Croatia's capital is a culinary delight full of restaurants, bistros and cafes ranging from budget to blow-out. Across the city 11 restaurants have been mentioned in the Michelin Guide for their high standards. So, whether you're after fine dining or street food on your Croatia holiday, you're sure to discover somewhere tasty in Zagreb.
With influences from Eastern and Central Europe, you can expect a lot of Italian-style food in Zagreb as the two countries are only separated by Slovenia. Aside from excellent pizza, pasta and risottos, dishes that are traditional to the Zagreb area of Croatia include zagorski strukli and burek pastries, with meat or cheese filling.
In terms of big meals, chicken and veal are popular meats, often accompanied by potatoes or gnocchi and root vegetables or cabbage. While, the slow-cooked kotlovina, a deliciously flavourful meat dish, is also popular in Zagreb. This tasty favourite contains different cuts of pork and chicken breasts with vegetables that are cooked over an open fire in a special type of metal cauldron.
If you're up for trying some of Zagreb's specialities, that take inspiration from both Mediterranean and Eastern European fare, Vinodol is the place to head. The ivy-covered patio is beautiful, or you can always eat in the dining room under vaulted stone ceilings on cooler days. Among the many menu items are traditional fuzi pasta and delicious Zagreb steak of ham and cheese stuffed veal.
Serving street food with heart and soul, Mundoaka may be small in size, but it's one of Zagreb's most popular spots for its amazing American, Mexican and European classics. It's not often that street food gets a mention in the Michelin Guide, but Mundoaka is an exception. You'll need to book ahead to nab a table here but sharing a big platter on the terrace is a treat worth the forward planning. The ribs, empanadas and pulled pork are firm favourites, and they also have vegetarian options.
Vegans and vegetarians will be spoilt for choice at the Zrno bio, serving local organic dishes, with no meat or dairy in sight. It's actually Croatia's first certified 100% organic vegan restaurant. Not skimping on portion size, you get great value here, and if you're particularly hungry, go for the mega protein platter of gilled tofu, tempeh and seitan with BBQ sauce, green vegetables and sweet potato. Other dishes to try are the falafels or soup of the day, which is usually something like miso sesame or udon noodle.
Innovative and excellent are two words that perfectly describe Zinfandel's. This fine dining restaurant gets a mention in the Michelin Guide for its ambitious menu of artistically presented Croatian and modern European dishes. Set in a grand 1920s hotel, the surroundings are just as spectacular as the menu, which covers classics like beef tartar as well as more unusual dishes such as cuttlefish with black rice cream, nettle and crispy rice. Or select one of the four, five or six course tasting menus and try a bit of everything. They also do smaller, gluten-free tasting menus.
The small menu at this burger joint covers all the classics like the cheddar bacon supreme and pulled pork sandwich as well as serving a breakfast option of bacon, eggs and pancakes. Burgers come with a side of crispy, baked French fries or messy fries with bacon, cheese and burger-style mayo. Sit on the pavement and people-watch while you eat or enjoy the ambience of the American diner-style interior.