Zagreb, a city of historical charm and architectural elegance, is a cultural melting pot that has evolved over centuries. Nestled between the plains, the Sava River, and the majestic Mount Medvednica, this Croatian capital boasts a rich tapestry of influences. Its allure is heightened during the Christian festival of Advent when the city comes alive with red hearts, magical figures adorning Baroque bell towers, and an air of festivity. This is the perfect time to explore the city’s museums, squares, and parks, all while indulging in gourmet experiences that have earned Zagreb a place in the MICHELIN Guide.
Discover Zagreb’s Gourmet Scene: As you wander through the city’s winding streets, passing beneath snow-dusted rooftops and alongside evocative medieval buildings in the Gornji Grad district (The Upper Town), you’ll find yourself drawn to the aroma of culinary delights. Zagreb is home to fifteen restaurants gracing the Red Guide, among which two hold the prestigious Bib Gourmand designation, and the exceptional Noel—the city’s sole Michelin-starred restaurant.
Noel: A Star on the Culinary Horizon Nestled just a short stroll from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Noel offers an unforgettable dining experience. Acclaimed by MICHELIN inspectors as a “restaurant on the crest of a wave,” it stands as a testament to the culinary prowess of Goran Kocis. A prominent figure in the Illyrian gastronomic scene, Kocis recently passed the kitchen reins to the talented executive chef, Bruno Vokal. With a focus on modern, imaginative, and locally sourced cuisine, Noel’s tasting menus (four or seven courses) showcase dishes like Strukli with Istrian truffles, white fish with beans, yuzu, and clarified butter, and other innovative creations. Complementing these masterpieces is an exceptional selection of wines, unmatched in Croatia.
Bistrot Pod Zidom: A Taste of Tradition In the Lower Town, where Croatian culture is interwoven with historical landmarks, Bistrot Pod Zidom takes center stage. Awarded the Plate symbol in the MICHELIN Guide, this charming restaurant, located behind the main square, is celebrated for its seasonal cuisine. It sources ingredients daily from the nearby Dolac Market, creating fresh and colorful dishes that celebrate the region’s specialties. The menu changes daily, reflecting the market’s bounty and delighting guests with authentic, local flavors.
Bib Gourmand Tac: A Mediterranean Delight Zagreb’s culinary scene also pays homage to Croatia’s diverse cuisine, blending maritime and continental influences. At Bib Gourmand Tac, Mediterranean-style cuisine takes the spotlight. This hidden gem, situated off the beaten path in a tranquil residential area, is a reflection of its Istrian origins. The menu is presented to guests at their table, offering a delightful journey through the region’s culinary heritage.
Agava: Where International Meets Croatian Perched on a hillside, Agava provides an exceptional view of Tkalciceva Street, where you can savor internationally inspired dishes, Italian home cooking, and Croatian specialties. This MICHELIN Guide Plate restaurant offers a unique blend of flavors and a chance to admire street art, including the captivating sea turtle illusion, painted on a terrace that overlooks the ornate Baroque bell tower of the Cathedral of the Assumption.
Takenoko: A Taste of Japan in Zagreb For those seeking an international twist, Takenoko offers Japanese fusion cuisine, located close to the National Theatre and the University. This elegant restaurant boasts a golden and black interior, serving a variety of generous dishes prepared in various styles, from wok to teriyaki, tempura, sushi, and sashimi. It’s a gastronomic journey accompanied by a selection of enticing cocktails.
ManO: Zagreb’s Creative Culinary Scene Zagreb’s culinary landscape is eclectic and lively, with venues like ManO shining bright. This trendy MICHELIN Guide Plate restaurant, with its brick walls and industrial design, is the canvas for Matija Bogdan’s creative cuisine. After honing his skills in Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe, Matija Bogdan is back in Zagreb, tantalizing his guests with inventive combinations like smoked duck breast with Pag cheese panna cotta, beef ribs with celery, and saddle of venison with a juniper emulsion.
In Zagreb, the MICHELIN Guide reveals a culinary scene that beautifully complements the city’s historical and architectural grandeur. As you explore the capital’s diverse neighborhoods and cultural landmarks, be sure to savor the gourmet treasures that make Zagreb a destination for food enthusiasts from around the world.