10 Must-Try Croatian Dishes: A Guide to the Best Local Cuisine

10 Must-Try Croatian Dishes:

Croatian cuisine is full of delicious and unique dishes that are not to be missed. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at 10 must-try Croatian dishes, from seafood specialties to hearty meat dishes. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or just looking to try something new, these dishes are sure to satisfy.


This traditional Croatian dish is a slow-cooked meat and vegetable stew that is baked in a dome-shaped clay oven called a peka. The ingredients are layered in a pan and covered with a metal lid before being placed in the peka and baked for several hours. The result is a tender and flavorful dish that is perfect for sharing with friends and family.


These grilled sausages are a staple of Balkan cuisine and can be found throughout Croatia. They are made with a combination of beef and lamb, seasoned with paprika, and served with ajvar (a roasted red pepper spread) and onions on a warm, fluffy pita bread.

Black Risotto

Also known as crni rižot, this dish is a specialty of the Dalmatian coast. It’s made with cuttlefish or squid, rice, and red wine, which give it a distinctive black color. The dish is served with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of parsley, and it’s a must-try for seafood lovers.


This hearty meat dish is a staple of Dalmatian cuisine. It’s made with beef that has been marinated in a red wine sauce for several hours, then cooked slowly with vegetables and prunes. The result is a tender and flavorful dish that is often served with gnocchi or polenta.

Octopus Salad

This refreshing salad is a popular appetizer in coastal Croatia. It’s made with cooked octopus that has been chopped into small pieces and mixed with onions, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. The salad is typically served cold and is a great way to start a meal on a hot summer day.


These small, fried doughnuts are a traditional Croatian dessert that are often enjoyed during the holiday season. They are made with flour, eggs, milk, and sugar, and are flavored with lemon zest and rum. Fritule are usually dusted with powdered sugar and served warm.

Zagorski Štrukli

This savory pastry is a specialty of the Zagorje region in central Croatia. It’s made with a dough that is rolled out thin, filled with a mixture of cottage cheese, eggs, and sour cream, and then baked until golden brown. The dish can be served as a main course or as a side dish.


This fish stew is a classic Croatian dish that is made with a variety of seafood, including fish, squid, mussels, and prawns. The seafood is cooked in a tomato-based broth with onions, garlic, and herbs, and the dish is typically served with polenta or crusty bread.


This creamy dessert is similar to flan or crème caramel and is a specialty of the Dubrovnik region. It’s made with eggs, milk, sugar, and a splash of rose liqueur, which gives it a unique flavor. Rožata is typically served chilled and garnished with caramel sauce.


These twisted pasta noodles are a specialty of Istria, a region in northern Croatia. They are made with flour, water, and sometimes eggs, and are typically served with a hearty meat sauce or truffles.

Whether you’re exploring Croatia’s coastal cities or cruising along the beautiful Adriatic Sea, these 10 must-try Croatian dishes are the perfect way to experience the best of local cuisine and culture.

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