Montenegro's Top 10 Cultural Restaurants | Podgorica to Kotor

Montenegro coastline | © Rob/Flickr
Montenegro coastline | © Rob/Flickr

A geographically diverse country, encompassing beautiful seaside as well as breathtaking mountain views, Montenegro also boasts a diverse cuisine. Bearing the influences of other Mediterranean traditions, Italian and Turkish, Montenegrin cooking history is also deeply rooted in its Balkan origins. Spanning fish and meat dishes, locally produced cheese, ham, beer, and wine, this collection of restaurants, an update of our previous guide, lists the best places to experience Montenegrin cuisine.

Ćatovića Mlini

Restaurant, Montenegrin, $$$
Montenegro | © Raymond Zoller/Flickr
A traditional Montenegrin konoba (tavern, or restaurant), Ćatovića Mlni, meaning the Catovic’s Mills, lies washed by the waters of a stream in the small village of Morinj. Functioning for centuries as a watermill, the place now provides a relaxing and romantic setting for one of the better-regarded restaurants in Montenegro. Located in Boka Bay, the menu at Ćatovića Mlni revolves around freshly caught local fish. Fish dishes, fish-based salads, and other seafood are the highlights of the menu, which also features homemade cheese and prosciutto, as well as house-produced wines.
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Koliba at Kolibe Bogetići

Restaurant, European, $$$
Located in the midst of the Montenegrin mountainside, the tourist complex Kolibe Bogetići is five kilometres away from the orthodox monastery of Ostrog, embedded in the rock at Ostroška Greda. Comprising a number of bungalows and a restaurant, the complex, surrounded by mountainous vegetation, enjoys a particularly evocative atmosphere. Built in a classic Montenegrin style, Koliba proudly offers typical local dishes prepared according to the traditional recipes. Accompanied by a selection of house-crafted beers and wines, cicvara (a traditional gruel), dried sheep meat, polenta, and homemade cheese are among the local dishes guests can choose.
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Konoba Koliba

Restaurant, Mediterranean, $$$
Located in the Seljanovo area of the city of Tivat, Konoba Koliba proudly serves the typical food of ‘good old Montenegro’. Being centred on the traditional rustic cooking of the Balkan region, the restaurant’s strength lies in its meat dishes, which feature a rich range of wood-grilled cuts. Situated just five minutes away from the sea, Konoba Koliba satisfies fish lovers by serving the freshest catches of the day. It also serves vegetarian options, all prepared with seasonal ingredients, such as the summer 2014 specialty of stuffed bell peppers. Currently on offer on the constantly changing menu is the grilled turkey steak.
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Konoba Stari Grad

Restaurant, European
One of the oldest konoba in Budva, Konoba Stari Grad sits along the beach in the old town. Featuring an outside terrace covered in pebble stones, the restaurant is decorated in a refined yet unpretentious style. Its interior has a rustic tone given by the stonewalls and dark wooden ceiling. Due to its location, it is easy to imagine that Konoba Stari Grad’s focus might be on fish, and indeed it is. Inspired by Mediterranean recipes, the menu is based on fish dishes prepared with the fresh daily catch, among which the octopus ragout is a favourite. A variety of local cheese and smoked ham from the Njegushi region is also a highlight.
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Perla Pop Lounge & Restaurant

Restaurant, European
Situated in the popular destination of Budva, Perla Pop Lounge & Restaurant stands out for its unique architecture and distinctive décor. Boasting a luxurious design of indoor terraces, extravagant lighting, velvet and wide windows, Perla is bound to impress with its hip, vibrant feel. Recalling the shape of the building with its rounded design, the menu offers abundant alternatives for all taste buds. Featuring a wide range of appetizers, soups, pastas, and risottos, the choice extends to meat and fish mains that include the sea bass ‘oliva Montenegro’, with olive paté and spinach purée, and chicken breast in truffle cream served with gnocchi.
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Restaurant Galion

Restaurant, Seafood, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, $$$
Restaurant Galion, Kotor
Restaurant Galion, Kotor | © Restaurant Galion
Part of Hotel Vardar, Restaurant Galion is located just across a little bay from the main site of the hotel. Offering charming views, the site provides the perfect atmosphere for this elegant eatery. Sea waves reflect the light in myriad blue tones on one side, while on the other the ancient walls of the town of Kotor offer a picturesque backdrop to the dining experience. With a focus on fish dishes, the food at Restaurant Galion is inspired by the flavours of international cuisine, infused with a hint of the local culinary identity.
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Imanje Knjaz

Restaurant, European, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, $$$
Set in a luxurious ambience that blends elements of modern design with elegant and classic lines, ImanjeKnjaz welcomes its guests in a charming and refined atmosphere. The soft light from the elaborate chandeliers illuminates the wood of the flooring and furnishings. Many picture frames encase old shots of Montenegrin landscapes and people. With a menu that draws inspiration from the journey of Prince Nikola I of Montenegro, the restaurant marries traditional local dishes with different European cuisines, mixing serdar steak and popeci Podgorica-style with pastas, meats, and fish dishes.
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Skadar Lake
Skadar Lake | © Marcus Saul/Flickr
Located at the heart of Eco Resort Plavnica, Plavnica restaurant lies next to beautiful Skadar Lake. Not far from Podgorica, the resort complex is located on a branch of water that plunges into the lake, and is enclosed within the green landscapes of the nearby national park. Enjoying its charming location along the shore, the restaurant is an ample building decorated in a colonial style that recalls the atmosphere of elegant dining halls on old cruise ships. Be it in the wide indoor hall or outside on the fresh porches, guests will enjoy a mix of specialties from the local cooking tradition, as well as international and ethnic dishes.
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Restaurant at Hemera Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
Hotel Hemera
Hotel Hemera | @ Courtesy of hotel
Nestled in the elegant setting of the Boutique Hotel Hemera, this restaurant is infused with refined charm and style. Engraved stonewalls enclose the indoor dining hall, with embedded bookshelves and contemporary style lighting spreading diffused light on the eclectic furnishings and large carpets. A menu focused on Mediterranean dishes offers a choice of international flavours, with fish dishes and salads among the favourite mains. There is an ample selection of desserts and pastries. Also featuring a bar, guests are invited to lounge about while sipping on a glass of wine or a cocktail.
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Restaurants at Hotel Hippocampus

Settled in the cosy surroundings of the narrow alleys of Kotor old town, the medieval building housing Boutique Hotel Hippocampus maintains the fascinating atmosphere of the ancient burg. Elegantly furnished with unique pieces, and restored to maintain the original features of the building, both the hotel and its two restaurants are infused with charm. The restaurants enjoy particularly enchanting locations: on the main level the indoor hall is complemented by a courtyard, while on the top floor guests can delight in marvellous views over Kotor. The menu blends Mediterranean cuisine with international influences, and features black tagliatelle with shrimps as one of the highlights.

Hotel Hippocampus, Kotor Apss, Kotor, Montenegro, +382 78 106 160

By Enrichetta Frezzato