I often talk about how wonderful Croatia holidays are for families, and I think this warm, welcoming country is one of the best places you can bring children of any age. While it's very hard to play favourites, one place I've returned to many times is the absolutely enchanting coastal city of Rovinj, on the stunning Istrian Peninsula. |
Aside from its obvious beauty, the city has a lot of other things that make it one of my favourite places to visit – not least of which are its excellent restaurants. Croatia holidays are renowned for offering visitors an opportunity to sample a truly unique cuisine so if you can make use of a babysitter and sneak away for an adults-only dinner, here are a few I can recommend.
La Perla: If you're a foodie, you may have heard of La Perla already. Well known as one of the city's most esteemed establishments, their take on modern/traditional fusion Mediterranean cuisine is as elegant as it is mouth watering. The menu features plenty of local seafood and succulent produce, and is accompanied by an excellent local and international wine list. Dress up and enjoy! (Ulica Egidia Bullessicha. Ph: +385 98 933 3511)
Monte: With a choice of degustation or à la carte, Monte is a showcase of the best of European cuisine utilising Croatian produce. Owner and chef Danijel Dado Ðekic is a local celebrity, renowned for his unique modern take on familiar fine dining dishes. Briefly baked tuna with horseradish foam is just one tempting taster that comes to mind. (Montalbano 75. Ph: +385 52 830 203)
Tugurio: The unassuming décor and homely welcome of Tugurio is no reflection on the fantastic food. This is a great place to come for a casual dining experience with an authentic traditional ambience. The house speciality is suckling pig cooked on the outdoor spit, and if you enjoy your meal on the terrace it's the stuff of memories. (Aleja Rudera Boškovica bb. Ph: +385 98 724 901)
Barba Danilo: This family-run restaurant is fairly new but it's become very popular in a short time, renowned for the chef's contemporary twist on traditional Istrian dishes. Utilising plenty of fresh local seafood with unusual combinations, the menu is both extensive and inventive. The elegant garden setting is a perfect complement to the delicious food. (Polari 5. Ph: +385 52 830 002)
Brasserie Adriatic: The clue is in the name of this restaurant, with its seafood offerings considered the best in the city. But it's not restricted to seafood, and the menu includes an extensive range of French-Riviera inspired seasonal dishes, whose immaculate presentation almost detracts from the exquisite flavours – but not quite! If you're a whiskey connoisseur you can choose from over 100 varieties. (Riva Pina Budicina 16. Ph: +385 52 800 250)
Taverna de Amicis: One of the newest restaurants in town, Taverna de Amicis is keeping up with its neighbours in the most delicious way. Specialising in Mediterranean cuisine, pastas, seafood, risottos and mouth watering desserts are the order of the day. Classy but casual, this is one you might actually want to bring the children along on a second visit. (De Amicis 1. Ph: +385 98 482 166)
Dream Restaurant: The name doesn't disappoint and it really is like dining in a dream in this stunning 19th century building in the heart of the Old Town. With a huge choice of either traditional or modern Istrian cuisine, the simple, hearty meals are the perfect complement to the delightful surrounds. (Joakima Rakovca 18. Ph: +385 52 830 613)
Tipico Old Town: With his very special take on Istrian cuisine, chef Goran Hlišc stamps a contemporary signature on traditional seafood dishes by infusing ancient recipes with modern gastronomic techniques and flavours. This place gets very busy (and is always full of locals, which is a great sign), so I'd recommend you book to avoid disappointment. You certainly won't be disappointed by the food. (Grisia 32. Ph: +385 91 349 4006)
Wine Vault: Don't worry – despite the name you won't go hungry here. Alongside their vast collection (over 500 varieties) of local and international wines, the Wine Vault offers a true fine dining experience in a Mediterranean/French fusion style. Designed like a genuine wine cellar, for a very special experience you can book the chef's table – and receive the chef's personal service. Indulgent, but well worth it. (Antonia Smareglia bb. Ph: +385 52 636 017)
Rio Bar: This is one of my favourite spots in Rovinj due to its wonderfully authentic ambience – which is not surprising as it's been a mainstay on the local social scene since 1968. With a prime position on the water, you can enjoy the fabulous Mediterranean cuisine offset by the best views of any restaurant in the city. If you save room for the semifreddo you won’t regret it. (Aldo Rismondo 13. Ph: +385 52 813 564)
I'm not the only one to fall under the spell of Rovinj and the surrounding archipelago in Croatia. Holidays to this area have become increasingly popular but rising numbers of tourists certainly haven’t spoiled it. It's hard to quite take in the scope of its loveliness without having a head on a swivel, but take time out to enjoy the delights of its fantastic restaurants as well.
John Dixon is an experienced world traveller and the Managing Director of Prestige Holidays. For over 30 years, he has been providing luxury Croatia holidays, as well as holidays to Bermuda, Sicily and many other destinations around the globe. John tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of his properties, and stay up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in arts, history and culture.
Related Articles -