One of the best things about traveling is getting to sample food from all over the world!
Every place we checked out in Split was incredibly fresh, flavorful, and trendy to boot. I suspect that more “hole in the wall” establishments are located further from the touristic Old Town Split, but there are still plenty of options within walking distance of Diocletian’s Palace.
My favorite meal in Split was at Artičok. Located just past Trg Republike, this trendy restaurant is decorated with murals and graffiti-inspired artwork and has a rooftop terrace to make the most of good weather.
I was happy to see that the menu had a selection of vegetarian and gluten-free options, though vegan options were not available- a common issue I’d been noticing throughout Croatia.
I highly recommend any of their home made pasta and risottos, but the lamb risotto was particularly delicious.
On the hunt for food on our first night in Split, Zinfandel Food and Wine Bar was a name that came up repeatedly so we were excited to check it out.
Although it was late, we were lucky enough to squeeze our orders in just before the kitchen closed for the night.
The chic establishment is located just a street away from the main square in Old Town Split and boasts over 100 different types of wine, both local and international. The meals are Mediterranean inspired tapas, which I can’t say was appreciated after a long day of traveling, but the dishes were tasty and creative. I ordered a beet and grapefruit dish, which I wasn’t sure about at the time, but really enjoyed it once it was set down in front of me.
I did find this restaurant to be more expensive than I feel was warranted. My dish (which didn’t even fill me!) cost the equivalent of 20USD and though my glass of wine was a respectable $7, I was later able to purchase a bottle of the same drink for just $10 at a nearby liquor store.
In my opinion, this would be a good spot to sample an exciting menu of rotating seasonal dishes, or to impress companions with a stylish night out. For hungry and budget conscious travelers like myself, however, I would skip this one.
Since we can’t go anywhere without getting a treat, we made sure to stop by O’s Kolač for pastries. Although the shop was small, there were a few seats to stop and enjoy a coffee and a pastry.
To my eye, the pastries looked more French inspired than Croatian, but they were still tasty, and it was a nice spot to relax with our treats.
Although Gelateria’s are abundant throughout Split, Emiliana’s repeatedly comes in as the number one spot for gelato due to its fresh and unique flavors.
The small gelato parlor is located just north of Narodni trg and has just enough room for about a dozen flavors and the staff. While visitors are able to watch the fresh gelato and cones being made through the shop windows, they can not go inside and there is no seating available.
At about $2 for a single scoop cone, the prices were extremely reasonable and while there’s usually a line, we were visiting so late in the tourist season that we were the only ones there. Our server recommended the peach and rose flavored option and it was incredible.
This cafe was a bit of a walk away from Old Town Split, but our taxi driver had highly recommended it when we asked for suggestions so we were keen to check it out.
The cafe is about a 20 minute walk from Diocletian’s Palace and was a little tricky to find- we had to walk though a park to find the entrance, but there was a sign with the name and a photo of the cafe so we at least knew that we were going the right direction.
The main draw for this cafe is its outdoor patio with a beautiful view of the sea, with mountains rising up in the background. We ordered coffee and a cake to split. The cake was wonderfully rich and the the cappuccino was the best I’ve had to date- even though it was made with soy milk, a milk that I don’t even like!
I think we may have been the only tourists at this cafe, so I hope I’m not giving away a local hideaway, but that coffee was too good not to share!
While this restaurant isn’t located in Split, we did make a stop here on our day trip out to Plitvice Lakes National Park and I thought it deserved a mention.
The restaurant is a local farm to table, so the food is very fresh and delicious and the menu is extensive with both classic Croatian dishes, but also pizza options for the less adventurous eaters.
With 120 seats and bus loads of visitors regularly being dropped off for meals, the restaurant was incredibly busy, but with that in mind, I felt that the food was still served to us in a reasonable time and I really enjoyed my meal.
Coming from Greece, where meals were cheap and hearty, I was a little caught off guard by the cost of food in Split. When budgeting, keep in mind that within the tourist district a meal tends to be somewhere between 17-25USD for a more “European” sized portion of food- you’ll be satisfied but not stuffed.
I do also want to point out that while I’m not a vegan, I do often stick to a vegan diet while abroad and it was surprisingly difficult to do so while in Croatia.
Given the huge coastal border of the country, this seafood-based diet does make sense, but I would recommend that any strict vegans either book accommodations with kitchens included or otherwise carefully scout out restaurant options prior to their trip.