Dubrovnik is the culinary center of Croatia, due in large part to its perch on the bountiful Dalmatian Coast. Thanks to the city’s popularity, the dining scene has grown to accommodate all types of travelers, from foodies looking for a life-changing meal to families in need of a quick bite—and the food is often accompanied by sweeping views or great streetside people-watching.

Dining in Dubrovnik

Old Town is where you'll find many of Dubrovnik’s best restaurants. Running parallel to the main street through the walled city is Prijeko Ulitsa, flanked with laid-back seafood grill houses and quaint cafes. Outside the Old Town, restaurants fan out from just beyond the walls and skirt their way around Luka Gruž inlet to the northwest, most of them with superior views of the water and a more local clientele. 
 
What should you try? In a city surrounded on three sides by water, fresh fish is the number one dish to get here. This will often come either grilled or fried and garnished with a simple slice of lemon, herbs, and a salad (when it’s this fresh, it needs nothing more). Another great way to eat seafood is in the classic Crni rižot or Black Risotto made with squid ink, often eaten by locals as an appetizer but filling enough to be a main course.

If fish isn’t your thing, try Zelena Menestra or Green Stew, a hearty pot of potatoes, cabbage, and savory meats that has been a staple in Croatian households and restaurants since the 15th century.

Nautika

Photo courtesy of Nautika Restaurant

With its elegant seafood dishes, white-tablecloth service and panoramic views from two terraces, Nautika is all about elevated Croatian cuisine, the likes of which haven't been seen in Dubrovnik until international visitors started arriving. Chef Mario Bunda makes local ingredients sing, including lobster from the island of Vis and shellfish taken straight from the harbor. What’s more, the restaurant’s name is an ode to its setting within the former Dubrovnik School of Maritime Studies, so you’ll be dining in high style, surrounded by city history.

Panorama

Photo courtesy of Panorama Restaurant

From the same restaurant group as Nautika, this lively spot at the top of Srđ Hill takes a cable car to get to. But the view of Dubrovnik’s old town and the shimmering azure waters dotted with islands beyond is more than worth the journey. You can choose from a wide range of elevated brasserie dishes like steak, burgers, mussels, and stews, as well as a coffee or a beer to complement your time on the restaurant’s stepped terraces. Panorama stays open from morning until midnight in summer—admire the city in daylight, at sunset, and when it sparkles at night.

Dalmatino Dubrovnik

Photo courtesy of Dalmatino Dubrovnik

Dalmatino builds its modern-meets-traditional dining menu expertly, with a local wine list to match, and the updated Croatian classics are given a bright and colorful presentation on the plate. On any given night you can choose from veal with black risotto, Ston oysters,  Žrnovski makaruni (homemade pasta) with truffles and porcini mushrooms, or a perfectly grilled fish of the day.

Dalmatino relocated to lively Prijeko Street in 2018, and makes the most of its three new indoor dining areas and sidewalk seating. One dining room was built on the grounds of a historic bakery, and the clay-brick oven is preserved and prominently featured. Other walls are decorated with paintings from local artists.

360

Photo courtesy of 360 Dubrovnik

With its location atop the city’s medieval walls and on part of the fortress of St. John, its born-and-bred-in-Dubrovnik chef Marijo Curić and an artful take on Mediterranean cuisine, 360 is that rare restaurant where you can enjoy an unforgettable meal in a setting that feels special but not stuffy, laid-back but also luxurious.

This Michelin-starred establishment offers two different 5-course tasting menus and hundreds of local wines, celebrating the revival of the Dalmatian Coast through its unique flavors. For those who want less fanfare, 2- and 3-course selections from an à la carte menu are also available.

Takenoko

Photo courtesy of Takenoko

Since Japanese cuisine always goes well with the freshest fish, why not create a Japanese-Croatian hybrid and set it on the Dalmatian Coast? That was probamindsete midset of the team behind Takenoko, a Japanese-Mediterranean fusion restaurant that got its start 15 years ago in Zagreb before opening its second location in Dubrovnik.

Enjoy a selection of sushi, sashimi, nigiri, and tempura from chef Mario Starman, made with local ingredients and paired with Croatian wines, on a terrace overlooking the harbor. It’s a perfect way to take a break from all those grilled fish and meat dishes you’re getting everywhere else.