Croatia is hardly a country people would think of to sample its cuisines. Typically, tourists will visit countries like Italy and France. If you are that kind of tourist, you may want to include Croatia in your list of countries to visit. Did you know Croatia has several restaurants with a Michelin Star? A Michelin Star is awarded to restaurants that meet specific international culinary standards. Here are a few quotes on the restaurants to understand the country better.
"For the entire Croatian gastronomic scene, the awarding of the prestigious Michelin stars in the circumstances of the Coronavirus pandemic is an exceptional success. This is very important for Croatian tourism because our country now has 10 Michelin-starred restaurants or a total of 79 restaurants with a label from this prestigious gastronomic guide," commented the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, Kristjan Stanicic.
He added that "This is a confirmation of the quality of Croatian gastronomy, i.e., our overall tourist offer in this segment, which is one of the main motives for many travel enthusiasts around the world. For us, the presence of our country in Michelin guides represents additional promotion and visibility, but also motivation in our efforts to make Croatia a prominent and internationally recognized gastronomic destination."
"Croatia is a particularly interesting destination that allows travelers and gourmets to enjoy authentic and diverse gastronomic experiences. The country offers local chefs' local products of exceptional quality, which makes them surpass themselves day by day," commented Gwendal Poullennec, the International Director of MICHELIN.
Having understood the country and its restaurants, we need to identify ten Michelin Star restaurants in Croatia below:
In the narrow streets of the mystical city of Rovin, a true gem is hidden. The very first restaurant awarded by the Michelin star in Croatia 2017- Restaurant Monte. This gourmet paradise is owned by chef Danijel Đekić and his wife Tijtske, who is a sommelier. The perfect combination for all senses. By Gault Millau - Monte is considered at one of the best restaurants Croatia has to offer, it has received 17 out of 20 points and 4 hoods from Gault Millau! What's important to add is that Gault Millau in 2020 has named chef Danijel “Chef of the Year”. This luxurious trendy-chic restaurant is the fine-dining spot. Sophisticated dishes followed by an impressive wine list are truly unforgettable culinary experiences at a unique location.
‘’The cool, contemporary style of this softly lit, romantic restaurant comes as a contrast to the old town, in whose enchanting lanes it is hidden. Creative and occasionally theatrical, the cooking is also somewhat of a surprise using modern techniques to create beautifully presented, flavor-filled dishes.’’ – MICHELIN guide inspectors.
The incredible 360 restaurant is located in the town of Dubrovnik. This town is listed as a UNESCO heritage site. The restaurant’s incredible terrace stretches along the medieval walls and fortress of St John and opens up with a unique view of the sea to an old town and its port. The restaurant also boasts an exquisite dining room featuring historical stone walls and decors with a view of its glassed-in kitchen.
360 is exclusively a dinner restaurant. It offers two 5-course tasting menus and abbreviated options through the A la Carte Menu. Mediterranean and Dubrovnik flavors and ingredients inspire the restaurant’s gourmet dishes. They are also framed in French cooking. This attracts guests from all over the world.
"To cook means to respect the resources of the land." Marijo Curić, Executive chef.
''A striking restaurant built into the historic town walls sit on the curved battlement terrace for an impressive view of the old port. The sexy cocktail bar and lounge has intimate booths, and the modern open kitchen features a decorative tank teeming with fish. Classic dishes are presented in a modern style.'' – MICHELIN guide inspectors.
This is the go-to restaurant for an exquisite lunch and dinner experience. It is located in the heart of Šibenik, Croatia’s hub for history. Pelegrini is regarded as one of the most attractive gourmet hotspots in Croatia. The restaurant’s owner and top chef, Rudolf Štefan, create some unparalleled contemporary cuisines with incredible local flavors. Rudolf Štefan is one of Croatia’s best chefs, with multiple awards and honors. Other than the Michelin star, the Pelegrini has 4 toques, 17/20 points from Gaut Millau, and 94/100 points from Falstaff. In addition to the chef’s incredible skills, the restaurant also has a beautiful terrace for wining and dining with the vista of St. James Cathedral.
The restaurant offers a tasting menu and a 4-course dinner menu. However, the menu usually varies per season. For this reason, Chef Rudolf works with seasonal local ingredients and small regional producers. Rudolf and his team are constantly striving to improve their dishes and clients’ experiences.
