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Croatian cuisine is heterogeneous and is therefore known as the cuisine of regions, since every region has its own distinct culinary traditions. Its modern roots date back to ancient periods and the differences in the selection of foodstuffs and forms of cooking are most notable between those on the mainland and those in coastal regions. Mainland cuisine is more characterized by the earlier Slavic and the more recent contacts with the more famous gastronomic orders of today - Hungarian, Viennese

Croatian fish plate


and Turkish - while the coastal region bears the influences of the Greek, Roman and Illyrian, as well as of the later Mediterranean cuisine - Italian and French.

Cuisine of the regions
Croatian cuisine can, roughly summarized, be divided into some few regions which all have their specific cooking traditions, characteristic for the area and not necessarily well-known in other parts of Croatia . Meanwhile, however, most dishes can be found all across the country. This is also why the varied cuisine of Croatia is called "cuisine of the regions".

  • Slavonia : spicy cuisine with many Hungarian influences, many meat and game dishes
  • Hrvatsko Zagorje and Medimurje: famous sweets and dumplings
  • Middle Croatia or Croatian heartland: home-made cheese, heavy roast dishes, Osman influences
  • Istria : light food with many herbs, truffle dishes and Italian influences
  • Dalmatia : Mediterranean cuisine with many Italian influences, paradise for lovers of fresh fish


Typical food delicacies

Meat and game
Some expressions from typically-croatian menus:

  • Specialities from the grill are called sa roštilja or s ražnja
  • prženo means roasted
  • pod pekom means that the dish has been put into a stone oven under a metal cover. The cook puts hot coals on the cover so that the meal is being cooked slowly.
  • Cevapcici - meat rolls
  • Ražnjici (skewers)
  • Pljeskavica
  • Meso s tiblice pork ham from Medimurje county
  • Janjetina - roast lamb garnished with Mediterranean herbs
  • Odojak - roast pork
  • Fresh Dalmatian game
  • Visovacka begavica
  • Veal steaks stuffed with ham and cheese and grilled with breadcrumbs
  • Turkey with mlinci (flat, sour dumplings)
  • Kaninchenbraten
  • Leg of lamb à la Pašticada (rolled pieces of Pršut in white wine sauce)
  • Leg of venison the count's way
  • Wild duck with sauce
  • Roasted pheasant
  • Kotlovina from Samobor (kettle with knuckle of pork and other meat and sausages)
  • Boiled fillet of beef haunch with Sauerkraut
  • Escalope à la Baron Trenk (spicy-rolled Schnitzel)
  • Goose Medimurje (filled with buckwheat)
  • Goose Turopolje (corn semolina as a side dish)
  • Purgerica Turkey (Christmas dish from the bordering region to Zagreb , turkey filled with chestnuts, apples, bacon, lemons, etc.)

Sea food

  • Squid - Croatian: lignje, Italian: calamari
  • Octopus salad - Croatian: salata od hobotnice
  • Tuna
  • Shrimps - Croatian: škampi, Italian: scampi
  • Common mussels - Croatian: dagnje
  • Bakalar (Dalmatian speciality served at Christmas time) - fish sort
  • Fish stew
  • Clam Buzara
  • Sea spider salad
  • Breaded catfish or carp



  • Goulash (Croatian: gulaš, see also Hungarian gulyás)
  • Grah - beans
  • Mahune
  • Riblji paprikaš - also called fiš-paprikaš (spicy fish stew from Slavonia )
  • Brudet (or Brodet) - fish stew
  • Chicken stew
  • Rabbit goulash
  • Istrian Stew (Jota)
  • Game Cobanac (Shepherd's Stew)
  • Feines Venison goulash with prunes
  • Hunter's Stew
  • Wine goulash
  • Sauerkraut Stew


  • Pašticada with Gnocchi (beef pot roast)
  • Istrian Fuži
  • Needle macaroni


  • Corn manestra
  • Veal soup with smoked meat

Side dishes

  • Sataraš (minced and roasted vegetables)
  • Mlinci (typical croatian, roasted pasta)
  • Ðuved (cooked vegetables, similar to Ratatouille)


  • Zagrebacki odrezak - escalope with gravy
  • Punjena paprika - paprika/peppers filled with minced meat (Hungarian: töltött paprika)
  • Sarma - cabbage rolls filed with minced meat
  • Mlinci - flat, sour dumplings
  • Wild truffles with pasta
  • Croatian olive oil (Maslinovo ulje)
  • Paški baškotin - aromatic zwieback (rusk) from the Island of Pag
  • Potatos from the region of Lika (Licki krumpir) - high quality, large, red potatos
  • Herbs (kraut) from the region of Zagreb (zelje)
  • Artichokes with peas
  • Fritaja with asparagus
  • Gorski kotar filling (pieces of ham with eggs and bread)
  • Žganci (with milk, Polenta)


Sausages and ham
Kulen - spicy pork sausage from Slavonia
Cešnovka - spicy pork sausage with a harmonious garlic taste from Turopolje
Kobasica - spicy, air-dried sausage (Hungarian: kolbász)
Istrian and Dalmatian Pršut - double-smoked ham (similar to Italian prosciutto)
Home-made, Slavonian Kulen (spicy ham from Slavonia )
Salami from Samobor
Švargl from Slavonia

