That’s Amore! Third Pizza Festival Zagreb to Bring Delights

Lauren Simmonds

pizza festival zagreb
All images: Press Pizza Festival ZG & Sandro Sklepic

May the 20th, 2024 – The third Pizza Festival Zagreb is almost here! From May the 27th to June the 2nd, we’ll all be able to enjoy more than 35 types of the most famous Italian delicacies, creative cocktails, a quiz, a silent cinema and painting workshops with a daily themed music programme.

Beginning on May the 27th, Strossmayer Square in Zagreb will become “a little slice of paradise” for one week. That’s because the third Pizza Festival Zagreb is on its way!

We’re happy thrilled that once again we’ll be able to enjoy the delicious and creative pizzas made by top pizza masters. It almost makes you want to start humming “…when the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie, that’s amore…” with a few tones of impatience!

This year’s edition of Pizza Festival Zagreb will bring with it 11 pizza houses, nine of which will present the best of their gastronomic creations, while the Central Bar will offer perfectly chilled Staropramen beer and a rich selection of premium wines, brandies and juices. The always popular Gingle Bells with its unsurpassed signature cocktails will also be able to be enjoyed there. Whether it’s a napoletana, romana, sicilian, fritta or margherita that takes your fancy, you’ll definitely find your favourite pizza at one of the houses of these passionate pizza wizards. Al Dente, Pizza Re, Pizza Social Club, RougeMarin, Zagyland, Picnic & Poma Food Boutique , Tutto Passa, Pizza Fritta and Oui Chef on Wheels are all waiting for you.

Ozren Kanceljak has also made sure that you’ll enjoy some truly excellent pizzas enhanced with real Italian flair. He has designed a superb music programme for the third Pizza Festival Zagreb. There will be daily performances by selected DJ names and evenings run by inspiring names such as Felicità, Penso Positivo and Pizza Boggie.

During that week, we’re also expecting a silent cinema, the extremely popular Pinelli & Vino painting workshops, and the much loved Ribafish will once again prepare a fun thematic quiz. This is an ideal opportunity to enjoy yourself and have fun with the whole family, as a couple or solo. If there’s one thing that can unite everyone – it’s pizza.

Every year, five billion pieces of this beloved Italian dish is sold worldwide. It brings a smile to our faces even on the darkest days. Volumes have been written about the origin and history of this dish, and more than 50,000 books on the subject of pizza can be purchased on Amazon alone!

It doesn’t stop there, though. There have also been many recent examples that speak in favour of pizza’s eternal popularity. Jeff Bezos introduced the now famous “two pizza rule” at Amazon, according to which the teams in his company are formed using a formula of how many people two pizzas can feed. The very first real-world bitcoin transaction was made in Florida on May the 22nd, 2010. It was for the purchase of two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins. The man who bought them and thus entered history is called Laszlo Hanyecz. Back in 2010, 10,000 bitcoins had an equivalent value of 25 US dollars, while the same amount of this cryptocurrency is worth an utterly staggering 672.40 million US dollars today.

Even in space, astronauts can’t cope without a pizza fix. That was proven back in May 2001, when astronaut Yury V. Usachev wanted a salami pizza during his stay on the International Space Station. Delivering pizza into space cost the famous pizzeria chain a million dollars, but we’re sure it was worth it because Yury warmed up his salami pizza and recorded a video of himself enjoying every bite in the weightlessness of space, which served as an excellent advertisement for the chain.

Fortunately, we won’t need bitcoins or trips into outer space in order to enjoy our favourite food to our heart’s content, it will be enough to stop by Josip Juraj Strossmayer Square from May the 27th to June the 2nd for the third Pizza Festival Zagreb. There, we’ll be able to indulge in the magic created by our favourite pizzas masters. There will also be some new faces making their first appearance at the Zagreb Pizza Festival this year, as well.

As announced by the experienced organisers from the Kokoš ili jaje creative agency, which recently delighted many visitors with the Asian Street Food Festival on this same square, at 2024’s Pizza Festival Zagreb, visitors will be able to choose from more than 35 types of Italian delicacies. There will be Al Dente’s contemporary napoletana in Margherita combinations di bufala, Mortadela & Stracciatella, Piccante, and Prosciutto & Stracciatella, then perfectly crispy pizzas with a fuller edge, which is a stylistic combination of Napoletana and Romana, for which the pizza enthusiasts from the Pizza Social Club are known.

In addition to last year’s hits: Mamargherite, Pizzaioli and Pepperoni, this year, the festival is set to bring two new items: Parmigiana and Bianca, which will delight fans of creative combinations because it contains truffle ricotta, flor di latte mozzarella, leeks and crispy capers.