''Situated opposite the beautiful cathedral of St James, this restaurant has a few small tables arranged outside on the steps in summer and is named after the fine old building in which it is housed. The decor here is a light, elegant mix of old and new, and the service excellent. "Rudi" Stefan, the self-taught owner-chef, puts plenty of energy into expressing the best of himself and the region, creating modern meat and fish dishes from top-quality ingredients. The tasting menu allows you to create your own dining experience by choosing the exact number of courses you require and the individual dishes which tempt you.'' – MICHELIN guide inspectors.
This is the only restaurant in Croatia’s capital city with a Michelin star. This upscale restaurant is located in downtown Zagreb. It serves top-quality contemporary dishes and offers a trendy fine dining ambiance. The restaurant was previously headed by Chef Goran Kočiš, who is also its partial owner. However, Bruno Vokal took over as the Head Chef and has taken the restaurant to new levels. Chef Bruno Vokal crafts the best cuisines from carefully selected and locally sourced organic ingredients.
Bruno Vokal is an internationally experienced Chef that’s worked with many top restaurants in Austria, Montenegro, and the UK. Before joining Noel, Bruno worked as a sous chef with Mario Curić at Restaurant 360 in Dubrovnik.
Another crucial member of the restaurant’s staff is Ivan Jug. Ivan recently expanded the restaurant’s wine list to include labels from all over the world. The prestigious restaurant also offers a large and varied choice of pre-meal cocktails.
''A fashionable restaurant with soft lighting and trendy, internationally-inspired furnishings, where guests can enjoy exciting, colorful cuisine prepared by the owner-chef. The delicious modern and creative dishes served here are accompanied by a selection of Croatian, French and Italian wines carefully chosen by the sommelier-partner.'' – MICHELIN guide inspectors.
Draga di Lovrana, Lovrana
This is a beautiful restaurant located on the edge of a mountain reef surrounded by gorgeous green heels and the azure sea. It is a historical establishment that was built in 1908. However, in 1923, it burned down. After the incident, it was not renovated until 2005. Finally, its owners, Christian and Sanja Nikolac, reopened the establishment after renovating it as a gourmet restaurant.
The stunning establishment serves delicious Mediterranean delicacies made with regionally sourced products. Its top chef, Tomšić Zdravko, is responsible for the incredible contemporary cuisines offered by the restaurant.
The restaurant’s dining room features an attractive fireplace and views of the sea, mountain Učka, and the Kvarner islands. Guests can also enjoy their meals on the terrace while enjoying spectacular views of the panoramic vista.
''The chef prioritizes locally sourced produce in recipes that are balanced and of the highest quality, creating modern, imaginative, and highly memorable dishes. Breathtaking location, with views from the dining room and outdoor terrace, plus a choice of attractive guestrooms.'' – MICHELIN guide inspectors.
Cap Aureo’s wine list is customised and carefully created to accommodate different Croatian and international wines to enlighten your gourmet experience.
This fantastic restaurant lies within the ancient walls of the historical town of Korčula on the coast of Croatia. It sits on a medieval building that was built in the 17th-century. Rich local landowners combined six adjacent houses during its construction to create this urban phenomenon.
The exquisite restaurant offers al fresco fine dining and an ingredient-focused menu. The menu is also seasonal, thanks to the periodic availability of locally sourced ingredients. The ingredients are usually sourced on land and at sea. The restaurant’s head chef and Sommelier work together to create a unique local dining experience that attracts international guests. In addition, the two have collaborated to create a unique gastronomic identity rooted in the rich Dalmatian food culture.
"Inspiration is all around us. It's just a matter of surrounding yourself with the environment
and focus on what Mother Nature provides us with each season." - Marko Gajski, Head Chef.
''Situated on the road, which runs around the picturesque historic center, this restaurant offers an outdoor area for alfresco dining in fine weather – just a few meters from the water – with a romantic view of the sea, the islands, and the peninsula. Superb Mediterranean cuisine with a focus on local products, especially olive oil and excellent fish (don't miss the sea bass!), as well as more exotic ingredients and creative touches, which come as a pleasant surprise. The more limited choice at lunchtime.'' – MICHELIN guide inspectors.
