When Dubrovnik’s locals open their eyes in the morning, all they want is good, strong Turkish coffee. As a result, the first meal of the day is often not breakfast but rather a slightly later marenda, typically between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Above 5 offers a perfect Mediterranean version of that meal (go for the cheese with olives and whole-wheat bread) in a stunning setting: the only rooftop terrace in the heart of the Old City.
BTW: The building is a 500-year-old UNESCO-protected site, so there’s no elevator to the rooftop.
Od Sigurate 4, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Situated along the scenic marina in Lapad, this seafood restaurant serves up homemade food, including its own extra virgin olive oil, and organic products from its own agricultural production. Although Restaurant Orsan specializes in fish, its honey, bitter orange marmalade, sausage and prosciutto are must-tries. It’s also great for lunch and dinner.
BTW: You’ll definitely want to make a reservation.
Ul. Ivana pl. Zajca 4, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
This legendary, simply decorated buffet is a perfect place to try the best of the Dalmatian region’s cuisine: black risotto, small fried fish, octopus salad and, of course, kamenice (oysters). The portions are plentiful, and prices are very affordable, at least by Dubrovnik’s expensive standards. Be sure to end your meal with the classic Dubrovnik rozata, a custard-pudding dessert that has been prepared here since the Middle Ages.
BTW: If you don’t like pigeons, avoid this place at midday, when the locals feed them in the square. It’s a spectacular scene, but only for those who are fond of the birds.
Gundulićeva poljana 8, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Pantarul’s motto is “Feels like home,” and the restaurant truly does, with a cozy vibe, fresh fish delivered daily and ingredients sourced from area farmers. Situated outside the Old City, close to the Lapad area, this hidden gem stands out for its elegance — and serves as evidence that location is not necessarily crucial for success. Each recipe here, from the octopus tempura to the ox cheeks, is innovative.
BTW: Owner Ana-Marija Bujić wrote a special Pantarul cookbook, in Croatian and English, that can be purchased online. Her previous cookbook, “What’s Cooking in Dubrovnik,” featured 120 traditional recipes and has achieved great success.
Ul. kralja Tomislava 1, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dalmatian peka — a meal prepared over a fire or ashes, in a pot with a bell-shaped top — is a Croatian culinary tradition, and Dubrava’s expertise in the art has made it one of locals’ favorite restaurants. Under the high bell temperature, meats release and mix juices and aromas, which gives the meal a distinctive flavor. The lamb on the spit is also delicious here, although it likewise takes a lot of time to prepare. Be sure to make a reservation.
BTW: Konoba Dubrava is located on the top of the hill Srđ, above the Old City, so it requires transportation arrangements. But it’s totally worth it.
Bosanka, 20207, Bosanka, Croatia
Croatia is a nation of carnivores, but this little place is our attempt at vegan redemption. Nishta offers a creative fusion menu with a touch of the East and has a great selection of fresh juices and drinks. This funky and happy oasis serves up noodles, nachos, falafel, rice crepes, Bombay salad, tofu sticks and various tasty raw options, all of it healthy and delicious. One heads-up: It’s tiny, so reserve a table for evening meals.
BTW: To find Nishta, enter the Old City through the main Pile gate, take the third street on the left and go up the steps. It will be there on your right.
Prijeko bb, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
D’vino Wine Bar
Dubrovnik has produced wine for millennia, and some of Croatia’s best bottles still come from this region today. You can taste many in this little bar, which offers an impressive selection of more than 60 Croatian wines by the glass. In addition to serving you, the friendly staff will gladly help you choose, as well as explain their selections and how the distinctive flavors come about. Pair your glass with one of the bar’s tasty quick bites, such as dried fruits, marinated olives or a cheese platter.
BTW: Check out the lists of wine tours and tastings, too. Something may catch your eye.
Palmotićeva ul. 4a, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Tucked away along one of the side streets of the Old City, this charming seafood spot should be on the Dubrovnik bucket list of all visiting street-food lovers. The octopus, shrimp burgers, fried calamari and small fried fish are all fresh and quickly prepared, and they will all make you want to come back for more. While eating your tasty meal, amuse yourself by decorating your used forks and adding them to the wall.
BTW: For “Game of Thrones” fans, a nearby shop contains the city’s first and most famous reproduction of the Iron Throne.
Boškovićeva ul. 5, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia