Is Dubrovnik really an expensive destination, as its reputation suggests? TCN’s Dubrovnik resident Lauren Simmonds takes a closer look on March 29, 2016 at what is on offer for those willing to walk a few metres from the main Stardun drag.
I have lived in Dubrovnik for quite a long time now, and I’ve seen and heard very many things from very many different types of people from all over the world. A common line from tourists I deal with is how expensive Dubrovnik is, or at the very least, how expensive they’ve ”heard” that it is, and then after following my advice: how they had no idea Dubrovnik was so cheap. So we come full circle in a matter of days and I feel a little bit better about doing my part to debunk the myth. Then it happens again. My life in the summer season is a bit like groundhog day.
There are several notoriously expensive restaurants in Dubrovnik, and without naming names, they’re so disgustingly expensive that it makes one want to vomit out the mussels one just ate in attempt to reduce the cost, but that is something that is true of every single city on earth, especially one that caters to, and relies so heavily on tourists. Such restaurants are usually located very centrally, their seafood propaganda machine works on a much more efficient level than that of other restaurants and signs advertising them are everywhere, from taxi windows to billboards to leaflets being forced into your hands by an anxious looking nephew of the owner. This isn’t anything new.
If you enter the Old City and you go to the very first bar or eatery you see, on the main street (Stradun) and insist on drinking imported Belgian beer (such as Le Trappe, which is unjustifiably pricey even in its homeland of Belgium) then your bill is going to be sky high. You’re in the midst of all the action, seated in a cafe that needs to pay high costs for being situated on arguably the most beautiful street in the world, and consuming a liquid which comes with a tax higher than its actual worth. Think about it, it isn’t rocket science.
So, without further ado, I’m going to list a few places where you can eat and drink without having to consider remortgaging your house.
Lanterna is a very small restaurant located in the heart of the old city, it has tables both inside and outside, and is run by a couple who do everything themselves, including all the cooking (which, by the way, is second to none). It has a comfortable, relaxed ambience and not an ounce of pretentiousness in sight. They serve traditional Croatian food, seafood, meat, pasta and everything in between. You’d be lucky if your bill came to more than 400kn for three people, and that is without skipping pudding. While it is a little difficult to find, if you ask where the Taj Mahal Bosnia Cuisine restaurant is, you’ll find Lanterna right next door. Here is the address: Nikole Gucerica 2, Stari Grad, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Lounge Bar and Restaurant Buono:
Located in Lapad, this large and relaxed restaurant serves high quality food for very reasonable prices. A vast menu is available as well as good service and a very nice atmosphere. I personally recommend the cevapi, of course. You can find it here: Ul. kneza Domagoja 1, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Dubravka is located next to one of the most expensive restaurants in Dubrovnik, Nautika. The difference is that here you can eat with the exact same view of the walls, Lovrijenac and Pile Bay but for 100kn (or less) per head, instead of 500 (or more) per head. Makes sense, doesn’t it? They serve a wide range of food, including pasta, seafood, meat dishes and pizza. They’re just outside Pile Gate and you can find them here: Brsalje ul. 1, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Yet another fairly priced restaurant right next to Nautika, and this one even rivals Dubravka. You’ll find it directly across from Dubravka at Pile Gate.
So, there are a handful of places that I can guarantee both you and your wallet will love. Dubrovnik is only expensive if you don’t want to go further afield than Stradun. A 10-20 meter walk down an alleyway will bring you to a selection of places that are cheap, good and offer a bit more relaxation than the human traffic jam that Stradun often unfortunately becomes during the summer.
Happy eating, drinking and exploring!