The restaurant is based in a beautiful stone building that hosts a 4-star boutique hotel, tavern, and winery. This means that you get a wide range of services and products in one place. It is located in Pag Island’s Novalja, with some of the most beautiful surroundings. Its surroundings offer an idyllic backdrop for your dining experience at the establishment.
The fine-dining establishment is recognized among gourmets and food connoisseurs as a spot for delicious and unique traditional island cuisine. However, its cuisines also boast a modern and creative twist. The restaurant’s chef Boris Šujić has designed a wide selection of artistically prepared local flavors.
When dining at Boškinac, you are guaranteed a taste of the best that Mediterranean island cuisines offer. Additionally, the establishment features a warm, contemporary, and stylish ambiance.
However, the restaurant’s kitchen help recently went through some changes. The cuisine remains the same, and its menu still features unique island specialties. The foods are made with excellent quality ingredients like olive oil, fish, lamb, etc. The cuisines are served on two tasting menus.
Underneath the restaurant and the hotel is a tavern where you can enjoy some incredible wine tastings, entertainment, and domestic specialties.
"The simplicity that respects the perfection of the ingredients themselves, and the reinterpretation of tradition, though controlled in its creativity and playfulness, is the main philosophy of our restaurant," – Chef Boris Šuljić.
The supervision of incredible 2-Michelin star Chef Christian Kuchler earned this restaurant one Michelin star. The top chef has helped the establishment create unique cuisines that showcase the purity of each ingredient and masterful preparation techniques. The establishment also hires Chef Michael Gollenz, who offers its creative vision.
Chef Gonzales bases his cuisines on classic French cooking techniques elevated with global flavors.
The restaurant’s approach to the dining experience features Croatia’s finest produce, fish, and meat at the center stage. Its constantly-changing menu embraces local sourcing of ingredients from Losinj island and its immediate surrounding. Additionally, the cuisines dispense flavors in their truest sense. Some must-have dishes at Alfred Keller are; the Scampi Carpaccio with Thai salsa mint, Adriatic Fennel Kulen roasted in a pan, and the Short Rub Paprika bbq, to name a few.
Alfred Keller also offers an incredible wine list embracing a similar progressive philosophy while respecting Croatia’s winemaking history. Most of its wine list features products of the Balkans and other sought-after vintages. The wine selection also expands to the rest of the world with products from old wine merchants and new world wine regions. The extensive wine list seeks to boost an expansive range of products while satisfying the most demanding palates. Furthermore, it pays tribute to tradition through representation in standard and large formats of established producers from Bordeaux.
Additionally, the restaurant boasts inspiring interiors that reflect its owner’s renewed vision of dining. The interiors feature warm, neutral colors in organic forms, floor-to-ceiling windows, and curvy yet less-formal forms. There are also fantastic panoramic views of the Čikat bay for guests’ amusement during their approachable and personal dining experience.
''Respect for the tradition without compromising innovation is my way to bring to Croatia the best dining experience out there.'' - Chef Michael Gollenz.
Nebo restaurant is located on the fifth floor of the new Hilton Rijeka Costablella Beach Resort and Spa. It features fantastic and breathtaking views of the Adriatic sea, the coast, and Cres island. The restaurant’s menu features 5, 8, and 14-course tastings as enticing as its surroundings.
Each dish on the menu is uniquely designed to tell a story of Croatia’s culinary history. Additionally, traditional specialties made from regionally-sourced ingredients and adventurous, modern, and creative specialties are available on the menu.
Furthermore, the establishment boasts incredible personal service and an extensive wine list featuring labels from all over the world.
"My dishes are a creative and contemporary display of Mediterranean and Croatian tradition, with recipes and ingredients originating from all over Croatia.'' – Chef Deni Srdoč.
This restaurant earned its Michelin star in September 2021 following its collaboration with the Scarello family. The Scarello family also manages the 2-Michelin star Agli Amici restaurant in Goddia, Udine.
This is a unique and sophisticated place located in the strip between the Marina and the Grand Park Hotel in Rovinj. Its picturesque terrace offers direct views of the sea. Additionally, its cuisine features flavors from Istria and Friuli Venezia Giulia.
Chef Emanuele Scarello is responsible for the restaurant’s three tasting menus; Godia. Istria, and Rovinj. This element coveys Agli Amici’s single gastronomic concept focused on sustainability, passion, innovation, and exploration.