With so many great restaurants in Istria, fresh and locally sourced food, yummy local dishes, there is no excuse for eating badly in Istria. Istria, Croatia's most visited region, is the best place in all Croatia when it comes to food and wine.
This heart-shaped peninsula offers so many fantastic restaurants: from fine dining establishments to no-frills local taverns offering authentic Istrian home-cooking.
Below you'll find our hand-picked list of best restaurants in Istria (in no particular order).
Table of Contents
Locals' favorite restaurants in Istria
Paolo and Ivan, father and son duo running this fine restaurant in Zambratija, serve remarkable seafood dishes, yummy pasta and risottos, and excellent homemade desserts.
Contacts | a: Siparska 8, Zambratija | t: +385 52 759 570 | e: toni @pu.t-com.hr | Website
Working hours | 12 pm-12 am, Wednesday closed
Chef Fabricio Verznaver and his wife stand behind this fine dining establishment in Zambratija serving seasonal tasting menus. Fresh ingredients, innovative dishes, welcoming staff, and lovely ambiance draw patrons to Pergola year after year since 1996.
Contacts | a: Suncana 2, Zambratija | t: +385 91 1759 685 | e: [email protected] | Website
Working hours | 6 pm-11 pm, Monday closed
Similar to Toni, the restaurant Sole is a family-run restaurant specialized in seafood, although they do have some meat dishes too. The food here is superb, everything is locally sourced, all salads and veggies come from their own garden, in the back of the house.
Contacts | a: Donji Picudo, Sošići 58 , Umag | t: +385 52 730 123 | m: +385 91 150 1224 | Website
Working hours | 12 pm-12 am, closed on Tuesday
Serving traditional Istrian comfort food, heavily based on meat, but in a stylish manner, konoba Morgan is a lovely tavern with a superb outdoor terrace and nice views. They also make interesting chutneys served with local cheeses.
Contacts | a: Bracanija 1, Brtonigla | t: +385 52 774 520 | e: [email protected] | Website
Working hours | 12 pm-10 pm, closed on Tuesday
Another great restaurant in northwest Istria, konoba Buscina offers classical Istrian dishes with a modern touch. The menu is extensive, offering both, meat and fish dishes, many from the grill.
Contacts | a: Buščina 18, Sv. Marija na Krasu | t: ++385 52 732 088 | e: [email protected] | Website
Working hours | 11 am-11 pm, closed on Tuesday
Stari podrum is tucked away in the countryside. It offers the best local dishes you can find anywhere in Istria. Its specialties include truffles, homemade pasta, and steaks. Reservation is recommended. Next to this lovely tavern is a famed Istrian winemaker Kozlovic.
Contacts | Most 52, Momjan | t: +385 52 779 152 | e: [email protected]
Working hours | Daily, noon-10 pm; closed on Wednesday
A large open fireplace is the first thing to notice when you enter this family-run restaurant. Astarea, located in Brtonigla, not far from Novigrad, is very popular among locals especially for awesome seafood prepared grilled or ispod peke (under the lid bell and covered with embers).
Contacts | a: Ronkova 9, Brtonigla | t: + 385 52 774 384 | Website
Working hours | 11 am-11 pm, closed on Wednesday
Restaurant San Rocco
San Rocco is a fine-dining restaurant, offering multi-course “slow food” tasting menus. Located in Brtonigla, within a small boutique hotel of the same name, San Rocco offers a lovely dining experience in an intimate and quiet surrounding.
Contacts | a: Srednja ulica 2, Brtonigla | t: +385 52 725 000 | e: [email protected] | Website
Working hours | Tue – Thu: 6 pm-11 pm, Fri – Sun: 1pm-11pm, Monday closed
Located along a side street in Novigrad, tavern Cok doesn't have views you'll find elsewhere, but exquisite seafood dishes and a rustic interior with exposed stone walls and wooden beams make up for the somewhat unattractive location.
Contacts | a: Sv. Antona 2, Novigrad | t: +385 52 757 643 | m: +385 98 255 894
Working hours | noon-3 pm and 6 pm-11 pm, closed on Wednesday
Restaurant Marina is an upscale seafood restaurant in Novigrad. This fine dining establishment offers multi-course tasting menus 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.
