The Best Seafood Restaurants in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik boasts a wide array of seafood that features prominently in the city's best restaurants
Dubrovnik boasts a wide array of seafood that features prominently in the city's best restaurants | © Lea Rae / Alamy
Photo of Justin McDonnell
20 March 2022

Dalmatian cuisine is characterised by a spectacular array of seafood. Oysters from nearby Mali Ston are particularly sought-after, with dedicated gourmands pilgrimaging to the Peljesac Peninsula to sample the saltwater treats. Foodies should note that the best time of year to order fish and seafood in Dubrovnik’s restaurants is during 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 Croatia seafood in Dubrovnik.

Proto Fish Restaurant, for a historic meal

Restaurant, Mediterranean, Seafood, $$$
Diners sitting at tablecloth-clad tables in front of restaurant Proto, on a stone-paved pedestrian street in the Old Town
© paul prescott / Alamy Stock Photo

One of the city’s longest-running restaurants, Proto is a local stalwart, consistently serving the finest Croatian seafood and fish in town. The history of the restaurant 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 creatively presented, astonishingly fresh dishes, it’s well worth the price tag.

Azur, for fusion cuisine

Restaurant, Asian, Fusion, $$$
An artfully presented prawn dish on a bed of rice with a glass of white wine in the background at Azur
Courtesy of Marko Farac / Azur

The first of its kind in Dubrovnik, Azur fuses fresh seawater ingredients with Asian flavours. It’s a welcome addition to straightforwardly seafood-dominated scene in Dubrovnik, where the de rigueur 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 Asian traditions.

Nautika, for locally sourced fine dining

Restaurant, Mediterranean, European, Seafood, $$$
Diners sitting at tables outdoors on Nautika's large stone terrace overlooking the medieval city walls

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 prides itself on the freshness of its 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.

Fish Bar El Pulpo, for an authentic feel

Restaurant, Seafood

It would be easy to just stroll past this unassuming Croatian seafood restaurant, tucked away in Lapad, 10 minutes by car from Dubrovnik town centre. Take a seat on the terrace underneath a tangerine tree and tuck into fresh-off-the-boat oysters, tuna tartare and seared octopus salad. It’s far removed from the overpriced tourist traps you might stumble into in the Old Town – expect reasonable prices, a warm welcome and top-quality food.

Kamenice, for wallet-friendly dishes

Restaurant, Croatian, $$$
Diners sitting on blue-and-white striped chairs at Kamenice's outdoor tables in a stone-paved square in the old town
© Peter Forsberg / Alamy

If you’re on a budget, head to locals’ favourite Kamenice, situated right in the heart of the Old Town. You can’t miss the blue and white striped chairs that make this casual restaurant stand out on Gundulić Square. Hearty portions are part of the appeal here – think olive oil-drenched seafood spaghetti, as well as generous plates piled high with mussels and calamari fritti. Arrive early to nab a table before the queues begin to form.

Forty-Four, for an amorous evening for two

Restaurant, European

Travelling with your other half? Book a table at Forty-Four, a romantic restaurant in the heart of the Old Town. Inside the traditional stone walls, you’ll find a surprisingly contemporary interior, complete with space-age lights and mid-century furniture. The dishes are equally enticing – tuck into truffle risotto, followed by pan-seared duck breast. Ask for a wine recommendation from the extensive list.

Barba, for juicy burgers

Restaurant, Seafood, Croatian

Burger fans, make sure you pop into Barba. It’s Croatian-style fast food at its best, but don’t expect angus beef here. Calamari and shrimp, as well as octopus patties, are the speciality, served in squid ink buns with a side of fries. It makes sense that this cafe-style joint is named after the Croatian term for a fisherman. Stand in line for a table or ask for your meal to go, so you can devour your meal with your legs dangling over the harbour walls at the nearby Old Town port.

Stara Loza, for rooftop views

Restaurant, Croatian, $$$

Crystal chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows hint at the elegant Croatian-Asian fusion food served inside this ornate Dubrovnik townhouse. Highlights include homemade gnocchi, topped with brown butter and toasted spicy almonds, alongside perfectly cooked sea bream, drizzled with a wine and caper sauce. Reserve a table on the rooftop terrace and watch the sky turn crimson red as the sun sets over the terracotta Old Town.

Bota Šare, for oyster fans

Bar, Restaurant, Sushi, European, Greek
There’s nowhere better to try oysters in the Old Town than at this specialist sushi restaurant, just one-minute walk from the Rector’s Palace. Expect super-fresh catch here – the coveted molluscs are grown at an oyster farm in nearby Mali Ston Bay (which you can visit on a tasting tour, organised by the restaurant), while the fish are caught just south of there. Dine on slabs of tuna sashimi and shrimp tempura rolls in the outdoor courtyard.
These recommendations were updated on March 20, 2022 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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