From the beautiful coastal places, the blues of the sea and the sky that blend into the endless horizon to the green expanses of vineyards, olive groves and of the Istrian soil, on this peninsula you can choose the unique ambience of top-class restaurants.
As the most respected gastronomic destination in Croatia, Istria is praised for its traditional characteristic delicacies recognized by the most famous guide for ranking high-quality restaurants – Michelin. In Istria, there are as many as two of the seven restaurants which were awarded a MICHELIN star on the Croatian gastronomic scene, and many of our restaurants also received a MICHELIN recommendation.
Here you will taste specialities such as Istrian prosciutto, dishes with truffles, goat cheese, Boškarina (Istrian cattle) and ombol (a traditional Istrian dish made of pork meat marinated in a particular way) which will be enriched by Istrian olive oil of the highest quality. In this blog, find restaurants where a top gastronomic experience is verified!
The first place of many lists of the best restaurants in Istria, including ours, is occupied by Monte from Rovinj. Monte is one of the seven successful Croatian restaurants with a MICHELIN star that is meeting all the demands of critics from year to year. Here we are primarily talking about the excellence of gastronomy, and then the ambience and the surroundings of the restaurant which is in the vicinity of the historic church of St. Euphemia. On the menu, you will find top specialties whose taste will be complemented with a palette of local Istrian wines. The dishes are adapted to seasonal ingredients, which guarantees their freshness and further emphasizes the original flavors, putting this restaurant at the very top of the gastronomic centers.
Draga di Lovrana, Lovran
Lovran also boasts a MICHELIN-starred restaurant, the second in Istria. Here you will enjoy the modern kitchen of chef Deni Srdoč, his youthful approach, playfulness, culinary creations and the rich experience which he gained learning from the famous chef Zdravko Tomšić. On its plates, the restaurant combines traditional and Mediterranean flavours, with notes of Italian and French cuisine. Restaurant Draga di Lovrana is part of the prestigious European association JRE, which brings together young chefs and restaurants. Do you need another reason to visit this top restaurant? Perhaps the view that stretches from Istria along the Kvarner coast.
San Rocco, Brtonigla
Come to Brtonigla especially in the season of white truffles, because that is the season when San Rocco gives its very best that you will experience in very few restaurants. Commitment to this Istrian gem will not leave you indifferent or hungry. In the rich menu, you will find other traditional dishes and delicacies from the pizza oven, while experienced chefs will do their best with their creative techniques to highlight the original taste of the food. San Rocco is also among the best young restaurants in Europe and at the very top of Istrian and Croatian gastronomy, and it was also recommended by Michelin.
One of the most creative local chefs when it comes to fish and seafood, Marina Gaši, also the current president of JRE Croatia, lives in Novigrad. In her restaurant Marina, you will be greeted by "cuisine d'auteur" or as we would say the author's cuisine, enriched with small masterpieces. Here you will surely enjoy every bite because the chef herself tries to get only the best from the ingredients she uses, and that is mostly fish. The only thing you have to do is sit on the terrace overlooking the sea and indulge in her gastronomic fantasy which will delight all your senses!
If you are keen on a green panoramic view in the shade of oak trees and a slightly richer cuisine, we recommend the Morgan tavern in Brtonigla. The deeper you go into the inland of Istria, you will notice a change in the menus. Here you can expect traditional meat dishes of high gastronomic style. Recipes that are passed down from generation to generation, nana's gnocchi and fuži, but also new recipes with respect for tradition. In the fall you can try dishes combined with mushrooms, truffles and venison, and in the spring dishes with asparagus, fresh cottage cheese and spaghetti. Morgan has been one of the most attractive restaurants in recent years, and this is confirmed by Michelin's recommendation.
Alla Beccaccia, Valbandon
Let’s go south to Valbandon where one of the best Istrian taverns is located at. Here you will enjoy the winter months with sparks of fire from the fireplace that fits perfectly into the Istrian flair of the restaurant, while in summer you will be enchanted by the proximity of the beach and the intoxicating Adriatic scents. The main attraction of this restaurant is the spacious green lawn in the yard that offers a special summer atmosphere. The top-quality dishes, which are also recommended by Michelin and confirmed by many satisfied guests, are seasonal and always fresh. Fish, meat and venison dishes and baked goods are some of the specialties with special emphasis on dishes with snipe.
In the heart of Istria is the town of Livade, where the restaurant Zigante is located. It is the first Croatian restaurant specialized in Istrian truffle dishes, which was also recognized by Michelin and recommended to all gastronomic lovers. Their unique menu combines the flavors and aromas of the sea and the forest, harmonizing the offer with the truffle season, while the menu "a la carte" guarantees the freshness of the food. Here you will be greeted by culinary experts who blend tradition and modernity in their creations. The entire experience will be completed by an extremely rich wine cellar that includes many domestic and foreign top wines.
One of the most famous Pula gastronomic centers is the inevitable Boccaporta. Istrian taverns are traditionally places of relaxation, good food, good wine and even better company, and this is exactly what describes Boccaport. Here you can choose between indigenous Istrian dishes, homemade prosciutto and cheeses, Istrian pasta, an Istrian soup made in Bukaleti (a traditional Istrian jug or goblet made of baked clay) and other delicacies. The pleasant and warm atmosphere that reigns in this family restaurant is just the icing on the cake after the superbly prepared food.
During your stay in Istria, accept the gastronomic challenge and explore these restaurants. See for yourself the MICHELIN-starred and recommended restaurants and at the same time reward your palate with the most delicious snacks of Istrian delicacies. Complete your experience with a pleasant stay in luxury villas in Istria with a rustic ambience and dine in the best restaurants of the Istrian peninsula.