Dubrovnik is known for its traditional cuisine and a number of specialties that have been passed on for many generations. The cuisine in the region is considered not only delicious, but also very healthy and nutritional, with plenty of seafood, vegetables, home-grown herbs and olive oil gracing the plate. Like other coastal cities in Croatia, Dubrovnik relies heavily on fresh fish and seafood caught offshore, and these are usually grilled with garlic, local olive oil and lemon before being served with locally grown vegetables.
Even though a walk through any of the region’s green landscapes makes it obvious that aromatic herbs like rosemary and sage grow like weeds in every corner, locals have a very simple approach to spices and never overdo them. The traditional method of cooking meat and octopus under a metal dome in a stone oven makes the dishes particularly exquisite and, even though it takes a while, it is a popular method among both restaurants and households in Dubrovnik and Dalmatia.
Local restaurants typically offer fresh seafood at any time of year, including grouper, mussels, scorpion fish, sea bass, mackerel, squid and pilchards, as well as oysters farmed in Ston’s oyster beds. Some of the most popular local seafood specialties include shellfish, squid ink risotto (black risotto), brudet, a fish stew served with polenta (boiled cornmeal), and buzara, a seafood dish cooked with olive oil, wine, tomatoes and spices.
What to eat in Dubrovnik
In addition to seafood dishes, the foods to try while visiting Dubrovnik include the local prosciutto, dry-cured ham served in thin slices as an appetizer, and boiled or baked lamb, which is also very popular in the region. Pašticada, another popular dish, is a Dalmatian beef stew cooked in a special sauce with roasted bacon, carrots, onions, parsley, nutmeg and prunes, and typically served with homemade pasta or gnocchi. The green menestra, a traditional smoked meat and cabbage stew, is one of the signature dishes of the Dubrovnik region, and certainly one to try.
The local desserts are known for their simplicity, with the most common ingredients including the local fruit, almonds, dried figs, raisins and honey. Dubrovnik’s best known dessert, Rožata, is a traditional custard pudding with caramel sauce, similar to crème brûlée, which can be found at most restaurants. Kroštule and fritule, made by deep-frying dough, are found in every home at Christmas and other popular local delicacies include arancini, traditional sweets made from candied orange rind, and the Dubrovnik kotonjata, the so-called “quince cheese,” a thick jelly made from quince preserves.
Accommodation near Dubrovnik
Visitors looking for spacious, comfortable rooms with terraces overlooking the Adriatic Sea can book their stay at Villas Mlini, a complex of fully equipped modern apartments located in the village of Mlini, a small picturesque oasis near Dubrovnik. With the amenities of the nearby Hotel Astarea at their disposal, guests can enjoy cocktails and live music in the evening and explore the local beaches during the day. They can also try some of the traditional Dubrovnik specialties at the Astarea Tavern, which offers a rich selection of dishes on a spacious terrace by the sea. Villas Mlini offers early bird promotional rates for guests who book their accommodation early for the spring and summer of 2017.
Hotel Mlini, a boutique hotel opened in 2015, offers a special early bird romance package for couples looking to spend a romantic weekend on the Dubrovnik Riviera. The package includes a weekend stay (Thursday to Sunday) in a deluxe double room with a stunning sea view, a surprise gift, romantic dinner for two, and breakfast served in the room. The hotel is situated next to a promenade and near several small secluded beaches, which makes it an ideal destination for a romantic getaway. The offer is bookable for the period from April 1 to June 30, 2017, with promotional rates available for bookings made before January 31.
Images: Pixabay, Wikimedia Commons/Roberta F. (octopus salad, kroštule & fritule), Flickr Commons/Haydn Blackey (fried calamari)