What to Eat in Split: 14 Treats You Should Not Miss
Croatian cuisine doesn't get the international attention of French and Italian, but those who know the country and its culture are well aware of the delicious treats Croatia brings to the dinner table. This Mediterranean diet is full of healthy meals, including mouthwatering grilled meat dishes, fish dishes, and plenty of olive oil.
Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Split and get ready to dive into traditional Croatian cuisine. Croatia and the Balkans as a whole have a tendency to focus on meat, but you'll also find some great vegetarian options at the best vegetarian restaurants in Split, and thanks to the city's popularity with international tourists, most restaurants in the city will offer at least one or two vegetarian options.
You can also sample some of the most exciting trends in Croatian cuisine by trying the best street food in Split. Ideal for eating on the go while you're exploring, you can find just about everything you want from Split's street food vendors, and there's so much on offer that you'll want to eat multiple times to fit it all in. You can always worry about losing weight when you get home.
Split Food: Buzara
Buzara is a Croatian seafood stew that's cooked in a white wine sauce. It's usually made with shrimp, but you can also find it with other seafood, like crab or lobster. The dish is served with bread so that you can soak up all of the delicious sauce.
You'll find buzara on the menus of many restaurants around town. It's the perfect way to enjoy the incredible bounty of seafood on the Dalmatian coast. It's often surprisingly cheap compared to seafood in other places, so it can be a good way to keep your food budget down while still enjoying a hearty meal.
Split Food: Crni Rizot
Crni rizot is a rice dish that's made with squid ink, giving it a beautiful black color. The dish is usually made with seafood, but you can also find versions with chicken or sausage. It's a hearty dish that's perfect for a cold winter day, and the unique color is sure to impress your friends back home. For that matter, this black risotto will look amazing on your Instagram feed.
You'll often find crni rizot served with seafood like mussels and clams, so it's another great option if you like shellfish. However, if you look around, you may be able to find a vegetarian version of this classic meal.
Split Food: Peka
Peka is a type of meat or vegetable stew that's cooked in an underground oven. It's a traditional Croatian dish that's often made with lamb, but you can also find versions with chicken, octopus, or veal. The dish is slow-cooked, so the meat is incredibly tender and full of flavor.
Peka is usually served with potatoes, so it's a hearty and filling meal. It's the perfect way to warm up on a cold day, and you can find it at many restaurants around town. Just be sure to order it in advance, as it takes a few hours to prepare. Traditionally, the food is cooked under a bell-shaped iron or terra-cotta lid. This isn't exactly fast food, but it does make for some delicious meals.
Split Food: Pasticada
Pasticada is a type of stewed beef that's popular in Dalmatian cuisine. The dish is made by slowly cooking beef in a tomato sauce, and it's usually served with gnocchi or pasta. It's a filling dish that will keep you fueled for sightseeing all day long, and the long cooking time means that the beef is incredibly tender and flavorful.
You can find pasticada on the menus of many restaurants in Spilt, and it's often served with traditional Croatian sides like potatoes or cabbage. If you're looking for a hearty meal, this is definitely the dish for you.
Pasticada may not be the best choice when you're trying to cool down on a hot day. And it's probably not one of the most healthy foods out there, either, so if you're looking to watch your calorie intake, this might be one to avoid. But if you just want a delicious and traditional meal, this is a great way to go.
Split Food: Sarma
Sarma is a type of stuffed cabbage dish that's a staple for the people of Spilt. The dish is made by filling cabbage leaves with ground meat and rice, then cooking them in a tomato sauce. With roots all the way back to the Ottoman Empire, the staying power of this dish is a testament to its taste. These stuffed cabbage rolls are also popular in neighboring countries like Montenegro, Bosnia, Bulgaria, and Romania.
You can find sarma on the menus of many restaurants in Split, and it's often served with traditional Croatian sides like potatoes or bread.
Split Food: Brodetto
Brodetto is a type of fish stew that's prevalent in Dalmatian cuisine. It's made by cooking fish and shellfish in a tomato sauce, and it's usually served with bread so that you can soak up every last bit of it.
Brodetto isn't hard to find on the menus of restaurants in Split. That's especially true if you take a walk down by the waterfront, where you'll get some of the best and freshest seafood in the entire city.
Split Food: Pršut
Pršut is a type of cured ham that's dry-cured with salt and spices, then it's aged for several months. This process gives the ham a unique flavor that's perfect for slicing thin and eating on its own. If you need carbs in your meal, throw some on a few slices of bread and you're good to go.
