The Hottest New Eats in Zagreb
Early summer in Zagreb smells of linden and chesnut trees in bloom. It's intoxicating, and will probably remind you of Zagreb for life. In May and June, all of Zagreb moves outdoors. Street fairs, concerts, performances, bars, terraces, everybody is outside because all that matters is out in the street. If you can start or end a good night out in Zagreb with a cool place serving nice food, it's a win-win. Zagreb dining scene is changing rapidly and we like that change.
Hip but unpretentious places (and Croats are masters of pretentious, believe us), bistros and fast goods are opening up, as if there has been a generation shift among restaurant owners. Foreigners, young etrepreneurs and hipsters are starting to open more and more of those cosy little places that really care about the atmosphere, food and drinks they'll offer you. Besides people being allowed to lie on grass in the parks, it tells us Zagreb is becoming a real metropolis. In the first of many articles in our EatList column, here comes a short selection of places in the very narrow centre of Zagreb that are newly opened, fresh, cool and have a great vibe. Although the name of our web is Taste of Croatia it's quite obvious that our team isn't consisted of food talibans, afraid of foreign influences. It makes us happy that new flavors are coming out of Zagreb food joints and young owners are showing us it's possible to eat and drink great food without going bancrupt. Let us know if we miss something important!
BURGERAJ is yet another among burger joints that have flooded Croatia's capital in the last year. But it is way cooler than most. Is it because of the hipster interior design with Space Invaders gaming machine or their big selection of craft beer, you tell us. Sierra Nevada, Founders and Brooklyn Lager by the tap are revolutionary in terms of beer selection in our neighbourhood. Five types of burger are just enough to satisfy your curiosity even though they could be just a bit bigger. Very cool place!
Preradovićeva 13, +385 1 4876 791, closed on Sundays
Even though vegetarians and vegans are still being mocked by the vast majority of Croatians (yes, we're a nation with issues), their options have been rapidly increasing in the last few years. Still, NISHTA is only the second open-type veg restaurant in Zagreb, and an extremely cheerful one it is. The menu is quite extensive, explosion of colours and tastes, and you can see the chef isn't improvising. Their salad bar must satisfy your hot-weather-cooling-down needs even if you're a sworn carnivore. Recommended for prejudice breaking, many gluten-free meals!
Masarykova 11/1, +385 1 8897 444, closed on Sundays
Right next to Nishta, CALIFORNIA BURRITO brings us a flair of spicy south (If you live in the USA, though. Our south is not as spicy). Not completely new, but has expanded recently with some extra room and the cutest little terrace. Old Zagreb backyard meets Californian surf bar. One of the rare places with burritos and tacos in Zagreb that are omnipresent in California. Surf music, little backets with food, hot sauces, and your summer dreamin' mode is ON. We're hoping for more Mexican beers on the list!
Masarykova 11, +385 95 169 6473, closed on Sundays
Back to oldfashioned Croatian food, štrukli are as traditional as it gets. Unless you come to LA ŠTRUK. In that case, you can try the basic ones in a dosen variations, both savory and sweet. The basic version is a light and puffy strudel prepared in a specific way and filled with cottage cheese and cream. It can be boiled, baked in the oven topped with extra cream, or served in soup. In La Štruk they fill them with nettles, blueberries, bacon&onion, strawberries, depending on the season, you name it! The price is extra friendly, but you'll have to wait around 15 min for them to be baked fresh. It's the only proper way.
Skalinska 5, +385 91 792 4496, Sunday 12-17h
When you have one of the most renowned Croatian chefs, Tvrtko Šakota, and a bunch of energetic Masterchef "best of" kids, the success is guaranteed. Even though Šakota is known for his macrobiotic/vegetarian meals, MUNDOAKA is nothing of the kind. The only link is absolute respect for fresh and local ingredients. Mundoaka is a melting pot, fusion if you wish, of global influences combined with local ingredients in a mix between street and bistro food. It even smells differently upon entering. Opened just a few weeks ago, the smiling and happy Mundoaka team already makes Zagreb gourmet scene a better place.
Petrinjska 2, +385 7888 777, closed on Sundays
And that's not all, folks. Stay tuned, because next week we'll show you more places worth your visit while staying in Zagreb...