Top 3 restaurants in Dubrovnik you must try!
It's been a while since Cindy and I have been back to Helsinki from Dubrovnik. Everything got a bit hectic because I just started a new job so it took a while to find the time to write again. I guess you could call us George R. R. Martin in terms of timing.
Let's talk about our dining experiences in Dubrovnik that we ‘re so passionate about! The 3 restaurants I am writing about are all very unique and each one was a great experience. Make sure to read it to the end, as l’ll be saving the jewel of our dining experiences to the end.
1. Konoba Dubrava - The Traditional
If you want to look for the best steak, look no further. Konoba Dubrava is not famous for its grilled meat for no reason. Furthermore, the location of this restaurant is just bomb! I think you can only get there by car. So if you don't have a car it's no problem, because Uber is a cheap way to get around. Believe me, the scenic view from up there after driving up the serpentines is just magnificent. Especially if you go there for dinner and get to witness the sunset (watch our vlog here to witness it).
Once done witnessing the beautiful sunset over Dubrovnik, we went to the restaurant and received a warm welcome including some of their on-the-house spirits (you can choose from sweet to strong). After nipping on those delicious aperitifs, our waitress actually took us backstage where the magic happens (the kitchen) and yes (!), it is amazing. In the kitchen, they basically have a huge fireplace. Within the fireplace there are several little domes visible, which are covered with coal. The waitress introduced us to the person in charge of the fire and those domes within the fire (seriously the person taking care of it must be a follower of the Red Lady). Anyways, under those domes is all the meat that is being cooked for many hours, and that’s why the meat is so delicious. All the herbs and plants being used are from their own garden.
Let’s get to the food. While the menu doesn’t offer many choices for vegetarians, I decided to try (almost) everything vegetarian the menu had to offer. I had a chickpea salad, some of their oven potatoes and grilled vegetables. My highlight were definitely the potatoes! They were crunchy, and the interior texture was just superb! I never thought potatoes could be that crunchy from the outside while so soft in the inside, probably because they were grilled in the coal as well. The chickpea salad and the grilled vegetables didn’t disappoint me either, but could not keep up with the potatoes. For sure, I would just come back to get those again. By the way, their house wine is very delicious and affordable and guarantees to have a very fun night. Unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy the wine as much as I’d wanted to, as I still had to drive home.
As for Cindy, she loved the steak. To say love is an understatement. She has tried so many good steaks in her life and this is by far the juiciest one she‘s had. The outside was flamed and perfectly smoked, added so much flavor to the meat. And my oh my, the inside was tender and juicy as a dream (those are her words). She is not a meat lover but this won her heart. Prices are reasonable with huge portion and lovely service. We also had dessert courses and they were indeed lovely. It ‘s so much worth coming here!
2. Konoba Dalmatino - the central
This restaurant is the one we can recommend to everyone that are looking for a place to eat in the Old Town of Dubrovnik. You really might get overwhelmed by the amount of restaurants there and Konoba Dalmatino is a very safe choice for those who fancy food that is just a few steps away from the “tourist area”. They have very delicious & fresh seafood, but also offer good vegetarian options.
I order a Radler (lemon beer) for a refreshing drink and Cindy got a pina colada (she liked it a lot). For the food, I actually decided to go a bit fancy and ordered the truffle pasta, which was very delicious. They didn’t go shy on the truffle, so long after finishing the pasta, I was still having that truffle taste in my mouth. While I was slaying that portion of delicious pasta, Cindy actually tried their tuna steak. Cindy has never been much of a tuna fan and that converted her. She now found the new passion in life (just kidding). But yeah, the tuna steak was juicy, super duper fresh and seasoned to right. She said she could still remember vividly how it tasted. We also saw a couple sitting next to us trying out the fish of the day which seemed to be delicious as well.
3. Pantarul - the fancy
This restaurant was the highlight of our trip and were really excited to try the food even before we got here. The restaurant is actually a bit further out of the old town and less surrounded by tourists. So if you’ve been staying at Dubrovnik for a while and would like to experience something very delicious and maybe explore another part of the city, this is the place to go to!
Even though it’s not in the old town, it’s either easy to reach by car or by public transportation. So, no need to worry about that.
Once we’ve arrived we have received a warm welcome by one of the owners. Him, his wife and a friend have opened the restaurant together and lead the restaurant splendidly. All the employees are very kind and professional. But the owner the we met that day was just the nicest guy! We couldn’t have asked for more.
Their menu offered a lot of seasonal dishes and we would have loved to try all of them. While we all know, that it’s not possible to have it all, both of us wanted to try as much by ordering their tasting menu. I had the vegetarian option and Cindy went for the seafood option. Their wine menu is also so thoughtful and well presented so you’ll know exactly what to go with the food. Throughout the meals, we were always served with their homemade bread basket after basket (not lying) which was just delicious that we could not stop as the owner warned us before hand: “it’s dangerous!". We never felt that full in our life…
Anyways, let's go back to the tasting menus and talk about how amazing they were.
Cindy's fish tartare was so good it actually beat the one she had in Paris and the ricotta was as smooth as a sponge or creamy air. The fried spring rolls were a surprise to be honest. So crispy and addicting. The best part of it is the spicy pineapple sauce. Cindy is Asian, if she says those spring rolls are good, you know they ‘re good! The cream of avocada with cheese first course was just genius. Then, my burrata with pesto & tomatoes was also flavorful, super fresh with all the greens and tomatoes and my oh my that cheesy creation!
Cindy had the second glass of wine and the staff was so helpful to help her pick the one (we can't get over how everyone was so nice there). Ok, guys, take note, this is the best seafood risotto Cindy has ever had in her life. It's creamy, it's al dente, the seafood was so fresh, flavour blends in your mouth as angel was singing, and the lemon juice naughtily sneaks in to finish the song. If you say you hate risotto (who does???), this will convert you, I promise. Fried orzotto with spicy pineapple sauce. It ‘s hearty, crunchy, with a kick of spice and tanginess from the sauce. What more could I have asked?
So we talked about how the tuna steak in Dalmatino made Cindy fell in love with tuna, right? This, was what made her fall in love with it over and over again. The steak was sweet due to how fresh it was and succulent in the best way possible. She also loved how the veggies was a big compliment to the dish without overwhelming it. Everything screams balance and so well thought here (well, except the bread, that we declined to know any balance…). My parmigiana was absolutely yummy and incredibly homie. Makes you wanna go home for Christmas immediately.
And last but not least was dessert time. We had the chocolate heaven and almond cake. Absolutely delicious! Creamy and rich in flavour but not too sweet that makes you feel urg after a big meal. Such a perfect ending to the experience. Now, we have had some tasting menu cases before that we didn ‘t get full despite spending a good amount of money on them. With this I guarantee you ‘ll leave the restaurant feeling satisfied and as happy as ever.
Honestly, we did not expect coming to Dubrovnik and have had some of the best food experiences. We will be back one day and bring more!
Jules & Cindy