Worth a Stop: Starred Restaurants in Croatia

Strerne Restaurant: Restaurant 360 | Terrace | Dubrovnik | Kroa
© Restaurant 360

The Red Michelin Guide is – along with the Gault-Millau Guide, the Feinschmecker Guide, the VARTA Guide, the Schlemmer Atlas and the Great Restaurant & Hotel Guide – a guide for restaurants and hotels that honors special culinary achievements of restaurants. In 2021, ten Croatian restaurants were awarded one star each. The star restaurants are almost all located near harbors or marinas – perfect for water sports enthusiasts.

No less than ten marina restaurants in Croatia bear one of the coveted Michelin stars; according to their own definition, each of these has “a cuisine full of finesse” and is therefore “worth a stop”. According to the testers, all ten starred restaurants have one thing in common: they offer their guests “products of selected quality, an unmistakable finesse on the plate, a taste that is brought to the point, as well as a constantly high level of food preparation.

First published at the opening of the World’s Fair in Paris on April 14, 1900, and initially limited exclusively to France and published by the tire manufacturer Michelin as a workshop guide for motorists, the “Red Michelin” advanced in the following years to become a recognized gastronomic guide; from 1926, the Michelin Guide gained even greater importance for the restaurant industry because it awarded individual stars for the first time, and since 1931 also two and even three stars for particularly outstanding culinary achievements.

A Michelin star means “a kitchen full of finesse – worth a stop!”

According to the company, evaluation criteria include the “consistent quality of ingredients and their freshness, their expert preparation, the harmony of the flavorful combination, and the innovation and uniqueness of the dishes, reflected in creativity and personal touch.”

In the German edition of the guide, the meaning of Michelin stars is described – cleverly in marketing terms – as follows: one star – “A cuisine full of finesse – worth a stop!”, two stars – “A top cuisine – worth a detour!”, three stars – “A unique cuisine – worth a trip!”

Ten restaurants received the coveted gastro award last year

Last year, ten restaurants in Croatia were awarded the coveted star by Michelin, whose symbol is more reminiscent of a flower with six petals than a star.

In France, in addition to étoile (star), the Michelin star is often colloquially described by the word macaron (macaroon). SeaHelp briefly introduces the restaurants awarded a “macaron” in each case (starting in the north) and offers tips on how best to reach them by boat.

Starred restaurant number 1: Nebo

Of Nebo in Rijeka, Michelin writes: “Located on the fifth floor of the brand-new Hilton Rijeka Costabella Beach Resort & Spa, the restaurant offers breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea, the coastline, and the pristine island of Cres. The dishes tell of Croatia’s culinary history, offering traditional specialties made from regional ingredients as well as more daring, modern and creative dishes.”

For yacht owners, there is an industrial port (not particularly attractive) right in Rijeka, but at least you can moor here for a while. A bit to the southeast is Kraljevica, where there is a new recreational boat harbor on the northwest shore of the entrance to the former shipyard harbor; to the west of Rijeka is Opatija, in the oldest seaside resort in Croatia yachts can moor either in the ACI Marina, in the Hotel Marina Admiral or in the city harbor.

Contact:
Address: Opatijska ulica 9, 51000 Rijeka
T: +385 51 600 119 | M: +385 91 227 0058
info@neborijeka.com | neborijeka.com

Starred restaurant number 2: Draga di Lovrana

“The chef relies on products from local producers and on well-balanced, first-class recipes, which he transforms into modern, imaginative and unforgettable dishes. A stunning location with magnificent views from the dining room and terrace. There are also inviting rooms available for overnight stays,” the Michelin praises the Draga di Lovrana.

If you want to stop here, you can either moor your lines directly in Lovran, there are a few berths on the western side of the pier, or you can use the ACI Marina Opatija Icicki to the north, the Hotel Marina Admiral or the Opatija town harbor. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch one of the few spots right on the pier in Ika.

Contact:
Address: Lovranska Draga 1, 51415 Lovran
T: +385 51 294 16 | M: +385 98 327 093
info@dragadilovrana.hr | dragadilovrana.hr

Star restaurant number 3: Monte

“The contemporary, cool style of this romantic restaurant with subdued lighting contrasts with the old town and its enchanting streets,” the French Gourmet Guide says of Monte, adding that the cuisine surprises with “creative, sometimes theatrical dishes prepared using modern cooking techniques,” the result being “handsomely presented dishes with intense flavors.”

Yacht owners can moor at ACI Marina Rovinj. The high-priced luxury marina opened in 2019 and offers 192 berths for yachts from 12 to 35 meters in length. Just south of the marina is a fee-based buoy field. North of the marina (and northeast of the offshore islet of Sv. Katarina) there is a town harbor.

 

Contact:
Address: Montalbano 75, 52210 Rovinj
T: +385 52 830 203
restaurant@monte.hr | monte.hr

Starred restaurant number 4: Agli Amici Rovinj

The “Pearl of Istria”, founded by the Romans, has two star restaurants to its credit. The Red Michelin writes about Agli Amici: “The restaurant is the Istrian version of the Italian Agli Amici di Godia and has the same philosophy as its Italian counterpart: nothing is taken for granted and new ideas and ways are always sought to best showcase the high-quality ingredients of the region.

Located in the luxurious Grand Park Hotel on the elegant promenade of the marina, the restaurant offers three tasting menus, one of which is dedicated to Croatian cuisine.”

Contact:
Address: Šetalište Vijeća Europe 1-2, 52210 Rovinj
T: +385 52 642 084
agliamici@maistra.hr | maistra.com

Star restaurant number 5: Boškinac

“An interesting address on the northernmost part of the sprawling island of Pag. Guests are warmly welcomed and the young chef goes all out to use the products of the island and the surrounding area (fish, pork, the famous goat cheese, oil, wine, etc.) to create delicious dishes that he interprets in a modern way.

