Wherever you go you will find a choice ranging from the Michelin Star locations serving luxurious delicacies to the local oštarijas (taverns) offering tasty and honest local meals.
Opatija is proud of its many centuries of culinary heritage and its prestigious reputation as a Mecca of gastronomy. Talented and creative chefs relish the opportunity to practice their art with superb ingredients found only in these parts. A taste of their imaginative creations is sure to excite even the most demanding palate.
All of this is made possible by the incredible ingredients that are grown, fished and reared in Istria. This is a land of wild asparagus picked on the slopes of Učka mountain, noble black and white truffles from forests of Motovun, succulent Boškarin beef, homemade pasta, Kvarner Bay scampi, and many more mouth-watering delicacies.
Riviera of Opatija is home to some of the most prestigious restaurants in Croatia, as well as many traditional taverns with a rich offer of local specialities. Here you can enjoy the Istrian delicacies paired with the fine local wines.
Delectable Kvarner scampi are a renowned Mediterranean delicacy and they steal the spotlight of the seafood offering. Their exceptional aroma, thin shell and rich meat make them the tastiest in the whole of Adriatic.
You can order them in many variations. The most interesting being served raw, drizzled with a few drops of premium olive oil and lemon juice as an appetizer and in a traditional Buzara as the main course. This rich stew enhances their natural flavour and the divine smell.
Bounty of the land starts with the herald of spring — wild asparagus, handpicked by Istrian grandmothers at the slopes of Učka mountain and served in homes and restaurants across the Istrian peninsula. Taste it in the traditional fritaja (omelette) or as a part of the meat, seafood, and pasta dishes. The interesting, slightly bitter taste, quite unlike the common asparagus, gives each dish a very special, luxurious finish.
Black and white truffles indigenous to the Istrian Motovun forest take a special place among the gourmet treats of this land. Those delicious tubers are served in many restaurants of the riviera, so this is a great chance to have a taste.
The chestnuts of Lovran, called Maruni have a reputation of the finest in all of Croatia. When in season, you can find them in many dishes and desserts, or simply enjoy them roasted as a street food treat. If you get the chance, visit the traditional festival of the chestnut — The Lovran Marunada.
Then there are the succulent cherries of Lovran, yet another glorious gift of the land. Their rich sweet taste makes them a perfect ingredient of many desserts and pastries. Try them at their ripest at yet another food festival — Dani črešanj va Lovrane (Lovran Cherry Days).
Last but not least, a quite unique gastro-souvenir is a cake called Opatija’s Camellia. A homage to the flower that became the symbol of Opatija after Sir Higinio Scarpa planted the first camellia in the middle of 19th century in the Angiolina Park. A chocolate cake features figs, carobs, oranges and almonds, and marzipan, tasting of summer and sun. It can hold up to a month, making it an ideal gift.