Now that you decided to spend your summer vacay in beautiful Croatia, it’s time you get to know our eating habits. Here are some of the most popular dishes that are typically served along the Adriatic coast. Discover some of the best Croatian food and read our travel tips if you are visiting the area.

These are top Croatian food to try.

Black risotto

Known locally as crni rižot, this is made with cuttlefish or squid, olive oil, garlic, red wine and squid ink, which gives an intense seafood flavour and black colour. Popular all along Croatia’s coastline, this dish will turn your mouth and teeth black – but it’s worth it.

Brudet (brodet)

This fisherman’s stew hails from from Italy’s Marche region. Traditionally, fishermen cooked it over an open fire using the catch of the day. They would add ample vinegar to the pot to preserve the stew for a couple of days.

Like Italians, coastal Croatians use a tomato base in this dish. It is best served over polenta and with a glass of full-bodied rose wines.


Buzara is a must-try dish made of shellfish and crustaceans. There are two famous buzara:

-scampi alla buzara (busara in Italian) and

-mussels buzara.

On the one hand, the scampi version is usually prepared for special occasions since scampi from the Adriatic Sea are considered a true delicacy.

Connoisseurs from all over the world will agree our scampi has a very delicate and specific taste. Mussel buzara, on the other hand, is a part of everyday life and cucina povera (poor man’s cuisine).

There is also one more difference among the two – scampi buzara is seasoned with tomato, which has a red sauce, whereas mussels buzara has a plain white sauce.

Scampi buzara pares nicely with crispy, fresh rosé with enough body to handle red sauce

Istrian ham

A good meal frequently begins with a platter of pršut i sir (ham and cheese). Istrian pršut is made of skinned pork leg, which is dry-salted with sea salt and seasoned with natural spices such as pepper and garlic, and sometimes bay leaves and rosemary.

Unlike southern coastal Croatia, where Dalmatians smoke their ham, Istrians air-cure their meat with the strong northern wind of the Bura. Istrian ham is aged for at least 12 months, and up to 18 months depending on weather conditions. The resulting product has a special aroma and moderately salty taste, which pairs well with cheeses from the region.

Punjena paprika – stuffed paprika

Certainly, one of the most unusual summer dishes is stuffed paprika. However, it is also one of the all-time favorites for most Croatians.

Eaten both in the hinterland and along the coast, it is best served hot on a warm summer day, as funny as it sounds.

You won’t find it in many restaurants, but if someone invites you to their home for punjena paprika – go for it.


Popular throughout Croatia, this tender meat & vegetable dish is also called ispod čripnje (under the bell) – literally food that is cooked under a terracotta or iron lid over burning embers. Peka can include octopus, lamb, veal or chicken, and is often accompanied by potatoes.

What you do is – you put everything (meat/fish, potatoes, vegetables)in a deeper round baking tray, which is then placed in a fireplace, enclosed with an iron bell and covered with coal.

After an hour or two, your peka is ready.