I’ve never understood people who aren’t into food. I once met a guy who told me he eats just because he has to, but wouldn’t mind not eating if he could survive that way!! I plan my entire daily schedule around food. When I’m not eating I’m thinking about what I’m going to eat next. When I’m happy I eat to celebrate. When I’m sad I eat to lighten up. If I had to choose between being a hippo or giving up sweets, I’d choose being a happy chocolate eating hippo. So this article is for my kind of people. Let them eat chocolate, let them eat cake:
The tiny Dežman passage is one of my favorite parts of Zagreb. It’s in the city center, connecting Zagreb’s busiest street Ilica with the wonderful park of Tuškanac, yet it’s protected from all the city center noise and commotion. Velvet is a cafe with a very charming and somewhat vintage interior. The books, paintings and furniture give a sensation of a classy old apartment. Exceptional cakes, creamy coffee and a nice selection of teas are especially pleasant during warmer seasons when the wonderful flower decorations by Saša Šekoranja highlight Velvet’s romantic terrace.
TORTE I TO
It all started with a famous cheesecake about 10 years ago, after which Torte i to became a synonym for the best cakes in town. It’s located at several locations in Zagreb: at Centar Kaptol, and at Babonićeva, Vrbanićeva, Teslina and Grahorova streets. Its classic living room style interior will make you feel at home, and the creative cakes and coffee will make you feel like you’re in heaven. What I love about Torte i to is that the interiors are filled with magazines and newspapers so you can go there alone and enjoy some reading.
Vincek is a local pastry brand that has been making divine cakes and ice creams since 1977. Vincek can be found at various locations in Zagreb: at Zvonimirova and Ilica street, at Kvaternikov and Trešnjevački square and at Bundek Centar. Famous for their tradition and a variety of exquisite cakes and ice creams Vincek remains one of the most visited places in Zagreb. It can get quite busy, but despite the crowd the service is really fast. Even though Vincek isn’t as relaxing as other places I’d still recommend it because you can find traditional Croatian sweets such as kremšnite, which you simply have to try.
THE COOKIE FACTORY
The Cookie Factory in Tkalčićeva street serves cookies and cakes inspired by American traditions. Besides cookies, brownies, cakes and ice creams you can have some really good coffee there. The interior of the place reminds me of a living room – there are comfy chairs, cute little signs on the walls, and it’s filled with the smell of coffee. There’s also a charming little terrace in front of the place. The prices are proportional to the service and the delicious sweets. Recommendation: try the warm brownie with scoops of ice cream on top, it’s divine.
The warm atmosphere at Kim’s coffee will make you feel at home as soon as you enter the place. The cozy interior with comfortable sofas, little wooden chairs covered in pillows, the smell of tea and coffee and the delicious cakes and croissants make people stay and relax for hours. It’s truly unique which is why a lot of people go there even though it’s not strictly in the city center – it’s located in Petrova street, a 15 minute walk from the main square. They also serve fabulous smoothies, shakes and juices.
Located in the heart of Zagreb, in the beginning of Ilica street this elegant and spacious place offers a huge variety of sweets. The modern decor of the place makes it very appealing while the large terrace makes it possible for quite a number of people during the Saturday špica (thoroughly explained here: The Croatian Špica) to have coffee and cake. If you’re not in the mood for something sweet, there’s also a big variety of sandwiches.
Located just across the cathedral this tiny but totally charming place keeps winning the hearts of both locals and tourists. They have the best cake recopies, homemade ice creams and macaroons which they serve with creamy coffee, tea or hot chocolate. The vintage and romantic interior goes perfectly with the delicious sweets and warms up people during the winter, while the charming little terrace gets filled with conversations and laughter during the warmer seasons.
Orijent is one of the oldest pastry shops in Zagreb, still owned by the same family that founded it. It attracts people with charming fondant and marzipan creations in their shop window in Maksimirska street. The old fashioned interior goes extremely well with the fresh seasonal offer of cakes and ice creams.
MAK NA KONAC
Mak na Konac is located near the Trg Žrtava Fašizma square. Their signature is the magnificent poppy-seed cake filled with raspberry jam. Other sweets are just as spectacular as Mak na Konac has almost two decades of experience in the kitchen. Also, don’t worry if you’re intolerant to some ingredients – this place has gluten-free, diabetic friendly and dairy free sweets. The light-colored wood and colorful cushions give a warm touch to the cozy interior filled with the smell of the sweets.
CHOCO BAR BOMBONNIERE KRAŠ
The Choco Bar Bonbonnière Kraš is a hangout spot for people who love sweets and chocolate. Kraš is the most famous Croatian sweets factory with a long tradition of putting smiles on people’s faces. Their choco bar in Ilica street is more than heaven for true chocolate lovers. In addition to amazing cakes, handmade pralines and ice creams the best and the most original thing is a variety of hot and cold chocolate cocktails.