Zagreb Asian Street Food Festival: FAbulous Family Fun

Paul Bradbury

June 18, 2023 – The inaugural Zagreb Asian Street Food Festival kicked off this week, a tasty and chilled time for all the family.

There is something about Asian food for expats and travellers on the road. Come to a city where there is little to none, and it instantly loses its appeal, at least in my opinion. Zagreb used to be like that when I first came over 20 years ago, but things have changed.

There was a lot of excitement in expat circles at the announcement of the first-ever Zagreb Asian Street Food Festival, which opened on Thursday on Strossmayer Square, and which runs until June 25.

There is a great variety of food, as one would expect, but also so much more. You can see full details in the press release below, but what also struck me on my visit to the opening day was just how much effort has gone in to making this a fun and chilled event for all the family.

Lots of fun things for the little ones to play in a safe environment under the relaxed but watchful eyes of parents free to relax and enjoy the selection of Japanese, Thai and Korean specialities and novelties. And, as much as the adults were having fun, the kids seemed to be REALLY enjoying themselves.

The cocktails are excellent, the music setting the mood, the weather is perfect. Just a really nice festival to catch up with friends while trying some of the more exotic gourmet offerings of Zagreb 2023. You can get an idea of the atmosphere from the opening day on this Facebook video link below (I can’t embed sadly). But do check it out with or without the kids.

The Zagreb Asian Street Food Festival is brought to you by the same team behind Fuliranje (putting the fun into Advent in Zagreb), the Zagreb Burger Fest and Zagreb Pizza Fest. And after the success of the Zadar Burger Fest, they will be on tour in different locations around Croatia this summer, including the Dubrovnik Pizza Festival.

The first Asian Street Food Festival kicked off in Zagreb on Thursday 15th June

The festival, which runs until 25 June, is being held at Strossmayer Square and showcases the rich flavors, aromas, and spirit of Asian cuisine

Right from the start the festival attracted numerous visitors who were eager to explore the offerings of the 11 stalls located in the heart of the city. The square, nestled between Tomislavac and Zrinjevac, has been transformed into a paradise for the senses, with unique decorations and an authentic Eastern ambience. The festival features a wide range of Asian delicacies prepared by top chefs, delighting visitors with a diverse selection of flavors.

Chef Marko Palfi was one of the pioneers to introduce Asian dishes to Croatian guests with his famous wok and Katsu Sandos during his time in Mundoaka. He offers these famous Japanese sandwiches at the Asian Street Food Festival, this time introducing 4 kinds of Katsu Sando that combine Japanese and Croatian ingredients, marinades and spices.

Popular Street Food & Cocktail Bar Jellyfish in Space offers unique combinations and unexpected tastes with sushi rolls that combine fish and fruit. We are eager to try their Cosmic Berry – sushi with strawberries, salmon and mango, as well as Starburst – sushi with salmon, peaches, apples and passion fruit sauce. There will also be some classics like shrimps in tempura, as well as refreshing summer cocktails: Bergamote Fizz, Jelly Lagoon, Lucky Strawberry i Tropical Heaven – to name only few.

We can’t mention cocktails and leave out the creative guys of Picnic Craft Bar that made a special cocktail for Asian Street Food Festival and named it WabiSabi – it consists of Old Pilot’s vodka, Lillet blanc, Sake, Rice, Cherry, Soy Cream. Gingle Bells booth provides their own famous signature cocktails, Mojito being one of the most sought after. Central Bar serves perfectly chilled Staropramen beer and premium Šoškic wines, as well as a wide range of drinks to quench visitors’ thirst.

This Asian Fairy tale wouldn’t be complete without Thai cuisine, and Thai Thai’s specialties Green Curry, Phad-Thai, Chicken Sasatay, and Mango pudding are a must to try.

Sushi and poke bowl lovers adore the menu that offers Soho Sushi & Poke, they have 3 kinds of Poke: Tuna supreme, Salmon in Green and Spicy chicken, as well as 6 kinds of Uramaki: Philadelphia, Ebi original, Chicken teriyaki, Tiger roll, Hawaii roll i Soho spicy tuna. Accompanied by Philadelphia fry, and Spicy tuna fry. They also have Mochi ice-cream: Coconut, Honey Roasted Pistachio, Mango Passion fruit i Belgian Chocolate & Hazelnut. Especially for this Festival they made new Aloha roll – with tuna, pineapple , avocado and their special summer sauce.

Korean cuisine comes from K – dog that offer Korean Corn-Dog, while famous chef Mate Jankovic makes his version of Asian burgers including the Japan Umami burger, Spicy Korean burger, and Thai Surf ‘N’ Turf burger. We are sure that many of you will enjoy the selection of gyoza and karaage chicken from Purple Monkey and their chef Tomislav Bilic.

Another famous chef, Croatia’s Masterchef jury member Melkior Bašić presents his creations at Bite of Fun by Melkior. They serve 4 kinds of Onigiri : Onigiri Maguro (fried rice rolls with tuna tartar) Onigiri Ikura (with salmon tartar), Shiromi Onigiri (with white fish tartar), and Tofu Onigiri. They also make 4 kinds of Yakimeshi no Kyūbu, or sushi cubes. Alongside Melkior, a famous cocktail master Hrvoje Rihtarić will be mixing his Asian passion fruit cocktail named Mizu no Yūwaku”. To enhance the flavors of all dishes, Kikkoman provides top-quality soy sauces, which are naturally fermented and free from additives and dyes.

In addition to the culinary delights, the festival offers a vibrant music program. DJ performances create a global modern lounge chill atmosphere with Asian sound spices. Various DJs will take the stage, playing music from the best cocktail bars and Asian fusion restaurants around the world.

For those interested in culinary workshops, the festival provides opportunities to learn from expert chefs. Workshops on poke, sushi, and ramen by Kikkoman will be conducted by Chef Daniel Grlić from Soho Sushi & Poke. The Center for Food Culture & It Makes Sushi, powered by Metro, will also host workshops where participants can actively engage in food preparation under expert guidance. There’s no addmission fee for the workshops, but there are limits to the number of participants, so we encourage you to reserve your place at the Festival’s social media accounts.

Children can enjoy the Kids Zone by Zagi, offering creative workshops, colouring books, board games, and even Origami Workshops by Kikkoman.

Visitors can be a part of this Asian fairy tale by attending the Asian Street Food Festival until June 25th, from noon until midnight. The festival invites everyone to experience phenomenal food, unique cocktails, and a relaxed and cheerful atmosphere.

Admission is free, making it an accessible event for all. Come and savour the flavors of Asia right in the heart of Zagreb.

For daily updates and timetable for all the workshops, follow Asian Street Food Festival at



Photos: Sandro Sklepi


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