At the culinary crossroads of Italy and Central Europe, Split displays an understandable weakness for gooey cakes and quality ice-cream. Here coffeehouse culture has long been established and people like to take their time over a fine dessert made with fresh ingredients. Here are the best places to tuck into dessert in Split while you’re visiting.
Based on a major city square beside Split’s historic centre, the Bajamonti is known for the quality of its cakes and desserts. In fact, its core clientele outside of mealtimes are Spličani ladies of a certain age who indulge in a bowl of vanilla ice-cream with a topping of berries and sour cherry while gossiping. Earlier in the day, the Bajamonti operates as a classic café, with the kind of cakes and pastries you won’t find at the venues lining the nearby Riva promenade.
A veritable Split institution, Bobis has been serving ice-creams, cakes and pastries to promenading locals since the 1940s. Many are happy to stroll down the seafront with their irresistible purchase but there are a few tables and chairs on the pavement should you wish to sit down and indulge.
Crème de la Crème is the nearest Split gets to a classic French pâtisserie, with Mitteleuropa touches more common to Budapest and Vienna. Cakes here are real works of art, and it almost seems a shame to have someone slice them. The selection changes on a regular basis but you’re bound to find something with cherries or chocolate on top, invariably embellished with a funny little figurine. It’s a sit-down place, too, with exquisite coffee.
It’s been here for decades, the revered Kavana Slastičarnica Cukarin, located by the Gripe sports arena. A temple to everything sweet and sticky, the Cukarin now provides Illy coffee to accompany its classic rožata, Dalmatia’s equivalent of the crème brûlée. You’ll also find baklava, krempita cream slices, lemon cakes, chocolate cakes, pancakes lathered in any number of alluring sauces and bowls of ice-cream in dazzling compositions of fruit, biscuit and gaudy squiggles.
Not only one of the finest restaurants in Split, Brasserie on 7 also provides some of the most imaginative desserts you’ll find in town. All the craft of an experienced pâtissier goes into the Swedish cake with butterscotch and toasted almond sponge, and the strawberry dacquoise of walnut sponge and mascarpone. Gluten-free diners can tuck into the gâteau fondant au chocolat while sour cherries flambées and crushed meringue embellish the amarena ice-cream dish.
Consistently praised as the best ice-cream parlour in Split since opening in 2014, Luka also has the most choice for gluten and dairy-free customers. It’s not cheap, but their lush creations with fig, blueberry or pear, are worth it. Cakes, cheesecakes and pastries are also available.