Here’s a list of nice restaurants to consider in Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik’s restaurant scene is a culinary treasure trove, where historic charm meets delectable cuisine. Whether you’re dining in the heart of the Old Town or enjoying seafront views, the city offers a diverse array of dining experiences. With it’s rich gastronomic heritage and picturesque settings, Dubrovnik is a true haven for food enthusiasts.
This is a chronological diary of the restaurants we explored during our 10-day holiday in Dubrovnik. With meticulous research, I handpicked most of these establishments to ensure a delightful dining experience and avoid any gastro horror stories.
One valuable lesson I’ve learned about dining out is, the best service often comes when the restaurant isn’t too crowded. While reading reviews can guide your choices, it’s essential to remember that even top-notch restaurants can receive negative feedback from customers visiting during exceptionally busy times. Nevertheless, exceptional restaurants should skillfully manage their peak periods to ensure a memorable experience for their clientele.
In terms of preference, my primary criteria are food quality, followed closely by attentive service, and finally, the ambiance and decor. Any restaurant that excels in all these aspects is sure to earn my return patronage.
Let me clarify that I’m not a professional food critic; I’m simply someone who appreciates a wonderful dining experience. Presented here is my family’s collective review of our gastronomic journey through Dubrovnik.
City Restaurant & Bar
Within walking distance from our apartment, we embarked on our first gastronomic adventure in Dubrovnik. The restaurant proved to be quite pleasant, and I must say, the burger I ordered was truly delicious. Each member of our party was happy with their selection, and David praised my choice. It felt like we were going to have a great trip.
Panorama Restaurant and Bar
Panorama is an absolute must-visit, even if only to enjoy drinks, as we did. This restaurant perches on the top of Mt Srd, conveniently located right next to the cable car station. From this vantage point, you’ll be treated to the most breathtaking views imaginable – the enchanting old city, the glistening Adriatic Sea, the neighbouring islands, picturesque landscapes, and even other parts of the city.
During our early evening visit around 4 pm, we relaxed with drinks while soaking in this awe-inspiring scenery. In the words of my daughter Abisola, the feeling was nothing short of transcendent: “I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such peace before.”
Proto Fish Restaurant
“Proto was fantastic. Set the tone. Great decor, very classy atmosphere and simply wonderful seafood perfectly paired with a bottle of white wine. Very attentive and friendly service from our exceptional waiter.” – David
“I rank Proto as my number 1 because the ambiance, lightening, food was very flavourful. They were a bit stingy on the bread. Yes, the portions were small but that is ok. The service was good, the waiters got on with dad and his banter which is a good sign. That lady who dinned at the end table walked past our table, stopped and said something nice, although she might have been drunk. I thought the toilet boujee taps were sick ( slang for impressive). Overall, a very fine dining experience. “ – Abisola
“It was cool.” – Kash
Proto came highly recommended by our cab driver from the airport, and our visit there made a fantastic beginning to our holiday. Upon arrival, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that this renowned establishment had played host to a multitude of well-known personalities over the years, adding an extra layer of allure to our dining experience.
Tezoro restaurant, located next to Proto, was our choice for lunch following a visit to the city walls. We initially aimed for a light meal, with dinner plans later in mind, but what we ordered seemed not align with that intention. What I mean by this is, no one was hungry enough to dine out later that evening.
Tezoro presented a different ambiance compared to Proto, with a lower profile on various fronts. We decided to dine indoors, though we found ourselves as the only patrons inside the restaurant. At one point, a staff member began folding table linens near our table, this was somewhat perplexing. It could be due to the customary outdoor seating arrangement during that time of day. Despite the mixed reviews we had heard, our meal at Tezoro turned out to be decent. The service was satisfactory, but nothing about the restaurant left a lasting impression that would entice me to return.
Leut Restaurant Cavtat
“Leut was my next favourite. Picking your own freshly caught fish and choosing your method of preparation was a treat. The 1.7Kg sea bream entré was cooked to perfection, nice & tender, not overcooked. Seasoning enhanced the natural flavour of the fish, did not overwhelm it as some restaurants do. The two starters, pasta in truffle sauce with black truffle shavings & gnocchi in lobster sauce, were simply sublime. Wonderful view of the Cavtat harbour but the aromas drove the flies nuts and they in turn drove us nuts. Eat indoors if you can.” – David
“This is probably one of the funniest dinners I’ve ever had in my life. The service was really good, the waiter was very attentive. Sitting at the harbour gave us an amazing view. The complimentary tuna pate, prawns and anchovies to go with the bread basket was a nice touch. The 2 pasta starters (Granny’s Gnocchi & Fuji in white truffles sauce) was really good especially the Granny’s Gnocchi. I was already almost full by the time the fish came. The sea bream was nice though I wasn’t a fan of the grapes in the sauce.” – Abisola
“As a non fish eater, it was good and relaxed. I ordered fillet beef steak. The actual meat was one of the most flavourful I’ve had in Dubrovnik. The sauce was good too.” – Kash
I wholeheartedly concur with everything my family have shared above. It’s truly a peril when food is so irresistibly delicious because one risks overindulging – a fate that befell all of us, except my son Kash. Our culinary downfall began with the decision to order pasta as starters after devouring not one, but two generous bread baskets. The warm, inviting aroma of that first basket led us to mistakenly order another and then yet another. Eventually, we had to draw the line and send the third basket back. Despite this carb-heavy start, the fish we ordered for our main course was delicious, cooked to absolute perfection. Needless to say, our post-dinner stroll around the town felt a bit laboured. Hahaha!
