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Pelegrini restaurant, Sibenik

Pelegrini restaurant, Sibenik

 Just in time for the summer season a group of Croatian gastronomes and foodies has ranked 100 of the best restaurants in Croatia. The Dobri restorani (good restaurants) list is like a Bible to food-loving Croatians (which is to say, all Croatians) and the 2016 results are out. The top honor goes to Pelegrini in Sibenik for the second year in a row. Naturally chef Rudolf Stefan won Best Chef 2016 as well. The Mediterranean-style food is accompanied by a world-class wine cellar and served in a beautiful setting right next to Sibenik’s famed Cathedral.

Next in line is old-time favorite Dubravkin put (facebook.com/dubravkin.put) in Zagreb. Indeed, to really experience the best of Croatian food, there’s no place like the capital where 31 restaurants are among the top 100. After Zagreb, Istria is a gourmet delight. Rent a car and explore the small towns and villages where the Istrian culinary tradition is kept alive. See my Istrian restaurant guide.

Below is a list of the top 100 Croatian restaurants, grouped by location and beginning with their place on the list.

Best Restaurants in Sibenik

1. Pelegrini

59. Zlatna ribica

Best Restaurants in Zagreb

Boban restaurant, Zagreb

Squid ink gnocchi with salmon sauce at Boban

Is the dining really that good in Zagreb? Umm, yes. I’ve never had a bad meal in Zagreb. The standards are high, the service is friendly and prices are reasonable. See my Zagreb restaurant guide.

2. Dubravkin put

3. Bistro Apetit

6. Vinodol

11. Tač

12. Carpaccio

13. Mano 2

17. Mali bar

19. Apetit City

20. Mano

21. Baltazar

24. Takenoko

26. Mundoaka

32. Lari i Penati

33. Takenoko 2

34. Time

40. Atlanta Bocca Marai

41. Zinfandel’s is in the Hotel Esplanade, one of Europe’s finest.

43. Okrugljak

45. Rougemarin

47. Boban

48. Bon Appetit

50. Trilogija

55. Didov san

60. Potkova

64. O’Hara

65. Balon

68. Trattoria Agava

91. Le Bistro

95. Pri Zvoncu

96. Gračanka Kamanjo

100. Bota Šare Jadran

Best Restaurants in Opatija

On the northeastern corner of the Istrian peninsula, Opatija doesn’t have a lot of restaurants but what it has are good. Volosko is the next town over, practically within walking distance.

4. Bevanda

5. Plavi podrum, Volosko, has been a top restaurant for nearly a decade

31. Tramerka, Volosko

Best Restaurant in Čakovec

This town is 90km north of Zagreb.

7. Mala hiža

Best Restaurants in Novigrad, Istria

Novigrad is one of Istria‘s most fetching seaside towns and a good alternative to busy Rovinj.

8. Marina

42. Damir & Ornella

Best Restaurants in Rovinj, Istria

Puntalina restaurant, Rovinj

Puntalina restaurant ©Mary Puckett Payne

Rovinj is a favorite destination for visiting Italians due to its easy transport to Italy and its excellent cuisine.

9. Monte

67. Gianinno

81. Puntulina

Best Restaurants in Banjole, Istria

10. Batelina,

Best Restaurants in Split

Kadena restaurant, Split

Kadena restaurant, Split

Split is a great base for exploring the islands and sampling some wonderful Dalmatian cuisine. See my Split restaurant guide.

14. Paradigma

16. Kadena

61. Zrno soli

70. Dvor

75. Noštromo

87. Perivoj

Best Restaurants in Zadar

Fosa restaurant, Zadar

Fosa restaurant, Zadar

Ancient but dynamic, Zadar is brimming with things to see and do with plenty of restaurants at every level to fuel up in style. See my Zadar restaurant guide.

15. Foša

51. Kornat

77. Pet bunara

78. Bruschetta

Best Restaurant in Novalja

Novalja is known as party central on Pag island but it’s good to know you can eat well after a night dancing on Zrce beach.

18. Boškinac, Novalja

Best Restaurants in Dubrovnik

Nautika restaurant, Dubrovnik

Nautika restaurant, Dubrovnik

As Croatia’s top highlight, there should be more top class restaurants in Dubrovnik. Slowly but surely the restaurant scene has been improving in recent years though. See my Dubrovnik restaurant and dining guide.

22. Pantarul

25. Nautika

54. Restaurant 360º

90. Stara Loza

Best Restaurants in Brtonigla, Istria

23. San Rocco

58. Astarea

Best Restaurants in Umag, Istria

On Istria’s northwest corner, Umag is a major resort destination. Even though most hotels have restaurants, you’ll eat better at these places.

