The best food to eat in Croatia
Of course, as everyone will tell you, the best food to eat in Croatia is seafood. And yes, it is phenomenal and as fresh as it comes. But there are a few signature Croatian dishes that really impressed me which I recommend looking out for on the evenings when you’re off the boat exploring the beautiful local towns you visit.
Black risotto (or you’ll see it as crni rizot written) is on a lot of the menus around Croatia, and is definitely some of the best food to eat in Croatia. It’s made from squid ink and lots of earthy red wine which gives it an extremely deep rich intense but not overpowering flavour. It’s worth trying for the experience (or getting one person in your group to order it so you all can try a bite). The best black risotto (and cuttlefish ragu) we had was from Aterina in Korcula which although obviously stains your mouth, was a dream and the perfect slightly unusual but delicious holiday dish.
Peka is roast meat with lots of potatoes and vegetables. This is traditionally cooked with a bell-shaped cast iron or steel lid that sits on top of the food and is usually made with rich lamb or veal. The best thing about the Yacht Getaways vacation is that most include a trip to Hora Farm which cook the most incredible, mouth-watering rich hearty Peka!
Pasticada with gnocchi
You’ll see a lot of light fluffy gnocchi on menus as one of the traditional Dalmatian dishes is a beef stew served with gnocchi. I know it sounds like an unusual combination, but the rich beef stew usually cooked with red wine, apple and lots of rosemary paired with a fluffy gnocchi works really well. When the rich umami sauce coats the gnocchi, it is a dream.
It’s worth picking some pag cheese up on your tip as it’s perfect for a sophisticated wine and cheese night on the yacht. This hard sheep milk cheese is made on the little island in the south of Croatia called Pag (hence the name). It pairs perfectly with a full-bodied red, like the Teran grape variety from Croatia. Locals agree it is the best food to eat in Croatia. It’s a bold cheese as they rub it with ash and olive oil while it’s being made.
Top tips about food and drink in Croatia
Marenda is break time for locals which usually occurs at around 11am, normally in time for brunch. So if you want to start your trip in the local way, head out for a lovely early afternoon bunch.
Ask about daily specials
Often in restaurants in Croatia, there are daily specials that won’t be mentioned on the menu or written on the walls. They’re usually the best food to eat in Croatia as they will make it with whatever has come in fresh that day, often seafood. With the specific restaurants that Yacht Getaways recommend to eat at on certain nights, your lovely skipper and host can help you find out what specials are on the menu before you make your choice.
The main piece of Croatian language we found handy while on the trip was learning how to say cheers which is živjeli (ji-vo-li) or if you want to sound like a local, you shorten it to ‘ji’.
While you’re saying cheers, I’d recommend having a shot or two of Rakija. It’s a spirit similar to vodka made from fermented grape or plums and tastes like Grappa or Sake. There are lots of types of Rakija, but I’d recommend Travarica as it has a slightly earthy edge as it’s infused with local aromatic herbs. Perfect mixed into a g&t for an extra kick.
Avoid waterfront restaurants in large towns
This is just a rule of thumb in most countries you visit but especially true in Croatia. If you dock in places like Trogir it’s worth venturing inland instead of settling somewhere on the waterfront to find the best food to eat in Croatia. It may look picturesque, but they tend to be a tourist trap with subpar expensive food. I would opt for a cocktail at one of those places and move further in for dinner.
Now you’ll be a pro at ordering in the country and know how to cheers your new friends on your yacht. Be sure to book your Yacht Getaways trip for this summer, it’s the ultimate way to get around the islands and try the best food on offer.