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What is a traditional Croatian breakfast?

The famous English breakfast typically includes bacon, sausages, beans, eggs and a cup of tea. The French are renowned for croissants and bread, whilst in Germany, the traditional breakfast usually includes toast, eggs, cold meats, cheeses, all washed down with a strong cup of tea or coffee.

So what would a traditional Croatian breakfast be? With Croatia being so diverse thanks to various influences, to answer the question one would have to break it down regionally, as Journal.hr has done.

Continental Croatia

The continental part of Croatia has had various influences that have had an effect on cuisine, including Austrian, Hungarian, and Turkish.

A ‘traditional’ breakfast in continental Croatia would typically consist of polenta and cornbread with lard and a sprinkling of paprika and a strong coffee.

Must-try foods in Croatia’s golden Slavonia

Bread with lard and paprika popular breakfast in Slavonia (Photo credit: Vedran Bošković)

With time eggs started to get introduced and have become part of the breakfast staple as well as cold cuts and pickles.

(Photo: CroChef/Zagreb Tourist Board)


In Dalmatia, like most Mediterranean places, breakfasts tended to be much lighter, less fatty, than in continental parts.

The old ‘traditional’ Mediterranean breakfast would consist of a piece of bread with jam or marmalade or pasteta, or a croissant and a coffee.

What is a traditional Croatian breakfast?

Bread with pašteta

In Dalmatia, a favorite breakfast would be anchovies, olives, and bread.

Marinated anchovies


In Istria, a traditional breakfast would be one that included ingredients from the region. Fritaja with asparagus and truffles is the most recognisable breakfast in Istria.

Pancakes (palačinke) or crepes are also usually readily seen on breakfast tables across Croatia, and one other breakfast tradition, which is not exclusive to a region in Croatia and popular amongst those a bit older, is a short, sharp shot of rakija.

how to make palacinke


Whilst in days gone by breakfasts consisted of ingredients people would readily have at hand, today it is not the case as products are now widely available.

Daily routines have also changed which have also had an influence on what people eat for breakfasts. Today cereals dominate, as well as cold meat cuts, eggs and bread and jams.

How I explored Croatia's coffee and café culture

Coffee is essential

Journal says that today a traditional breakfast does not exist in Croatia, and ask, is it time to create a traditional Croatian breakfast that could become internationally recognised?

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