Pula sits on the Adriatic coast of Croatia looking out towards the Veneto in Italy. For centuries, the city has had close connections with its neighbor. The Romans built the huge Pula Arena here, one of the best-preserved amphitheaters in the world, along with temples and triumphal arches that still stand in the city. With visitors drawn to the historic sites, we’ve pulled together a list of the 10 best restaurants to visit while exploring Pula.
Konoba Istriana is a family-run tavern where the menu aims to showcase the diverse influences that have contributed to Istrian cuisine over the centuries. The tavern boasts some rave reviews from diners, but to get there, you’ll need to head out of Pula to the south, about a 15-minute car journey to reach the southern part of the Istrian Peninsula. When you get there, you can see the Italian, Austrian and Balkan influences on local cooking. There’s lots of local fish, olive oil and herbs on the menu, with Istrian sausage, BBQ beef, smoked hams, and goulash, along with traditional Austrian pancakes.
Konoba Istriana, 52100, Pula, Croatia, +385 95 904 4004
For something a little different from the typical Istrian cuisine that you’ll find in Pula, head to Siam Thai. At Siam Thai, they merge the flavors of the Orient with those of the Mediterranean. There’s a dinner service, or you can grab a takeaway to take to the beach. On the menu are starters like chicken in coconut milk and curry sauce and shrimp in sweet chili sauce. Then there is a full array of Thai curries for mains including red, panang, and massaman varieties.
This small, unpretentious trattoria serves up traditional Istrian cuisine. It’s a favorite of the locals too and is a short walk away from the center of Pula. Family owned and run like a good Italian trattoria should be, the food includes dishes made with plenty of love and care that have been passed down through generations of the Civitico family. Some of the best dishes that you can opt for include tripe cooked in tomatoes, Istrian game stew, gnocchi, sardines, octopus salad and grilled calamari.
Trattoria Vodnjanka, Vitezica 4, 5211 Pula, Croatia, +385 981 757 343
Located in the village of Banjole, just to the south of Pula, this Konoba is run by the Skoka family and has a big reputation amongst foodies as the place to head to for the best fish in the region. Konoba Batelina has even been featured on TV on Chef Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. It’s so popular these days that you won’t be able to just walk in and grab a table, and it doesn’t open up for lunch service. So to avoid disappointment, plan in advance and get your table booked. The Skoka family are also fishermen, they fish in the morning, and the day’s catch is served up on the evening menu.
Konoba Batelina, Cimulie 25, Banjole, 52100 Pula, Croatia, +385 052 573 767