The 10 Best Restaurants In Rijeka, Croatia

Rijeka - Croatia © Jason Rogers
Rijeka - Croatia © Jason Rogers
Photo of Helen Armitage
9 February 2017

Rijeka, Croatia’s third largest city, is a mix of modern seaport and rich history. Though all too often a mere stop-off on the way to the Dalmatian Islands, those who linger a while will find a dining scene just as diverse as the city. Check out our guide to Rijeka’s best local eats, and discover Croatia’s typically eclectic cuisine.

Konoba Tarsa

This is a beautiful tavern serving delicious Mediterranean cuisine in Rijeka’s historic Trsat neighborhood. Konoba Tarsa is a popular destination for authentic local cuisine. Seafood dishes like grilled monkfish and scallops au gratin pay homage to Rijeka’s coastal location, while dishes like veal wiener schnitzel are ideal for meat lovers. However, for a true taste of Croatian cuisine, order a fritaja – a local omelette-like dish available with various fillings including prosciutto, mushrooms or cheese and ham. A long list of Croatian wines and live music from talented local tambura bands complete Konoba Tarsa’s authentic atmosphere.

Konoba Tarsa, Josipa Kulfaneka 10, Rijeka, Croatia +385 51 452 089

Bistro Mornar

Bistro, Restaurant, Seafood, Mediterranean, European, Soup, Croatian, $$$
Mussels | © Jana Reifegerste/Flickr
Befittingly nestled between Rijeka’s marina and fish market, popular local restaurant Bistro Mornar has been serving its seafood focused fare since 1945 and boasts a recently renovated space brimming with rustic charm. Traditional, local recipes make up much of Bistro Mornar’s menu, such as wholesome, homemade soups to start, and dishes showcasing the catch of the day, like oven-baked octopus, mussels or squid risotto. Guests who like their meals a little more meaty can opt for dishes like gnocchi with goulash or pašticada – a classic Dalmatian beef stew served with potato croquettes.

Konoba Nebuloza

Perched on the banks of the Riječina, Konoba Nebuloza serves a mix of modern and traditional seasonal cuisine cooked up in a modernly rustic space with lovely riverside views. Kick off your culinary experience with appetizers like venison, white wine and wild forest flower pate with caramelized onions followed by main courses like homemade fuži pasta with Istrian sausages and bacon and a red wine sauce, or house specialties including confit of duck served with orange-cinnamon sauce and a side of mashed celery, fried polenta, roasted beetroot and leeks. To finish, try deserts such as chocolate soufflé or strudel with fresh forest fruits and vanilla ice cream.

Konoba Nebuloza, Titov trg 2B, Rijeka, Croatia +385 51 374 501

Ristorante Spagho

Restaurant, Italian, Mediterranean, European, Vegetarian, $$$
Authentic Italian eats – think homemade pasta, carpaccio and Adriatic seafood – are the order of the day to Ristorante Spagho. Chef Edvin Žigante brings his Italian roots to the restaurant’s delicious menu with standout dishes that include risotto with Adriatic shrimp, zucchini, white wine, garlic, sour cream, olive oil and parmesan. There’s also a range of Croatian and international wines to complete your meal. Ristorante Spagho’s space is just as authentic as its cuisine – a stone-clad dining room offers a cozy setting while its street-side terrace is perfect for al fresco dining on warmer evenings.

La Rose

A charming little bistro, La Rose boasts a central location just a few steps from the beautiful St. Vitus Cathedral and a cozy, homey interior perfect for sampling its French and Mediterranean fare. Start with a wholesome bowl of French onion soup followed by duck breast and orange salad, or a heartier plate like chicken with a honey and mustard sauce and mashed potatoes. Alternatively, try the delicious rump steak with wild mushroom sauce and Roman gnocchi. Desserts at La Rose are an indulgent affair with dishes such as classic cheesecake or waffles with vanilla buttercream, ice cream and forest fruits.

La Rose, Ulica Andrije Medulića 8, Rijeka, Croatia +385 51 315 504

Konoba Borik

Nestled on a clifftop in Rijeka’s quiet, leafy outskirts, Konoba Borik brags beautiful sea views and a menu brimming with coastal cuisine that perfectly matches its waterside location. Fans of seafood will love dishes like Adriatic shrimp stuffed with Swiss chard and pljukanci pasta with cuttlefish, squid, shrimp and mussels. Alternatively, dishes like steak with gorgonzola and green pepper sauce, roasted potatoes and vegetables are bound to satisfy meat lovers. Diners with a sweet tooth are advised to save room for dessert though with tempting, homemade sweet courses like orange tiramisu and cheesecake with wild berry sauce available.

Konoba Borik, Šetalište XIII Divizije 88, Rijeka, Croatia +385 51 458 526

Grill Lovorka

Restaurant, European, Croatian, $$$
Mućkalica | © Darko Mareš/Flickr
A carnivore’s paradise, Grill Lovorka cooks up traditional Balkan and Croatian cuisine with a special focus on barbecued meats. Start with a selection of meze to share : venison prosciutto, cheese from Pag Island and spicy Slavonian salami are just a few tempting small plates. Then move on to a meaty main such as ćevapčići (grilled Balkan sausages served with flatbread) and mućkalica (a spicy Serbian stew of barbecued meat and vegetables). Poultry and seafood dishes like turkey in gorgonzola sauce and grilled squid are also served, while sides include the likes of boiled potatoes, grilled zucchini and Macedonian-style baked beans.

Priroda i Društvo

Restaurant, Dessert, Vegetarian, Vegan, Croatian, $$$
For nutritious, wholesome eats, head on down to Priroda i Društvo – a health-conscious cafe and juice bar. Choices of soups, salads and sandwiches are served alongside over fifty different juices and smoothies like the Iron Man (with apple, kiwi, grapes and cucumber) and La Vita e Bella (pear, pineapple and strawberry). Expect hearty broths like tomato and roasted red pepper, or kohlrabi and Jerusalem artichoke salads. There are also sandwiches with fillings like tuna, garlic, arugula, corn and tomato or cottage cheese, chives, tofu rocket and alfalfa sprouts.

Konoba Feral

Restaurant, Seafood, Mediterranean, European, Croatian, $$$
Konoba Feral is located in a gorgeous, cozy building dating back to 1789. The restaurant has become a popular haunt for local cuisine and live folk music. Mediterranean and Croatian fare crafted from local, organic produce makes up the menu, with a particular focus on fresh seafood dishes like tuna and swordfish skewers, cod goulash and grilled squid – perfect washed down with a glass or two of Konoba Feral’s Croatian wines.

Gvardijan Pizza

For the most raved about pizza in Rijeka, look no further than Gvardijan Pizza. Over ninety different types of pizza are served ranging from meaty varieties like the Kula (topped with ham, sausage, kielbasa, bacon, pepperoni, onions, peppers and oregano) to pescatarian-friendly pies like the Bakarac (with octopus, anchovies, capers, oregano and olives) alongside other classic Italian dishes like pasta and risotto. For diners looking for something slightly out of the ordinary, Gvardijan Pizza also cooks up a number of Mexican dishes: choose from a range of tortilla wraps teamed with sides like chili beans, nachos and rice.

Gvardijan Pizza, Frankopanski trg 9, Rijeka, Croatia +385 51 403 642

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