A hotel and a wine cellar complete the offer: reasons to stay are many!” is how the Guide Michelin describes the restaurant in Navalja – located in the north of the island of Pag on a well-protected bay – between the larger cities of Rijeka in the north and Zadar in the south.

By boat: In the well-visited seaside resort of Novalja, there are guest berths for yachts on the inside of the breakwater; also, in Stara Novalja, you can moor alongside at the old ferry pier in town. Another possibility to moor by boat is in Stara Novalja-drljanda a bit north of Stara Novalja; in this emergency ferry port there are moorings at the pier in front of Murings.

Contact:
Address: Škopaljska Ulica 220, 53291 Novalja
T: +385 91 6106 365
restaurant@boskinac.com | boskinac.com

Star restaurant number 6: Alfred Keller

“The elegant restaurant at Alhambra Boutique Hotel offers a lovely terrace overlooking Čikat Bay. While simple dishes are on the menu during the day, the restaurant serves upscale dining in the evening with only one menu to choose from-three or four courses. Let the chef know if you have any special requests when you make your reservation,” writes the Red Michelin about the “Alfred Keller” in Mali Lošinj.

For yacht owners, there are several options for a visit to the restaurant: either turn directly to the (small) Marina Cikat, or go (on the other, more northern side of Mali Lošinj) to the – in summer lively – town harbor. Just a short distance to the northwest is Marina Lošinj (west of the Privlaka Channel) and the Mali Lošinj Yacht Club (east of the Privlaka Channel).

Contact:
Address: Čikat 16, 51550 Mali Lošinj
T: +385 51 260 704
losinj-hotels.com

Starred restaurant number 7: Pelegrini

About Pelegrini in Sibenik, Michelin writes: “Located directly across from the beautiful Cathedral of St. James, the air-conditioned rooms of this restaurant invite you to linger. Inside the venerable building, old elements and modern influences combine in a stylish and informal way – perfectly matching the impeccable service.

Chef and owner Rudi Stefan is a self-taught chef with high standards. He takes care to use only high-quality products from the region, which he reinterprets in a modern way. In doing so, flavors of the mainland and the sea find their way into his compositions in equal measure. In the tasting menu, the number of courses and dishes can be chosen. Oil lamps on the steps create an unforgettable atmosphere in summer.”

In Sibenik, yacht owners can moor either directly in the town harbor or in the modern Marina Mandalina located just southeast of it – a perfect starting point to either explore the offshore islands via Sv. Ante or cruise up the Krka River to the national park of the same name and the Krka waterfalls.

Contact:
Address: Jurja Dalmatinca 1, 22000 Sibenik
T: +385 22 213 701
reservations@pelegrini.hr | pelegrini.hr

Starred restaurant number 8: LD Restaurant

“This could be one of many tourist spots on the main street, but the Mediterranean cuisine is surprisingly inventive. Lots of local dishes and especially excellent fish!” is the succinct verdict of the Gourmet Guide.

Boat owners who want to pay a visit to the “LD” either moor up in the ACI Marina Korcula (beware: swell at the outer breakwater due to passing ships) or anchor in one of the four arms of Luka Banja Bay a little to the west. A bit further southeast is the Lumbarda marina.

Contact:
Address: Don Pavla Poše 1-6, 20260 Korcula
T: +385 91 362 6222
reservations@ldrestaurant.com | ldrestaurant.com

Starred restaurant number 9: Restaurant 360

“An impressive restaurant in the historic city wall. From the curved terrace on the wall, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the old harbor. The stylish, creative cuisine puts a lot of emphasis on presentation – the dishes almost look as if they were meant to win an art competition. An extraordinary gastronomic experience! The wine list is appropriately exquisite and the attentive service staff will be happy to advise you on this!” notes Gastro-Michelin on the “360”.

 

 

In Dubrovnik there is an old town harbor (south of Dubrovnik, opposite Lokrum), but there are no guest berths available, only (short) mooring for embarking and disembarking is tolerated. If you want to moor your lines for a longer period of time, go to ACI Marina Dubrovnik, located north of the city, at the mouth of the Rijeka Dubrovatska.

 

Contact:
Address: Sv. Dominika B.B., 20000 Dubrovnik
T: +385 20 322 222
reservations@360dubrovnik.com | neborijeka.com

Starred restaurant number 10: Noel

About Noel (located most north, but just east of the Adriatic Sea; the only one of the ten starred restaurants in Croatia that, unfortunately, cannot be reached by boat), the Guide Michelin judges: “The new chef Bruno Vokal, although young, has already worked in other starred restaurants and has an impressive career. Today, he leads this restaurant with its soft lighting and trendy, internationally inspired interior design.

Vokal has an interesting relationship with Croatian culinary traditions, which he reinterprets with a modern and personal touch. Guests are offered two 6-course tasting menus: the “Green” and the “Chef Experience.” The “Noel” is located just a few minutes by car from the airport in Zagreb – recommended for visitors to the city or for charterers arriving or departing via Zagreb.

Contact:
Address: Ulica Popa Dukljanina 1, 10000 Zagreb
T: +385 1 4844 297
pr@noel.hr | noel.hr

 

Interactive map with starred restaurants in Croatia

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The Interactive Map shows all starred restaurants from the article. (Icon top left opens sidebar, icon top right opens map in fullscreen)

 

Tip from the SeaHelp editors:

You can also find more konobas and restaurants in our SeaHelp app, as well as many drone photos, drone videos and 360 degree images for the Croatia area.

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