even those that are considered street food says something about Croatia and its rich culture and history.
Here are fifteen of those traditional foods in Croatia that you might want to try when you visit. Enjoy!
15 Traditional Foods In Croatia
1. Black risotto (crni rizot)
Crni rizot is found in nearly every restaurant in Croatia, particularly those that serve traditional or seafood dishes. It is basically a squid risotto because the squid ink makes the rice black.
This tasty Croatia n dish also contains other seafood like clams, mussels and other shellfish. It is a must-try especially if you’re in coastal cities or island towns.
2. Skradinski risotto
Another rice dish that’s a must-try when in Croatia is the Skradinski risotto.
Also called the veal risotto or white risotto, this is an entirely different take on the popular rice dish and definitely won’t blacken your teeth.
This creamy and savory dish is cooked for hours, constantly stirred and seasoned to perfection. Skradinski risotto is made with veal and beef broth, hard cheese, chicken, onions, salt, pepper and of course, rice.
Considered as one of the best traditional Croatian foods, brodet or brudet is a song that you’d most likely find in coastal areas. It is a savory seafood stew that’s often served with creamy polenta.
The stew uses at least three different types of fish, plus shellfish and even crustaceans for a more flavor and texture.
If you’re headed towards coastal cities or island towns, don’t ever leave without a taste of this hearty dish.
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A traditional Croatian food for those who love meat, cobanac originates from the eastern Croatian region of Slavonija.
It is a spicy all-meat stew, made with lamb, pork and veal. A delicious combination of flavors, this is quite a special dish that you’ll find in most restaurants in Croatia.
A dish that’s typical in Istrian restaurants, manestra is a definite must-try if you want to try something really tasty.
An interesting mix of flavors, this is not your usual bean soup. It takes a while to prepare as it’s cooked for hours in low heat.
Apart from the beans, there’s also cured meat in manestra. It is made even more savory with pešt — a mix of garlic, pancetta, and parsley grounded together to a pasty consistency.
This is Croatian comfort food at its finest, snd there are other varieties you can try as well.
If you like corn in the original dish, there’s manestra od bobići while there’s jota if you want it with sauerkraut.
6. Istrian soup
Definitely not your ordinary soup, this Croatian favorite is served in a traditional jug made of ceramic called bukaleta.
The jug is then passed around so everybody in the table can have a share. This soup is made with the type of red wine that’s unique to Istria, called Teran.
This hearty soup also has bread, some olive oil, pepper, and sugar.
A dish that’s typically served in homes and restaurants along the Dalmatian coast is the flavorful pašticada. This is basically a beef stew made with a special sauce and is best with gnocchi or homemade pasta.
This is another traditional food in Croatia that takes hours to cook and prepare.
Aside from the beef and sauce, pašticada is made with roasted bacon, herbs and spices and a sweet dessert wine called prošek.
8. Punjene paprike
If you’re in Croatia for a summer holiday, punjene paprike or stuffed peppers is a must-try.
A popular traditional Croatian food during the hot months, this dish is light yet filling, perfect for picnics and barbecue parties.
Usually served with mashed potatoes, these are bell peppers stuffed with minced meat, rice and spices Cooked in tomato sauce. The meat filling varies depending on which part of Croatia you are in.
They use veal in Dalmatia while in Slavonija, they prefer pork in their punjene paprike.
A traditional Croatian dish with an interesting story, Peka used to be known as a farmer’s meal. The slow cooking process takes a while, so the person gets to go out and work.
Peka is pretty much all set when he gets home, cooked and ready to be enjoyed.
This tasty meal is made with either veal or octopus, plus vegetables cooked under a ‘bell’ which is a pot covered with coals.
It’s quite an expensive meal these days and restaurants require that people order in advance because of how long it takes to cook.
If you love pie, Soparnik is something you need to try when in Croatia.
A dish that’s unique to Poljica, located between Split and Omiš — this is is a great alternative to pizza. Made with Swiss chard, or blitva, this savory pie is best with red wine.
11. Zagorski Štruk
A true taste of Croatia’s cultural heritage, Zagorski Štrukli is a must-try in the north of the country, particularly in the Hrvatsko Zagorje and Zagreb regions.
This delicious pastry is made with dough and a variety of fillings, but you must try the ones with cheese. It’s a delicious filling snack that goes well with coffee or tea.
Known as the ultimate Croatian street food, Ćevapi (or ćevapčići) is a treat that you won’t miss.
These tasty sandwiches are sold in stands across the country, particularly by the bus stops.
The Ćevapi uses grilled pork and beef sausages stuffed in a thin flatbread, with red pepper, onions, sour cheese, and tomato sauce. They’re inexpensive and tasty, and you can enjoy them any time of the day.
Börek (or Burek) is one of those treats that you can eat by itself or with a cup of Croatian coffee.
These popular snacks are everywhere— from market stalls to bakeries to cafes. These are among those foods in Croatia that you simply must try.
A Börek is essentially a pie made with flaky dough, filled with anything from cheese to meat to spinach and even custard.
This is quick, on the go snack that you can enjoy in between exploring Croatian towns and cities.
Traditionally a Christmas recipe, fritule is a sweet Croatian snack that’s good at any time of the year.
These treats are like little donuts, served on a cup or bowl and sprinkled with sugar or drizzled with chocolate.
Pair it with coffee or tea, and enjoy while you sit by the historic town square watching the day go by, or while exploring old neighborhoods.
Another treat for those who love sweets is this Croatian version of the cream cake.
Known as kremšnita, these are a must-try in the town of Samobor and the capital city of Zagreb, as each has a unique take on this sweet treat.
Samoborska kremšnita from Samobor has a puff pastry top, a custard cream filling and is topped with sugar.
Zagrebačka kremšnita meanwhile pretty much have the same recipe, only it’s topped with chocolate along with the puff pastry.