Gradska Kavana Arsenal Restaurant
Restaurant Arsenal is a very popular and highly recommended restaurant. Booking ahead is a must if you want a view of the picturesque harbour at the Old City Port. We turned up hungry one evening and was told the wait time was about an hour for table on the terrace. Fortunately, there was a free table further in the restaurant and we decided to go for that.
To our delight, dining inside the restaurant allowed us to be in close proximity to the live music. Personally, I fail to grasp the hype surrounding terrace views as they don’t necessarily enhance the flavours of the dishes. We found the interior of the restaurant equally charming with it’s appealing decor and a soft mellow atmosphere.
Mediterranean cuisine prevails in most Dubrovnik restaurants, research has shown that meals emphasising fresh, colourful seasonal vegetables, seafood, olive oils, and minimal animal meats contribute to a long and healthy life.
While I found the meal at Arsenal not lacking in taste, I must admit it didn’t blow me away. My Sea bass, presented wrapped in paper, lacked the tidiness I expected. Nevertheless, I would consider returning, primarily for the live music and the opportunity to explore other dishes on the menu.
Dubravka, part of the renowned Nautika group of Dubrovnik restaurants, which also includes Arsenal and the previously reviewed Panorama, is also worth exploring. Situated just outside the city walls, it offers a nice dining experience. For those seeking a terrace sea view, it’s advisable to make a reservation in advance.
I enjoyed my meal there so much, we returned for a second visit and I ordered the exact same dish. The king prawns, cooked to perfection, served in a flavourful tomato and caper sauce alongside rice, were an absolute delight. I must also mention, for all the bread lovers out there, the bread basket at Dubravka was truly memorable. It consisted of a generous serving of aromatic and utterly delicious focaccia. What gives Dubravka a slight edge over Arsenal is it’s extensive menu selection, which offers a wider array of choices, particularly appealing to young adults. For this reason, they may find themselves opting for Dubravka over its sister restaurant, Arsenal.
Marangun is conveniently located just outside the old city, a mere 13-minute walk from our Lapad apartment. This restaurant specialises in modern Dalmatian cuisine with a sophisticated twist to Mediterranean-style delicacies. Although my personal experience with Marangun was mixed, as I didn’t particularly enjoy the Sea Bass and polenta dish I ordered. This was primarily due to the fact that I was trying polenta for the first time and didn’t like it. I would still rate it as a fine restaurant. It’s important to note that my family enjoyed their selections, and the quality of the food itself was unquestionably high.
Pantarul gives off a homely ambiance that instantly puts you at ease. While the decor may be unassuming, the quality of the cuisine is outstanding, which explains it’s popularity and high ratings. The bread basket, a delightful assortment of homemade bread, was a promising start to our meal. My choice of an aubergine starter was a good choice, it was delicious, and the sea bream with vegetables for the main course was quite tasty. My son Kash couldn’t stop raving about the steak, ranking it among the best he’d ever tasted. Without a doubt, Pantarul has earned a place on my list for future visits.
For my birthday celebration, we opted for Taverna Loggia, which had good reviews. The restaurant is conveniently located just outside the old city near the Marina, within easy walking distance from our apartment. The staff greeted us with a warm and friendly welcome. While the pistachio prawn pasta was delicious, I was somewhat disappointed as the fish I ordered turned out to be excessively salty, an unfortunate occurrence on my special day. We did mention the issue to our waiter, who apologised for the oversight. However, we were still billed for the fish which they shouldn’t have done.
We stumbled upon Rixos whilst leisurely strolling toward the old city on our first day in Dubrovnik. Oh my gosh! Rixos is an exquisite hotel that offers breathtaking vistas of the coastline. Seated on the terrace, one can’t help but be entranced by the mesmerising view of the azure Adriatic Sea, with terracotta rooftops beautifully contrasting against the lush green surroundings. Gazing further out, you can even spot the majestic mountains and Lokrum Island
Unwind on the Libertas Terrace, indulge in a light snack and a refreshing drink, all while savouring the breathtaking view. Below is a selection of pretty cakes I resisted.