Local foods of the Dalmatian coastline in Croatia

Local foods of the Dalmatian coastline

Variety of seafood from the Split Market

 Local foods of the Dalmatian coastline

Ah yes, I’m so filled with anticipation trying my first dish here in Split, one of the major historic cities along the Adriatic coastline in Croatia. I ordered a local Dalmatian seafood specialty green pasta from an outdoor cafe far from the touristy old center of Split.  The dish I just ordered was taking some time to prepare due to the fact that we were the first lunch diners at the scene – no worries, I’m just enjoying my first glass of a local white wine from the area. My dish finally comes out in a huge platter enough to serve two people even though it’s a single serving of seafood pasta with clams, mussels and some other shell-fish I can’t seem to distinguish. Ah so yummy with the buttery and a pungent garlic flavored sauce that silky smooth in each bite. I am enjoying my first taste of Croatian food and it is delicious!


Dalmatian mixed seafood with fresh pasta

Local Dalmatian seafood and Pasta


The local wines in the area are delicious, I’m drinking a local house white wine called Malvasia – it is smooth and flavorful paired with the seafood pasta. While I’m busy devouring the pasta, a nice simple green salad is presented afterwards to clean my palate. Everything I’ve tasted so far is amazing, I’m also guessing when you just fly into Split before lunch with no snacks on the plane anything will taste good.  I was pleasantly surprised at the good quality of both the wine and the fresh seafood pasta – this was a nice first meal and I was excited to try other local specialties from the Dalmatian coastal areas of Croatia.



Dalmatian crackling pig head

Crackling pig


Local Dalmatian specialties

Starting a meal with appetizers is a great way to explore the variety of fresh ingredients grown or produced in the area. Very popular appetizer dishes from Dalmatia include: tuna and shrimp salads, carpaccio, grilled calamari with lemon garnish or grilled sardines. Presented to our table below is a dish of olives, anchovies and mixed greens in a simple vinaigrette – perfectly balanced and nice acid bite that make you really focus on the fresh ingredients.


Dalmatian appetizer plate

Local olives and fresh anchovies


Of course any type of local fish is preferred at a café or restaurant, most dishes are prepared simply by grilling and served with lemon slices for garnish. You can also try any type of fish prepared in a stew, soup or breaded and fried.


Dalmatian mixed grilled fish

grilled local fish



You will not be disappointed with ordering seafood from a menu at any local restaurants – but do be forewarned, that restaurants typically in the historic districts especially along the main bay front or  promenade areas tend to be tourist driven and are expensive – I had sticker shock just looking at all the menu prices for seafood dishes – and that was just for lunch time.


Here are a few more specialty local foods from the Dalmatian coastline:

Risotto is a very popular dish along the Adriatic coastline especially when you add fresh seafood caught that day, the Croatian version called  Crni rižot is simply outstanding. Juicy morsels of squid, clams and local shell-fish make this a must try dish in any café or restaurant that you may happen to see on the menu.


Local seafood risotto

Seafood risotto from Dalmatia


A very popular side dish presented with any type of stew of meat or seafood, the Croatian dumplings or gnocchi along with a very simple mixed salad made with local olive oils and vinegar.


Dalmation food

Simple salad with dumplings





Fried calamari, fries and local aioli

Fried calamari, fries and local aioli





Fresh seafood and chips at Primosten

Primosten lunch with fresh fish and chips


Some other Dalmatian specialties worth trying while you are visiting the coastal areas:

Brudet or local fish stew

Goulash variations are popular throughout Croatian with many regional specialties

Pasticada – a Dalmatian beef stew with prunes and dried figs

Croatian bakalar na bijelo – Salted cod with potatoes

Žganci – cornmeal dish in Slovenian and Northern Croatian cuisine, also known as polenta in Dalmatia

Stews are very popular in Dalmation including the following: Game Čobanac (Shepherd’s Stew), Grah (bean stew), Varivo od mahuna (green beans stew) and variations of chicken stew.



Local fried fish with lemon

Local fried fish with lemon


The foods of Dalmatia along the central coastal towns and cities of Croatia offer many of choices of delicious seafood, meat and fresh produce combined with Mediterranean flavors and culinary influences from surrounding countries bordering Croatia. Look for any of the specialties mentioned above and you will be in for a wonderful dining experience when you visit Dalmatia .