Zagreb’s RougeMarin by chef Marin Medak will also take us on a flavoursome journey through Sicily with the carefully designed pizzas of Palermo, Messina, Siracusa, Siracusa Bambini, Tarapani and Catania that represent each city in a unique way. The Taste of Sicily will also tempt our taste buds with combinations such as artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes with creamy ricotta, fragrant basil and olive oil with garlic.

There will also be also spicy salsiccia with an unusual touch of honey with chilli peppers, and we can’t wait to taste the rich mortadella, black olives and cherry tomatoes combined with pistachio pesto and creme fraiche.

Zadar’s Picnic and Poma Food Boutique will be joining forces for the third Pizza Festival Zagreb: Poma will bring its sourdough sandwiches, which were a hit at the Pizza Festival last year, and people stood in lines for a while waiting just for them!

Picnic, on the other hand, is set to bring its famous cocktails, and has also announced cocktails designed just for the third Pizza Festival Zagreb. A small teaser, Šašava Mare is one of them! To the delight of the many fans who fell in love with them last year, Pizza Fritta will return with its deep-fried calzone pizzas, which win over the crowds with the crustiness of the dough and the delicious melted filling.

We’ll also have the opportunity to discover why the Cvetko brothers’ Pizza Re has gained an army of fans who flock to Jaruščica to taste authentic napoletana frequently. They’ll be bringing their classic Margherita, the rich Capriccos, the powerful Piccante, the favourite Mortadella, and the pizza of the house called “Pizza Re”.

Romana lovers will be right at home at Tutto Passa, where one pizza gives you five pieces, and at Bread Club’s sourdough doughs, they’ll bring four seductive combinations of fillings – from the Di Mamma pizza with Prosciutto San Daniele, to the creamy and refreshing La Primaverile pizza with marinated zucchini, ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives and fresh basil.

Pizza Melon is bringing a fine balance of salty and sweet with Prosciutto di Parma and melon leaves, and the Speciale pizza hints the spot with the powerful flavours of guanciale, pumpkin cream, pecorino and fresh rosemary.

We’re especially looking forward to tasting pizza from Zagorje for the very first time, thanks to Zagyland, which is also premiering this year. It has already put Konjščina on the gourmet map of Croatia with its excellent napoletana pizzas. Along with the classics like Margherita and Tuna, the colours of Zagorje will be defended by two special pizzas – Zagyland and Horse City.

To make this year’s Pizza Festival Zagreb a true ode to Italy, Oui Chef on Wheels will make sure will get to enjoy an irresistible pasta from a wheel of cheese. While we’re enjoying these snapshots of what’s to come this year and are really looking forward to May 27th, we have nothing left to say but that it will be “slice to meet you” at the third Pizza Festival Zagreb!

You can find out all the news, event dates and registration methods by following Pizza Festival Zagreb on Facebook and Instagram.

The place to be: Josip Juraj Strossmayer Square, Zagreb
Duration: May the 27th – June the 2nd
Working hours: Monday – Friday 12:00 – 00:00 / Saturday – Sunday 11:00 – 00:00
Entrance: Free!

al dente

After winning over the audience at last year’s Pizza Festival Zagreb, the team from Zagreb’s Al Dente is ready to surpass that success this year. They’re proud of their modern Napoletana technique and dough that ferments for a minimum of 24 hours. They’re also excited to show off their pizzas characterised by high and airy edges with a thin bottom, which is a characteristic of modern Napoletana pizzas. They will use premium ingredients such as Agerola fior di latte, which was declared the best mozzarella in 2023. Al Dente pizza is more than pizza – it’s a winning combination of tradition and innovation, where the love for authentic taste meets the desire to explore new culinary horizons. The above was noted by the top pizza masters who will offer four amazing creations at the third Pizza Festival Zagreb. These are: Margherita di bufala, Mortadela & stracciatella, Piccante, and Prosciutto & stracciatella.

pizza social club

The veterans of the Pizza Festival Zagreb and the most passionate pizza enthusiasts from the Pizza Social Club will once again cause applause this year with their top-quality pizzas. Their secret is that they stick to traditional recipes and then add their own twist. They pay the most attention to the dough and its fermentation, and have announced some surprises in that field. They will once again offer the hit pizzas that we adored last year: Mamargherita, Pizzaioli and Pepperoni, and this year they’re also bringing two new additions – Parmigiana, which will combine flor di latte mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, grilled parsley, dried tomatoes and basil, and Bianca, which will delight fans of creative combinations because it contains truffle ricotta, flor di latte mozzarella, buđola, leeks and crispy capers. In addition to being baked in the original Neapolitan pizza oven, which is made according to special standards so that the temperature of the oven itself is over 450 degrees Celsius, they also promise a perfect crispy pizza with a fuller edge, which is a stylistic combination of napoletana and romana.


