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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org;) 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.
Restaurant Marina (Sv. Antona 38, Novigrad; t: +385 98 969 0492; e: email@example.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.
Stari podrum (Most 52, Momjan; t: +385 52 779 152; e: firstname.lastname@example.org) 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: email@example.com) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; ) 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.
Monte (Montalbano 75, Rovinj; t: +385 52 830 203; e: email@example.com;) 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.
Wine Vault (A. Smareglie bb, Rovinj; t: +385 52 636 017; e: firstname.lastname@example.org;) 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: email@example.com;) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org;) is a stylish tavern located in Vodnjan. The restaurant serves traditional Istrian dishes.
St. Nikola (Obala M. Tita 23, Porec; t: +385 52 423 018; m: +385 99 3154 295; e: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org;) 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: email@example.com;) 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.