As part of the Adriatic culture, Zadar is no exception to the specific local lifestyle in which the love for good food plays an important role in everyday life. The local people are passionate about everything in their lives, but especially about gastronomy. They will gladly inform you their cuisine is among the best you will ever try. It is therefore inevitable to dive into the inviting mixture of enchanting aromas, waken your senses and enjoy some truly amazing dishes.
Zadar is proud of its Dalmatian heritage, visible in every aspect of their culture, including the local cuisine. Based on simple principles of food preparation, Dalmatian cuisine is considered to be among the healthiest in the world. The locals can thank than their vitality to light, predominantly cooked or grilled fish meals accompanied by the fresh seasonal vegetables with small amounts of spices and with a touch of inevitable olive oil. Every such meal is concluded by the glass of quality wine from the rich local vineyards.
As a modern tourist destination, Zadar has an immensely rich gastronomic offer, managing to satisfy even the most demanding of guests. From fast food objects, patisseries and trattorias over to praised local taverns and exclusive fine dining venues; you can find them all in Zadar. The majority of restaurants are conveniently incorporated into the romantic city architecture and situated in the immediate city center. If you prefer to try something different and exotic, there are two restaurants serving dishes of the Far East; Pearl of Siam is a Thai restaurant and in the newly opened Shanghai House you can try some of the most recognizable Chinese specialties. One of the best fish restaurants are Niko and Fosa; if you're into fine dining be sure not to miss Gourmet Kalelarga, Pet Bunara and Lungo Mare; and if you prefer to enjoy the true Dalmatian atmosphere while tasting the local specialties, visit one of the city taverns (e.g. Konoba Trata).
But, the majority of Zadar visitors are interested to try the local cuisine. We warmly recommend you explore the endless choices of fish specialties ranging from grilled fish, seafood risottos, fish stews, various delicious shrimps and clamshells. And if you are more of a “meat person”, don’t miss to taste pasticada, the traditional Dalmatian beef stew marinated in lemony vinaigrette, slowly cooked in wine and served with the homemade gnocchi.
There are several gastronomic delicacies typical for Zadar, designed through the centuries of foreign influences and local specificities of climate and available groceries. Be sure to try the cheese from the Island of Pag, one of the best cheeses in Croatia and winner of many international awards and acknowledgements. This cheese is best if accompanied by the aromatic prosciutto dried in the streams of bura, the strong local wind blowing from the mountain ridges. Encircle the exquisite tastes of the local delicacies with a glass of quality wine from the fertile vineyards of Zadar. And as a desert, try Maraschino, original sweet liqueur of Zadar made from the indigenous variety of cherry.