Dubrovnik. When you’ve finished your Game of Thrones tour and descended the spectacular walls of the Old Town, you’re going to be hungry. And you’re also going to be staggered at how expensive everywhere is to eat and drink. At least, we were. It’s easy to sink well over €150 into a mediocre meal by accident (especially if your seven times table isn’t very good, which was the approximate kuna to euro exchange rate when we were there). And while there are probably some very good fine-dining restaurants to be found, we either didn’t find them or couldn’t afford them. So this list covers the restaurants and bars that we discovered in Dubrovnik’s Old Town that didn’t break the bank…
6 of the Best Places to Eat and Drink in Dubrovnik Old Town
Lokanda Peskarija: seafood
Right on the harbour, Lokanda Peskarija has been going strong for donkey’s years and still seems to be popular with locals as well as tourists. They specialise in seafood, so order some octopus salad or grilled squid with garlic butter and a long, cold beer. There’s no better way to celebrate the start of your holiday. Visit Lokanda Peskarija’s webite: mea-culpa.hr.
Tourist tip: beware of the ticket touts opposite the restaurant – we got massively ripped off by one of them on a jetski rental. Venture out of the Old Town and you’ll pay almost half the price for the same activity. We left our brains at Amsterdam airport and wasted about €100!
Azur: fusion food
Tucked down one of the labyrinthine back alleys that are such a joy to get lost in, Azur says it serves “Mediterranean cuisine with an Asian twist”. To my mind, the Asian side seemed stronger than the Mediterranean, and we noticed some other influences as well. But as hard to categorise as Azur was, we loved the fact that it was serving something different to all the other Italian/Balkan restaurants in town, and we couldn’t get enough of their spicy tacos. Although the tortillas weren’t great quality, the fillings were fabulous: think pork belly with hoisin sauce, or smoky chorizo with jalapenos. Also worth a try are Azur’s Szechuan shrimps cooked in chilli, and their meatballs in coconut curry sauce. This place is fairly small (although it spills out onto the pavement) and very popular so be sure to make a reservation. Visit Azur’s website: azurvision.com.
Bota: oysters and sushi
Given Dubrovnik’s location on the Adriatic coast, it’s no surprise that seafood is the order of the day at many of the city’s restaurants. But at Bota, they’re serving it mostly in the form of sushi – which makes sense when there’s so much fresh fish available. Bota also specialises in oysters, so order a couple plus a glass of the house Croatian white wine while you ponder the rest of the menu. Particular favourites of ours included the rainbow roll and the “agemaky fantasy” roll, but we also liked the teriyaki steak. Although the prices are not cheap, if you order dish by dish you likely won’t need as much as you think. (In fact, that rule applies everywhere in Dubrovnik: since prices are higher than in Amsterdam, forget about ordering a starter and main course per person when you sit down, and instead order dishes to share until you’re full – that way you’ll avoid paying for food you don’t end up eating.) Visit Bota’s website: bota-sare.hr/dubrovnik.
Any self-respecting foodie guide wouldn’t be complete without a recommendation for where to get a good cup of coffee. And while the hipster coffee movement generally doesn’t seem to have hit Dubrovnik yet, we did discover one gem: Cogito. It has two locations – one inside the Old Town walls and another just up the hill, outside the Ploče Gate. The coffee is excellent and the service extremely friendly too – we went back three times during our visit and were recognised immediately. Visit Cogito’s website: cogitocoffee.com/locations.
If you’re looking for a shady spot for a glass of wine and some local snacks at aperitivo o’clock, look no further than D’vino – a wine bar nestled up one of the flights of stairs that lead off the main drag in the Old Town. They serve plenty of Croatian wines (as well as international vino) by the glass and bottle, plus some cheeses, olives and other nibbles. Visit D’vino’s website: dvino.net.
Beach Bar Buža: sea-view drinks
We stumbled across Buža one evening while ducking (literally) through a hole in the wall. Perched just outside the Old Town walls and seemingly suspended above the rocks, the views and the atmosphere are something special. We only ordered a local beer, but the bar looked to be well stocked for cocktails, too. Visit Buža’s Facebook page: facebook.com/beachbarbuza.
Planning a trip along the Adriatic coast? Check out my guide to Budva, Montenegro, too!
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