Meet Gault & Millau Top 12 Zagreb Restaurants, 3 Best Newcomers

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Photo credits - individual restaurant social media pages
Photo credits - individual restaurant social media pages

“Oh, and the FOOD.”

It is a sentence I have heard a lot in the last 12 months talking to tourists and digital nomads about what they like about Zagreb. There is a definite buzz about the city, with more and more foreign accents heard on an increasing number of street corners. The city is fast becoming a very international capital. And vibrant international capital cities always have a great gourmet scene. 

Zagreb these days is no exception. The choice and quality of Zagreb restaurants has improved exponentially in the last 10 years, and more visitors raving about the safety, the nature, the parks, the culture, the walkability, the lifestyle, and the friendly locals, are now adding the quality and diverse dining scene to their expanding lists of why Zagreb is IN.  

And an excellent resource, which has recently been published is helping locals and visitors alike, find the very best gastro experiences in the top Zagreb restaurants – the Gault & Millau Croatia 2022 guide to the top 100 restaurants and POP (street food, canines, wine bars, and pastry shops) for Zagreb and its surroundings. Come and meet them. 


Here are the top 12 restaurants in Zagreb, as well as the top 3 new restaurants, according to what sounds like some fun and very comprehensive research by Gault & Millau Croatia – you can find out more about the guide and how to order it (price 99 kuna) on their official website.


1. NAV 17.5/20

Tvrtko Šakota, one of the best Croatian chefs, opened NAV so he could cook what he wants and how he wants it. With his personal approach and stepping ‘on stage’ with each ordered course, this restaurant in the courtyard in 11 Masarykova Street has become maybe the most interesting gourmet experience in Zagreb (and beyond). The sign at the entrance says “modern Croatian cuisine”, and the homely atmosphere is felt in the interior that looks like a large dining room in someone’s home. With that, as well as his individual approach to each guest, chef Šakota stands out from the fine dining sphere, but stays within it with his culinary creations. NAV does not offer several tasting menus any more, but only one, consisting of 16 courses. More info in the guidebook.

Lunch/Dinner Tasting menu 16 courses 890 kn

Chef Tvrtko Šakota


2. Zinfandel’s Hotel Esplanade 17/20

The impressive and classy restaurant in Zagreb’s Hotel Esplanade got its name after Zinfandel grape variety, which is its trademark. This is a place for special occasions and all seasons, where everything is top quality – from food, which combines flavours from all over the world, to professional staff and a pleasant setting. The menu changes seasonally, so amuse-bouche in the summer version featured crispy rosemary focaccia, delicious homemade bread with hand-whipped butter with herbs, and award-winning olive oil. While you are waiting for your order, a greeting from the kitchen arrives – shrimps marinated in honey and citrus, sprinkled with amaranth. More info in the guidebook.

Cca 500 kn 

Chef Ana Grgić Tomić Pastry Chef Mirjana Špoljar Sommelier Silvio Dedić


3. Mano 16.5/20

Creative urban cuisine is the most precise definition of ManO restaurant’s gastronomic style. The interior has an equally creative and urban design

370 square meters in the south wing of Gliptoteka gallery with brick walls and typical cast-iron columns – combining the old and the new in a smart and subtle way. The terrace, hidden from the street, gives it a special charm. High quality ingredients with superb presentation and flavours have been the guiding light from day one, but with the arrival of chef Matija Bogdan, his ideas and technical skills, the new direction is fine dining. More info in the guidebook.

Cca 400 kn. Tasting menu 6 courses 650 kn, 8 courses 850 kn Chef Matija Bogdan

Pastry chef Lucija Jergović Sommelier Domagoj Zorbas


4. ManO2 16.5/20

The gastronomic identity of ManO2 restaurant was shaped by chef Hrvoje Kroflin, with his modern approach to top-quality ingredients, sourced from small local producers. He finds the inspiration in traditional Croatian dishes, which he reforms and updates – in accordance with the modern interior design. Wood dominates the setting, giving warmth to the space, and the main attraction is the semi-open glass-walled kitchen, overlooking the magnificent wine rack. The restaurant is located in the centre of Zagreb’s business district, which makes it a popular place for formal lunch. More info in the guidebook.

