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Best Restaurants In Dubrovnik (And Where To Get The Best Drinks)
Written by Alexandra Schmidt
The trouble in Dubrovnik is not finding a place to eat; it’s deciding on where. Yes, the “Pearl of the Adriatic” has such an abundance of restaurants that it can feel overwhelming. Half of the restaurants are all talk, while the other half let the cuisine do the talking.
As an American blogger in Dubrovnik with 3+ years of living here under my belt, I’m here to help you see the difference. I’ve come to realize that the culinary experience usually makes or breaks tourists’ impression of Dubrovnik.
What To Eat In Dubrovnik
Being at the Southern tip of Croatia, Dubrovnik combines flavors of Italian, Bosnian, and traditional Mediterranean cuisine. It’s an ideal destination for fresh seafood, slow-cooked meat, and lots of risotto. Most restaurants reflect this diversity of dishes, so you’ll surely be able to find something to accommodate your taste buds.
For seafood dishes in Dubrovnik, I would recommend trying to order something with octopus or squid. Octopus salad is quite common and equally delicious, as well as black risotto with squid. Some of the higher-end restaurants have octopus Carpaccio, which is one of my favorite dishes to have in Dubrovnik.
Keep in mind that when ordering fish in Dubrovnik, as well as the rest of Croatia, you will most likely receive a plate with an entire fish, (head, tail, and all!) as opposed to just a fillet. This is the traditional way of eating fish in Dalmatia.
I would recommend ordering the sea bream or sea bass, which are a popular fish found off Dubrovnik’s coast. Most fish dishes come with potatoes and blitva, which is a green similar to spinach or chard.
It’s also safe to say that there is just as much meat as fish on the table in Dubrovnik. Especially at some of the restaurants a bit further inland in town, you’ll find ćevapi (a skinless sausage popular in the Balkans), veal, and lamb cooked under the bell.
Other local specialties to try include “young cheese”, the dessert of Rozata, and dirty macaroni.
Best Restaurants In Dubrovnik
One mistake many tourists make when coming to Dubrovnik is limiting themselves to only restaurants in the Old Town. Sure, this is where you’ll find the highest concentration of restaurants, but be prepared for higher prices and bigger crowds.
Dining in the Old Town is definitely an experience to have, but I’d also recommend eating outside in the surrounding Dubrovnik areas at least once when you visit. Below I’ve combined restaurants that are in both the Old Town and outer areas.
Best Restaurants In Dubrovnik With A View Of The Old Town
Without a doubt, the best view of the Dubrovnik is from atop Mount Srd. you’ll have to pay to take the cable car or hike here to get up, but the view is worth it. The best time of the day to come here is during sunset for a cocktail or a dinner. You’ll want to make a reservation, especially during high season in the summertime.
Above 5 (Old Town)
Above 5 is one of my favorite restaurants in Dubrovnik that has one of the best views from within the Old Town. Attached to a boutique hotel, this exclusive rooftop restaurant serves locally sourced food full of thought and flavor. I think this place is perfect for a nice meal out on the town, and the prices are fair for the quality of food, service, and epic view.
Komarda (near Old Town)
You probably wouldn’t find this place unless you were looking. Komarda overlooks the Old Town’s harbor and is perfect for relaxing in a bit of shade. The prices are less expensive than the aforementioned, and the menu has a variety of Mediterranean cuisine.
Best Restaurants For Local Cuisine
Ragusa 2 (Old Town)
This was one of the first places I went when I came to Dubrovnik, and I’ve been coming back ever since. A very traditional restaurant with fair prices, Ragusa 2 has many authentic Dalmatian and Dubrovnik dishes. I recommend getting the seafood platter and the Rozata dessert.
Taj Mahal (Old Town and Lapad)
Don’t be fooled by the name. This isn’t an Indian restaurant, or a Croatian restaurant either. Taj Mahal is known for having the best Bosnian cuisine in Dubrovnik, with two locations, one in the Old Town and one in Lapad. It’s an excellent place to try Bosnian dishes like kebabs, cevapi, and Turkish coffee and desserts.
