Expect lots of seafood, weighty on the tomato sauces paired with gorgeous Croatian wines.
Eating well is a big part of traveling in Croatia. If you love Italian food, you’re in luck. Along the Dalmatian Coast, Italian influences in local cuisine can be heavily indulged. If you’re coming in from Zagreb, Split is most likely your first stop to really understand Dalmatian tastes. Expect lots of seafood, weighty on the tomato sauces paired with gorgeous Croatian wines. These are the stops that you’ll want to make during your stopover in Split, have a great meal!
Just a few things to keep in mind while dining in Split: Most restaurants will have Wi-Fi, and they will only take cash. So put your cards away!
1. Restoran Bajamonti, $$$$
The town’s most glamorous and luxurious culinary experience resides in Bajamonti. An old theater transformed into a foodie’s sanctuary which often welcomes celebrities and diplomats. The restaurant features fantastic seafood dishes that are catches of the day, made into Mediterranean-infused, flavorful platters of heaven. Ask the staff for fantastic wines to be paired with your meal. The wine list is carefully curated by owner Stipe, who collects from Croatia’s best. The restaurant has a spacious indoor area, and a beautiful outdoor terrace that we highly recommend. With the view of the ocean, from the middle of a square inspired by Venice’s Piazza San Marco, your experience at Bajamonti will be 100% unforgettable.
2. Villa Spizam, $$-$$$
A cozy spot, Villa Spiza is another local favorite hidden between Split’s zig zag alleys. The menu features incredibly tasty seafood (get the Crustacean dishes!) If you’re traveling with 2-3 people, the best is to get 2-3 courses with a bottle of wine. The restaurant is quite small, with few tables both indoor and outdoor. So get there early to grab your spot.
3. Corto Maltese, $$-$$$
Another fan favorite is Corto Maltese, referring to itself as “freestyle food.” What you’ll consume here won’t be fried but thermally-processed. Everything is healthy, and you guessed it: Mediterranean-influenced. There’s a great selection of meat dishes here, so if you’re tired of eating anything from the sea, this restaurant has a great selection of turkey, chicken, beef…and more. The bistro-style, red-brick wall ambiance is further energized by a group of incredibly friendly staff.
4. D16 Specialty Coffee, $
From sitting down with a good book to a grab and go in the morning, D16 is Split’s best coffee you’ll find. They’ve got fantastic service, comfy seating inside and out. In addition, Ethiopian V60 filter! For folks always on the hound for a hipster caffeine fix, this place is it.
5. Five o’cocktail, $$
When in Split, you’ll notice the immensity of outdoor cafes. Although this chilling by the ocean view is widespread throughout Croatia, Split’s main marina strip along the harbor is longer than those in other cities, making drinking by the waterfront even more prevalent. When five o’clock hits, you’ll want to sit in one of many cafes, and enjoy a five o’cocktail. My personal preference was a Spritz. Many of those kept me very happy, as you can imagine.