Culinary Secrets of A1 Zagreb to Split Motorway: Restaurant Krka Belvedere

Total Croatia News


November 9, 2017 – Just when you thought all motorway service stations are all the same, a gourmet jewel with a view to match on the motorway between Sibenik and Skradin.

Just when I thought Croatia could no longer surprise. 

Day 3 and the final stop of the latest Gastronaut culinary tour of the regions of Croatia (full report to follow) brought a group of Croatian journalists, foodies and restaurateurs to the final stop after a tour of the island of Murter and national parks of Krka and Kornati. When I heard the location, I must admit to being a little surprised. Having eaten in some very fine restaurants in Tisno, Murter and the island of Zut, the final meal was to be at a motorway service station. A strange finale to an excellent three days. 

Or so I thought. 


I must admit that this particular service station on the motorway from Zagreb to Split has fascinated me over the years. It appears on the stretch between Sibenik and Skradin on the right-hand side as you drive from Split. As it is so close to Split and I am usually heading much further north,  I have never stopped,but I have always admired the view as we go over the bridge – idyllic Skradin and its deep bay lie in the distance. The view from the service station must be stunning. But a foodie experience at a motorway service station?


I have learned in the four years I have been part of the Gastronaut team that these are the very best organised gourmet tours for journalists. From the precise organisation of the programme to the outstanding quality of food and wine, the programmes Gastronaut supremo Karin Mimica puts together are true treasures, and many in Croatian tourism could learn a thing or two from them in terms of content and organisation. And so after all these years, I discovered that what I thought was just a service station on the way to Zagreb was actually that and a LOT more. For behind the service station area, with its regular offer was a restaurant of extreme quality, which was focused on THAT view. A little Damatian peka in preparation… After two days of fish, a peka would be the perfect end to the trip.  


As the peka was slow-cooked to perfection, there was time to the view with a glass of Opolo rose from PZ Svirce, one of the Gastronaut wine sponsors.  


And the view of the motorway was pretty impressive as well.  


A little aperitif before lunch with an astonishing array of spirits – this Hvar boy opted for lavender rakija, evoking memories of the fields of Velo Grablje, which hosts the annual Hvar Lavender Festival.  


One of three starters which found its way onto our table.  


The best of which was the beef carpaccio. 


And as the starters were consumed, time to visit the main attraction – the peka was ready. 


Cooked to perfection, there was ample meat and potatoes for all.  


It was too much for this correspondent, and there was no space for dessert, which looked equally appealing. 

A very fine meal, and a very fine experience with that sensational view of Skradin. Motorway service stations can be very soulless places, with visitors using them as a practical stop to fulfil their functional needs for food, cigarettes, fuel and toilets, but Krka Belvedere is different – a wonderful restaurant experience with very pleasant outside space and those sensational views. The restaurant is well set back from the motorway, so even the traffic does not impinge on the atmosphere too much. 


Because the restaurant is located on one side of the motorway, I had always assumed it was accessible from the Split to Zagreb side only, but as we discovered come the opposite way, there is a small tunnel under the motorway which allows pedestrian access. Simply park your car in the adequate parking on the other side and walk 100 metres to the restaurant.  


A fitting end to a magnificent three days with the Gastronaut team, and now a new challenge – where to find the best culinary experiences on the motorways of Croatia. Krka Belvedere has aroused my curiosity. 



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