The Croatian culinary scene is growing, especially on the coast and in the capital. The Michelin Guide Croatia revealed its new 2021 selection with three new Michelin-stared Restaurants.
Despite the pandemic, Croatia is a resplendent destination that is starting to see its tourists return. The Michelin Guide is celebrating the resilience and talent of Croatian restaurants by revealing its new 2021 selection.
The Michelin Guide inspectors have discovered new outstanding culinary hubs in the dynamic capital, Zagreb, on the Adriatic coast that delights seafood lovers, or on the Istrian Peninsula, which produces delicate meats and flavored olive oils.
“Croatia is a particularly interesting destination that allows travelers and gourmets to enjoy authentic and varied gastronomic experiences. The country offers chefs local produce of exceptional quality, which drives them to outdo themselves day after day,” states Gwendal Poullennec, MICHELIN Guide International Director. “These last few months have been difficult for the country, not just with the health crisis, but also with the deadly earthquake. Despite these dramatic ordeals, the Croatian culinary scene is growing, especially on the coast and in the capital. Our inspectors were able to discover professionals who are passionate about and committed to their land.”
The MICHELIN Guide is revealing new Michelin-star establishments in this 2021 selection, with 3 restaurants awarded a single MICHELIN star:
Agli Amici Restaurant: the Italian chef, Emanuele Scarello, came to Croatia this summer to work on a new gastronomic destination in Rovinj. The restaurant, located in a wonderful luxury hotel, takes on the codes from the chef’s restaurant Agli Amici in Udine, Italy, while using local produce as its starting point and paying specific attention to products from the Mediterranean and the Istrian region. This establishment is run by the chef Lorenzo Lai.
Alfred Keller Restaurant: located in Mali Losinj, a charming village in the south of Cres Island, the Alfred Keller restaurant is making its mark in the Alhambra luxury hotel, near a promenade leading to a bay with crystal clear water. The culinary offerings change daily and highlight the best of Croatian products in a French style. The famous chef Christian Kuchler overseas the kitchen, which is run by Michael Gollenz, one of his protégés.
Nebo Restaurant: once you’ve entered the magnificent and modern Hilton Casabella hotel in Rijeka, go up to the fifth floor to seek out the Nebo restaurant with its cocktail bar, overlooking the town of Opatija and the Istrian coast. Here, you’ll discover an incredible sunset, and also attentive service that will help you to explore the precise and authentic cuisine of the young chef Deni Sdroc, already known in the region.
This year, three 1-star restaurants that have seen a change in chef have also retained their award:
- Lovran – Draga di Lovrana Restaurant, chef Zdravko Tomšic;
- Novajlia – Boskinac Restaurant, chef Matija Kruhonja;
- Zagreb – Noel Restaurant, chef Bruno Vokal;
Gourmets can also discover three new Bib Gourmand establishments:
- Buje – Konoba Malo Selo Restaurant – offering local cuisine with a rustic touch;
- Valbandon – Alla Beccaccia Restaurant – discover traditional cuisine and grilled specialties;
- Zagreb – Izakaya by Time Restaurant – be transported by its Asian and fusion cuisine.
Lastly, 6 new MICHELIN Plate restaurants join the selection:
- Buje – Luciano Restaurant;
- Mali Losinj – Matsunoki Restaurant;
- Pula – Ribarska Koliba Restaurant;
- Rovinj – Cap Aureo Restaurant;
- Zagreb – Man02 Restaurant;
- Zagreb – Theatrium by Filho Restaurant.
This 2021 edition of the MICHELIN Guide Croatia includes a new award: the MICHELIN Green Star.
Revealed in January 2020 in the French edition of the Guide, the MICHELIN Green Star highlights restaurants that are specifically committed to gastronomy that is more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Thanks to the great richness of local Croatian produce, chefs can avoid using raw materials from distant locations and thus highlight their land every day. Representative of this global dynamic, Zinfandel’s restaurant receives the MICHELIN Green Star this year for its inspiring commitment to more sustainable and responsible gastronomy. In partnership with WWF, the restaurant was the first in Croatia to be awarded the Zero Waste label (as a participant in the Hotel Kitchen project). The restaurant’s culinary offer also respects the local ecosystem: the wine is produced from fruit grown on the hotel’s terrace, the menus (which are not printed, but which are available as QR codes to avoid paper waste) are adapted to the seasons and primarily showcase local produce, much of which comes from neighboring family-run farms. Zinfandel’s also works on its waste management: everything is sorted, and the waste oils and grease are purchased by biogas producers.