We love food in Croatia. It’s varied, fresh, local, and tasty. In continental Croatia people eat lots of meat, while a diet in coastal regions is heavily based on fish and other seafood.
As a traveler you might also make some false assumption based on a food offer in touristy restaurants along the coast. One of the most popular posts on our blog is our post on must-try Croatian dishes. Make sure to read it so you don’t miss on some of the local specialties.
We also give a couple of tips on where to find local, delicious, and cheap eats in Croatia.
And don’t miss our ultimate list of best places to eat in Croatia. Istrian restaurants rank the highest on this list.
The tap water is safe to drink in Croatia. However, if you still prefer to drink a bottled water, bear in mind that bottled water is extremly expensive here. For instance, a 1.5 L bottle of a natural water costs around 6 kn in a supermarket, three times more expensive than in Italy.
Legal drinking age in Croatia is 18. Among alcoholic drinks, wines, beer, and spirits are very popular in Croatia.
Drinking usually takes place at cafe bars, serving any kind of drinks, from coffees, and teas, to wine, beer, and any alcoholic drinks. Cafes work all day, opening as early as 6 am, and closing usually around midnight. Night clubs, pubs, and some bars work until 4 am.
Local wines are good. In the last two decades many small family-run wineries lead the way with good quality wines made of indigenous grape varieties, like Malvazija, a dry white wine produced in Istria, or Plavac Mali, a red variety dominating vineyards of the southern Dalmatia.
Croatians also drink lots of beer, but you’ll hardly find an exciting choice of beers here in Croatia (not the case any longer, craft beer scene in Croatia is now super exciting!). The most popular mass-produced local beers are Karlovacko and Ozujsko, both light lager type. In recent years few microbreweries started putting on market a more appealing craft beer, like San Servolo, Nova Runda or Zmajska pivovara.
Spirits are very popular in Croatia, and they come with a variety of flavours. Here they are called rakija. The basic one is most often produced from grapes (called Loza), but then they are flavoured with different ingredients. The most popular are travarica (herb brandy), medica (honey brandy), orahovaca (walnut brandy), visnja (chery brandy), mirta(myrtle brandy), and rogac (carob brandy).