Contacts | Sv. Antona 38, Novigrad | t: +385 98 969 0492 | e: [email protected]
Working hours | Daily, noon-3 pm and 7 pm-11 pm, closed mid-January to mid-February
Restaurant Damir & Ornella
Damir & Ornella serves the best Mediterranean sushi and sashimi in Istria. 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.
Contacts | Zidine 5, Novigrad; |t: +385 52 758 134 | e: [email protected] | Website
Working hours | noon-3 pm and 7 pm-11 pm, closed in November, and February
Toncic is a family-run farm and a tavern. This tavern is located off the beaten path, but it’s definitely worth seeking 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.
Contacts | Cabarnica 42, Zrenj | t: +385 52 644 146 | m: +385 91 2060 512 | Website (Croatian only)
Working hours | Fri-Sun: 12.30 pm-10 pm
As its names suggest (Vrh means a summit in Croatian), this tavern is located, well, at the small village of Vrh, at the summit of a hill in central Istria. This is THE place to taste real Istrian black and white truffles.
Contacts | a: Vrh 1, Vrh | t: +385 52 667 123 | e: [email protected] | Website (Croatian only)
Working hours | Daily 1 pm-10 pm, closed on Monday
Similar to Toncic, and a couple of other eateries on this list, the tavern Kolasi is worth a good one hour drive from the coast to the Istrian interior for well-prepared, homegrown food.
Contacts | Kolinasi bb, Roč | m: +385 91 7294 393 | e: [email protected] | Website (Croatian only)
Working hours | 10 am-10 pm, Tuesday closed
Toklarija is a traditionally styled restaurant serving Istrian dishes in a casual atmosphere with a touch of elegance. Be ready to pay a high price for this sublime experience.
Contacts | Sovinjsko polje 11, Buzet | t: +385 91 9266 769 | Tripadvisor
Working hours | Daily 1 pm-10 pm, closed on Tuesday
Tavern Selo Mekiši
A family-run restaurant, located in a small village of Mekisi, not far from Porec, tavern Selo Mekisi serves mainly meat and pasta dishes. Selo Mekisi in our opinion offers the best value for money in all Istria. This tavern is equally popular among locals and tourists; among business people, families with kids, and couples. The food is great, portions are huge, and prices are affordable.
Contacts | a: Mekisi 10, village Mekisi near Vizinada | t: +385 91 568 8635 | Tripadvisor
Working hours | Sept-June: Fri, Sat, Sun: 12 pm-10 pm; June-Sept: daily, 12 am-11 pm
Restaurant Sv Nikola
The best restaurant in Porec, Sv Nikola is a fine dining establishment with crisp white tablecloths, candlelight dinners, tasting menus, and an excellent wine list. Sv Nikola's awesome seafront terrace gets busy during the summer, and reservation is highly recommended.
Contacts | a: Obala M. Tita 23, Porec | t: +385 52 423 018 | m: +385 99 315 42 95 | e: [email protected] | Website
Working hours | Daily, 11 am-1 am
Fabrice & Petra are husband and wife duo, behind this lovely eatery in Stancija Kapetanova near Vrsar. While they use locally-sourced produce, their dishes bring a sparkle of international flavor. Great place to eat if you want to experience something different.
Contacts | Kapetanova stancija 3, Vrsar | t: +385 52 442 366
Working hours | May.-Sept.: noon-3 pm and 6 pm-10 pm, closed from Oct. to May
A small tavern with stone walls, wooden beams, and an open fireplace, Vela Vrata is well-known for its superb quality meat and truffles, and it's loved by locals.
Contacts | a: Beram 41, Beram near Pazin | m: +385 52 622 801
Working hours | noon-11 pm, closed on Monday
Barba Danilo is at the moment our favorite restaurant in Rovinj and one of our favorite places in all Istria. Located on the outskirts of Rovinj, this restaurant offers sublime seafood in a friendly atmosphere. We love their cuttlefish tagliata, and a variety of cold and warm seafood appetizers.
Contacts | Polari bb, Rovinj | m: +385 91 121 9487
Working hours | May-Sept.: Daily 5 pm-11.30 pm | Oct.-Apr.: 11 am-11 pm, closed on Tuesday
Locals' favorite restaurant in Rovinj, restaurant Jure is a no-frills place serving simple, but tasty Istrian dishes, like beef tagliata, calamari, grilled fish, and alike, as well as a good choice of pasta and risottos.
