100 Leading Croatian Restaurants: 2023 Restaurant Croatica

Katarina Anđelković

100 leading croatian restaurants
Rino Gropuzzo

September 30, 2023 – One hundred leading Croatian restaurants – Restaurant Croatica – is a valuable book that should have a place in every household. The project has been going on for 28 years, and this year’s edition was formally presented in Rijeka at Botel Marina.

In a few days, the handy book will be available for purchase in Menart, Hoću Knjigu and Školska Knjiga. You can also always order online ordering at €9.95. We won’t share the secret of which restaurants are this year’s laureates, but you might be surprised…

Restaurant Croatica Project

The project was initiated in 1995 to promote quality in the hospitality industry. “The idea was to research the market, see which restaurants best meet their customer’s needs, and highlight the leaders to motivate others to improve the quality of their offer and service”, points out Karin Mimica, publication editor and project manager. The project is carried out with The Association of Croatian Restaurateurs, the Croatian Tourist Board, and other institutions.

In 1995, the survey covered about 700 restaurants, while in 2022, that number rose to over 2,400. The voting was partially conducted through the portal Gastronaut, and voters could additionally comment on the quality of the offer, service and ambience. In parallel, restaurateurs voted with recommendations for their colleagues and role models, filling out questionnaires with a detailed description of their offer and service.

After reviewing all the materials, the Honorable Committee of the project gave the final word, which announced the new list of 100 leading Croatian restaurants presented in Restaurant Croatica: 100 Leading Croatian Restaurants and Their Specialities 2023/24. During the 28 years of the project, a total of 522 restaurants were included in Restaurant Croatica. Only six restaurants managed to keep their title for all 28 years, while 15 have defended the title for over 20 years.

Rino Gropuzzo

Leading Croatian Restaurants by Region

“The book is divided into six parts: Istria and Kvarner; Dalmatia; Lika, Karlovac, Moslavina and Banovina; Zagreb and surroundings; Zagorje, Međimurje and Podravina; and Slavonia and Baranja. The introductory text to each region also provides recommendations for local delicacies, wine varieties, and gastronomic and oenological events”, emphasizes Mimica.

This year, there is an emphasis on dishes whose components grow or are grown up to within a hundred kilometers of the restaurant. For about thirty such dishes, a QR code leads to the Rose of Dishes – an app with a graphical representation of the origin of the ingredients in the dish. Each food item is marked with a petal whose tip is in the place where it originates. The thickness of the petal is proportional to the quantity of the ingredient in the dish. The center of the rose is where the dish can be found, the restaurant in question. The app was designed by the programmer Matea Ignatoski according to the idea of Vlatko Ignatoski.

Karin Mimica is the winner of the Rijeka Cherry Award for her contribution to the image of gastronomy in tourism in her city. “I’m happy and proud, and it’s always nice to receive recognition for my work, especially since the occasion is the Rijeka Gastronomic Port project. It will continue to develop further and help guests find the restaurants they want exactly according to their wishes, and that is exactly why there are so many Rijeka gastronomic ports, each of which carries its world and its idea of gastronomy”, concluded the award winner.

Top Croatian Dishes

Among the dishes in the new edition of the book, you will find a variety of dishes, including carp chips, prawn cake, squid carpaccio, polenta with mussels, various stuffed pasta dishes, brudet and buzara, chicory risotto, carrot cake, Gračanski lonček (pork stew), boar croquettes, various lamb dishes, boškarin and black Slavonian pig delicacies, nutmeg wine chateau, carob cream cake, and so much more.

The restaurants presented in the 2023/24 book are holders of the Restaurant Croatica 2022 title. In addition to the plaques awarded to them, they received a Restaurant Croatica sticker with a QR code leading to the book’s online edition in Croatian and English.


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