Zagreb’s RougeMarin by chef Marin Medak will offer an opportunity to discover the taste of Sicily through carefully designed pizzas that represent each city in its own unique way.

“Come and enjoy a real culinary experience that will take you on a journey through the rich history and tradition of Sicily”, says chef Medak, revealing that at the third Pizza Festival Zagreb, as part of the Taste of Sicily theme, he will have as many as 5 pizzas on offer: the vegetarian Palermo, which takes us to the main the city of Sicily, known for its rich cultural heritage and lush vegetation. Pizza Palermo reflects this opulence using artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes, representing the city’s sunny gardens. Creamy ricotta and fragrant basil, together with garlic-infused olive oil, create a harmony of flavours that evoke the richness and tradition of Palermo.

The next pizza is Messina, which takes us to a city known for its harbour and seafood delicacies, with a dynamic and lively atmosphere. Pizza Messina, with spicy tomato sauce and delicious pancetta, reflects this lively spirit. The addition of fresh arugula, cherry tomatoes and black olives brings freshness and contrast, while Grana Padano adds a rich, layered flavour, evoking the Mediterranean charm and energy of Messina.

Next is Siracusa, a city with a rich history and gorgeous dramatic landscapes. Pizza Siracusa combines the traditional flavours of salsiccia with an unusual touch of honey with chilli peppers, creating a perfect balance between sweet and spicy. This combination reflects the dynamic history and cultural stratification of Siracusa, turning every bite into a real gastronomic journey.

Then comes Siracusa Bambini – a pizza specially designed for the youngest pizza lovers. Inspired by the historic city, this pizza retains its authenticity and richness of flavour, but without the hot peppers, making it a perfect choice for kids. Tomato sauce and melted mozzarella create a classic, delicious base that is complemented by mild but aromatic salsiccia. This simple yet delicious combination ensures that kids enjoy every bite, while parents can be sure they’re getting a meal full of flavour. Siracusa Bambini is the perfect way for little gourmands to get to know the authentic flavours of Sicily in a way that is entirely adapted to their senses.

Another vegetarian option is the Tarapani pizza, which uses the rich flavours of anchovies and capers, which bring the freshness of the sea and authenticity. Onions and chives add an extra dimension, evoking the rustic charm and simplicity of life in this coastal town.

Then we “arrive” in Catania, located at the foothills of Mount Etna, known for its lively energy and luxurious flavours. We’re guided there by Pizza Catania, which brings together rich mortadella and black olives, together with cherry tomatoes, offering a layering of flavours. Pistachio pesto and creme fraiche add a creamy and nutty note, creating a sophisticated flavour that reflects the luxury and elegance of Catania itself.

picnic x poma

We’re very happy that we will once again be able to enjoy the irresistible creations of the unsurpassed Zadar creatives from Picnic Mingle and Fun. They also won the hearts of numerous visitors at the recently concluded Asian Street Food Festival in Zagreb. This year, Picnic and its other concept, Poma Food Boutique, are joining forces at the Pizza Festival Zagreb.

Poma Food Boutique will bring its hit sourdough sandwiches – Pistachio, Roastbeef, Truffle and Caprese. Each of these combinations has its own unique flavour and ingredients that are fresh and seasonal.

“Given last year’s excellent reactions to our sandwiches, we decided to present them once again at the Pizza Festival Zagreb this year as well. For the rest of the year, there is our restaurant in the very centre of Zadar, on the peninsula”, point out these tireless Zadar natives.

Picnic is known for its creative approach to food, and Sourdough Focaccia in the flavourful combinations presented at the festival prove that their creativity and courage knows no bounds. All visitors to Poma Food Boutique will have the opportunity to experience real gastronomic pleasures, accompanied by new and interesting cocktails created by Ivan Karačić, the founder of Picnic and Poma.

At the Pizza Festival Zagreb, Ivan will present Roza, a refreshing cocktail based on gin, strawberries, rose wine and rosehip vinegar from the island of Pašman near Zadar. There will also be some surprise cocktails themed entirely for the festival – we’ll just mention that one will be called Šašava Mare.

pizza fritta

To the delight of the many fans they gained last year, Pizza Fritta is also returning to Pizza Festival Zagreb! This unique style of pizza dates back to the 18th century and comes from Naples. Last year it arrived in Zagreb for the first time and was an immediate hit! Pizza Fritta is essentially pizza dough that is filled with various ingredients such as tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms. The dough is then folded over, enclosing the filling inside, and the edges are pressed together to form a pocket or calzone. Then it is fried in deep oil until it becomes crispy and golden. Pizza frittas are served hot, fresh from the fryer, to retain the crispness of the dough and the warmth of the filling.

pizza re

At this year’s Pizza Festival Zagreb, “Pizza Re” is set to participate for the first time. It is also celebrating its third anniversary of successful business at Jaruščica 9, not far from the Arena Centre. Under the leadership of brothers Hrvoje and Jurica Cvetko, this pizzeria has become a favourite destination for everyone looking for authentic Napoletana pizza. For this occasion, they’ve prepared five irresistible types of pizza: the classic Margherita, the rich Capriccos, the powerful Piccante, the favourite Mortadella, and their house pizza called “Pizza Re”.

