What & where do local people eat in Zagreb?
First thing need to be mentioned is something that can be considered as fast and slow food. Basically, it's fast food but
you can't eat it walking around. It's part of every BBQ, some restaurants have it to offer, there is rotisseries with
only that food. It can be considered as Bosnian food but Croatian people have the same enjoyment eating it.
'Ćevapi' - grilled minced meat rolls, comes with 'lepinja' (small bread like pita).
It's recommended to order 'kajmak' (kind of cream) with ćevapi if place have one.
Everlasting discussions about best place to eat ćevapi never gave straight answer. Anyway, every place in slow food have (great) ćevapi to
offer, and there is some places for ćevapi in fast food.
What do local people like to eat
Here is what we like to prepare at home and can be easily found in restaurants. Of course, every cuisine is too much different,
often much more creative, but what's given here is kind of traditional dishes that'll sometimes be prepared in almost every kitchen.
Meals from the list are actually common for whole Croatia, except those specially emphasized as Zagreb area. Generally in Croatia, many
of us like to eat kind of food for which we need a spoon to eat, like chowder. And if you want that kind of lunch, better come earlier
at any place, because it's often sold out later. Meals listed here are mostly prepared meals and we often eat them as early light lunch
called 'gablec', although they're often enough for full lunch. So, if you see 'gableci' on some restaurant board, you'll probably find
something from this list. Order is by frequency in Zagreb home kitchens.
- 'Grah' (Bean chowder) when comes with some smoked meat - is the best. There is variants with barley, cabbage... they're all
representative. Unfortunately, best Bean stew is made at home but pretty much similar taste and structure you'll find in Grandma's
'Filana paprika' or 'Punjena paprika' - cooked paprika stuffed with minced meat and rice.
'Sataraš' (Stewed vegetables: onion, paprika & tomato - can be added something else), often summer meal at home but not to often in restaurants.
'Sarma' - sauerkraut rolls filled with minced meat and rice.
'Purica s mlincima' (Turkey with weird kind of pasta) traditional Christmas meal for wide Zagreb area but on the
kitchen tables during whole year.
'Vinski gulaš' (Wine goulash) pretty much Zagreb area meal.
'Čobanac' (Meat stew) great dish sometimes spicy. Actually Slavonian (east Croatia region) meal but Zagreb loves it!
Any kind of chowder.
'Zagrebački odrezak' (Zagreb steak) last on the list because isn't prepared often at home, ordered
in restaurants - yes! Best Zagrebački personally eaten was at Pivnica Budweiser, Heinzelova ulica 17.
Steak have unusual form and great taste.
OK, need to be mentioned because it's local (wide Zagreb area) and simply too good, but we prepare it so rarely, mostly for
celebrations, plus it's not easy to find on restaurant menu: 'Kotlovina' - pork chops and sausages, fried first then
stewed with vegetables and white wine in special pot for outdoor cooking.
You can always ask waitress for a meal which local people often cook at home, but it's not recommended to order 'Špek fileki' or just
'Fileki', it IS simple and local meal (Zagreb surrounding) but only rare people find it tasty and definitely didn't prepared in
significant number of kitchens. It is made from gizzards (tripe).
Where do local people like to eat
These restaurants have domestic touch, more/less reasonable prices & decent food. They're simple, visited by locals and will
give a feeling of town in relaxed environment. Most of them are great BBQ places!
List is sorted by personal feeling of "places we like to go":
'Bistro MZ' Aleja Antuna Augustinčića 8 or 'Bistro Mitnica' Črnomerec 37 both the same owner (Labus)
and the same menu. In the jargon both places are known as 'Kod Srbina' which means 'At The Serbian' :)
It doesn't have any negative connotation. (BBQ place)
'Magazinska klet' Magazinska ulica 7, so close to the center but hard to tumble into, even notice the place if you don't
know about it. (BBQ place)
'Bakine tajne' (Grandma's Secrets), Trnjanske struge 2, have prepared 4-5 menus every day,
you can look on their website for it - don't be discourage with Croatian language, it's on the home page and you just need keywords. Be careful
with working hours: opened till 5 PM weekdays, 3 PM Saturdays - it's "gablec" place, not classic restaurant (and have great bean stew;). They have pretty
much reasonable prices for what you get.
Pivnica 'Medvedgrad' (Medvedgrad Brewery, Medvedgrad means something like bearcity) at three locations: Ulica Božidara Adžije 16, Ilica 49 &
'Mali Medo' (Little Bear) Ulica Ivana Taklčića 36 (known as Tkalčićeva or Tkalča - the most popular street in Zagreb). Maybe in Božidara
Adžije 16 is little less crowdy if you preferred.
