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 .


Pin and save this for later




Featured reading on Split and Damatia

Tour of the Diocletian Palace in Split

Things to do in Zadar, Croatia

Enjoying a day in Trojir, Croatia

Split’s most photo worthy places to photograph


Local foods of the Dalmatian coastline in Croatia

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.

Sharing is caring!