You can find pršut at many restaurants around town, and it's often served as an appetizer or side dish. It's also a common ingredient in some of Split's traditional dishes, like sarma and pasticada.
Split Food: Krostule fritters
Krostule fritters are a type pastry made by frying dough in oil, and they're often served as a dessert or snack. They can be plain or filled with fruit, and they're usually dusted with sugar before serving.
You can find krostule at many restaurants and cafes in Split, and they make for a delicious and sweet treat. Just be warned that they're quite addictive, so it's easy to eat way more than you intended.
Split Food: Baklava
Croatia can't lay claim to this popular treat. This is one of the most widely eaten baked goods around the whole Mediterranean, and many countries lay claim to having invented it. But no matter where it comes from, you'll get some incredible examples of baklava in Split, including ones that utilize local ingredients. Again, this isn't one of the most healthy meals in the world, but it is tasty, and it makes for great takeout food.
Baklava is made by layering thin sheets of pastry with nuts and honey, then baking them until they're golden brown and flaky. It's usually very sweet, so consider yourself warned.
Split Food: Pita
Pita is a type of flatbread that's generally available in many Mediterranean cuisines. The bread is made by cooking dough in oil, and it's often served as a side dish or snack. It can be plain or filled with grated cheese or meat, and it's usually eaten with a fork and knife.
Pita is so ubiquitous that you'll find it just about everywhere. It's often served as a side dish to a more substantial meal and also appears in fast food in the form of kebabs and other grab-and-go items.
Split Food: Rozata
Rozata is a type of custard pudding that's popular in Dalmatian cuisine. The pudding is made by cooking eggs, milk, and sugar until they form a thick and creamy mixture. It's often flavored with vanilla or lemon, and it's usually served as a dessert. Just be warned that it's quite rich, so it's easy to eat too much.
One of the best places to get this decadent dessert in Split is at Goluzarije. This self-proclaimed sweets and dessert buffet also has many more tasty options if your stomach can handle it.
Split Food: Boskarin
Boskarin is a type of beef that you often find in the restaurants of Split. The meat comes from the iconic long-horned Istrian cattle farmed in the area. The beef is dry-cured with salt and spices, then it's aged for several months. This process gives the beef a unique flavor that's perfect for slicing thin and eating alone or as part of charcuterie plate.
This meaty dish is usually served as an appetizer or side dish. Alternatively, you can get it in a sandwich, though purists may scoff at eating it this way. Try it in a carpaccio, with pasta, or in boskarin tail soup to get a taste of this unique Dalmatian treat. It doesn't get much more local than this.
Split Food: Fuži and pljukanci
Fuži is a type of pasta. The noodles are made from flour, water, and salt, and they're often served with a sauce or stew. They can also be fried or baked, and they're usually served as a main dish.
Pljukanci is another type of pasta that's a common component in Split cuisine. These noodles are also made from flour, water, and salt, but they're much thicker than fuži. Pljukanci are often served with a gravy or stew, and they make for a heartier dish.
You can find both fuži and pljukanci at many restaurants around town. And while they may not be the most exciting dishes on the menu, they're definitely worth trying if you want a taste of traditional Dalmatian cuisine.
Split Food: Grilled seafood
Grilled seafood is popular in Dalmatian cuisine, and it's one of the best things to eat in Split. The city's location on the Adriatic Sea means that there's no shortage of fresh fish and seafood. And when it comes to grilling, the Dalmatians know what they're doing.
Usually a main course, grilled seafood is something you can't miss trying in the city. Just be warned that it can be quite expensive, so it's not something you'll want to eat every day. But if you're looking for a treat, grilled seafood is definitely worth splurging on.
On the Dalmatian coast, seafood is a way of life. You'll find everything here, from fried calamari in a neighborhood bar to incredibly well-cooked deep sea fish at fine dining restaurants around town. And with the glittering Adriatic Sea right on the city's doorstep, it's no surprise that you'll find so much fish here.
However, as you can see from this list, there's more to Dalmatian cuisine than just seafood. Traditional Croatian meat dishes are as popular here as they are in the rest of the country, and while a big plate of stewed beef and potatoes won't help you lose weight, it will give you a memorable meal and a way to enjoy the culture and traditions of the country when you visit.
And if meat isn't your thing, Split is opening up more and more to the possibility of vegetarian cuisine. Take a look around the Old Town, and you'll find plenty of places where you can get something to eat that doesn't have a face.
If you're worried about your calorie intake, check out our guide to the best hikes in Split so that you can get some exercise while you visit one of Croatia's top cities. That way, you can sample the best of Croatian cuisine without worrying about how you're going to lose weight when your trip is over.