However, for all the glamour and gastronomy of Croatia’s fine dining scene, it would be a travesty to ignore the humble konoba, the traditional tavern serving up delicious Croatian dishes and local delicacies, such as lamb peka (cooked under a bell) or the legendary brudet (fish stew). These warm, authentic restaurants make the very best of Croatian produce, sourced from the crystal clear Adriatic and the surrounding fields and mountains. Some of these konobas are accessible only by boat with free tender docks for yacht guests, and tendering for a night of hospitable dining is one of the most memorable experiences of any private yacht charter in Croatia.
For the richest dining experience during your yachting vacation, we suggest a combination of fine dining and konobas. There are also some notable restaurants to visit that don’t have Michelin stars (at least not yet!) but offer something really quite special. Here are our top picks for restaurants that will linger in the memory long after your Croatia yacht charter is over, sorted by region.
South Dalmatia – DUBROVNIK cruising area
Michelin Starred: 360 Dubrovnik
This is dining at its most atmospheric, and one of the finest gastronomic experiences to be had across the East Mediterranean. 360 Dubrovnik is set in a fortress atop the battlements of Dubrovnik’s towering city walls. With expansive views across the old town and the port, it is hard to imagine a more romantic or spectacular setting. Chef Marijo Curić’s innovative take on modern Mediterranean cuisine earnt the restaurant a Michelin star in 2018 and each successive year, with highlights including octopus with fennel and turbot with cauliflower cream. A magnificent place to start (or finish) your Croatian yacht charter.
Michelin starred: LD Terrace, Korcula
Set on the medieval walls of the sumptuous Lešić -Dimitri Palace, LD is unmistakably Korcula’s most prestigious dining address. Take a table on the shady terrace overlooking the Korcula archipelago, and be captivated by Chef Marko Gajski’s contemporary take on Croatian cuisine, which delights in showcasing local produce, including a heady selection of olive oils. Tasting menus include monkfish gnocchi with black truffle, foie gras, and dry aged beef, and there’s also an exclusive Chef’s Table experience. LD Terrace joined the lofty ranks of the Michelin-starred in 2020, and is also regularly awarded for its superb wine list, which includes the very best of the Croatian Pošip and Grk wines.
Konoba: Gastro Mare, Pelješac Peninsula
Located back on the mainland just a short hop from Korcula, this next restaurant couldn’t be more different from the glossy dining experiences above, yet is just as special and hugely popular with the yacht charter crowd. Accessible only by boat with 11 moorings and a tender dock, this family-run institution is a shining example of why everyone must eat at a konoba while in Croatia. A daily-changing menu offers dishes like succulent, slow-cooked lamb and lobster plucked from the deep, cold waters. Everything is local, whether it’s the asparagus grown in the kitchen garden or the seafood in the family’s secret brodetto recipe. This restaurant hits the perfect note between authentic, hearty fare born of centuries-old traditions, and lighter, more sophisticated meals such as dusky grouper carpaccio served on sea stone. A must-visit.
Central Dalmatia - SPLIT cruising area
Konoba: Konoba Škoj, Solta Island
Located on an island near Split, this wonderful konoba was awarded a coveted bib gourmand by the Michelin team. A tiny gem of a restaurant with a beautiful elevated view across the harbor, Konoba Škoj has earnt acclaim for its excellent Mediterranean cuisine, with specialties including a ‘Sea Rhapsody’ platter including octopus and salmon carpaccio, and a delicate lavender panna cotta. For gin-lovers, there’s an extensive gin menu to get stuck into, and the restaurant also caters well for vegetarians.
Notable Restaurant: Laganini Lounge Bar & Fish House, Pakleni Archipelago
Located on an island St Clement near Hvar, this simply gorgeous beach club also delivers some of the best seafood specialities and drink in the area. Whatever you choose, you’ll be bewitched by the setting, with white curtained day-beds spilling down stone terraces and pine trees shading restaurant tables. Just imagine yourself watching the sunset over the bay of Vinogradisce, as you sip a fabulous Laganini cocktail after a delicious seafood dinner.
North Dalmatia – ŠIBENIK and ZADAR cruising area
Michelin Starred Konoba: Pelegrini in Šibenik
Retaining its Michelin star in 2020 and regularly voted Croatia’s best restaurant, Pelegrini is where the traditional konoba and fine dining meet. Set in an old fortress, Pelegrini is listed as a konoba, but you should dispel any ideas you may have of a rustic Croatian tavern – for at Pelegrini, everything is a well-polished affair. Yet the same philosophy underpins this restaurant as any other Croatian konoba: a passion for local produce and authentic Croatian flavors, all brought to new heights by Chef Rudolf Stefan. Trust the chef, for while ‘fish and kale’ may not sound exotic (or even particularly appetizing), it is a triumph. Enjoy alfresco dining on a warm Mediterranean night out on the beautiful terrace, or take a table inside, where the cozy stone interior harks back to the history of this old tavern. Wherever your table is, you’re in for a treat.
