Follow the Steps of Anthony Bourdain in Croatia

Follow the Steps of Anthony Bourdain in Croatia
  • Follow Tony's trail in Croatia (stops 1 to 10) + discover additional faces & places

  • >

It took Anthony Bourdain, the famous chef and world traveler, quite a while to discover Croatia and its bounties, he admitted. But then it blew his mind and palate! When you see it all in the Croatian episode of his TV show “No Reservations” (aired on April 23, 2012), you might wish to follow his footstep around Croatia…

Since the country and its cuisine are so plentiful and diverse, for his first trip Bourdain chose the northern part of the Adriatic: Istria and northern Dalmatia.

We recreated the itinerary as seen on No Reservations (stops 1 to 10), and included additional suggestions on other interesting spots nearby.

View Anthony Bourdain’s itinerary in Croatia in a larger map

Anthony Bourdain's in Croatia: Stop 1Wine Vault Restaurant

Hotel Monte Mulini in Rovinj is the realm of masterchef Tom Gretić, currently one of the most famous TV chefs in Croatia. In the hotel’s Wine Vault Restaurant, Tom prepared a feast for Bourdain and his Croatian buddies. By the way, Tom’s Swiss wife Priska Thuring is also a top chef, running the kitchen in Rovinj‘s supermodern hotel Lone.

Croatian chefs (Tom Gretić, Mate Janković, Denis Zembo and David Skoko) and Anthony Bourdain playing tough

More in the surroundings:

Konoba Kamene priče, Bale. Jazz. Food. Drinks. Only 16+ people.
No children after 7.15 PM. Enough said.

Anthony Bourdain's in Croatia: Stop 2Restaurant Giannino

This seafood restaurant has a long-standing tradition and has always been managed by family Pelizzaro, indigenous Italians from Rovinj. Their cozy terrace on a small square, away from crowded streets in the center, is great for relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere of Rovinj as it once was. Cold starters are always made from the freshest ingredients and creatively presented, but seafood pasta and risotto could be better. Fish prepared on the grill, under čripnja or in the oven is again top notch, although its price may be a bit higher than average.

RovinjRovinjSeagull in Rovinjribar

More in the surroundings:

Stancija Meneghetti, Bale. This establishment is not just another luxury holiday villa for clientele with loads of money but also a place where outstanding extra virgin olive oils and innovative wines (unusual for Istria – wine blends) are produced with care.

Anthony Bourdain's in Croatia: Stop 3The Lim Bay

Pazinčica River flows into the sea forming a 10 km long estuary, a protected area famous for its oysters and mussels. Avoid the tacky stands with cheap souvenirs, and especially fluorescent coloured “homemade” brandies in funny bottles. Choose one of the two restaurants – Viking or Lim Fjord – both offering fresh fish and shellfish from the bay.

The Lim BayThe Lim BayThe Lim BayOysters from The Lim Bay

More in the surroundings:

Stancija 1904, Svetvinčenat. Stancija 1904 is an idyllic agrotourism getaway tucked back from the rest of the world. Expertly prepared traditional Istrian dishes, exquisite wine, brandy and atmosphere.

EatIstria - cooking classes and wine tours in IstriaThis itinerary was in part written by Manjada, who is an Istrian born guy who offers private cooking classes and wine tours in Istria. All his programs are private experiences tailored for individuals and small groups.

If you are interested in fresh, local and traditional food or you want to taste Istrian wines on the spot and meet the winemakers contact him here.


Motovun is one of the most beautiful, preserved and popular old Istrian medieval towns, with a spectacular view of Mirna River Valley. Motovun Forest is the best place for hunting the famous Istrian truffle and the nearby village of Livade is considered the truffle capital of Istria. You probably won’t have your own truffle hunting guide as Anthony Bourdain did, but at least you can enjoy this precious underground jewel in local restaurants, taverns and family farms.

Motovun and vineyardsAround MotovunIstria, MomjanIstria, Momjan

More in the surroundings:

Agritourism Tončić, Zrenj. Homemade ingredients used to make delicacies coming from grandma’s cookbook. Try their delicious fuži with shaved white truffles, which are fairly priced, too!

Benvenuti Winery, Kaldir. You will enter Zen mode when you visit Benvenuti brothers’ vineyards with a view of the hilltop medieval town Motovun.

Anthony Bourdain's in Croatia: Stop 5Konoba Batelina

This modest family-owned tavern is one of the most exciting places to eat in Croatia. Skoko family – father fisherman, mother and mother-in-law cooks and son manager and the coolest Croatian chef – is a perfect example of an honestly run local restaurant business. For a fair price and with no phony pretentiousness, they turn often neglected kinds of fish into magnificent dishes, celebrating pure taste and simplicity.