TPK - 'Tvornica Pljeskavica Kosta' (Burger steak factory Kosta), Savska cesta 107 - new place, old chief. Bad thing is you
need to make reservation 1 or 2 days before :( or call for take-out. (BBQ place)
We often consume bakery products because there is small products if you're not hungry just want to put something in your mouth
or like to combine food, and bigger products that can almost be a lunch. Great thing is they're not expensive and still delicious.
Be careful with choosing bakery for authentic taste, pick one listed here as most of us do, there is enough number of them in
Generally, food with fresh cheese is pretty much common, but it's hard to make most frequently consumed list, depends on how much hungry
we are. Still, with possible deviation - here it is:
'Burek' - Balkan pie is reeeally thinly stretched dough, filled with whatever you like, rolled or folded to make layers.
Originally it's Bosnian food (Turkish-Albanian actually) tightly hugged in whole Croatia, even wider.
Every bakery have in offer couple variants of salty & sweetly burek. Highly most common are salty variants with fresh cheese
or minced meat, often eaten with yogurt.
- Every bakery listed below have it to offer (maybe Mlinar is the best option).
'Piterija Biba' Šubićeva ulica 40a have great burek. Unfortunately, it's market place but if you're not allergic to
market places, and is on your way - go ahed. They call it 'pita' as Bosnian people do.
'Štrukli' - dough product filled with fresh cheese, can be made with sugar or salt. It's local traditional snack of wide
- Probably best way to taste is buy it in Mlinar or Pan-Pek bakery (salty variant).
- Some restaurants have it to offer.
'Ćevapi' - always option. Except mentioned great places in slow food, which are better option, there's more like 'fast food
places'. They have small portion of ćevapi if you'd like.
'Pečenjara Cvjetno' Cvjetna cesta 21a. This old place is, from some reason, known as place with good ćevapi. They have
little different shape of ćevapi we don't appreciate to much (rolls are tightened together), but it's basically the same thing and you'll
definitely feel local atmosphere there.
One more place is mentioned in "Tips & tricks" part :)
Any pastry product - just pick something from bakery that looks/sounds tasty for you.
Finally, our good bakeries:
'Mlinar', 'Dubravica', 'Dinara', 'Pan-Pek', 'Klara'
Classic fast food: kebab, hamburger, hot-dog... they're all common.
Liquid food (aka domestic beers)
'Zagrebacka pivovara' (Zagreb brewery) brew several beers. One of them, unfortunately, most famous & drinked beer in Zagreb and Croatia
- Ožujsko doesn't have expected taste :( We like good food & beer, but why we mostly
drink Ožujsko then? Don't know! Probably commercials wiped our brains.
Don't worry, we have enough other to taste. This time, list is sorted by quality/deliciously:
Medvedgrad Brewery beers - Medvedgrad is small Zagreb brewery, located at this locations:
'Mali Medo', Ulica Ivana Tkalčića 36. Their terrace is good place to enjoy beer in Zagreb crowd.
Pivnica Medvedgrad, Ilica 49
Pivnica Medvedgrad, Ulica Božidara Adžije 16 - little less crowdy.
Vukovarsko beer as the name says comes from Vukovar (our war sadness). In 2008. someone, already produced soda water
come up with an idea to brew natural beer. Didn't advertised, small brewery brew such a terrific beer. Just 1 month beer
lifetime tells something - highly recommended to taste.
It's not easy to find place to drink/buy Vukovarsko. Places mentioned here that have Vukovarsko are:
Caffe bar / Rock club Tituš
Slow food place Tvornica pljeskavica Kosta
Other places: Caffe bar Limb, Plitvička ulica 16
Velebitsko beer also comes from small brewery but this one is little bigger than Vukovarsko and much older -
'Licka pivovara' (Lika brewery), Lika is region with pretty much untouched nature.
Three variants of beer: lager, dark and half half beer (last one is named Kasačko) aren't in every cafe. Places mentioned
here that have this beers are:
Night places: Route 66, Tituš, Hard Place
Slow food places: Bistro MZ, Bistro Mitnica, Magazinska klet, Tvornica pljeskavica Kosta
Tomislav beer - good old dark beer comes from Zagreb brewery.
One more beer from Zagreb brewery worth tasting: wheat beer Pšenično Ožujsko (new one).
