Mediterranean and Istrian cuisine gets the gastronomic treatment at Barba Danilo, a popular, family-run Rovinj restaurant. Chef de cuisine Goran Glavan’s menu mixes respect for local culinary traditions with a contemporary twist, offering diners delicious fare like Istrian sausage with Adriatic calamari and sea bass fillet with apple and vanilla; alongside plenty of pasta dishes including homemade fuzi with mushrooms and speck. The location is just as good as the menu, with a smart, chic and inviting dining room and a beautiful garden open during summer months.
Barba Danilo, Polari 5, Rovinj, Croatia, +385 52 830 002
Located on the outskirts of the city, Tugurio is a friendly tavern boasting a typically Istrian interior with a welcoming ambience and a gorgeous open terrace where guests can dine on the restaurant’s locally inspired cuisine under the sun. Expect fare like Istrian ham, pasta with truffles, Pag Island cheese, local seafood specialties and pizzas cooked to perfection in Tugurio’s wood-fired oven. However, if you try just one thing, make sure it’s the suckling pig, fired on a spit on an outdoor grill, diners routinely hail the dish as the restaurant’s best dish.
Tugurio, Aleja Ruđera Boškovića bb, Rovinj, Croatia, +385 98 724 901
Undoubtedly one of the most raved about restaurants in all of Rovinj, popular La Perla is a must-do for any foodie visiting the city. Elegant and inviting, the restaurant’s stylish, modern interior sets the scene to enjoy La Perla’s signature mouthwatering Mediterranean cuisine, with standout dishes that include the likes of tuna tagliata with cherry tomatoes and anchovies and pljukanci pasta with prosciutto, asparagus and truffles. Semifreddo with forest fruits is just one example of the kind of tempting desserts La Perla serves, while its extensive wine list features plenty of locally produced offerings.
La Perla, Ulica Egidia Bullessicha, Rovinj, Croatia, +385 98 933 3511
The brainchild of chef-owner Danijel Dado Đekić, Monte focuses on modern European cuisine crafted from locally sourced ingredients. Combining the very best produce from Rovinj’s lively marketplace with Chef Đekić’s personal flair and creativity, the restaurant offers guests three ways to dine; a five-course degustation menu brimming with local flavor, a seven-course degustation menu focusing on contemporary small plates or an à la carte menu. The last offers dishes like beef cheeks in Teran sauce with strozzapreti, rocket, almonds and cheese or potato dumplings with beetroot, briefly baked tuna fish, root vegetables and horseradish foam. Local wines and fine French champagne are also served.
Monte, Montalbano 75, Rovinj, Croatia, +385 52 830 203
First opened way back in 1968, Rio Bar has been one of Rovinj’s favorite spots for almost half a century, and with its marina locale, it boasts some of the best views in town. Plenty of Croatian and Mediterranean fare abounds on Rio Bar’s menu, from dishes like ravioli with Istrian truffles and sea bass served with garlic and potatoes to indulgent desserts like semifreddo and chocolate mousse. If they’re lucky, guests can grab a seat on the restaurant’s marina-side terrace and take in a gorgeous sunset while sampling a glass or two of local wine.
Rio Bar, Aldo Rismondo 13, Rovinj, Croatia, +385 52 813 564
Nestled in the heart of Rovinj’s Old Town, award-winning local haunt Restaurant Dream resides in a beautifully renovated 19th-century building full of local Istrian character and offers diners a tempting mix of both traditional fare and creative fusion cuisine. Start with a bowl of traditional soup, choose from maneštra, an Istrian vegetable stew, or cuttlefish stew with polenta, before heartier plates like lamb chops with gnocchi and truffle sauce or homemade ravioli stuffed with oxtail.
Dream Restaurant, Joakima Rakovca 18, Rovinj, Croatia, +385 52 830 613
Tipico Old Town
Traditional Istrian cuisine with a contemporary twist crafted from fresh, local produce is the order of the day at Tipico Old Town; a popular local dining spot opened in 2011. Chef Goran Hlišć cooks up a menu brimming with tempting appetizers like black ink risotto with squid and parmesan cheese or beef carpaccio with sweet red cabbage, balsamic vinegar and Istrian sardines; followed by mouthwatering mains including pork medallions stuffed with sausage and smoked cheese or sea bass with Swiss chard, sesame seeds, boiled potatoes and rocket salad. Leave room for dessert though,Tipico Old Town’s honey and lemon cheesecake is a must-try.
Tipico Old Town, Grisia 32, Rovinj, Croatia, +385 91 349 4006
For a first-rate fine-dining experience, foodies in the know look no further than Wine Vault, an upscale restaurant located within the Monte Mulini Hotel serving a mix of modern French and Mediterranean fare alongside one of the most extensive wine lists. There are over 500 bottles, half of which are homegrown in Croatia. Styled like a traditional wine cellar, Wine Vault’s stylish, warm dining room is an inviting space, but for an extra indulgent evening, the chef’s table, where Executive Chef Teo Ivanišević crafts bespoke gastronomic experience for guests is ideal.
Wine Vault, Antonia Smareglia bb, Rovinj, Croatia, +385 52 636 017
Taverna De Amicis
Taverna De Amicis is a comfortable, welcoming spot hailed as the city’s best-hidden gem since opening its doors last year. Mediterranean cuisine is the focus, and homemade pasta and seafood are Taverna De Amicis’ specialty; think dishes like oven-cooked Adriatic octopus with potatoes and vegetables, local pasta with shrimp or dondole and mussels in white wine. A range of delicious homemade desserts is also served: choose from irresistible sweet treats like panna cotta or apple and cherry cake.
Taverna De Amicis, De Amicis 1, Rovinj, Croatia, +385 98 482 166
Brasserie Adriatic’s chic, modern interior and mix of contemporary, French Riviera-inspired cuisine with local, seasonal flavors have seen the restaurant hailed as one of the best in the city. Foodies are in for a treat with exquisitely plated dishes like seafood and scallop salad with truffled croutons and roast rack of lamb with broad bean remoulade to start, and desserts like almond crème brûlée with fresh lavender to finish. Fans of whiskey won’t be disappointed either, Brasserie Adriatic’s bar boasts the biggest whiskey list in the country, with over 100 choices available.