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    Zadar's beautiful coastal location makes it an excellent destination for seafood lovers. The waters of the Adriatic provide plenty of fresh fish, while vineyards along the Dalmatian coast produce exquisite local wines that often fill the menus of Zadar's restaurants. Many of the best dining spots are up on the city walls or scattered along the waterfront, allowing you to appreciate the city’s world-famous sunsets while you eat.

    While the city has been on the tourist map in recent years thanks to major foodie spots, there are also lots of snug family restaurants where you can dine with friendly locals. Croatians are passionate about their food and you'll find lots of tempting local dishes to try, like cherry desserts made with local Marasca cherries. Check out our list of the best Zadar restaurants.

    1

    Pet Bunara

    Traditional Croatian dishes are given a new lease of life

    The food at Pet Bunara revolves around 3 principles: local, seasonal and organic. Nothing but the freshest ingredients go into their Dalmatian stews, homemade pizzas and barley risotto. Popular local dishes such as octopus salad and steak with figs are staples, as well as scrumptious desserts like chocolate gateau and cherry torte.

    Pet Bunara has a cosy atmosphere, thanks to exposed walls in the old stone building and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the charming, tree-shaded terrace. Order a glass from their extensive wine list and allow this excellent restaurant to introduce you to some of the best of Croatia's slow-food movement.

    Locatie: Stratico ul. 1, 23000, Zadar, Croatia

    Open: Daily from 12pm to 11pm

    Telefoonnummer: +385 (0)23 224 010

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    2

    Foša

    Upmarket seafood restaurant with stunning views

    The first thing you notice about Foša is its remarkable location, between the 16th-century city walls on one side and the harbour on the other. While the inside is lovely, with lots of light and a striking aquarium centrepiece, it's worth trying to bag a seat on the terrace for an impressive vista of the marina backed by the sparkling Adriatic sea.

    Foša's speciality is seafood, and they do it very well. The lobster, shrimp, mussels and squid are all artfully presented, as are the homemade desserts like chocolate mousse and tangy sorbet. You’ll also find a top-notch wine list accompanying its extensive seafood menu.

    Locatie: Ul. kralja Dmitra Zvonimira 2, 23420, Zadar, Croatia

    Open: Daily from 12pm to 1am

    Telefoonnummer: +385 (0)23 314 421

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    foto door dronepicr (CC BY 2.0) bewerkt

    3

    Gricko Grill

    Cosy bistro serving great Croatian comfort food

    If you're looking for an easy but deeply satisfying meal, Gricko Grill has got you covered. This little bistro specialises in grilled and fried Croatian food like ćevapi (spiced meat pieces) served in a flatbread, along with burgers, fries and Croatian sausages called kobasica. Its locally sourced salads and grilled vegetables make excellent pairings for your meaty dish.

    Gricko Grill’s comfortable interior and friendly waitstaff will put you instantly at ease. The restaurant also has a quiet courtyard tucked away at the back, if you feel like eating outside. Settle in with one of their Croatian beers – Karlovačko or Ožujsko – and you'll instantly feel like a local.

    Locatie: Ul. dr. Franje Tuđmana 54, 23000, Zadar, Croatia

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10am to 2pm and from 5pm to 10pm (closed on Sundays)

    Telefoonnummer: +385 (0)23 305 087

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    4

    Pizzeria Tri Bunara

    The oldest pizzeria in Zadar

    Pizzeria Tri Bunara has been serving up authentic Italian food in Tri Bunara Square since the 1920s. The atmosphere at this Zadar institution is friendly and unpretentious. The glass-enclosed patio lets you sit outside even in cool weather.

    The pizzas at Tri Bunara are the real deal, made with a thin crust and covered with all the trimmings. Try the Uovo pizza, which has an egg cracked on top before it's baked, or the eternally popular 4-cheese pizza. They also do several breakfast dishes, along with a short but satisfying variety of pasta and salads.

    Locatie: Ul. Jurja Bijankinija 8c, 23000, Zadar, Croatia

    Open: Monday–Friday from 8.30am to 11pm, Saturday–Sunday from 12pm to 11pm

    Telefoonnummer: +385 (0)23 250 390

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    5

    Art of Raw at The Garden Lounge

    Stylish and innovative vegan and raw-food restaurant

    Art of Raw at The Garden Lounge is one of the most popular vegan and raw-food restaurants on the Dalmatian coast. Run by well-known chef Darko Juric, the restaurant prides itself on its creative flavours, vibrant colours and dedication to clean eating. Popular dishes include courgette spaghetti, spring rolls and kale chips, while desserts come in the form of raw chocolate mousse and carrot vanilla cake.

    The restaurant sits in a beautiful green space atop Zadar’s city walls, offering striking views of the yachts bobbing around in Zadar harbour. Enjoy a cocktail or craft beer with live music by resident and guest DJs in the late evening.

    Locatie: Liburnska obala 6, 23000, Zadar, Croatia

    Open: May–October: daily from 10am to 1.30am (until midnight on Sundays)

    Telefoonnummer: +385 (0)23 250 631

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    Victoria Hughes | Schrijver

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