Next beers are common in Zagreb & Croatia almost as Ožujsko is, only better taste:)
Karlovačko beer is second most popular beer. New dark Karlovačko isn't widespread.
Pan & Pan zlatni (Pan & Pan gold) are quite common, you'll find that beers easily.
Pan dark is new one, not widespread.
As draught beer always has better taste maybe it'll be useful to know our word for draught: 'točena' or 'točeno' (pronunciation of 'č' is
like 'ch' in 'teacher'.
How do local people spend free time
The idea is to feel the city by enjoying streets and parks we're going for walk 'n' rest or relaxation. Yes, some of them will sound as tourist
suggestions but they ARE places where we meet and enjoy. So, just enjoy and feel the people around you.
Night section gives you clubs and cafes that are good for night visit but most of them are also good for day visit, they're all together in night
Those places have relaxed environment, they're visited by simple local people from 20 to 80 years old who just enjoy good music & beers.
Bands are playing @weekends and sometimes during weekdays. Some charge entrance 3-4$
Upper Town - basically quiet place with great views to the city. If you come there in summer evening you can find
some live music after 8 PM within 'Ljeto na Štrosu' (Summer at Stross) with bar & lots of people around - , it's at the top of
Strossmayerovo šetalište (Strossmayer promenade).
Downtown streets and parks good to walk 'n' feel are drawn on this map.
I marked places mentioned in night and food sections that map covers.
Sava dike was build after big flood in 1964, it's great, long walking area (cycling, rolling...) and best part is north side river,
between Jadranski most (Adriatic Bridge) and Avenija Većeslava Holjevca.
Jarun - big lake with park all around - maybe more visited than Sava dike.
Bundek - nice park with small lake, settled in 2005. Located next to the south Sava dike, near middle bridge. People often go
there (or on Jarun) to make BBQ.
Maksimir - reeeally big park, mostly covered with wood, has couple of small lakes. We like to go there for a walk, cycle,
Some people like to visit flea markets to feel the local people & atmosphere. There is good one at "Britanski trg"
i.e. British square or just "Britanac". It stays there on Sundays till about 2PM.
Sport airport Lučko :D - OK, you'll not meet lot of local people there and will cost you some money. 15 minutes
ride for 3 people in little aircraft cost about 70-80$ + you'll need taxi to reach it (20-30 min car ride from the center). Of course, it worth money.
You're like a bird above Zagreb for 15 minutes. The addres is: Sport airport Lučko, Ježdovečka ulica 17, Lučko.
Sorted by 'would not like to miss':
'Route 66', Paromlinska cesta 47 - diagonally from Concert Hall Lisinski, at the south from the park. Good, old rock 'n' roll
place. Also good for daily visit because of fabulous terrace. During August place opens at 4 PM.
'Tituš', Mesnička ulica 47 - really small place with really big charm (have Vukovarsko beer).
'Sax' - Croatian Musician's Club, Palmotićeva 22/2. Night place, think they're not opened before 8 PM and bands start playing about 11 PM.
'Hard place', Hrvatske bratske zajednice 4 is new address of the place - honestly, I wasn't there since they moved it :(
Btw, there is one more place at the same address if you want to visit as much as possible of them: the same building, same side, more on south - "Spunk".
'Bacchus' - Jazz Bar, Trg kralja Tomislava 16. Unfortunately, have summer pause of Fridays playing and is a little too close to
railway station, but still great place to visit.
- These are just cafes, rarely or never have live music (no special sort order):
'Melin', Kožarska 19 but you can consider it as it's in Tkalčićeva by number 45 because you can see and
reach it from there.
'Nosikiriki', Nova cesta 88.
'Zvjezdana prašina' (Star Dust), Gruška 10 - kind of district cafe.
'Kinoteka', Kordunska 1.
There is one more place, probably every person living in Zagreb will visit - Concert Hall Lisinski. Pretty much different place we
all like to go but it's hard to find "not too much serious" happening there.
I developed this site because I'm currently unemployed, therefore have time.
Besides, I needed this kind of information on my occasional trips and was so hard to find real information, that doesn't satisfying
anyone's interests. And was impossible to find it at one place. So, this is it for Zagreb - what we're practicing daily and definitely enjoying
in it. In other words: what to see and what to eat in Zagreb to feel local way of life.
Ones again, this is for people who like rock 'n' roll way of life, are interested in mediocre local life and like relaxed environment
without any pretentiousness.
I tried to keep it as short as possible and yet give you information I would like to know if I were you.
Would be nice to hear if you like it.