Cold Starter in Batelina Marinated anchovies in Batelina Pasta with tuna bottarga in BatelinaBatelina cold starters

More in the surroundings:

Miramare, Pomer. Mira, the chef, is an expert in seafood prepared in the traditional South Istrian way (like crab salad), but she dares to invent some innovative dishes like breaded wild asparagus, cuttlefish meatballs served on dandelion and motar salad or the ultimate treat – squids stuffed with scampi (prawns).

Trapan Wine Station, Šišan. Postmodern architecture, concrete walls, funky billboards and photos on the walls, furniture in Scandinavian minimalist style, all this modern stuff is cleverly put together to create a nostalgic feeling of traveling that only a train station can create. Only here the wine takes the role of a steam locomotive.

Anthony Bourdain's in Croatia: Stop 6

Boškinac Restaurant and Winery

The island of Pag boasts such goodies as the celebrated Pag cheese and lamb, and Boškinac restaurant & winery (also a boutique hotel) is something like a shrine of local gastronomy. Run by a brilliant chef and great enthusiast Boris Šuljić, Boškinac combines high-end cooking standards and the best of local ingredients and tradition. They also produce great and unique wines from forgotten local varieties like Gegić.

lighthouseDetail from vineyard in winterOlive treeromantic blur

More in the surroundings:

Gligora Dairy, Kolan. On the island of 8,000 inhabitants and 30,000 indigenous sheep you will want to visit the best and most awarded cheese maker.

Plus, don’t miss visiting Lun olive groves which are considered to be among the oldest in the world. You can admire more than thousand-year-old trees with most unusual shapes and textures. These living sculptures modeled by the sea, salt and strong bura wind will take your breath away.

Anthony Bourdain's in Croatia: Stop 7Bibich Winery

Alen Bibić is a real visionary. He built a successful private winery in secluded Dalmatian hinterland, used underrated local varieties to make high-quality labels and he was one of the first exporters of Croatian wine to the USA. Yet he remained a friendly, down-to-earth and fun-loving guy. Tastings in his cellar can be spectacular when the wines are paired with imaginative dishes prepared by Alen’s wife. Check out why Eva Longoria fell in love with Bibić’s dessert wine Ambra.

Alen Bibich's hospitality at its bestAlen Bibich's hospitality at its best2010 Bibich DebitBibich Bas de Bas
Some photos courtesy of Secret Dalmatia.

More in the surroundings:

Bonaca, Skradin. Old school, sincere, value-for-money traditional Dalmatian cuisine respecting local ingredients.

Konoba Porat, Zaton. Near the local church you will this family run place managed by Krešimir Živković since 1982. By Porat’s modest appearance you would never guess that authentic flavors of this magical landscape are hiding in the kitchen.

Anthony Bourdain's in Croatia: Stop 8Restaurant Foša

Foša is considered the best upscale seafood restaurant in Zadar, a fusion of modern culinary trends and Dalmatian tradition. It is situated in a small port called Foša, just across the town walls dating from the 16th century.

Restaurant Foša Zadar
Photo courtesy of Dalmacija moja inspiracija.

More in the surroundings:

Pet bunara, Zadar. Their originality brought them the title of the best authentic local restaurant in Zadar and surroundings.

Šopot, Benkovac. Being in business from 1904, they serve as a real front liner in presenting the hard-core traditional food: peka, lamb on a spit, home made bread.

Zadar Fishmarket

When in Zadar, don’t miss the opportunity to stroll around the central market, check out the last night’s catch on the fish market and haggle with the old ladies selling homegrown fruit, vegetables, olive oil and cheese. Soak in the atmosphere of the place where people have been trading and socializing since ancient times.

peskeria-papalineiincuniPlenty of choice on Pula fishmarketRed mulletsFoto-0055

More in the surroundings:

Family Farm Babac, Vrsi. Being surrounded with loads of ripe figs, Sandra decided to try making a fresh fig jam following her grandma’s recipe. Turns out she’s a talent.

Anthony Bourdain's in Croatia: Stop 9Kornati Islands National Park

Finish off your trip to northern Dalmatia with a tour of Kornati National Park, an amazing archipelago of 140 amazing uninhabited small islands. You won’t find any fancy restaurants along the way, but most of the excursions run by local agencies include a fish picnic.

In case you wish to travel (taste, eat & drink) following Anthony Bourdain’s steps with an experienced local guide, feel free to contact us at goran.zgrablic at We’ll be glad to organize it for you!

Also, don’t miss our smartphone apps for Android or iOS that can be useful if you want to avoid tourist traps and find good food, wine and traditional produce on your vacation in Croatia.