Cca 400 kn

Tasting menu from 520 kn to 680 kn

Chef Hrvoje Kroflin Pastry chef Luka Sopta Sommelier Marko Rundek 


5. Noel 16.5/20

Noel restaurant is surely one of the gems of Zagreb’s “design district”, as well as the star of the local dining scene – largely thanks to chef Bruno Vokal and his re-interpretations of traditional Croatian dishes, like štrukli or međimurska gibanica. The introduction of a vegetarian tasting menu is a new moment – not replacing the meat menu, but presenting vegetables as a source of gastronomic splendour. Noel can take pride in one of the best teams in Zagreb, both in the kitchen and the service. More info in the guidebook.

Cca 585 kn. Tasting menu Chef’s experience 950 kn + Wine pairing 420 kn, Tasting Vegetarian menu 650 kn + Wine pairing 420 kn

Chef Bruno Vokal Sommelier Ivan Jug 


6. Bistro Apetit by Marin Rendić 16/20

Surrounded by the green Cmrok Park, in a residential area of Zagreb, Bistro Apetit has always been a synonym for an upscale dining place: inside the glass interior, guests have the impression of sitting in the middle of nature, while being served fine dining dishes. On top of that, on the lovely shaded terrace or in the interior room decorated in a minimalist and elegant style, they have their peace and privacy. The menu is divided into several “chapters”: first impression, the middle, something warm, unforgettable moment, Apetit classic and the tasting menu – which is the best way to present modern and bold cooking by chef Marin Rendić. More info in the guidebook.

Tasting menu 5 courses 590 kn, 7 courses 740 kn, couvert 42 kn

Chef Marin Rendić, Pastry chef Mark Coha, Sommeliers Matija Ivančić & Ivan Jurčević 


7. Dubravkin put 16/20

Once a typical Zagreb eatery, which served tasty grilled sausages, blood sausages and pork knuckle, later a respectable seafood restaurant, and since some fifteen years ago, a fine-dining oasis at the entrance to Tuškanac forest. Several excellent chefs took turn in its kitchen, but Dubravkin put is still a guarantee of special gourmet treats. In the impressive interior with a view of the tranquil park, as well as on the beautiful outdoor terrace, guests can enjoy a well-thought-through selection of dishes. More info in the guidebook.

Cca 380 kn

Chef Ivan Sučević Pastry chef Robert Bašić, Sommelier Tihomir Purišić


8. Tač

Close to the top of Vrhovec, a neighbourhood on one of Zagreb’s hills, you can find Tač, one of the best restaurants in the city. Tač has had its regular guests for years, but the new ones also quickly become addicted to their superb cooking. Put simply, everything is excellent here: from top-quality ingredients to fantastic preparation. Vesna and Tihomir Miletić run a well-tuned machine that will deliver gourmet satisfaction every time you visit. Tač always serves seasonal food. For instance, in spring you will be amazed by wild asparagus; in autumn by porcini mushrooms. They cook traditional dishes, but Vesna Miletić, the alpha and omega of Tač’s kitchen, wants to focus on the original flavour of each ingredient, and eliminates everything that’s not necessary. More info in the guidebook.

Cca 320 kn

Chef Vesna Miletić Sommelier Darko Lugarić


9. Balon 15/20

When looking for a place for business lunch, Balon has been one of the most popular choices for years. Mostly because of the location, next to Boćarski dom, and its large parking lot, but also thanks to the pleasant interior on colder days or the shaded terrace in summer. However, Balon’s main characteristic is the constantly high quality of food and service. The wine card is very rich, with around two hundred Croatian and foreign labels, plus fifty more wines served by the glass. After a glass of Plešivica sparkling wine, we started the meal with steak tartare and grated butter, which was good as usual, perfectly seasoned. Veal Wiener Schnitzel in purified butter with potato salad and cranberry jam is another classic in this establishment. More info in the guidebook.

