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10 of the Best Restaurants in Rovinj, Croatia

I first heard about Rovinj from my sister about ten years ago. She and her husband made their way up the Croatian coast to explore some of its most breathtaking destinations like Dubrovnik, Split, Brac, and Hvar.

Even before Game of Thrones became a global phenomenon, Dubrovnik and Split were already Croatia’s most visited destinations. She fell in love with both cities but according to her, when she dreams about going back to Croatia, she thinks of Rovinj. We know the feeling.

Dubrovnik and Split may get the most attention but Rovinj was easily our favorite city in Croatia. From its Venetian-inspired architecture to its lively harbor and breathtaking sunsets, we became enamored with every cobblestoned inch of this hilly port town along Istria’s Adriatic coast. It’s remarkably pretty – almost storybook-like – yet it still feels authentic.

The southern Dalmatian islands may be trendier but if you have the time, then Rovinj is one town that you shouldn’t miss on your next trip to Croatia.

Here are ten restaurants to get you even more excited about that trip.


To help you with your Rovinj trip planning, we’ve compiled links to recommended hotels, tours, and other travel-related services here.


Recommended hotels and apartments in and around the Old Town, the best place to stay for first-time visitors to Rovinj.



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Croatian dishes at restaurants in Rovinj


1. La Vela

We prioritize local food when we travel so La Vela was one of the restaurants we were most excited to visit in Rovinj. They’re a family-run restaurant that serves fresh seafood dishes and Istrian specialties like pljukanci and fuzi with truffles.

I wanted Adriatic tuna steak but unfortunately, they were all out that day. As an alternative, our server offered to prepare a grilled seafood platter for one person. These seafood plates are common at coastal restaurants in Croatia. They’re usually made for two people but our server was kind enough to make it just for me.

Filling up the plate below are grilled fish (sea bream), shrimp, langoustine, Adriatic squid, and mussels. They’re served with blitva – a popular Croatian side dish of Swiss chard and boiled potatoes that’s almost always served with seafood.

Seafood platter at a restaurant in Rovinj

As much as we loved Dalmatia, I think we may have enjoyed Istria even more. And a lot of that has to do with the food.

Istria is known for its truffles. Black truffles are best in the summer while white truffles are available only in winter. We visited Rovinj and inner Istria in mid- to late-November so we were lucky enough to enjoy both. We even went on a white truffle hunting tour which turned out to be one of the best experiences we’ve had on any trip.

Many restaurants in Rovinj serve truffles, usually in pasta dishes like this fuzi with black truffles. Fuzi refers to a tubular type of Istrian pasta made in Croatia and Slovenia. It’s similar to penne, but without the ridges.

Needless to say, if you like truffles, then you’re going to enjoy dishes like this in Istria. We were hoping to enjoy them in Pula as well but we couldn’t find one restaurant that was serving them in winter. No such problems here in Rovinj.

Truffle pasta dish at a restaurant in Rovinj

La Vela is located in the Old Town. If you have a curiosity for traditional Croatian cuisine, then this is a great restaurant to visit in Rovinj.

La Vela restaurant in Rovinj, Croatia

La Vela

Address: Ul. Giuseppea Mazzinia 1, 52210, Rovinj
Operating Hours: 11AM-10PM, Mon-Thurs / 11AM-11PM, Fri-Sat (closed Sundays)
What They Offer: Seafood, meat dishes, pasta, pizza

2. Snack Bar Rio

I bought a jacket at a shop in the Old Town and we got to chatting with the friendly owner. He told us that he was planning a vacation to the Philippines with his family so we gave him a few tips. In exchange, he recommended some of his favorite restaurants in Rovinj, one of them being Snack Bar Rio.

Don’t let this restaurant’s rather informal-sounding name fool you. When I first heard it, I instantly thought of those snack shops that are so popular in Moroccan cities like Marrakesh and Essaouira – places that serve comfort food like tacos and sandwiches.

Snack Bar Rio isn’t a street food shop or a fine dining restaurant but they do serve very good food in a prime location along Rovinj’s waterfront.

What you’re looking at here is my beautiful plate of Adriatic sea bream fillets topped with truffle cream and shaved black truffles. Oh my!

Fish with truffle dish at a restaurant in Rovinj

If you’re in the mood for a local meat dish, then you may want to try this fuzi with boskarin or Istrian ox meat. Boskarin refers to a breed of long-horned dairy cattle that originated in Istria. The breed had almost completely disappeared at one point but it’s now being farmed for its meat which is hailed as a true Istrian delicacy.

Croatian pasta dish at a restaurant in Rovinj

Snack Bar Rio is a much nicer restaurant than its name suggests. There are many restaurants along Rovinj’s waterfront but this is one of the best.

Snack Bar Rio restaurant in Rovinj, Croatia

Snack Bar Rio

Address: Obala Alda Rismonda 13, 52210, Rovinj
Operating Hours: 8AM-9PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What They Offer: Seafood, pasta dishes

3. Kantinon Tavern

Kantinon Tavern is another restaurant that was recommended to us by that same shop owner. Located just a few doors down from Snack Bar Rio, it’s a great restaurant to try traditional Istrian dishes like pljukanci, Istrian pork sausages, local cheeses, and Istrian prsut (Croatian prosciutto).