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18 Responses to Follow the Steps of Anthony Bourdain in Croatia

  1. Pingback: Anthony Bourdain Rocks around Croatian Coast » Taste of Croatia

  2. Nena Korunda 26. 4. 2012. at 9:58 pm Reply

    Wonderful tour. I have been to some of these places, and it felt like revisiting Croatian pearls all over again

  3. BOSKA 27. 4. 2012. at 6:45 am Reply


  4. Pingback: Anthony Bourdain in Croatia: “Holy S*** That’s Good!” | Wines of Croatia

  5. Ana Waleri 27. 4. 2012. at 1:31 pm Reply

    LOVED the show. And I found we had many of the same “bleeped” responses as Anthony B did when wining and dining. Good taste Anthony!

  6. Pingback: Anthony Bourdain of No reservations says Croatia and Istria are the next big thing when it comes to wine and food… | | istria aficionado {devotee, enthusiast and connoisseur of Istria}istria aficionado {devotee, enthusiast and connoisseur of Istria}

  7. Jessica 1. 5. 2012. at 6:09 pm Reply

    Excellent episode! What was the veal/rice/stew they ate in the Wine Vault? Can I make this at home? My pregnant self should not have watched that part as I now cannot stop thinking about the dish! Please share if you have any information regarding the traditional Croatian recipe.

    • Roshan 20. 1. 2013. at 2:55 pm Reply


      50 grams of beef without bones ( or mixed meat like: pork, lamb/sheep, game)
      1 dl oil
      30 g onion
      2 l soup homemade chicken and beef bones with vegetables
      10 ounces chicken breast
      2 oz tomato puree
      salt and pepper if desired
      1 sprig of parsley
      10 g grated sheep cheese

      PREPARATION: Cut the veal into pieces 3x3cm. In a thick-bottomed pan with the hot oil, fry the diced onion cut. When it becomes vitreous, add beef and cook until veal not Jesus, stirring constantly. Then posteperno empty the spoon by spoon soup.

      After 8 hours: horror:: Horror: Mixing get porridge which add the chicken breast (without skin) cut into small pieces and tomato puree.
      Add salt, pepper and simmer for 1 hour stirring constantly. After that, add the grated cheese. Then add the rice and chopped parsley.
      If necessary, pour the soup and cook until you get the expandable mixture.

      Source: Croatian cookery Nikice Gamulina Game, MARJAN PRESS, Split

  8. GastroLada 15. 5. 2012. at 10:23 am Reply

    The recipe is a secret kept among people of Skradin, but what we CAN tell you is that the secret is in slow cooking of the meat. For hours, and hours…. ;)

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  11. lane 3. 11. 2012. at 7:04 pm Reply

    I want to go to Croatia for my 60th bday w/ my husband and 2 grown children. Where/how do I start planning for this. Won’t be until fall 2013. thx for any help

    • gurwoman 14. 1. 2013. at 11:02 am Reply

      Glad to hear you are interested in visiting and tasting Croatia.
      Unfortunately, we don’t offer any travel organization services, so
      you’d have
      to find an agent yourself, at least for the flights, if you don’t want
      to organize everything yourself.
      For instance, here’s a NY-based agent specialized in Croatia –,
      but there should be plenty of others, both local and international,

      Our advice is to use a local organizer if you want short tailor-made
      cooking or wine tours on specific locations
      in Istria and Dalmatia. For Istria, it’s best to use our colleague
      Goran and his terrific project EatIstria –
      For Dalmatia, we recommend our friend Alan and his travel agency Secret
      Dalmatia – Check out if Alan can
      organize the whole package. He also has a great side-project Culinary
      Croatia –

      Bear in mind that July is high season so it might be quite crowded and
      touristy in some places, but overall you’ll have great weather
      and it should be fun. A week is not much so you should plan carefully
      to make the most of it – start with two days in Istria and then go
      south to Dalmatia – a bit of island-hopping and visiting coastal cities
      like Zadar, Šibenik and Dubrovnik.
      If you need any tips or suggestions, let us know. Hope this helps to
      get you started.

      Best regards,

      Morana Zibar
      Taste of Croatia Team

    • gurwoman 14. 1. 2013. at 11:26 am Reply

      Oh, and here’s another contact:, company specialized for personalized tours to Croatia from USA, we have positive experience with them.

  12. Donna Krstec 27. 12. 2012. at 7:00 pm Reply

    This show was fabulous — made me mad I didn’t see it BEFORE we went to Croatia last year. No problem though, I will follow Tony’s food & wine steps on our 2014 Croatia trip — can’t wait!!


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  15. Liz 3. 8. 2013. at 8:31 am Reply

    Wow, what a fantastic place.

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