Pantarul is a family-run restaurant that serves a variety of local Mediterranean dishes. The intimate and romantic setting is great for a date night or even a dinner out with friends. I recommend getting the sea bass and the gluten-free cake.
Although this restaurant is located a bit outside of the Old Town, believe me when I say that it is worth the trip. Monkovic sits atop a river in the Konavle region, which is where the Dubrovnik airport is. This family-owned restaurant is ideal for trying Konavle specialties such as lamb under the bell or veal. Though, you will have to call ahead if you order these dishes since it takes at least 3 hours to prepare.
Best Places To Drink In Dubrovnik
Coffee culture is an integral part of Croatia culture, and especially in Dubrovnik. If you want to experience the city as a local, pick a coffee bar and sit outside chatting with friends for hours.
You may notice that the best places for drinks in Dubrovnik are “coffee bars”, which are coffee shops in the day and turn into bars at night. Here are a few of my favorites in and around Dubrovnik:
Gradska Kavana (Old Town)
If you’re looking to drink coffee with an epic view of the Old Town, Gradska Kavana is the place to be. It is one of the most popular spots in town for locals and tourists alike. The prices are a bit expensive, but for the upscale and environment and view, it is worth the price. They also serve food and cocktails in the evening.
Buza Bar (Old Town)
Buje is the popular cliff-side bar through the hole in the Old Town walls. It is a popular spot for watching the sunset, swimming, and cliff jumping. They do not serve food or cocktails, but it’s a great spot for cold drinks, wine, or a cold beer while enjoying the seaside view.
Art Café (Near Old Town)
Just outside the Old Town’s Pile gate is a funky coffee bar called Art Café. Decorated with eclectic decorations like bathtub chairs and old records, it’s an ideal hotspot for sipping a smoothie or cocktail while listening to deep house music.
Cave Bar More (Lapad)
Inside the More Hotel is where you’ll find the legendary Cave Bar in Dubrovnik. The upscale yet rustic design is perfect for having a craft cocktail and escaping the heat. I recommend the mojitos or the gin and tonics.
Zenith bar at Kompas Hotel (Lapad)
Not too far from Cave Bar More is another popular hotel bar called the Zenith bar within the Kompas Hotel. It is known for having an epic view of the sunset beach area of Lapad, right at the end of the Uvala walkway. They do weekly specials on cocktails such as raspberry mojito for 70 kunas.
Over in my neck of the woods is a new and secret spot known as the place to be on Thursday nights for us locals. Yes, literally called Lokal and apart of the One Suite hotel, this place is great for craft cocktails, brunch, and small bites. It’s one of the only places where I can find my favorite Titos vodka, and an excellent espresso martini. On Thursdays and Saturdays they have a DJ and the place fills up pretty fast. But during the day, it is a quiet spot for coffee or brunch.
What To Drink In Dubrovnik
While in Dubrovnik, I recommend trying to look for a wine from the regions of Korcula or Peljesac. Korta Katarina, Rozic, and Matusko are all brands from the Peljesac region. Posip Cara is from Korcula, and Dubrovacka Malvazija is from the Konavle region of Dubrovnik.
If you like liquor, I recommend trying the various types of Rakija. These are usually served as a digestive with meals. The Medica grappa is made from honey and is sweet, best served on the rocks. Orahovac is another grappa made from walnut, also sweet and served on the rocks.
To try the stronger Rakijas, you can try drinking the anise Rakija, which is famous in the Dubrovnik region.
Last but not least, the best beers to drink in Dubrovnik are Karlovacko and Ozujsko. You can also try local beers from Dubrovnik’s Beer Factory that opened up in the Old Town.
Whatever your drink or meal of preference, Dubrovnik is sure to have something for you. People may come to the Old Town and Adriatic beaches for vacation, but the food is a huge part of why people like myself never leave Croatia.