by Tina Kovačiček
One really amazing thing about Croatia is that it has fantastic food. Depending on which region you visit, each of them has its own specific delicious dishes, you won’t get disappointed.
And the more you explore old cooking books you will find out how Croatia was influenced by different countries in the past. If you don’t feel like exploring yourself, the good thing is some people already did it for you. That’s why we are taking you to the oldest restaurants in Zagreb where you can try authentic Croatian cuisine. Dobar tek!
Because of the interior design, as well as traditional Croatian cuisine, this place is one of the favorites among many Zagrebians. It can be packed during the weekends as many people come here for lunch and dinner, especially if they don’t feel like cooking that day, and here day feel like home.
This place has been serving food since 1848, but during this long period of time, it changed owners. Some twenty years ago, there was “Tri Lovca” that was very familiar to older residents of Zagreb and younger locals remember it as first cellar “Stari Fijaker” that was renewed in 1994 for the 900th anniversary of the city of Zagreb.
Guiding and renovation of Stari Fijaker 900 has been taken by the current owners, the Juras family, and their fourteen staff. Stari Fijaker offers a full menu of authentic traditional culinary delicacies representing the Zagreb-Zagorje region of Croatia.
If you ask the waiter he will probably recommend punjena paprika (stuffed peppers), sarma (cabbage rolls), purica s mlincima (a traditional Croatian Christmas meal – roast turkey with a delicious pasta-like side dish, made of cooked unleavened dough seasoned with turkey drippings) and of course štrukli (cooked cheese-filled pastry, here they like to say that this is the quintessential Croatian comfort food that you will want to have again and again).
Also, this restaurant is known for its homemade pastries and bread. You can choose from cornbread, pivnički klipići, pogačice od čvaraka and many others.
Located on one of the busiest city corners, this cute tavern is a perfect observation point since it has beautiful large windows. Through history times this was a popular meeting point for a lot of bohemians, and one of the most recognizable among them was a Croatian poet Tin Ujević. He used to spend his days and nights at Tip-top (once known as Blato, in English mud) contemplating about the meaning of life and searching for ideals with other members of the literary, cultural and bohemian scene.
The tavern still has that bohemian vibe and it still serves good food and wine. In the morning they serve domestic breakfast till 10 am. So you can enjoy different styles of omelets while reading newspapers and soaking up morning vibes of the metropolis. During the day visitors can enjoy a wide selection of daily prepared meals such as fish, meat, risotto, and pasta. You can choose between three meals every day for reasonable prices and during the evenings it’s nice to have a glass of good Croatian wine while live music entertains you.
Restaurant Purger has opened its door in 1932. and since then it has been creating tasty traditional Croatian food. Good time for visiting this place is during spring and summer since it has nice big green terrace where it can accommodate large groups, far away from the city traffic.
But if you decide to come during the winter they serve plenty of food to warm you up. Here you can find a number of stews, grilled dishes, and pastries for dessert. The cozy atmosphere of the restaurant is deserved also by friendly staff, as they like to point out.
For this place, lots of food critics will say it is the legendary restaurant in Zagreb. With more than 100 years of tradition, it is one the most Zagrebian restaurants in the city. In the beginning of the 20th century, Okrugljak was the place popular among the climbers who often went for one-day excursions to Sljeme, the peak of Medvednica mountain.
On their way back to the city they would make a stop in Okrugljak since it is located out of the center and surrounded with beautiful greenery. In 1971. this place was fully renovated but making sure it kept its traditional Croatian charm with lots of details and a beautiful outdoor terrace. Except for the interior design, here they always make sure you taste the best of traditional Croatian cuisine.
Great food preparation was one the reasons why lots of business people started to come here for important dinners, and families for weekend lunches. Until today it kept this highly recommended reputation which meals such as a slowly cooked veal, štrukli and exotic fried frogs legs, still prove. The traditional menu is fulfilled with seasonal fresh dishes.
Prilaz Kraljičinom zdencu 12
Beautiful panorama and great traditional food are two main reasons why a lot of Zagrebians and tourist like to spend their sunny days here. Founded in 1951. it has a long culinary tradition and amazing view from the spacious terrace. The interior is dominated by the original Šestine style refined by traditional motifs. And the rest of its popularity is food.
Here they will be happy to answer your question: “What were your forefathers eating?”. The answer lies in their menu, traditional cuisine. You can enjoy premium quality meals prepared on the grill or the skewer, and they like to brag that all the pasta, bread baked under peka, a special baking lid, rolls and štrukli have been prepared in their own restaurant according to ancient, traditional recipes.