Best restaurants in Istria

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I set out to find the best restaurants in Istria, and then share them with you. Istria is Croatia’s most traveled region, and  the most popular region when it comes to food and wine. This tiny region of Croatia has so many fantastic restaurants. But, with so many people visiting Istria every year, lots of restaurants cater exclusively to tourists. And now with my guide on the best restaurants in Istria, you’ll  avoid mediocre establishments serving overpriced food of average quality.

Best Restaurants in Istria: restaurants with the view

View from the restaurant Male Madlene

My list of the best restaurants in Istria

Batelina (Banjole, Čimulje 25; t +385 52 573 767) is a heaven for seafood aficionados. Located in Banjole near Pula, this restaurant is considered one of the best seafood restaurants in Istria. The owners actually catch their own fish daily. And they only serve what they catch. Their dishes are unique, as they use all the parts of the fish. Nothing is wasted. Reservations are needed. Restaurant is closed on Sunday, and the first three weeks of August. It’s open only for diner. And it’s cash only.

Damir & Ornella (Zidine 5, Novigrad; t: +385 52 758 134; e: cittanova@inet.hr;) serves perhaps the best Mediterranean sushi and sashimi. Located in a small seaside town of Novigrad, this place itself is worth a visit to Istria. The owner is a bit weird. Reservation is needed.

Best Restaurants in Istria: fish carpaccio

Fish Carpaccio

Restaurant Marina (Sv. Antona 38, Novigrad; t: +385 98 969 0492; e: dbursic75@gmail.com;) is an upscale seafood restaurant in Novigrad. This fine dining establishment offers daily menu based on the catch of the day. On our last visit there, we’ve had a 7-course tasting menu, and we absolutely loved it.

Puli Pineta (Orbanici, Zminj; t: 385 98 9911 795;) is a small restaurant in Orbanici near Zminj. This family-run restaurant serves traditional Istrian dishes.

Best Restaurants in Istria: traditional venue

Best restaurants in Istria: Charming taverns setting in the old stone house

Stari podrum (Most 52, Momjan; t: +385 52 779 152; e: stari.podrum@gmail.com) is tucked away in a country side. It offers the best local dishes you can find anywhere in Istria. Its specialties include truffles, homemade pasta and steaks. It’s really busy all the time and you should have a reservation.

Tavern Nono (Umaska 35, Petrovija; t: +385 52 740 160; e: konoba.nono@pu.t-com.hr) in Petrovija near Umag serves traditional Istrian fish and meat dishes. This place is huge, but it’s always full. They also have a nice farm in the back of the house.

Morgan (Bracanija, Brtonigla; t: +385 52 774 520; e: konoba.morgan@gmail.com; ) is located in a quite village between Buje and Novigrad. The views from their terrace are amazing. All ingredients are locally sourced. Don’t miss their hunter’s soup. It is delicious.

Best Restaurants in Istria: homemade delicacies

Best restaurants in Istria: Homemade delicacies like prosciutto, cheese and olives

Monte (Montalbano 75, Rovinj; t: +385 52 830 203; e: restaurant@monte.hr;) is a fine dining establishment located in Rovinj. The best way to sample Monte’s remarkable cuisine is to order their tasting menu.

Martin Pescador (Trget 20, Trget; t: +385 52 544 976;) is a seafood restaurant in a remote seaside village of Trget (awesome location!). The produce is fresh and succulent. Service can be a bit slow.

Toklarija (Sovinjsko polje; t: +385 91 9266 769; ) is a traditionally styled restaurant serving Istrian dishes in a casual atmosphere with fine dining elegant touches. Be ready to pay a very high price. However, the experience can be sublime.

Toncic (Cabarnica 42, Zrenj; t: +385 52 644 146; m: +385 91 2060 512;) is a family-run farm and a tavern. This tavern is located off the beaten path, but it’s definitely worth searching out. All the ingredients are homegrown. On warm days you can eat at their superb terrace with lovely views over the mountains, and the valley below.

Best Restaurants in Istria: fine dining

Chef arranging plate at Wine Vault (Photo: Tom Gretic )

Wine Vault (A. Smareglie bb, Rovinj; t: +385 52 636 017; e: winevault@maistra.hr;) is a fine dining French restaurant located in a 5 star luxury hotel Monte Mulini. The menu is exciting, food is tasty, and wine list features over 500 wines to choose from. Book Chef’s table and enjoy as many courses as you can eat.

San Rocco (Srednja Ulica 2, Brtonigla; t: +385 52 725 000; t: info@san-rocco.hr;) is a fine dining establishment in the little village of Brtonigla. The restaurant is a member of the Association des Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe.

Vodnjanka (Istarska bb, Vodnjan; t: +385 52 511 435; e: ivana.celija@gmail.com;) is a stylish tavern located in Vodnjan. The restaurant serves traditional Istrian dishes.

Best Restaurants in Istria: St. Nicola

Best restaurants in Istria: Terrace at St. Nicola restaurant in Porec

St. Nikola (Obala M. Tita 23, Porec; t: +385 52 423 018; m: +385 99 3154 295; e: info@svnikola.com;) in Porec is a fine dining restaurant. The restaurant has a superb, seaside terrace.

Mondo (Barbacan 1, Motovun; t: +385 52 681 791; e: info@konoba-mondo.hr;) is a tavern in hilltop town of Motovun. The tavern serves traditional Istrian dishes, based on truffles from nearby forests.