Michelin-Starred Restaurant: Boškinac on Pag
Housed in a boutique winery hotel surrounded by vineyards and grazing sheep, the setting of Boškinac is exquisite. Despite the charming old stone exterior, stepping inside the restaurant transports you to a more contemporary age, with an elegant neutral interior that lets the food do the talking. And talk it does, for each dish is a piece of art, tricking the senses with food that doesn’t always taste like it appears. Yet behind the beautiful presentation of these dishes, are the core principles of celebrating the truly unique produce and wine of Pag, each dish utterly grounded in place, from the famous Pag cheese to the home-grown lemon in the desserts. This is foodie heaven, and a destination restaurant well worth visiting while on charter.
Konoba: Konoba Opat, Kornati Archipelago
Run by a charming and eccentric owner-chef called Ante, this famously good konoba is accessible only by boat and offers free docking for yacht guests as well as a marina for up to 25 small boats. Located in the breathtaking Kornati National Park, the tavern is a tumble of stone spilling down to the sea, with a dining terrace right next to the lapping water. Take a table next to the startlingly clear sea or a seat at the cocktail bar, and settle in for a memorable afternoon in an enchanting place. The menu is pure ‘Adriatica’, with fresh seafood the star, accompanied by local olive oil, Mediterranean herbs, and fresh-baked bread. Highlights include the John Dory with truffles, lobster risotto, and salt-encrusted turbot baked in the wood-fired oven.
Konoba: Konoba Boba, Murter
Located just off the mainland across from the Kornati Archipelago, Murter Island is home to Konoba Boba. This restaurant appears on every ‘best restaurants in Croatia’ list – and for good reason. Similar to Pelegrini, this konoba takes Croatian culinary tradition and transforms it into a gastronomic experience led by owner-chef Vjeko Bašić. Organic, fresh, quality ingredients are the driving influences at play, and the results are superb, with the seafood a highlight. This is an ideal place to try a different take on the famous brodetto, Croatia’s delicious fish stew.
Notable Restaurant: Restaurant Fešta, Žut Island
Located on an inlet in the Kornati Archipelago, Restaurant Fešta is only accessible by boat and has moorings and berths available for visiting yachts. Surrounded by olive groves and cypress pines, the restaurant terrace offers an enchanting setting by the sea, while the interior is tastefully decorated as a traditional Dalmatian fishing tavern, with nets and hooks hanging from the beams. The effect is magnificent, offering a rich and fun dining experience solidly moored in local culture. The menu, unsurprisingly given its island location, focuses on fresh-caught seafood, delivered each morning by a team of local fishermen. Settle in, you’ll want to stay a while.
Istrian Peninsula and Kvarner bay
Michelin-Starred: Monte, Rovinj
Monte was the first restaurant in Croatia to receive a Michelin star, and its place in the country’s culinary history is well deserved. This restaurant, led by Danijel Đekić, pushes the envelope of Croatian gastronomy, creating a dazzlingly innovative menu where every dish is served like a delicate piece of art. This is food as theatre, yet assembled from fresh, often humble ingredients sourced from the local markets, fishing boats, and fields. The food here is almost too pretty to eat, but eat you will, as it tastes even better than it looks. Diners have multiple set menus to choose from, including a more traditional menu, a vegetarian menu, and a daring menu that pushes the bounds of expectations.
Michelin-Starred: Draga di Lovrana, Lovran, Kvarner Bay
Perched on a hill high above the Adriatic, Draga di Lovrana is a restaurant to fall in love with. Located in an old aristocratic hotel restored to its former glory, Chef Luka Goleš leads the team in bringing together the flavors of the local Kvarner terroir with the fish and shellfish sourced from the restaurant’s own fishing boats. The result is unmistakably Mediterranean and modern, but with clear ties to tradition. Take a table on the terrace with a breathtaking view of the Kvarner archipelago, and sample some of Croatia’s finest food, from a delicate entrée of scallop with Jerusalem artichoke cream or foie gras with plum jam, through to pumpkin mousse with mascarpone and pistachio.
Croatia is a rising culinary destination, offering every foodie experience from the rustic family-run konoba by the sea to Michelin star restaurants where each dish is a meticulously prepared masterpiece. A yacht charter Croatia is the ideal way to savor the flavors, hospitality, and culinary traditions of this beautiful country.
To organise your luxury yacht charter in Croatia and tailor an itinerary to your tastes, contact our Yacht Charter Specialist.