Contacts | Cademia 22, Rovinj | t: +385 52 813 397 | Tripadvisor
Working hours | 12 pm-11 pm, closed on Wednesday
Restaurant La Puntulina
La Puntulina is a cliff-edge restaurant with a series of small terraces sitting on the rocks just next to the sea. Food here is superb, mainly fish and other seafood, band the service is charming, but the setting really makes La Puntulina special, especially if you dine at sunset.
Contacts | Sv. Križa 38, Rovinj | t: +385 52 813 186
Working hours | Apr-Oct: Daily noon-10 pm | closed from Nov. to April
Run by the same family as La Puntulina, Giannino also serves excellent fish and seafood dishes, and tasty dessert – just try their mille-feuille.
Contacts | Ul. Augusta Ferrija 38, Rovinj | m: +385 98 420 104
Working hours | Apr-Oct: Daily 11 am-3 pm and 6 pm-midnight | closed from Nov. to April
The first Michelin-star restaurant not only in Rovinj but in all Croatia, Monte offers 3-, 4- and 6-course tasting menus, paired with wine tasting if you wish. Awesome experience, and highly recommended.
Contacts | Montalbano 75, Rovinj | t: +385 52 830 203 | e: [email protected] | Website
Working hours | Apr-Oct: Daily 6.30 pm-11.30 pm | closed from Nov. to April
A seafront terrace with superb views over the sea, the old town, and St. Catherine's island, friendly staff, extensive choice of yummy dishes, and affordable prices make Maestral one of the favorite dining spots in Rovinj for locals and tourists alike. Make sure to taste their fisherman's pie, creamy polenta, and squid stew.
Contacts | Obala Vladimira Nazora, Rovinj | t: +385 52 830 565
Working hours | Apr-Oct: Daily 11 am-11.00 pm | closed from Nov. to April
Located at a 30-acres estate, Meneghetti is an elegant fine dining restaurant with a lovely garden terrace for dining al fresco. The menu changes often at Meneghetti, and food is often paired with their own wines and olive oils.
Contact | t: +385 52 528 800 | e: [email protected] | Website
Working hours | Apr-Oct: daily, noon-11 pm
Konoba Puli Pineta
Pino, owner, and chef in this family-run restaurant located in Orbanici near Zminj, is somewhat of a local legend. At his restaurant, Pino serves traditional Istrian dishes, but Pino pays special attention to the ingredients he uses – he's always in quest for the best local produce.
Contacts | Orbanici, Zminj | t: +385 98 9911 795 | Website
Working hours | July-Aug: Daily, 5 pm-10 pm | Sept-June: Mon-Fri, 4 pm-10 pm; Sat-Sun: 1 pm-10 pm
Vodnjanka in Vodnjan
Vodnjanka is a stylish and elegant tavern located in Vodnjan. The restaurant serves traditional Istrian dishes, like a bean soup manestra, a hand-rolled pasta, or grilled pork tenderloin.
Contacts | Istarska bb, Vodnjan | t: +385 52 520 753 | e: [email protected]
Working hours | Daily, 11 am-11 pm; closed on Sunday
Restaurant Alla Beccaccia
A lovely restaurant with a simple interior dominated by an open fireplace, a nice outdoor terrace, and a really large garden, Alla Becciacia is a heaven for meat lovers. Owners are hunters, so game meat is often on the menu here.
Contacts | Pineta 25, Valbandon | t: +385 52 511 435 | Website
Working hours | Daily, noon to midnight
Batelina is a heaven for seafood aficionados. Located in Banjole near Pula, this restaurant is considered one of the best seafood restaurants in Istria. Owned by the second generation of fishermen, at Batelina you are only served fresh catch of the day. Dishes here are unique – every part of a fish is used, and nothing is wasted.
Reservations are needed. The restaurant is closed on Sunday and the first three weeks of August. Dinner, and cash only.
Contacts | Čimulje 25, Banjole | +385 52 573 767
Working hours | Daily, 5 pm-11 pm, closed on Sunday and closed in August
Restaurant Lanterna Banjole
Lanterna is an outstanding seafood restaurant in the village of Pjescana uvala, just outside of Pula. The produce is fresh and succulent, while the staff is knowledgable and friendly. You can also visit their ground-floor wine bar for some tapas and a glass of wine.
