Croatia has been famous as a tourist destination for quite a while now. However, its capital Zagreb has only recently become popular among tourists. The history of this city and its cultural heritage are rich and impressive, but what a lot of people are surprised by is the vibrant food scene. Zagreb restaurants are currently having their moment and you’re now able to find not only typical Croatian dishes but international options as well.
Indeed, you have quite a lot of choices here when you’re looking for a place to eat – from fine restaurants to globally famous fast food chains. Because of this wide selection, it’s good to get a few sound tips from a local (yours truly) on restaurants in Zagreb to eat at. Naturally, it all depends on your preferences, so we’ll try to cover all the most important categories. Read on and prepare to be pleasantly surprised.
Best Budget Dining in Zagreb
Skalinska ul. 4 // +385 1 4813 394
Nokturno is a restaurant at the very heart of the city center, located in Skalinska street, perpendicular to Tkalčićeva street, the main street for bars and cafes around. They have a fairly wide array of choices, from pizza and all kinds of pasta to burgers, meat and fish dishes.
On average, a dish here will set you back between five and six euros, which really isn’t much considering that you’re in a central location, very close to the cathedral and many other important sights.
Because of the location and the prices, the place is generally pretty crowded, especially when the tourist season begins, so booking a table in advance is recommended. This is easily one of the most popular Zagreb restaurants, for a very good reason.
Ul. Nikole Tesle 7 // +385 1 4811 446
If you’re not feeling like sitting down and would just like to get yourself a quick and affordable bite to eat, Pingvin is THE place for budget eating.
Pingvin is essentially a kiosk in which some extremely delicious sandwiches are made, and you get to choose from a whole lot of different toppings. Fried meat, grilled meat, black toast, white toast, ham, prosciutto and so much more – you name it and it’s there. On top of that, the prices start from less than three euros, which is certainly a bargain.
Locals love to visit it in the evening after a good night out in the city center, and the fact that this little shop has been around for almost three decades speaks for itself.
Best Pizza In Zagreb
Ul. Marije Jurić Zagorke 25 // +385 49 284 785
You won’t find Oro-Goro in many other food guides when it comes to best Zagreb restaurants. This is because it is not in Zagreb, but in Oroslavje, a small town about 20 kilometers north of Zagreb. It takes between half an hour and 45 minutes to get there, but trust me when I say that the pizzas there will be worth every second of the trip.
First of all, their pizzas are absolutely massive. Seriously, you probably haven’t seen a pizza of this size. Next, they come with a huge variety of toppings, so study the menu thoroughly.
Sure, they also offer pasta and risotto, but pizzas are the main stars of the show and the reason why people in Zagreb every weekend flock to this excellent pizzeria.
Kaljska ul. 14 // +385 1 3875 555
If you don’t have a car or don’t feel like driving out of town but still crave a pizza, consider visiting pizzeria Chello. Yes, it’s almost on the edge of the city, but buses and trams should get you there without too much trouble.
The reason why the trip will be worth it is that this pizzeria specializes in deep dish pizza with a wondrous array of different toppings. One is even stuffed with minced meat, a whole bunch of cheese and other delightful stuff. The dough is thick and chewy, which is really necessary given how much toppings they put on these. Their pizzas are usually meant for at least two persons, so you don’t have to worry about wanting more when you’re done with your meal.
The great beer selection is also a big plus, and a nice cozy atmosphere just brings everything together. Perfect place for when you want to just relax and unwind with your friends.
Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurants in Zagreb
If you’re not into meat and would like something vegetarian (or even vegan), don’t worry – there are plenty of great places to eat in Zagreb for people with those preferences.
Varšavska ul. 10 // +385 99 457 0100
Green Point is an excellent choice for all those who are looking for great vegetarian options. Seitan, hemp, and tofu are the main stars here, with (cheese)burgers being made out of them.
Various salads, pastas and tortilla wraps are also available, plus many other vegetarian/vegan dishes, so a pretty wide variety of choice awaits you here.
Green Point is a place that focuses on healthy fast food, which makes it ideal if you’re exploring the city center and want just a quick bite before you move on to the next sight. You will find this restaurant in Varšavska street, close to the main square.
Medulićeva ul. 20 // +385 1 4847 540
Vegans should head to Zrno Bio Bistro, an organic vegan restaurant which gets its groceries from its own eco-friendly farm, the first of its kind in Croatia. The groceries are delivered to the restaurant every morning, so you can be sure you’re always eating dishes created from the freshest products.
Their falafel is to die for, and the cream soups they create here are just as good.
