Dalmatian cuisine is defined by its sea-to-table fish and a spectacular array of seafood. In particular, oysters from nearby Mali Ston are world-renowned, with dedicated gourmands pilgrimaging to the Peljesac Peninsula to sample the salt-water treats. Foodies should note the best time of year to order fish and seafood in Dubrovnik’s restaurants is over spring, before much of the stock is frozen in preparation for the tourist season. Read our guide to find the best table in town for fresh seafood in Dubrovnik.
One of the city’s longest-running restaurants, Proto is a local stalwart, consistently serving the finest fish and seafood in town. The restaurant’s history stretches all the way back to 1886, and holds bragging rights to once hosting royalty: King Edward VIII and his wife dined here. Proto’s regal history is reflected in its costly mains but, with its creatively presented, astonishingly fresh dishes, it’s well-worth the price tag.
The first of its kind in Dubrovnik, Azur fuses fresh seawater ingredients with Asian flavors. It’s a welcome addition to Dubrovnik’s straightforwardly seafood-dominated scene, where the de rigeur is a piece of grilled fish accompanied by potatoes and chard. Azur provides excellent pan-Asian food packed with deliciously robust, fragrant ingredients, nicely melding Mediterranean and Eastern traditions.
A big fish in a small pond, the shining beacon of Dubrovnik’s dining scene is spearheaded by renowned Croatian chef Mario Bunda, and basks in a top-drawer setting, with sea-facing terraces overlooking the Lovrijenac Fortress and the City Walls. Nautika pride themselves on the freshness of their ingredients: lobster is sourced from Vis Island, shellfish from Elafiti and oysters from Ston. Expect culinary finesse, crisp white napery and militarily attentive service – with a frighteningly high bill to match.
The popular Lokanda Peskarija is hands-down the best restaurant for travelers on a budget. Situated on the harbor, it boasts fantastic sea-views and bracingly fresh fish at a bargain price, churning out dishes thick and fast to an appreciative crowd of locals and budgeting travelers. Try and nab a table on the outdoor terrace overlooking the bustling harbor.