Contacts | Pješčana uvala V/1, Pula | +385 52 52 397 072 | Website
Working hours | Daily, 11 am-11 pm
This no-frills restaurant in Pula was a popular lunch spot for locals for years (and it still is!). However, in the last years, it also attracts tourists and it has also become equally popular for diner. People like it for honest Istrian cooking, fresh ingredients, big portions, and friendly owners.
Contacts | Viteziceva 4, Pula | +385 52 98 175 7343
Working hours | Daily, 12 pm-3 pm and 7 pm-10 pm
For traditional Istrian food, head for Plomin, a medieval town perched on a hill above the sea. Restaurant Dorina offers traditional Istrian dishes with a modern twist. Istrian beef prepared at Dorina is excellent, as well as seafood and homemade pasta with a great variety of sauces. At Dorina, the queen of Istrian cuisine, a black truffle, is highlighted through many dishes.
Contacts | a: Plomin 54, Plomin | t:+385 52 863 023 | Facebook
Working hours | Daily from 8 am-12 am
Restaurant Peteani (ex. Riva)
When the owners of Riva decided to open a small boutique hotel in Labin, they have also moved their long-standing restaurant business from Plomin Luka over to Labin old town. Both, the hotel ant the restaurant, are wonderfully designed. Peteani is an elegant, upscale restaurant with great seafood. Read our full review of the restaurant Peteani (ex. Riva).
Contact | a: Aldo Negri 9, Labin | t: +385 52 863 404 | Website
Working hours | Daily from 12 pm-11 pm
Located at Labin’s main square, Velo Kafe is a great place to observe Labin's hectic traffic and local life. The cafe is large with two outdoor terraces, and its interior extending over three floors. The menu here is extensive including a bit of everything, from pasta and gnocchi dishes to fish, meat, and even fancy ingredients like truffles. The cafe offers a great selection of coffees, teas, and other beverages as well as cakes and great ice cream. They even have vegan ice cream!
Contact | a: Titov trg 12, Labin | t: +385 52 852 745 | Website | Facebook
Working hours | Daily 11 am-11 pm
A tiny tavern located in the fishing village of Volosko, Tramerka makes delicious seafood dishes. Taste their bonito tartar, baby calamari, or monk-fish stew.
Contact | a: Andrije Mohorovicica 15, Volosko | t: +51 701 707
Working hours | Daily from 1 pm-11 pm; closed on Monday
Valle Losca is another gem in a fishing village of Volosko. Unlike the rest of the restaurants there, Valle Losca serves meat dishes. This tavern is charming with exposed stone walls, wooden beams, and only three tables.
Contact | a: A.Štangera 2, Volosko | t: +385 95 580 3757 | Facebook
Working hours | Wed-Sat: 1 pm–10 pm
Do you know of other restaurants in Istria that should make it to our list? Let us know in the comments below.
11 thoughts on “37 awesome restaurants in Istria that locals love”
Just found your blog and I’m very excited about trying some of your suggestions.My husband was born in Istria and we stay at his family house every summer for 10 years now. I ama a native New Yorker who has fallen in love with Croatia. I have some great restaurants in Istria that are not on your list! We will have to be in contact!!! I will read through all you advice!!! Thanks Janet
Hi Frank! I love your blog….
I have a group of friends coming in from London for 48 hours and we are staying in a house in Motovun. I was looking for say a rustic cozy place near the house on Friday, then another 2 lunches and dinners. What are the very best places in your opinion? Mondo’s food doesn’t look too great in the pictures!
Would appreciate your tips.
thanks for reaching out. Check out Toncic in Zrenj, or Kolinasi near Roc. Both have great food, rustic setting; Kolinasi is cheaper.
Stari podrum in Momjan is also top, and can be combined with a visit to the Kozlovic winery.
Have fun and let me know if I can help you with anything else.
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!
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: https://www.frankaboutcroatia.com/restaurants-in-rovinj/. You can also read about our favorite restaurants in Istria: https://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!
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.
nom nom nom, looks like I have to head back sooner than planned.
Hotel Makin Novigrad .try new food from new menu . New chef