Advent in Zagreb has kicked off and the magic atmosphere of the Christmas period has captured the city.
One of the many reasons Zagreb was proclaimed the best Christmas markets in Europe for three consecutive years was because of the fantastic gastro offer, and this year it is no different.
To help we have compiled a guide of the best places to eat and drink around the city during Advent.
Fuliranje has been a Advent hit in Zagreb serving up top-quality food and drinks for the past 10 years and is again the go-to place this Advent. To celebrate its anniversary this year it is being held for the first time on the charming Oleander terrace at Hotel Esplanade.
Music, DJs, and street food from some of the best places in town, it is a wonderful place to meet up with friends and socialise.
For the first time, Hotel Esplanade chef Ana Grgić and her team have a stand offering up street food versions of their renowned dishes like bakalar (cod), beef cheeks and her famous štrukli. Also for the first time at Fuliranje you can try food from iconic Zagreb restaurant Restač.
Celebrity chefs Mate Janković and Ivan Pažanin are their with their respective stands – Sausage Institut and Chef’s Burgers, whilst those who want to taste something different there is the stand Arctic Circle, which serves up salmon and shrimp sandwiches and their Expedition Dish. After a trip to the Arctic, the guys learned the local cuisine and have brought it back to Zagreb.
There is also the popular restaurant Good Kut, led by Ivana Bekavac, bringing street food options to Fuliranje via some witty-named soups, sandwiches and strudels. There is also something for meat and pasta lovers at Fuliranje as well as for vegetarians with Beg’s Plant Based Butchery. There are also stands to get some mulled wine and cocktails.
Fuliranje – Hotel Esplanade – Oleander terrace – Open until 1 January, every working day from 12 p.m. – 11 p.m, and on weekends from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
While making a culinary Advent Zagreb round also make sure not to miss RougeXmas, a Christmas edition of Rougemarin, a popular chain of bistros and home cooking shops. Five RougeXmas stands can be found on Jelačić plac, Gajeva, Europski trg and Stross square and offer a variety of mouth-watering meat treats accompanied by beautiful sweet potato buns and delicious sauces.
Three Advent 2021 RougeXmas star bites are “Češnjofka”, a hand made sausage with pickled vegetables slaw in a sweet potato bun with estragon mustard & honey dip, topped with pumpkin seeds; “Šlepani pajcek” a pulled smoked pork shank with sour cabbage in a sweet potato bun with horseradish with cream sauce sprinkled with spicy walnuts and “Vuršt pečenica”, a handmade chorizo sausage in a sweet potato bun accompanied by kidney beans salad in finzer sauce and fried onions.
RougeXmas offers a vide variety of drinks, from mulled vine to gins and punches, and sweet treats, such as traditional Linzer cake and carrot cake “Nobl mrkvica”, and their own version of famous germknodl “Čupavac germknedla” made of hazelnut and sprinkled with coconut.
While not exactly in a city Centre, where the majority of Advent happenings take place, Kod fratara At the Friar’s (Sveti Duh 33) is definitely a culinary spot worth visiting. Their famous “Samostanska sarma” is a fantastic opportunity to get acquainted to popular Croatian winter dish (and allegedly the best cure for hangover) during Advent in Zagreb.
The Friars menu is simple and modest – apart from sarma (minced meat in a sour cabbage roll) it consists of krpice sa zeljem (braised spring cabbage & square shaped pasta pieces), two versions of homemade sausage (Slavonska and smoked), medenjaci, fritule and a wide variety of very special homemade monastery drinks to be consumed at the spot or as a takeaway.
The Friars are excellent cooks, but behind their Advent story is a greater one about helping those in need. with every meal you buy you ensure a meal for the users of Pučka kuhinja, that also operates on the spot. Some 20 minutes tram ride or 40 minutes walk from the Saint Anthony’s Home (Sveti Duh 33) back to the Centre is also a great way to prepare yourself for your next culinary experience.
Kod fratara, Sveti Duh 33 – Open 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
One place worth visiting during Advent in Zagreb is Cafe Bar Finjak. Cafè Bar Finjak is renowned for creating the most fairytale-like atmosphere for visitors over the Christmas period.
Surrounded by a magical Christmas atmosphere, you can drink mulled wine or brandy, made according to a secret recipes of the house, and try some homemade sausages in a bun. The kids can try their delicious sweet chocolate and take photos with all the teddy bears and nutcracker-decorated ornaments.
Cafe Bar Finjak, Vlaška 78, Zagreb – Open Mon-Sat: 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Sun: 9:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m.