Tramerka (Andrije Mohorovicica 15, Volosko, t: +385 51 701 707; e: konobatramerka@net.hr;) is a small fish tavern located in a fishing village Volosko. The offer changes with the season.

Have you been in any of those restaurants? Is there any other restaurant you think we should add to the list? Let us know in the comments below. 

About Frank G

Frank G. is a four-time expatriate Canadian currently living in Croatia. Together with his girlfriend, he blogs about Croatia at Frank About Croatia. If you would like to connect, send him an e-mail, or find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+.

Comments

  1. Hi, Frank, thanks for your fantatic blog! Ižm making the first steps discoivering Istria and its food and wine and your tips have been a big help! We are about to go down to explore Kamenjak and its surroundings and I was thinking about staying in Banjole. To my big dissapointment I see that Batelina is closed in AUgust :( :(
    Is there anything else in Batelina or this area you could recommend? Many thanks in advance!

    • Hi Killu, thanks for reaching out to us. Yes, Batelina is usually closed the first three weeks of August. For a good seafood try Milan in Pula (Stoja neighborhood). We also like restaurant Marina in Novigrad (but it’s 40-50 km from Banjole). However, none of them can really replace the experience at Batelina. But we would highly recommend you to visit the restaurant Tramerka in Volosko (again 70 km away, but totally worth it). Let us know if we can help with anything else. Have fun in Istria!

  2. hilda brunski says:

    Hi Frank, love your website and all of your articles. we are coming from toronto, canada in aug. for first time to croatia w/2 sons (in early 20’s)-our parents immigrated yrs ago. we’d like to show our sons true croatian cooking. we are staying in split, day trip to dubrovnik, few days in rovinj and zagreb. i see that your split restaurant article is great and i’m wondering what you’d recommend for rovinj, dubrovnik and zagreb…any recommendations for places to eat or must see locales would be greatly appreciated….

    • Hi Hilda, thanks for stopping by! Our favorite restaurants in Rovinj are Orca, and Giannino. For other restaurants in Rovinj, you can check here: http://www.frankaboutcroatia.com/restaurants-in-rovinj/. You can also read about our favorite restaurants in Istria: http://www.frankaboutcroatia.com/best-restaurants-in-istria/ . Our favorite ones are: Stari podrum in Momjan (combined with a visit to the Kozlović winery makes a great day out), Morgan in Brtonigla, Batelina in Banjole (the very best seafood restaurant in Croatia). We also like Viking at the Lim Fjord for traditionally prepared seafood. In Dubrovnik you can go to the village of Ljuta. There is a family-run restaurant Vinica Monković serving homemade food. Then, if you like sushi, there is a Bota Sushi Bar (it’s a fusion of Croatian and Asian cuisine), then in a village of Zaton near Dubrovnik you’ve got Gverovic-Orsan and Ankora. Both with an amazing location. Let us know if we can help with anything else. Have a great holidays in croatia. I’m sure you’ll all love it. Great country!

  3. One or two of those need updating. Agrotourism Toncic is not always open, so it is safer to book. Morgan, too, is not always open, so again, it is safer to book. Martin Pescador can be full, so book there if you aren’t to drive a long way only to be disappointed.
    Some others for your list:
    In Brtonigla, Astarea is excellent. Most of the guests seem to be friends of the owners and there is a great atmosphere, with fish, meat and even strudel being cooked on the open fire. A great place on a winter’s evening. Also in Brtonigla, there is Primizia, owned by the same family that own San Rocco but with prices at everyday levels. Zenon, behind the tourist office is not to be missed either.. None of these three are expensive and quality is excellent.
    Between Umag and Brtonigla is Buscine, a pretty restaurant out in the sticks, with excellent food and wine. That area of NW Istria has so many really good restaurants, no doubt helped by being close enough to the border that the Italians come over all the time, just to dine out, which sustains them throughout the year..

    • Thanks, Peter! Toncic is open only on weekends, and Morgan is closed on Tuesdays. And yes, I should add that info – thanks :)! As for Astarea, we’ve eaten there couple of times, and absolutely loved it (except the smell of our clothes afterwards because of that open fireplace). But the food is absolutely delicious, and fresh. Planning to cover it in one of the future posts (unless you’d like to contribute to our blog – we’ll be happy to host you). Buscina, we need to say, didn’t impress us, but we know that people mostly like that place. In Primizia we’ve eaten two years ago; nothing but pizza, so hard to judge. Zenon, on the other hand, is totally unknown to us. And we’ll check it for sure. Have you heard about restaurant Toni in Umag? Somebody mentioned it’s good, but I don’t know. Thanks a lot again for all your inputs.

  4. nom nom nom, looks like I have to head back sooner than planned.

  5. Hotel Makin Novigrad .try new food from new menu . New chef

Trackbacks

  1. […] Love, love, love Istria! Seriously, when it comes to food there is no better place in Croatia to visit. We’ve been in Zagreb recently, and although there are some great restaurants in Zagreb, bustling with people, nothing compares with Istrian restaurants. […]

  2. […] might be a barley pronounceable name, but it’s a great restaurant worth seeking out. Located in the village of the same name, this family-run restaurant is loved by locals and foodies […]

  3. […] and if you are planning a trip to Croatia you should be sure to check out what Frank thinks, like where to eat when in Istria. A mix and varied bunch, you’ll be sure to get some new travel inspiration or first hand tips […]

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