Cca 300 kn. Tasting menu 4 courses 340 kn, 6 courses 440 kn

Chef Stipan Iličić


10. Baltazar 15/20

One of the most popular restaurants in Zagreb, it became famous in the late 80s because of its excellent barbecue. Meat, fish, asparagus, and artichokes in late spring, sauerkraut with blood sausage in winter – everything that constitutes traditional cuisine was Baltazar’s trademark for years, but with the arrival of a new chef, Matija Bregeš, an era of a more sophisticated and modern approach to cooking began. The interior has, however, remained the same: the space of a former Kaptol manor is decorated in a rustic style, embellished with antiques. In fine weather it is pleasant to sit on the terrace or in the garden. The new menu indicates that Baltazar keeps up with modern gastronomy, but doesn’t give up the national cuisine that made it famous. More info in the guidebook.

Tasting menu 3 courses 390 kn

Chef Matija Bregeš Sommelier Goran Petrić


11. Le Bistro Hotel Esplanade 15/20

The charm of a French bistro in the middle of Zagreb, with a view of Art Nouveau architecture of the neighbouring buildings and the pleasant ambience in the Art Deco style – this has been the trademark of Le Bistro in Hotel Esplanade for years. Apart from štrukli (sort of cooked or baked cannelloni filled with fresh cheese and sour cream), the reliable classic, every season the menu includes new dishes by chef Ana Grgić Tomić, who creates them based on traditional flavours of the local cuisine. More info in the guidebook.

Cca 350 kn

Chef Ana Grgić Tomić Pastry chef Mirjana Špoljar


12. TheAtrium by Filho 15/20

Even though it is located in the very centre of the city, the noise doesn’t reach TheAtrium restaurant: it is located in the atrium of the Zagreb Youth Theatre, so the space that separates it from Teslina and Gajeva Street serves as a sort of sound isolation. The name of the restaurant can be connected with “atrium”, where it stands, but also with the theatrically decorated interior – from intense wall colours to decorative elements and furniture, everything gives an impression of an offbeat, youthful and original aesthetics. What TheAtrium by Filho offers is a show for curious and demanding gourmets – a theatre of taste ruled by young chef Filip Horvat. More info in the guidebook.

Cca 260 kn

Tasting menu from 540 kn to 740 kn

Chef Filip Horvat 

Best newcomers


13. Matrix 12/20

Among the newly opened restaurants on the east side of the city, Matrix stands out, located on the ground floor of the namesake business complex. What makes it stand out? Its democratic policy to offer designer food at friendly prices, executed by young chef Marko Jantolek, and Matrix manager, sommelier Manuela Maras. A glass wall separates the kitchen from the dining room, so guests have a nice insight into the gastronomic concept. The chef and his team cook modern and varied dishes, using ingredients from reliable local farms. The chicken is free-range, the duck is from an organic farm in Podravina, the black pig pork is also locally sourced, the bluefin tuna comes from the Adriatic, and the fruits and vegetables from gardens around Zagreb… More info in the guidebook.

Cca 260 kn. Tasting menu 5 courses 350 kn

Chef Marko Jantolek Sommelier Manuela Maras


14. Gostionica Ficlek 11.5/20

A charming little bistro and café, Broom 44 is the latest place on Zagreb’s Dolac Market where you can have an excellent coffee, but also enjoy delicious vegetarian and vegan food. Located in an old house on the right side of the outdoor market’s plateau, it was named after 44 stairs you have to climb to get there, and the broom belonging to the Witch of Grič, a famous character created by novelist Marija Jurić Zagorka, who lived in the same house. In warm weather, from a table on the terrace you have the view of colourful market stalls, full of fruit and vegetables. More info in the guidebook.

Cca 95 kn

Chef Christian Misirača


15. Broom 44 POP

A charming little bistro and café, Broom44 is the latest place on Zagreb’s Dolac Market where you can have an excellent coffee, but also enjoy delicious vegetarian and vegan food. Located in an old house on the right side of the outdoor market’s plateau, it was named after 44 stairs you have to climb to get there, and the broom belonging to the Witch of Grič, a famous character created by novelist Marija Jurić Zagorka, who lived in the same house. More info in the guidebook.

Cca 95 kn 

Chef Igor Gudac

And having sampled the best Zagreb restaurants, how about spreading your wings and exploring the gourmet scene a little further afield using the same guidebook – meet the top 12 restaurants of Zagreb County.  

For more information about the Gault & Millau Zagreb guide and where to find it, check out the official website.

Learn more about the Croatian capital in the Total Croatia Zagreb in a Page guide.


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