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Fidel Carbonara from Fidel Gastro
Fidel Gastro/Facebook

The 9 Hottest New Restaurants in Zagreb

Where to find handmade pasta, frilly pastries, and a garden-inspired nightcap in the Croatian capital

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Fidel Carbonara from Fidel Gastro
| Fidel Gastro/Facebook

Today, Eater heads to Zagreb, Croatia, to call out nine of the buzziest newcomers to the city’s suddenly booming dining scene. Locally based restaurant writer and editor Marcella Veneziale has graciously offered up her picks of the hottest openings of the last year or so.

“Zagreb’s restaurant scene is more exciting than ever thanks to a flurry of new openings that shows no sign of letting up,” says Veneziale. “Chefs and restaurateurs are more willing to experiment, whether that’s through the food they serve or the format they favor. Visitors to the Croatian capital can dine on Latin-inspired cuisine while taking in live music (Fidel Gastro), nibble on prosciutto and cheese while sipping sommelier-approved wine (Pupitres Bar), and please vegans and carnivores at the same spot (Veganšpek).”

Also among her picks are a bubbles and burger mashup (50 A Burger & Champagne Bar), a French-style bakery with Instagram-worthy desserts (Time Pastry Shop), and a laid-back nightcap option right next to the botanical gardens (Botaničar).

Without further ado, and in geographic order, the Eater Heatmap to Zagreb, Croatia.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Fidel Gastro

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Krste Pavletića 1, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia
+385 091 255 2724
Visit Website

As its cheeky name hints, this self-described fusion restaurant hopes to start a revolution with its blend of international flavors (primarily Latin-inspired) and live jazz. Located slightly off the beaten path, it provides a gastronomic anchor to the traditionally residential Trešnjevka neighborhood. A mix of industrial and natural finishes provide the backdrop for a meat-heavy menu, with dishes like Nikkei beef steak with yuzu-soy chimichurri, adobo, and ponzu sauce; and pork medallions in mojo marinade. Plus, there are homemade pastas, risottos, and seafood dishes.

Fidel Carbonara
Fidel Gastro/Facebook

2. Pupitres Bar

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Frankopanska ul. 1, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia
+385 98 165 8073

Wine has been cultivated for thousands of years in Croatia, and is finally beginning to gain more notoriety. Those interested in learning about the country’s better bottles should head to Pupitres Bar from sommelier Jelena Šimić Valentić. Visitors can choose from a large selection of wines from Croatia and around the world accompanied by prosciutto, cheese, and other small bites. Valentić, who started the Pupitres brand with a wine school three years ago, can educate guests on their selection.

Interior of Pupitres Bar
Pupitres Bar/Facebook

3. Botaničar

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Trg Marka Marulića 6, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia
+385 098 650 071
Visit Website

For those in search of a little greenery with their nightcap, Botaničar (which means “botanist”) is a laid-back option. The bar is situated adjacent to Zagreb’s botanical gardens, and rustic materials and upcycled items add to the space’s natural feel. Once settled in, choose from drinks such as the signature Black Elixir cocktail made with activated charcoal, craft beers from local brewers like Plavuša, lesser-known Croatian wines, and honey-based liqueurs. Botaničar is also open during the day for both coffee and tea, and the space regularly hosts events like live music and literary happenings.

Botaničar interior
Botaničar/Facebook

4. Duck Fast Bistro

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Ul. Nikole Tesle 17, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia

Duck Fast Bistro is part of a growing pack of Zagreb restaurants serving creative, high-quality dishes with a casual vibe. Fresh ingredients are sourced daily from the city’s main market, Dolac. Menu items change frequently and have included mussels ragout, salad with taleggio cheese and cherry tomatoes, and a tuna steak with roasted vegetables. The wine list represents nearly all of Croatia and includes well-known producers such as Bibich, Petrač, and Krauthaker. The space is small and relaxed, with high-top table seating and a handful of bar stools before a street-facing window. Open for lunch and dinner.

5. Time Pastry Shop

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Ul. Nikole Tesle 14, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia
+385 099 215 1794
Visit Website

Pastry shops are a big deal in Zagreb, and perhaps none got as much attention in the past year as Time. The result of a sweet collaboration between Paris-trained pastry chef Robert Hromalić and Zagreb stalwart Time Restaurant & Bar, it serves refined, seasonal desserts and a selection of beverages. The pastry lineup changes every few weeks and has recently included a Madagascar vanilla tart, lemon confit cheesecake, and a Kirsch cherry confection. A must-stop for dessert lovers who want to sample a taste of Zagreb’s bake-shop culture with a sophisticated French twist.