They emphasised that they will be paying special attention to every step of the preparation, especially to making the dough. Using a special flour approved by AVPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana), with a very low percentage of yeast and high hydration, their dough ferments for a minimum of 48 hours in controlled conditions and temperatures, resulting in a soft, airy and light dough that is a real delight for any fan. In addition, the Cvetko brothers insist on using only the highest quality ingredients that come from Naples, such as Fior Di Latte mozzarella from the famous Latteria Sorientina dairy, and other ingredients that further enrich the taste of their pizzas quality and authentic taste, and the Pizza Festival Zagreb is an ideal opportunity for everyone to indulge in their irresistible flavours.

tutto passa

Tutto Passa is the latest street food concept by the well-known gastro innovator Eduardo Beg. Beg knocked us off our feet at the first two Pizza Festivals in Zagreb, and he will also have his premiere at the Pizza Festival Zagreb with his plant-based pizzas. This year, he’s bringing pizza for which sourdough dough is made by the popular Bread Club. They will be Roman style pizzas, and among other things, they are specific in that five pieces are obtained from one pizza.

Tutto Passa brings us 4 intriguing temptresses: the Di Mamma pizza, which will surely delight all fans of the delicate, sweet taste specific to Prosciutto Cotto San Daniele combined with Mutti Polpo, mozzarella, fresh mushrooms and oregano. Then there will be the creamy and refreshing La Primaverile pizza with marinated zucchini, ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives and fresh basil. Pizza Melon will combine olive oil, mozzarella, Prosciutto di Parma, melon leaves and fresh basil, while pizza Speciale hints at powerful flavours as it consists of olive oil, guanciale (dried pork cheeks), pumpkin cream, pecorino goat cheese and fresh rosemary. From the description alone, we could say with certainty that Beg is preparing a unique gastronomic sensation.


We’re really, really looking forward to tasting pizza from Zagorje for the first time, thanks to Zagyland, which is also premiering this year. As previously mentioned, it has already put Konjšćina on the gourmet map of Croatia with its excellent napoletana pizzas. The owner of the Zagyland Hotel and Pizzeria, Darijo Markulin, opened a unique hotel three years ago in his ancestral home, located only 45 minutes from Zagreb. In addition to the modern and elegantly decorated six rooms and one suite it boasts, it also offers countless facilities and activities: a mini-football field, a children’s playground, table tennis and table tennis, football, billiards, darts, wellness with sauna and jacuzzi, and outdoor pool, and even quads for adventures around Ivanščica.

All that aside, the pizza that he has been preparing there since November 2022 has especially resonated in gourmet circles, which isn’t remotely surprising because they prepare it according to the original recipe of the great pizza educator Davor Milić as the only pizzeria in Zagorje with napoletana.

“A year and a half ago, we reached many rankings of the “best pizzas” in Croatia, which I’m extremely happy about, and that’s why we wanted to showcase ourselves at the third Pizza Festival Zagreb,” Darijo Markulin explained, adding that he will promote Zagorje with four pizzas. In addition to two classics – Margherita and Tuna, they will also present two which bear their own signature: Zagyland and Horse City, which has been dedicated to Konjšćina, where they come from.

oui chef on wheels

To make this year’s Pizza Festival Zagreb a real ode to Italy, OuiChef on Wheels will offer us an irresistible pasta from a wheel of cheese. Numerous visitors have already been delighted with this powerful and juicy pasta at last year’s edition, and chef Vedran Stojanac will raise the bar even higher this year. Vedran discovered his passion for cooking while working with the Italian Michelin chef Giorgio Flores, then he gathered knowledge at the legendary Prasac with Dino Galvagna, then at Mundoaka with Tvrtko Šakota, then with Priska Thuring at Dubravkin put. Back during Advent in Zagreb 2021, he gained an army of fans among serious foodies with his delicacies at the Fajnšmeker house, which was a collaboration between Catering Kvatrić and Vedran’s Oui Chef brand. In more recent times, you could taste his delicacies at Place Market, and it isn’t surprising that many will be extremely impatient to taste his Pasta on Wheels at this year’s Pizza Festival Zagreb.


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