Split’s ancient core is so spectacular and unusual that an early morning tour inside the walls of the former Roman emperor’s palace before the crowds take over, is an absolute must when visiting Croatia’s most popular summer destination. Of course we would not want to leave you in Split without giving you the low-down on our best recommendations for food, drink and lolly-gagging. Below we have culled the top 5 restaurants and wine bars in Split. And before you run off and start clicking away, we want to introduce you to our friend Paul Bradbury. Paul is the go-to resource for Split and Hvar. Total Split is constantly up-dating their website not only the best places to eat and drink, but they also have the inside scoop on all the other cool stuff to do in this area. We are forever grateful to Paul for pointing us in the right direction last summer when we were up-dating the Central Dalmatia section of the Croatia Travel Guide | Fodor’s Travel.
Top 5 Restaurants and Wine Bars in Split
Paradigma (a: Ulica Bana Jelačića 3, Split | t: 021 645 103 | Facebook Page ) Paradigma has raised the bar for all of Split in terms of both the quality of fine dining, as well as culinary expertise and creativity. Based off the most spectacular seasonal ingredients, the menu transforms classical Mediterranean cuisine. The wine list includes some rare finds – all Mediterranean of course. Starters like pan-seared scallops with foie gras on a cauliflower pate with prosciutto powder beg to be enjoyed slowly and carefully, paying attention to each nuance of the blending flavours. Paradigma’s rooftop seating is an attraction itself. For the best view, ask for a seat along the glass wall.
Bistro No Stress (a: Iza Lože 9, Split | t: 99/498 1888 | Facebook Page ) Bistro No Stress can, in fact, stress you out: choosing from their fabulously eclectic menu is all but a straightforward task. The trio of seafood tartar with sea bream on lima beans, wasabi tuna on diced tomatoes, and shrimp on truffle cheese gets sparkling reviews. Try the eggs Benedict for breakfast or be adventurous and try the donkey medallions in donkey milk! Located in the dead center of town, it’s easy to spend the whole day people watching and munching along.
Tavern Buffet Fife (a: Trumbiceva obala 11, Split | t: 021 345 223 ) This is the place to go to meet locals and taste the bounty that fills traditional Dalmatian dinner tables. Finding a table can be tricky but it’s well worth the hassle. The food is hearty, well presented – and affordable. We loved the daily special of kokos na tingul, a chicken tomato stew spiced with bay and clove, lamb and peas. To keep things affordable, there are plenty of fish dishes that showcase smaller fish like sardines, mackerel, and mullet, depending on the catch of the day.
Adriatic Oyster & Sushi Bar (a: Carrarina Poljana 4, Split | t: 21 610 644 | Facebook Page ) There are not many places where you will find sushi in Croatia, but this sushi bar with its fresh catch and simple yet direct approach is making a strong statement for a radical sushization of the country. 80% of the menu is sourced within a 50-km (30-mile) radius of the premises, be it yellow fin tuna, Pag cheese, or scampi, oysters and Dalmatian prosciutto. Located outside the old city walls, the atmosphere is poised yet relaxed. Wine and sushi pairings are impressive.
Wine & Cheese Bar Paradox (a: Poljana Tina Ujevica 2, Split | t: 021 395 854 | Facebook ) The place to go for wine aficionados or for those who relish expert guides to educate you through your selection of wine and tapas. The wait staff are truly superb – well versed in their craft and eager to share their knowledge of more than 100 different labels and the right tastes with which to pair them. Prepare yourself for a sprightly crowd as they often have live music and showcase local artists’ work.
Tavern Matejuska (a: Tomića Stine 3 | t: 021 355 152 | Facebook Page)
Restaurant Dvor (a: Put Firula 14 | t: 021 571 513 | Facebook Page)
Did you know…
One of the best places to grab coffee is the Meštrović Gallery? (a: Šetalište Ivana Mestrovic 46, Split | t: 021 340 800 | Facebook Page) Why? It’s the only green oasis in the city center with an open air-cafe great for families or those seeking a peaceful garden overlooking the sea. That should be enough but wait – Ivan Mestrovic, who is considered the Rodin of Croatia, designed his summer residence here during the 1920s and ’30s. About 200 of his sculptural works in wood, marble, stone, and bronze are on display, both indoors and out.
Have some great recommendations yourself? Leave them in the comments section below and we’ll check them out. We are always happy to explore new places or try the same places again.
Just so you know… Many of these restaurants were reviewed while writing for Fodor’s Croatia 2015 guidebook. The service we experience may or may not have been based on this.All thoughts and opinions are given honestly and without bias. What’s it like writing for Fodor’s?