In the heart of Croatia’s most famous truffle country, Zenon Konoba & Enoteka’s range of flavoursome pastas, seafood, meat and cold mezze does well to fuse the Istrian, Italian and greater Mediterranean cooking traditions. The overarching style is an enticing mix of fine-dining and rustic taverna-type eating, with an interior that’s decorated with oodles of fine wines, bucolic Istrian paraphernalia, exposed brick walls and rough wooden tables to match. What’s more, the location is excellent—perched high on the Istrian coastal mountains in the sleepy farming village of Brtonigla, with its charming churches, old roman ruins and pretty red tiled roofs.
Zenon Konoba & Enoteka, Mlinska 2, Brtonigla 52474, Croatia, +38 595 897 9029
Nestled below the looming limestone peaks of the Učka Range, just a stone’s throw from the shimmering white beaches and crystalline Adriatic Sea around Medveja, Konoba Kali offers up earthy, traditional and rustic Liburnian cuisine. House specialties include hand folded ravioli prepared with a plethora of seafood and traditional Istrian beef steak grilled over a real flame. Inside, the exposed wood ceilings, rocky walls and various ornaments create an authentic ‘Old World’ feel, while the on-site terrace offers up sweeping views of the Adriatic and the verdant coastline of northern Istria.
Konoba Kali, Kali 39a, Medveja, Lovran, Croatia, +38 598 563 872
Staying firmly true to the culinary philosophy of fresh fish direct from ‘sea to table’, it’s hardly a surprise that the folk at Damir & Ornella are often hailed as the best fish chefs in all of Istria. The range of dishes on offer are designed to encompass the natural and organic flavors of the catches above everything else, combining a series of curious raw appetizers with truffle infused mains, seafood pastas and simply cooked fish fillets. What’s more, Damir & Ornella boasts a truly intimate service from the get go, with just six tables and a charming location between the tight-knit back alleys of seaside Novigrad.
Damir & Ornella, Zidine 5, Novigrad, Croatia,+38 552 758 134