Food, Places I've Been, Travel

The best restaurants in Hvar, Croatia

July 30, 2016
restaurants in hvar

This year was my fifth time in the lovely island of Hvar in Croatia. There are many reasons I love Hvar, and the food scene is one of them. The food is simply amazing and despite its small size, Hvar has many great restaurants to offer – no matter your budget and food preferences. Every time we go to Hvar we find new restaurants – either ones we’ve completely missed or new ones that have recently open. Of course, I want to try them all, but that’s not always possible. If you’re planning a trip to Hvar and want some restaurant recommendations, I’ve here compiled a list of the best restaurants in Hvar.

Because I am a vegetarian, I’m not able to eat at all the restaurants in Hvar so I’ve divided this list into the restaurants that I have tried myself and the restaurants that I have heard friends and acquaintances rave about.

My personal favorite restaurants in Hvar:

The Golden Shell
The Golden Shell is located on a small cobble street just behind the big square and it can be hard to miss so look out for the hostess outside. It’s probably one of the smallest restaurants that I’ve visited, with only around 12 tables, but the food is so amazing that we ate here twice during our last trip. They only have one vegetarian meal: a pasta with gorgonzola sauce and apples, and it tastes just like heaven, but they have more options if you eat meat and/or fish. Jacob had the ćevapčići, Balkan meat rolls, in lepinja, a traditional Balkan flatbread, served with onion, a delicious salad, ajvar and potatoes. He absolutely loved it. The restaurant is run by a family. The sommelier/server alone, Antonio (or Toni as they call him), is worth coming here for. He’s charming, nice, has a good sense of humour and knows everything about the food and the wine they serve. As the place is quite small, Toni has the time to chat to his customers (if they feel like it) and explain everything about the food on your plate. While we were there he told two women dining at the restaurant how he himself had caught the seafood they were about to eat, earlier that day. You can hear the knives cutting vegetables in the kitchen, where the chef is never too stressed or busy to deliver a perfect meal. The chef who, by the way, is World Master Chef Ivan Buzolic and sometimes his daughter Maja – both excellent chefs. The food is sourced locally as far as possible and the wine is all local wine. If you’re in Hvar for just one night, this is the place to go.
Where: Petra Hektorovića 8, Hvar.
Website (in Croatian)

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Jacob had ćevapčići at the Golden Shell – the only meat I still miss!

Fig Café Bar
This is a new place in Hvar, opened by an American who moved to Croatia and decided to open up something a bit different than what all the other restaurants in Hvar are offering. Forget the classic Mediterranean pasta, risotto, pizza, meat, fish and seafood and enjoy Mexican pulled pork, pear and gorgonzola flat bread, vegan root vegetables with hummus or a vegetarian Indian curry with raita – food you won’t find anywhere else on the island. The place is small and hard to find, but once you find it you’ll keep coming back. The restaurant with its outside seating is located in a quiet, small street away from the crowds. You can’t make any reservations and it’s often full so either get here early or be prepared to grab a drink and wait a little while to be seated. The food is not only different but tastes absolutely fantastic as well – I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Read more about our visit to Fig Café Bar here.
Where: If you’re at the main square you will see two restaurants called Mizzarola and Ex Rocco. In between them is a small alleyway which can easily be missed if you don’t know it’s there. Walk down that alleyway and you will see the Fig Café Bar logo at the end – then turn left and you’re there.
Website.

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Luna
Restaurant Luna is located on the same small street as The Golden Shell and after you climb the many stairs you can sit on the lovely, cozy rooftop. Luna mainly serves meat and fish but also has a lovely gnocchi with truffles for the vegetarians. We came here early and were the only people there but if you get here later in the evening it’s usually packed. The wine list is filled with Croatian wines and the servers are competent and can help you choose one that goes well with whatever you’re eating.
Where: Petra Hektorovića 1, Hvar.
Website.

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Truffle gnocchi at Luna

Other great restaurants in Hvar

Dalmatino
This restaurant is number one on Tripadvisor in Hvar, so many tourists come here, but it is not a tourist trap at all. The restaurant specializes in fish and seafood and I hear they have excellent service.
Where: Sveti Marak 1, Hvar
Website.

Giaxa
A really cozy restaurant with the most amazing setting on one of the cobble streets, Giaxa mainly serves fish and meat. We ate here a few years ago when they offered to make me a vegetarian pasta, but unfortunately they weren’t keen on adapting their menu this time around. Nevertheless, if you eat meat and fish and want to splurge for an evening, Giaxa is a great choice.
Where: Petra Hektorovica 3, Hvar
Website.

Lucullus
An excellent restaurant as well, with classic Dalmatian cuisine. We used to come here a lot when they had vegetarian options but  they didn’t have them this year so we skipped it. Still, it’s one of the best restaurants in town with excellent food and friendly waiters.
Where: Petra Hektorovića 8, Hvar (same address as Golden Shell above, but they’re right across the “street”.)

restaurants in hvar

Black Pepper with its checked tablecloths (Photo from Black Pepper’s Facebook page)

Black Pepper
A new restaurant that has quickly gained raving reviews among tourists and locals alike. They serve dalmatian classics with a twist and in a lovely setting. Didn’t eat here because of the lack of veg*n food on the menu but again – for meat and fish it’s perfect.
Where: Skaline od Gojave 11, Hvar
Facebook page.

Paradies Garden
Though Paradies Garden is not a new restaurant in Hvar, I hadn’t heard of it until now – maybe they just upped their marketing budget? Either way, it seems to be a place where people enjoy seafood, fish and meat as well as local wine and great service.
Where: Groda bb, Hvar

Do you have any favorite restaurants in Hvar that you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments!

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