Cow cheese and poppy biscuit
Time Pastry Shop/Facebook
Nova ves 4, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia
+385 014666999
Visit Website

A spinoff of the venerable Zagreb restaurant Baltazar (“B” stands for “Baltazar” and “35” for the number of years the place has been in business), B35 debuted in early spring 2017, but then reopened in the fall with a new head chef, Dario Bionda. Mediterranean-inspired dishes star ingredients from the restaurant’s own garden and include preparations like Adriatic scampi with foie gras ganache and burrata. The food is accompanied by wines picked by sommelier Mario Meštrović, and the dining room is dramatic and sophisticated, with black walls, white tablecloths, and splashes of color on the upholstered seats.

Steak
B35/Facebook

7. 50 A Burger & Champagne Bar

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Vlaška ul. 17, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia
+385 0916022541
Visit Website

Street food goes fine dining at this pocket-sized restaurant that lures lovers of both burgers and bubbles. You’ll find everything from a classic cheeseburger to the Hvar — named after the Croatian island where the restaurant got its start — topped with fig-onion spread, caramelized onion, and gorgonzola. Ramen and fritule, or sweet fried dough, are also offered as part of a collaboration with Time Restaurant & Bar. Drinks are not limited to Champagne, with cocktails and craft beers also available. A fully enclosed terrace is slated to debut in the spring, and diners can also look forward to an outdoor patio in the warmer months.

8. Veganšpek

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Ul. Nikole Tomašića 6A, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia
+385 0958922960

It can be tough for mixed groups of vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters to dine together in Zagreb. But Veganšpek (translation: “vegan ham”) offers a place for people of varying dietary persuasions. Creator Karolina Blažeković, who has appeared on the local cooking show Tri, dva, jedan - kuhaj! (“Three, two, one - cook!”), offers dishes a la carte, as well as a fixed daily menu. Dishes may include brown rice, seitan, and roasted vegetables in sesame oil; octopus goulash; and even steak. Desserts are mostly gluten-free and use healthier ingredient swaps, but conventional sweets are also offered. Drinks include carefully crafted cocktails, as well as almond, soy, and rice milk for coffee. 

Interior of Veganšpek
Veganšpek/Facebook

9. Noel

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Ul. popa Dukljanina 1, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia
+385 014844297
Visit Website

One of the most talked-about fine dining restaurants in Zagreb, Noel features chef Goran Kočiš’s contemporary take on Croatian cuisine. The rotating menu might feature smoked trout with orange, algae, and radish; cold pear soup with bleu cheese souffle; or roasted black Slavonian pig. Winner of the Continental Croatia Sommelier Championship in 2012, sommelier Ivan Jug pours a wide range of Croatian wines as well as other smart highlights from around the globe. It all comes together in a plush dining room decked out in gray hues with modern chandeliers and upholstered seating. Noel regularly hosts special events and special dinner series, including a recent olfactory meal curated by perfume expert Juraj Sotošek-Rihtarec. 

Interior of Noel
Noel [Official]

1. Fidel Gastro

Krste Pavletića 1, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Fidel Carbonara
Fidel Gastro/Facebook

As its cheeky name hints, this self-described fusion restaurant hopes to start a revolution with its blend of international flavors (primarily Latin-inspired) and live jazz. Located slightly off the beaten path, it provides a gastronomic anchor to the traditionally residential Trešnjevka neighborhood. A mix of industrial and natural finishes provide the backdrop for a meat-heavy menu, with dishes like Nikkei beef steak with yuzu-soy chimichurri, adobo, and ponzu sauce; and pork medallions in mojo marinade. Plus, there are homemade pastas, risottos, and seafood dishes.

Krste Pavletića 1, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia

2. Pupitres Bar

Frankopanska ul. 1, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Interior of Pupitres Bar
Pupitres Bar/Facebook

Wine has been cultivated for thousands of years in Croatia, and is finally beginning to gain more notoriety. Those interested in learning about the country’s better bottles should head to Pupitres Bar from sommelier Jelena Šimić Valentić. Visitors can choose from a large selection of wines from Croatia and around the world accompanied by prosciutto, cheese, and other small bites. Valentić, who started the Pupitres brand with a wine school three years ago, can educate guests on their selection.

Frankopanska ul. 1, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia

3. Botaničar

Trg Marka Marulića 6, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Botaničar interior
Botaničar/Facebook

For those in search of a little greenery with their nightcap, Botaničar (which means “botanist”) is a laid-back option. The bar is situated adjacent to Zagreb’s botanical gardens, and rustic materials and upcycled items add to the space’s natural feel. Once settled in, choose from drinks such as the signature Black Elixir cocktail made with activated charcoal, craft beers from local brewers like Plavuša, lesser-known Croatian wines, and honey-based liqueurs. Botaničar is also open during the day for both coffee and tea, and the space regularly hosts events like live music and literary happenings.