Cheese (sir)

  • Cheese from the Island of Pag - famous sheep's milk cheese and goat's cheese from Pag
  • Farmers' cheese (škripavac) and curd cheese from the regions of Kordun and Lika
  • Cheese from the Cetina region Cetinski sir
  • Cheese from the Island of Krk Krcki sir
  • Cheese from Madjimurje Turoš


  • Burek
  • Pita
  • Pogaca (farmers' bread)
  • Husiljevaca
  • Povitica
  • Bucnica (pumpkin cake)

Sweets and desserts

  • Palacinke - crêpes with sweet filling (Hungarian: palacsinta)
  • Zagorski štrukli - sweet pastry from northern Croatia
  • Uštipci
  • Strudel (Croatian: savijaca or štrudla) with apple or curd cheese fillings
  • Orehnjaca - sweet bread with walnuts
  • Makovnjaca - sweet bread with poppy seeds
  • Croatian honey
  • Bear's paw
  • Farmer's cheese (quark) cakes (cream cake)
  • Krafne/Donuts
  • Croatian pancakes (with cream with wine sauce)
  • ušljivac, deran, badavdžija (long plaited bun)

Cakes (kolaci)

  • Cupavci
  • Krafne (krofne) (sort of a doughnut, German: Krapfen)
  • Rožata (rose cake)
  • Easter pastry Pinca
  • Kroštule (crunchy deep-fried pastry)
  • Fritule (festive pastry, particularly for Christmas
  • Bishop's bread
  • Guglhupf (ring cake) (croat. kuglof)



Wines (vino, Pl. vina)
Croatian pršut and wineCroatian wines are not very well known. It is a matter of the growing Croatian economy to make those wines more popular in the world and it is up to Croatian winemakers to start production for international markets.

White wines:

  • Graševina
  • Malvazija
  • Kutjevacki rizling (Riesling from Kutjevo)
  • Žilavka
  • Žlahtina from the Island of Krk
  • Traminac
  • White Burgundy
  • Rhine Riesling
  • Riesling from Ðakovo
  • Plešivicka kraljevina
  • Štrigovanec
  • Varaždinec
  • Debit
  • Promina
  • Benkovacki Rosé
  • Kujundžuša
  • Bijeli Pinot (white Pinot) (from Porec)
  • Moslavac
  • Škrlet
  • White Klikun
  • White Kaštelet
  • Cetinka

Red wines:

  • Postup
  • Plavac
  • Pošip
  • Dingac
  • Red Kaštelet
  • Babic (Area around Primošten)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon (from Porec)
  • Faros (from the Island of Hvar )
  • Moslavacka Frankovka
  • Red Frankovka from Ilok
  • Šiler
  • Hrvatica
  • Barrique from Porec
  • Grk
  • Red Muškat (Porec)
  • Teran from Motovun
  • Grenche from Zadar
  • Red Burgundy from Kutjevo
  • Maestoso
  • Red Merlot

Dessert wines

  • Sweet Malvazija
  • Muškat Ottonel (see: Muscat grape)

Beers (pivo)

Apart from the great abundance of imported international beers (Heineken, Tuborg, Gösser, Stella Artois , etc.), you will find some tasty home-brewn beers in Croatia . (Real fans need to know that the brewery in Split produces Bavarian Kaltenberg beer by licence of the original brewery in Germany .)

  • Karlovacko: brewed in Karlovac
  • Ožujsko: brewed in Zagreb (the name refers to the month of march)
  • Pan
  • Osjecko: from Osijek
  • Staro Ceško: Czech beer from Daruvar (a Czech minority is living there), brewed in Croatia
  • Rijecko pivo: from the large seaport city of Rijeka on the northern Adriatic coast
  • Velebitsko pivo: brewed near Gospic on the Velebit mountain, small but high-quality brewery, the dark beer has been voted best beer by an english beer fan website.

Liqueurs and spirits

  • Maraska Cherry Brandy [3]
  • Rakija (Croatian name for schnapps):
    • Travarica - with herbs
    • Šljivovica - plum
    • Lozovaca - grapes
    • Kruškovac - pears
    • Drenovac - cherries
  • Pelinkovac - Vermouth
  • Orahovac (walnut liqueur)
  • Glembaj
  • Medovina (with honey)
  • Gvirc (as Medovina, only more alcohol)

Croatia is, of course, a country of coffee drinkers, not only because it was formerly part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, but also because of its bordering position to the former Osman Empire. You will find traditional coffee houses similar to those in Vienna everywhere in Croatia .

Mineral water
Regarding its water resources, Croatia has a leading position in Europe . Concerning water quality, Croatian water is greatly appreciated all over the world. Due to a lack of established industries there have also been no major incidents of water pollution.

  • Jamnica – Winner of the Paris AquaExpo (the so-called Eauscar) for best mineral water of 2003 [4]
  • Lipicki studenac
  • Jana – also belongs to Jamnica, best aromatized mineral water (Eauscar 2004)
  • Cetina – water from the river Cetina, which flows through the Dalmatian hinterland [5]
  • Bistra – produced by Coca Cola

Juices and syrups

  • Badel
  • Jamnica
  • Maraska
  • Dona
  • Vindija juices – Vindi sokovi
  • Cedevita - sherbet


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