What Food Is Croatia Famous For?

Croatian food is delicious and the traditional Croatian cuisine is not given enough air time in our world!

What Food Is Croatia Famous For?

It isn’t uncommon for people to not be particularly aware of what Croatian food includes.

From risotto to peku and brudet, there are hundreds of different types of dishes that are indicative of Croatian culture. 

Croatian food has many different influences, impacted by tastes and traditions from surrounding countries.

Their food has also been influenced by the nations that have ruled Croatia throughout history.

So, let’s have a look at some of the fantastic foods that Croatia is famous for!

Regional Food 

Like lots of other countries, traditional Croatian foods tend to vary between one region and another.

In Croatia, this is specifically true. In certain parts of Croatia, there will be some dishes that aren’t found elsewhere. Some dishes will be found throughout Croatia. 

Along the Dalmatian coast, you will find Dalmatian food. This food is also found on the Croatian islands.

This food is mostly based on fish, olive oil, and green vegetables. You will find seasonings like rosemary, parsley, and garlic. 

Zagreb food is a type of Croatian food from a different region. It has many similarities with countries in central Europe.

Zagreb food includes meat dishes served alongside potatoes, vegetables, and cabbage.

Istrian cuisine is another type of Croatian cuisine. It has lots of typical dishes which include manestra and fuzi.

We will go into more detail about these dishes below! 

In the Slavonian region, their traditional dishes are based more on pork. They usually flavor their dishes with red paprika. 

Eating Habits In Croatia

Croatians eat three meals a day and they traditionally eat their main daily meal at lunchtime.

However, with the increase in those working 9-5, this has changed in more recent years. Families often have big lunches on the weekends. 


Risotto is often seen as a traditional Italian dish. Risotto is also a Croatian dish.

In Croatia, black risotto is very popular. It is a famous staple in Croatia. Black risotto is made up of rice that is flavored with olive oil, wine, garlic, and onions. 

The black color of the rice in this dish comes from squid ink. Black risotto is mostly found in the coastal regions of Croatia.

You will often find this dish along the Dalmation coast.



Peka is a bell-shaped iron lid that is used to cover a casserole when cooking in Croatia.

This is featured as an important part of Croatian cuisine as it is a very important way to cook a casserole.

When you cook using this technique, it creates a very specific taste and flavor. 

The casserole is placed in coal until only the lid is seen poking out of the top.

Using this technique, the casserole dish and peka become like an oven.

Using this method, the meat in the dish will be cooked as if in a slow cooker. It will produce a tender flavor. 

Using this cooking method, lamb, octopus, or other meats are often used. You can also cook vegetables using this cooking method. 

It takes a very long time to make these dishes. For this reason, if you require something different, you will need to ring up the restaurant before you visit.

Most restaurants will have a Peka that is ready to eat which they serve. 


Pasticada is a dish that is usually found in the Dalmatian region. This dish also takes a long time to make.

This is because it is required that the meat is soaked in wine vinegar for days before it is cooked.

It requires lots of spices that are very rare, giving it a very distinctive taste. It is served alongside pasta or gnocchi.


This is a seafood dish. Croatia has a very long coastline and so a lot of the traditional foods contain seafood.

Brudet is a seafood soup cooked using vegetables. It is often served with rice to provide carbohydrates. 

Lots of different seafood is used in this seafood dish. White snappers are sometimes used.

Monkfish is another common fish that is used in this dish. 

This dish is often flavored using tomato sauce, garlic, vinegar, and chili powder.


Manestra is a Croatian bean soup that is often found in the Istria region. It uses the main ingredients of corn or sauerkraut. 

This dish is cooked on low heat and so takes quite a long time to prepare. It is common to add prosciutto to this dish.

When this dish is flavored, garlic and parsley spices are mixed into a paste and then added to the soup. This creates an enhanced flavor.


This dish can be found all over Croatia. It is from the Balkan peninsula countries which include Croatia.

Cevapi is a type of processed meat that is usually made out of beef or pork. Sometimes the two are mixed. 

Locals usually eat cevapi with pita bread, chopped onion, and red peppers.

This dish will be found all over Croatia. It will be found in restaurants around any tourist area so you should give it a try when you fancy it!


To finish off, we will have a look at traditional Croatian sweet food. Fritule is similar to a donut in lots of ways.

It doesn’t have holes, though, and it is a lot smaller than a donut. This dish is made from flour, raisins, lemon zest, and schnapps. 

The ingredients are mixed into small balls and then fried. This dish is commonly served at celebrations and you can find it in many bakeries or markets.

Final Thoughts 

Croatia has lots of traditional dishes that it is known for.

The type of food is very dependent on the region in Croatia, and the food has a lot of influence from all over the world as well as neighboring countries.

If you’re planning a trip to Croatia, make sure you give some of the traditional dishes listed in this article a try!

Andrea Arthur