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  1. Food & Drink
November 20, 2017

The 5 Best Restaurants in Zagreb

By Lauren Jade Hill

The Croatian capital Zagreb isn’t just celebrated for its architectural and cultural appeal; the city also has a highly regarded food scene. For an introduction to the gastronomy here, seek out our pick of the best restaurants in Zagreb.


Best Restaurants in Zagreb

Instagram @esplanadezagreb

Innovative and visually appealing fine dining plates and stylish surroundings within the Esplanade Hotel make this one of the most popular restaurants in Zagreb. The menu here combines local ingredients with flavors from around the world, taking its name from the zinfandel grape, which with a history of being exported from Dalmatia to the USA represents the restaurant’s connection to other cultures. The restaurant and hotel’s Oleander Terrace is even home to Zinfandel vines donated by the Croatian winemaker Vlado Krauthaker. The award-winning chef Ana Grgic is behind the cuisine here, creating dishes like langoustine with spinach, carob foam and amaranth popcorn, and veal fillet with horseradish, grape leaves crust, blueberries and artichokes. Four-, five- and six-course tasting menus bring a selection of these plates together.

Bistro Apetit

Best Restaurants in Zagreb

Instagram @bistroapetit

After honing his culinary skills at restaurants such as Noma and Arzak, chef Marin Rendic set up this fine dining restaurant in Zagreb, providing guests with inventive modern cuisine that makes dining here more than just a meal. It’s here that Rendic aims to create a memorable experience through gastronomy along with fine wine and a convivial atmosphere. In the restaurant’s elegant light-filled space, dine on dishes like tortellini filled with Grana Padano and lavender with butter, gamberi sauce and crispy almonds, and lamb rack with pistachio crust, liquid polenta, baked peach and jus. Pair these with wines from the Zagreb region and beyond, from the collection curated by sommelier Matija Ivancic.

Dubravkin Put

Best Restaurants in Zagreb

Instagram @uvijekgladna

Located close to the center of the city, this restaurant lies within the Tuskanac forest, combining a warm contemporary interior with views of the surrounding woodland. The innovative cuisine is then created by chef Priska Thuring who takes inspiration from Mediterranean recipes. After starting with a venison carpaccio accompanied by parsnip, juniper berry vinegar, porcini mushrooms, carrots, dried figs and pecorino, or a soup of mussels, saffron, cream, fennel and smoked leek, go for seafood plates such as monkfish with pumpkin, kohlrabi and black trumpet mushrooms or a meat dish such as beef neck with merlot, beetroot, collard greens and celeric. Seven-, nine- and 12-course tasting menus have the option of wine pairing. Dubravkin Put is also home to a wine bar, which has one of the most extensive wine lists in Croatia.


Best Restaurants in Zagreb

Instagram @takenokozagreb

Head to Takenoko for Japanese cuisine in a fine dining setting; this dining room in Zagreb was in fact Croatia’s first Japanese restaurant when it opened 15 years ago. Here, chefs Motohiko Mochizuki and Mario Obrovac create a menu of Japanese and international fusion plates including sushi, wagyu beef cooked on the robata grill and seafood options such as Takenoko lobster and black cod in orange saiko sauce. Try these Asian plates with cocktails created by the barman Krunoslav Miler such as the Japanese-inspired matcha gin cocktail.

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Best Restaurants in Zagreb

Instagram @magnoliaslastice

Curved wooden walls, contemporary furnishings and nature-inspired design accents provide the backdrop for diners at this fine dining restaurant, which is renowned for its gastronomy and fine wine, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays when five- and seven-course tasting menus are on the cards. Here chef Hrvoje Kroflin comes up with mouthwatering plates like quail risotto and lobster sashimi. The excellent wine list places much of the focus on Croatian wines.

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