Sorry for my delay. We’re out of town so don’t have a ton of specifics but we’ll be in Dubrovnik, Split and Plitvice Lakes.
This is actually a wonderful guide (and speaks to what chowhound used to be.)
Of these places, I only made it to Konoba Batelina and Alla Baccacia and would recommend both of them highly. Batelina focuses on super fresh seafood, with some usual cuts. Think shark liver, etc.
Alla Baccacia is a rustic dreamland. I’m unsure why (or how) I enjoyed it as much as I did, but it goes down as one of my most memorable meals of all time. Imagine an old barn/hotel in the Pula countryside with grilled meats in this massive wood-burning oven and delightful, rustic truffle pastas.
We also did Konoba Mondo as seen on a Bourdain show. Look, it’s pretty darn good, though touristy. Probably worth a detour to Motovun though just for the truffles and the surrounding wine regions.
Full disclosure: I’ve been to Croatia three times. 2009, 2011, and 2015. It constantly gets more touristy, so I’ve no idea if Motovun is now overran by tourists or if Batelina has been inundated by the hordes.
Hi, I spent a month in Split, and thus all my recommendations are geared toward there. Villa Spiza was my favorite spot–remarkably fresh seafood in this tiny little tavern. Go early because this place fills up. I personally really like their mackerel, though everything is wonderful. I remember one meal where the owner brought in a fish he’d just caught then sliced it up and served it right then and there.
Kantun Paulina is a Cevapici spot which is maybe like the Croatian version of a burger? Regardless, it’s sensational and cheap and wonderfully local.
wow thanks for this.
Where would you recommend staying? We will have a car, I’m leaning towards Rovinj.
How many days there? Glad you have a car, it’s absolutely essential there. So I’ve found the food to be better in the Pula area, though Rovinj is undeniably a prettier, more romantic town. Pula by contrast is grittier (though also more lived-in if that makes sense.)
Neither place has an abundance of things to do. (That’s one of the things I love most about Croatia as a whole. Move slow, enjoy the Adriatic, etc.) Eat three hour meals.
Push comes to shove, I’d probably lean Pula because of the wonderful restaurants nearby. We also spent a nice afternoon here. You really can’t go wrong with either.
Also do not miss the Istrian wine and truffle region which is a bit inland. Super romantic. Very good wine. Gorgeous landscapes.
The croatian version of a burger is a pljeskavica
So looks like cevapi is derived from pljeskavica?
Will be there 4 days!
I know you mentioned a couple recommendations above, but are there any other must go to restaurants (including inland truffle area) that you would recommend?