One of the more difficult tasks you’ll face during your time in Zadar is selecting a restaurant to eat at. I can’t say that I have eaten at all restaurants in Zadar but I have gotten around to most. This said, I am a creature of habit and tend to have loyalty towards those restaurants that are consistently good and a good experience. In Zadar, there are two restaurants currently recommended by Michelin Guide. One is Fosa and I haven’t eaten there yet, my husband continually tells me it’s overrated but has promised me one dining experience there this summer so keep a lookout for that post. The other restaurant is Kastel at Hotel Bastion. I have only eaten at Kastel once and that was for their sushi pop up which I thought was a little overpriced for what you got. From memory, it was 5 sushi rolls for 2OOkn which is basically Nobu price territory but no where near Nobu quality or overall experience.
I have come up with a list of my favourite restaurants in Zadar, two are not located in the Old Town but the other three are.
Here’s a little story. My husband and I were in Zadar for a weekend recently for an event. The second we arrived to the Old Town we had lunch at Bruschetta. We had lunch again at Bruschetta the following day and had to talk ourselves out of having dinner there too, we walked a little further down to Bon Appetite for the seafood hotpot. That’s how much we love Bruschetta, it’s borderline embarrassing.
Bruschetta is about a 2 minute walk from The Forum and overlooks the The Riva. I usually order the seafood platter for two at Bruschetta and share it with my husband. This restaurant is also home to be the best truffle pizza in Zadar and every so often I give that a hit.
Ask the staff about their local wine selection, my husband is always impressed by their recommendations. Although not on the menu, Bruschetta can make a platter for you of salty and marinated anchovies by request, or maybe they just do it for me. Bruschetta offers the highest quality food and beware during the peak season it’s very difficult to get a table, book in advance.
Price: For two 400-550kn
Come here for: Any occasion.
Address: Ul. Mihovila Pavlinovića 12, 23000, Zadar
Phone: 023 312 915
HARBOUR COOK HOUSE
I didn’t discover Harbour Cook House until towards the end of the summer season in 2018 but after one visit, I was hooked. If you’re looking for a restaurant in Zadar that is just outside the Old Town and away from the city buzz, Harbour Cook House is perfect. When you’re leaving Old Town via the City Bridge, Harbour Cook House will be on your right in the building that looks like a shed.
There’s a great selection of burgers and steaks on the menu however I am devoted to my sea bass as a main. It arrives straight out of the oven with a thick layer of salt on top, some liquor is poured and it’s set on fire right in front of you at your table. It is then filleted in front of you by one of the waitstaff. Pretty cool and well priced.
Then we get to dessert and Harbour Cookhouse is home to possibly the only dessert I seem to think about in my daydream, the seasonal warm crumble. You’re welcome.
This restaurant is fairly busy in the evenings, book ahead.
Price: For two around 450kn
Come here for: A casual dinner in sophisticated setting
Address: Obala kneza Branimira 6A, 23000, Zadar
Phone: 023 301 520
Maguro is a newly opened sushi bar and restaurant, the first of it’s kind in Zadar. It’s located in the Old Town and offers a variety of dishes from sushi, ramen and curry. If you’re looking for basic mains, you’ll love their beefsteak, tuna steak and hoison duck. For me personally, I love the sushi rolls and tuna sashimi at Maguro. I expect Maguro to be continually featured on the top restaurants in Zadar lists for years to come!
I have written a full review of my visit to Maguro in Zadar, you can read it here.
Price: For two 500-700kn
Come here For: Special occasion or an intimate dinner
Address: Borelli ul. 10A, 23000, Zadar
Phone: 023 313 870
Just incase you were sitting there thinking all I do is go to and recommend fancy restaurants, here is one to prove to wrong. Canzona is one of the most underrated restaurants in Zadar, so much so, I had to mention it in my Lonely Planet article. Canzona is located in the heart of all the action of the Varos neighbourhood in Old Town Zadar. It’s rustic, it’s chic and you should definitely stop by and order some local cuisine.
I usually order the sea bass at Canzona with blitva (spinach) but just to warn you before your main, some warm homemade bread will arrive to your table and before you know it you would have developed an addiction it it. Absolutely divine with local olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Price: For Two 30-400kn
Come here for: Casual night out with family or friends.
Address: Stomorica ul. 8, 23000, Zadar
Phone: 023 212 081
Mamma Mia is an iconic restaurant in Zadar and during the season, it’s impossible to drop by and get a table. Located in the Borik neighbourhood, Mamma Mia is famous for it’s homemade pasta. In fact, I only go to Mamma Mia for my green gnocchi, bacon, shallots in cream sauce. It’s a dish I crave more often than I should and every so often reward myself with this cheat meal.
If you can’t be bothered to head into the Old Town in Zadar (I often can’t, don’t worry), Mamma Mia is a great choice. They also have a great selection of pizzas and their steaks look really good too. My husband had the Octopus leg and it was cooked perfectly. Don’t think you’ll be left down at this restaurant in Zadar!
Price: For two about 350-450kn
Come here for: When you need a good meal but can’t be bothered to head into the Old Town!
Address: Put Dikla 54, 23000, Zadar
Phone: 023 334 246