Trg Marka Marulića 6, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia

4. Duck Fast Bistro

Ul. Nikole Tesle 17, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia

Duck Fast Bistro is part of a growing pack of Zagreb restaurants serving creative, high-quality dishes with a casual vibe. Fresh ingredients are sourced daily from the city’s main market, Dolac. Menu items change frequently and have included mussels ragout, salad with taleggio cheese and cherry tomatoes, and a tuna steak with roasted vegetables. The wine list represents nearly all of Croatia and includes well-known producers such as Bibich, Petrač, and Krauthaker. The space is small and relaxed, with high-top table seating and a handful of bar stools before a street-facing window. Open for lunch and dinner.

Ul. Nikole Tesle 17, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia

5. Time Pastry Shop

Ul. Nikole Tesle 14, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Cow cheese and poppy biscuit
Time Pastry Shop/Facebook

Pastry shops are a big deal in Zagreb, and perhaps none got as much attention in the past year as Time. The result of a sweet collaboration between Paris-trained pastry chef Robert Hromalić and Zagreb stalwart Time Restaurant & Bar, it serves refined, seasonal desserts and a selection of beverages. The pastry lineup changes every few weeks and has recently included a Madagascar vanilla tart, lemon confit cheesecake, and a Kirsch cherry confection. A must-stop for dessert lovers who want to sample a taste of Zagreb’s bake-shop culture with a sophisticated French twist.

Ul. Nikole Tesle 14, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia

6. B35

Nova ves 4, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Steak
B35/Facebook

A spinoff of the venerable Zagreb restaurant Baltazar (“B” stands for “Baltazar” and “35” for the number of years the place has been in business), B35 debuted in early spring 2017, but then reopened in the fall with a new head chef, Dario Bionda. Mediterranean-inspired dishes star ingredients from the restaurant’s own garden and include preparations like Adriatic scampi with foie gras ganache and burrata. The food is accompanied by wines picked by sommelier Mario Meštrović, and the dining room is dramatic and sophisticated, with black walls, white tablecloths, and splashes of color on the upholstered seats.

Nova ves 4, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia

7. 50 A Burger & Champagne Bar

Vlaška ul. 17, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia

Street food goes fine dining at this pocket-sized restaurant that lures lovers of both burgers and bubbles. You’ll find everything from a classic cheeseburger to the Hvar — named after the Croatian island where the restaurant got its start — topped with fig-onion spread, caramelized onion, and gorgonzola. Ramen and fritule, or sweet fried dough, are also offered as part of a collaboration with Time Restaurant & Bar. Drinks are not limited to Champagne, with cocktails and craft beers also available. A fully enclosed terrace is slated to debut in the spring, and diners can also look forward to an outdoor patio in the warmer months.

Vlaška ul. 17, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia

8. Veganšpek

Ul. Nikole Tomašića 6A, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Interior of Veganšpek
Veganšpek/Facebook

It can be tough for mixed groups of vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters to dine together in Zagreb. But Veganšpek (translation: “vegan ham”) offers a place for people of varying dietary persuasions. Creator Karolina Blažeković, who has appeared on the local cooking show Tri, dva, jedan - kuhaj! (“Three, two, one - cook!”), offers dishes a la carte, as well as a fixed daily menu. Dishes may include brown rice, seitan, and roasted vegetables in sesame oil; octopus goulash; and even steak. Desserts are mostly gluten-free and use healthier ingredient swaps, but conventional sweets are also offered. Drinks include carefully crafted cocktails, as well as almond, soy, and rice milk for coffee. 

Ul. Nikole Tomašića 6A, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia

9. Noel

Ul. popa Dukljanina 1, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Interior of Noel
Noel [Official]

One of the most talked-about fine dining restaurants in Zagreb, Noel features chef Goran Kočiš’s contemporary take on Croatian cuisine. The rotating menu might feature smoked trout with orange, algae, and radish; cold pear soup with bleu cheese souffle; or roasted black Slavonian pig. Winner of the Continental Croatia Sommelier Championship in 2012, sommelier Ivan Jug pours a wide range of Croatian wines as well as other smart highlights from around the globe. It all comes together in a plush dining room decked out in gray hues with modern chandeliers and upholstered seating. Noel regularly hosts special events and special dinner series, including a recent olfactory meal curated by perfume expert Juraj Sotošek-Rihtarec. 

Ul. popa Dukljanina 1, 10000
Zagreb, Croatia

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