Gourmet Croatia: Michelin Guide to Split

By 2 March 2018

On the 1st March 2018, the highly-esteemed Michelin announced their 2018 Guide for Croatia. They have awarded two new restaurants a Michelin-star and 5 restaurants in Split have been recommended.

In 2017, Croatia made the bible for foodies – the Michelin Guide. Monte in Rovinj received the honour of winning Croatia’s first ever Michelin-star and now it seems, the gourmet scene in Croatia is on the rise.

This year, two new Michelin stars have been awarded, as well, Croatia has 55 Michelin recommended restaurants and 4 Bib Gourmand recommendations – an acknowledgment of quality menus at affordable prices.

I have been saying quite repetitively in a lot of my articles, that the gourmet scene in Split is improving and now, Michelin has given its approval and confirmation. Michael Ellis, the International Director in charge of the Michelin Guide had this to say: “Our inspectors have covered the country from Istria down to Dubrovnik, passing through the Adriatic Islands and moving to Zagreb and all the eastern borders, and have discovered a gastronomic scene that is improving fast thanks to influence of the Istrian and Dalmatian cuisine.”

Out of these 62 restaurants mentioned by Michelin, Split received 4 Michelin recommendations and one Bib Gourmand which is an extraordinary feat for a city that, up until a few years ago, was only seen as a transit destination.

And, for all the foodies out there, the restaurant picks for Split may not be what you were expecting…

1. Konoba Fetivi

While I will always be a foodie at heart and long for a larger selection of international cuisine and experimental gastronomy, I am happy to see a ‘nod’ given to the traditional Konobas which will always embody Croatian cuisine. Konoba Fetivi received one of the four Bib Gourmand awards for quality food at a reasonable price (less than €35/260 HRK). Michelin had this to say:

Run by a family with strong roots in the region, this authentic "konoba" (tavern-style restaurant) is dedicated to serving local specialities, which include meat and fish dishes (the top-quality fish is a little more expensive than other options on the menu), as well as old family recipes such as the excellent apple strudel.

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2. Zrno Soli

Also pleased to see Zrno Soli on the list, a restaurant I believe everyone needs to keep an eye on, with a young chef and unique, imaginative dishes, I wouldn’t be surprised if they start leading the way for gastronomy in Split.

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Enjoy views of boats and yachts, as well as of the sea and the centre of Split from the terrace of this restaurant located on the first floor of the ACI Marina. The classic, renowned cuisine focuses on fish and seafood, which diners can choose directly from the display cabinet. This "grain of salt" (the name of the restaurant) is an excellent choice for a delicious dining experience.


3. Zoi

The new kid on the block, Zoi opened its doors in 2017 and it seems, it has already made an impression. Zoi focuses on the cuisine of the Mediterranean, calling its menu a ‘mosaic of many origins – from Lebanon to Greece, Italy to France and finally the Balkans.’ The Michelin inspectors were taken by the setting, atmosphere, and cuisine.

An old building with steps and magical lighting, plus a beautiful panoramic terrace on the top floor. The background music often has a languid, Mediterranean-style feel, as does the cuisine.

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4. Dvor

I am not surprised Dvor made the list, a Split establishment removed from the often-chaotic atmosphere of old town Split, it is a mere 15-minute walk from the Riva but has one of the most beautiful settings out of any Split restaurant.

Just outside the centre of Spalato to the east of the town, this restaurant with a busy bar boasts fine sea views thanks to its location overlooking the coast. The young chef's international experience is evident in his carefully produced cuisine which features delicious meat and fish dishes, many of which are cooked over an open grill.

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5. Kadena

Another Split institution, Kadena has been a favourite of locals for years and was perhaps one of the more experimental restaurants in its time, before the food scene really boomed in Split.

A delightful location above the sea, where some of the finest views in the region can be enjoyed from the restaurant terrace. Kadena is one of the town's most elegant restaurants, with the fresh fish in the display cabinet taking pride of place on the menu.

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It is also interesting to note that none of the restaurants recommended by the Michelin guide are in Trip Advisor’s Top 10 restaurants… 

I hope that this gives new encouragement and energy to the Split gourmet movement. I truly believe that to improve, chefs and restaurateurs need to challenge themselves, travel and keep learning – resting on laurels is a dangerous thing and I have seen it happen to a few restaurants here. Ellis said:

“The development of the culinary scene benefits from the enthusiasm and energy of a young generation of local chefs who travel and interact with European chefs, being able to capture techniques, ideas, and concepts that will be exploited in their own restaurants offering great experiences to tourists and local clients.”

So, time to book a restaurant?

You can see the full list of the Michelin Guide for Croatia here.


All photos from mentioned restaurants' official pages