Croatia is so hott right now. But, seriously. After some serious wanderlusting of Croatia travel photos, stories, and travel guides I finally got to visit the gorgeous country for myself. The sudden stir of interest in this country makes total sense after vacationing on one of the sunny isles of the country’s Dalmatian coast. I stayed on Hvar which has some of the clearest water in the world, it’s known for its wine and olive oil production, and has historical landmarks dating back to medieval times (Heck, some even date back to B.C. era!). I should also mention the food on Hvar pulls in Italian influences but also, focuses on the fresh seafood of that area. So now that you’re ready to plan your vacation here’s the Food Lover’s guide to Hvar for you to bookmark!
We took the ferry to Hvar (The only way to transport from the mainland of Croatia) for a 4 day stay on the Island. It was quickly found out that the city’s claim to be “The sunniest place on earth” wasn’t far from the truth. Our trip included four spectacularly sunny, and almost cloud free, days! We also had a large number of meals during our time. That’s where this post comes in. I don’t plan on sharing all of them, only the best of them.
There are two main areas you’ll find the town’s restaurants. Along the marina and up into the cobblestone house lined hillside off the main piazza. I like the seaside eateries for their view but, we found some of our favorite meals in the crevices of those stoney walkways in town. And boy do they have some charm!
Cobblestone pathways in the hills
Without further ado, here’s the breakdown!
This was our, hands down, favorite meal in Hvar. The service is first class. The crusty bread, superb local olive oil, and appetite teasing amuse bouche sets the tone. Whether you go for local seafood, house made pastas, or the heartier lamb or beef dishes you will not be disappointed. The outdoor seating nestled in the corner of a walking alley is endearing. And your lighting for the evening comes from modern fixture that looks like something out of a Dr. Suess novel. It’s all a little magical.
Homemade ravioli topped with truffles
This marina facing restaurant is the priciest of the bunch. But, their seafood rises above the rest. The catches of the day are proudly displayed out front each night. You order that catch by the kilo. If you’re not up for that, opt for the seafood pastas or risottos. The dishes are massive and the sauces are unique. They have that Italian flair but added ingredients like red wine in your red sauce give them their own distinctive flavors.
spaghetti with Lobster
Me getting suited up by the waiter to eat the spaghetti!
Catch of the Day- Red Snapper
You’ll have to take a little excursion to get to this location. I recommend a little lunch adventure. Take a water taxi over to Palmižana , one of the Paklinski Islands. It’s a short ride and it’s worth the view and food. Not to mention the beach life. If you want to make a day of it, they have beach clubs that have hosted the likes of Beyonce and Jay-Z on the island as well! But, back to Bacchus. Order the local squid ink risotto with cuttlefish and a big plate of their calamari. They were the meal highlights.
squid Ink risotto with cuttlefish
This restaurant is tucked in among one of the busier walk way up in the hills of town. It’s set-up like a split-level with tables on multiple sections of the path. Their menu easily sucked us in. Dishes like local Sea Bass over a carrot puree and homemade gnocchi with truffles (also indigenous to Croatia) were the standouts.
gnocchi with beef and truffles
This restaurant has a rooftop hideaway that serves as their main dining room. It’s perched up amongst the cobblestone hillside restaurants. Light dishes like their cheese platter and bresaola were among the most enjoyed plates of our visit.
me blending in with luna’s terrace
There you have it, five solid choices to fill your day books with. One little anecdote before I leave you. You’ll notice when visiting that almost none of the restaurants have indoor seating areas. While the Island is seasonal (May- September mostly) it’s also because of that sunny culture I told you about. The island has the most days of sun than anywhere in Europe. I’m talking over 2800 hours of sunlight a year. They bank on that, therefore no need for indoor seating during the busy season.
If you need someplace to stay….
Our Airbnb overlooking the town was clean, comfortable, modern and affordable with a group. Our walk into town was less than 10 minutes. And, Martina was a great host. She even sets up a little afternoon bar at the condo’s pool each day to enjoy! Here’s my link for $40 your first stay and here’s the link directly to the apartment we stayed in.
The sunset view from our Airbnb
Have a Sunny good time!
…all for the love of the dish