For more  posts on visiting the fascinating city of Split,  Croatia – check out my other stories below

Farmers market in Split’s old town

A free Split city tour of the Diocletian Palace

Enjoying a day in Trojir, Croatia

Early morning fish market in Split

Most photo worthy spots to photograph Split


If you enjoyed reading this post on local foods of the Dalmatian coastline, please do share it with any of the social media links below, thank you.

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22 Responses to Local foods of the Dalmatian coastline in Croatia

  1. cure for Diabetes May 30, 2015 at 2:22 am #

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  2. Marcia May 4, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    Lovely photos, Noel. I could almost taste the fish. Looks very delicious.
    Thanks for linking up!

  3. Chris Boothman May 1, 2014 at 6:47 am #

    I am certainly an advocate for sampling new seafood so this cuisine looks right up my alley. I have heard from many different sources that Croatian food is excellent so it’s only a matter of time before we head over to that part of Europe and sample for ourselves. Great collection of images as always Noel.

  4. FrandalF16 April 28, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    The fried calmari looks really interesting… it’s a really different cuisine… I’d love to try it someday

  5. Michael Orobona April 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    I had some sort of fig treat in Dubrovnik, and for the life of me I can’t remember the name. It was shaped (and served) like summer sausage. The rest of the foods here look good too!

  6. Paul (@luxury__travel) April 27, 2014 at 4:36 am #

    Looks so fresh and delicious! I love seafood and that second dish is my kind of meal… lovely! 🙂

  7. Michele {Malaysian Meanders} April 26, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

    I’m eating breakfast while reading this or else I’d be absolutely going mad looking at all these delicious food photos. Everything looks so yummy from the pasta and risotto to the simpler grilled fish. I seems that as long as you have enough money, there’s no chance of having a bad meal in Dalmatia.

  8. Jackie De Burca April 26, 2014 at 6:24 am #

    The food looks simply delicious but also seems very healthy! Ah another place to pop onto that ever extending bucket list Noel. 🙂 Fab photos as always.

  9. The Crowded Planet April 26, 2014 at 3:54 am #

    Looks absolutely delicious, very similar to Italian food! Especially that seafood risotto and the fried calamari, I’ll have two of those please!

  10. Jen Seligmann April 25, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

    Yum! Food is one of the big reasons why I love travelling. I’ve discovered some amazing dishes in my travels. Looking forward to discovering some of these when I eventually get to Croatia.

  11. Lori April 25, 2014 at 6:18 am #

    I would love to have these foods greet me after a long flight with no food 🙂 The olives and squid look mouthwatering and I would certainly be gulping the white wine, too! Sounds like an amazing trip. I don’t know much about Croatian food, but am ready to learn!

    • Noel April 25, 2014 at 8:23 am #

      Everything is delicious Lori – so many mixtures of mediterranean food cultures into one amazing country!

  12. Ben Leigh April 25, 2014 at 3:00 am #

    there is a sort of fish dishes, all such brands of fishes are looks so awesome and taking me to taste the delicious style fishes now and forever @ local foods of Dalmatian coastline..

  13. Charlie April 24, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

    Was a bit early in the morning for fish for me! haha!

  14. Escaping Abroad April 24, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    I’m not a fan of the slimy seafood but I’d eat the heck out of some well prepared fish! Yum! 🙂

  15. Paul Farrugia April 24, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    Wow, even though its breakfast time here I could eat that now!

  16. muzachan April 24, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    Delicious 🙂

  17. budget jan April 24, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    That first dish would seal the deal for me. When I have such a beautiful meal straight up I either find it hard to move on and also everything else finds it hard to compete in my heart. But I see you had many more memorable meals. 🙂

  18. Leigh April 24, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    I love fish, especially when its so fresh but I’m not a fan of calamari. Looks like good eating overall.

  19. Corinne April 24, 2014 at 7:20 am #

    Noel, The food in Croatia was absolutely delicious…love your photos!

    • Noel April 24, 2014 at 8:20 am #

      I know I could try someone wonderful every day that I’m visiting and never get tired of the food.


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