Zrno even has its own bakery, so you can be sure everything you eat here will be 100% authentic and legit. Without a doubt Zrno Bio Bistro is the best vegan restaurant in Zagreb.
Vlaška ul. 79 // +385 1 4649 400
Apart from these two, Vegehop certainly deserves to be mentioned here, as it is another excellent vegetarian/vegan restaurant with 20 years of experience behind them.
Vegehop has a rotating daily menu with choices such as moussakas, lasagnas, tortillas, whole grain pastas, fresh salads and many more.
Their desserts are made with natural sweeteners like agave syrup, brown cane sugar and dried fruit and Vegehop also has options for raw food and gluten free diets.
But here’s a tip for you: even if a restaurant doesn’t specialize in vegan or vegetarian food, check the menu thoroughly. Many places in the city center serve those dishes too along with their standard menu in order to accommodate as many people in the bustling city center as possible.
Best Burgers in Zagreb
Recently, many burger joints began popping up all over the city. And it’s like they’re competing who will provide a better burger experience. Honestly, it’s difficult to find a bad one.
My personal favorite is Submarine, which has several restaurants across Zagreb, two of which are in the city center – one in Frankopanska street, the other in Bogovićeva.
Their burgers are juicy, their buns delicious, but what won me over here is the way they make their fries – with black sausage and BBQ sauce and cheese on top!
They also have a decent selection of Croatian craft beers (another very popular line of work here these days), so you’ll be able to complement your beer perfectly.
10 Gajeva ulica Zagreb // +385 1 4820 800
Guys will definitely like Brewbites, a big sports bar with great burgers and ribs and many TVs with a different sporting event on each of them. Tourists often come here, and if you do too you won’t regret it. Their burgers include options such as the Jaw Distortion (double patties with bacon, cheddar and Gouda cheese, and caramelized onions) or the Brewbites bacon with double bacon.
Local and international celebrities can also be found here– Samuel L. Jackson dropped by once!
Fine Dining In Zagreb
Ul. popa Dukljanina 1 // +385 1 4844 297
Zagreb’s first and so far only restaurant with the coveted Michelin star is Noel – an establishment with very modern interior and soothing lighting which provides you with the possibility to thoroughly enjoy the very best modern Croatian gastronomy has to offer.
Of course, only top quality ingredients are used here, but what is especially important to emphasize is the wine list. Michelin’s inspectors described is simply as “excellent”, so you really should sample what they have to offer here, especially since you can choose between French, Italian and Croatian wines (go for Croatian wines if you haven’t tried them yet, you’ll be very pleasantly surprised).
Noel has a weekly menu, as well as menus of four and seven courses respectively, and the sommelier there will help you pair each one with the appropriate wine. Fine dining at its very best!
Dubravkin put 2 // +385 1 4834 975
But don’t think that’s the only place for fine dining around here. Oh no – there are plenty of excellent restaurants. One such place is Dubravkin put, a restaurant in the heart of Zagreb’s old town. So apart from enjoying great food and atmosphere, you will get to roam some very romantic streets before you sit down.
The atmosphere is particularly impressive in the evening. Dubravkin put made a name for itself as a great seafood restaurant, but over time they expanded the menu to include many other dishes.
Seafood still reigns supreme, though, and when you add to that the fact that they have a great wine selection, you get an experience that can only be described as divine.
Choosing the best Zagreb restaurant is really not an easy task given their variety and generally high quality. Obviously, Noel stands out because it is the only one with a Michelin star, but don’t let that deter you from exploring what else the city has to offer. Foodies will absolutely love it here.
One final tip before we go: Croats love their bakeries! So if you don’t want to sit down but just need to grab a quick snack, enter a “pekara” (sometimes “pekarnica”) and choose between a wide array of sweet and savory snacks. The prices are really affordable, so it’s great if you’re traveling on a budget. Usually, you can find pizza slices here, but I would urge you to go for a “burek”, a local puff pastry delicacy filled with minced meat or cheese. It usually goes great with some yogurt (which can also be bought there, usually). So, you can try something local for about three euros in total. A bargain, right? Bon appetit!
Which of these Zagreb restaurants do you most want to try? Let me know in the comments section below!
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Anca is the founder and chief editor of One Day Itinerary, a travel blog dedicated to those who want to make the most of their time in a new city, even if they only have only one day there. Thanks to the fact that she has traveled literally all over the world, she can tell you the dos and don’ts of pretty much every major city in the world. As a matter of fact, she’s already done so in her blog posts.