27. Badi

89. Buščina

Best Restaurant in Zmajevac, Slavonia

This restaurant is in Slavonia where the food is completely different from the rest of the country and strongly influenced by its Hungarian roots. See more about Slavonian cuisine.

28. Josić

Best Restaurant in Lovran, Istria

Just outside Opatija, Lovran is a small and highly attractive village.

29. Draga di Lovrana

Best Restaurant in Mošćenička Draga, Istria

30. Johnson

Best Restaurants in Osijek, Slavonia

To sample the best of spicy Slavonian cuisine, it’s best to head to Osijek.

35. Klub restoran Waldinger

83. Zimska luka

84. Karaka

85. Lumiere

Best Restaurant in Murter Island

Best known for its proximity to the Kornati Islands National Park, it’s good to know you can also eat well on Murter island.

36. Konoba Boba

Best Restaurant in Karanac, Slavonia

37. Baranjska kuća

Best Restaurant in Kastav

Kastav is an easy drive from both Opatija and Rijeka.

38. Kukuriku

Best Restaurants on Hvar Island

Giaxa restaurant, Hvar

Giaxa restaurant, Hvar

Glamorous Hvar town is where you eat best on Hvar island. See my Hvar restaurant guide.

39. Laganini

69. Gariful

97. Giaxa

Best Restaurant in Livade, Istria

44. Zigante

Best Restaurant in Njivice, Krk Island

It’s surprising that Krk island has only one top restaurant, especially given the quality of wine coming out of Vrbnik.

46. Rivica

Best Restaurant in Krapinske Toplice

Here’s where to eat after you emerge from the sulfurous waters of the Krapinske Toplice thermal spa.

49. Villa Magdalena,

Best Restaurants in Ilok, Slavonia

52. Dunav

56. Principovac

Best Restaurant in Otrusevec

If you’re going to Samobor outside Zagreb, stop off and eat in the village of Otrusevec.

53. Kod špilje

Best Restaurant in Stobrec

Just outside Split and on the way to Salona and Trogir is the historic village of Stobrec.

57. Nikola

Best Restaurant in Makarska

Makarska is an easy day trip from Split.

62. Kalelarga

Best Restaurant in Lepajci

North of Zagreb, Lepajci is in beautiful Krapinje-Zagorje county.

63. Vuglec Breg

Best Restaurant on Vis Island

For local cooking and excellent wine on Vis island, you can’t do better than this restaurant in Vis town.

66. Pojoda

Best Restaurant in Varaždin

Croatia’s capital was once in Varazdin which explains the beautiful baroque buildings.

71. Bedem

Best Restaurant in Karlovac

Karlovac is more than just a stopover on the way to the coast. It’s also a major centre for watersports.

72. Lovački rog

Best Restaurant in Marija Bistrica

Marija Bistrica is a major site for religious pilgrims.

73. Academia

Best Restaurant in Pula, Istria

Known for its spectacular Roman amphitheatre, Pula also has a vibrant dining scene. See my Pula restaurant guide.

74. Vodnjanka

Best Restaurant in Bilje, Slavonia

76. Kormoran

Best Restaurant in Porec, Istria

Visitors flock to Porec to see the Euphrasian Basilica, a World Heritage Site but there are a few good restaurants as well.

79. Sv. Nikola

Best Restaurant in Momjan, Istria

80. Stari Podrum,

Best Restaurant in Vinjerac

On your way into or out of Zadar, stop in Vinjerac village for a good meal.

82. Konoba Pece

Best Restaurant in Bale, Istria

The hilltop village of Bale is worth a look for its narrow, winding streets as well as an excellent restaurant.

86. Villa Meneghetti

Best Restaurant in Savudrija, Istria

A number of excellent resorts surround the traditional fishing village of Savudrija.

88. Pergola,

Best Restaurant in Vinkovci, Slavonia

92. Lamut

Best Restaurant in Rijeka

Bustling Rijeka is Croatia’s most important port. Why there aren’t more good restaurants has always puzzled me. At least Opatija is right nearby.

93. Conca D’oro

Best Restaurant in Fažana, Istria

Visiting the Brijuni Islands from Fazana? Stop here for a bite to eat.

94. Alla beccaccia,

Best Restaurant in Ston

Ston and Mali Ston are known for the superb and fresh seafood. Stop here on a drive from Dubrovnik to the Peljesac peninsula.

98. Gastro Mare

Best Restaurant in Skradin

Hungry after visiting Krka Waterfalls National Park. Stop in Skradin for a nice meal.

99. Cantinetta