As much as I love seafood, I had gotten my fill of fresh fish after over a month of exploring the Adriatic coast. The tuna steak looked tempting but I welcomed the chance to try this local chicken served with roasted potatoes and mushrooms instead.

Made with a small 600-gram chicken that was stuffed with lemons and herbs and then roasted whole, it was tender, juicy, and absolutely delicious.

Roast chicken dish at a restaurant in Rovinj

Our server was the best. My wife had her heart set on the mussels buzara and was sad to hear that Kantinon only serves it during the summer. Not wanting to disappoint us, our kind server went into the kitchen to see what they could whip up, and they came up with something even better – this beautiful (and overflowing) pot of Istrian scallops buzara!

Buzara refers to a popular Croatian dish made with seafood – usually mussels – cooked in a mixture of olive oil, wine, fresh herbs, and garlic. We’ve had it with mussels and clams before but never with scallops. Super hvala!

Scallops buzara at a restaurant in Rovinj

Kantinon Tavern is a rustic chic restaurant that serves delicious food in front of Rovinj’s picturesque port. We sat outside by the water (and seagulls) but they have a large indoor dining space as well.

Kantinon restaurant in Rovinj, Croatia

Kantinon Tavern

Address: Obala Alda Rismonda 18, 52210, Rovinj
Operating Hours: 12NN-10PM, daily
What They Offer: Traditional Istrian dishes

4. Konoba Jure

When we asked that local shop owner for restaurant recommendations in Rovinj, Konoba Jure was the first place he suggested to us.

Hearing him say “konoba” made our ears perk up because we’ve enjoyed some of our best meals in Croatia at these rustic restaurants serving traditional cuisine. Meaning “tavern” or “wine cellar” in Croatian, you can think of a konoba as the Croatian version of a French bistro.

We had lunch at Konoba Jure on a cold and rainy day so there was no better dish to warm us with than this pot of goveda juha, or beef noodle soup. Made with vermicelli, bone-in beef, and vegetables, it’s a hearty and comforting soup that’s a favorite in many Croatian households.

Beef noodle soup at a restaurant in Rovinj

If you fancy octopus, then you may want to try Konoba Jure’s octopus salad as well. It’s a popular dish that’s often served as a starter at many Croatian seafood restaurants.

Octopus salad at a restaurant in Rovinj

You’ve heard me mention “pljukanci” a couple of times in this article. It refers to a type of Istrian pasta that’s rolled between the hands to create these spindle-like shapes. Like fuzi, you can find it at virtually every Rovinj restaurant serving pasta dishes.

Called pljukanci “jure”, this version was served in a pan with mushrooms, pancetta, and grated Parmesan cheese. I like pasta dishes with more bite so I preferred pljukanci over fuzi, especially when it’s served with seafood. It’s chewier and firmer in texture.

Croatian pasta dish at a restaurant in Rovinj

At most seafood restaurants in coastal Croatia, you’ll have the option of ordering first-class white fish or second-class blue fish. First-class refers to more expensive types of fish like Adriatic tuna or sea bream while second-class refers to cheaper fish like mackerel. Both are typically priced per kilo and served with a side of vegetables.

Pictured below is my beautiful grilled sea bream served with a side of blitva. It’s hard to tell from this picture but this perfectly grilled specimen was huge and easily weighed in at over half a kilo.

Grilled fish at a restaurant in Rovinj

Aside from being tops on that shop owner’s list, what made Konoba Jure even more intriguing is that it isn’t located in central Rovinj. It can be found in a residential neighborhood about a 20-minute walk east of the Old Town. That gave us a clue to how popular this place must be for locals.

In fact, when we first tried to eat here, we were turned away because the restaurant was already packed for lunch. We had to make reservations on the spot and come back the following day.

Konoba Jure restaurant in Rovinj, Croatia

If you don’t mind the walk, then Konoba Jure is a great restaurant to visit for traditional Istrian cuisine. At the very least, it’ll give you a break from the Old Town and offer a chance to enjoy a meal at a truly local restaurant in Rovinj.

Konoba Jure restaurant interior

Konoba Jure

Address: Cademia ul. 22, 52210, Rovinj
Operating Hours: 12NN-10PM, Thurs-Tue (closed Wednesdays)
What They Offer: Seafood, grilled meats, pasta dishes

5. Konoba Neptun

Thanks to its proximity to Italy, it isn’t hard to find good Neapolitan-style pizza in Croatia. There are several pizza restaurants in Rovinj but we chose Konoba Neptun after learning that it’s the oldest pizzeria in the city. Open since 1973, they offer an extensive menu featuring pizzas, pasta dishes, seafood, grilled meats, salads, and dessert.

Pictured below is our tasty funghi or mushroom pizza. We like to keep our pizzas simple so we’ll typically order just funghi or margherita.

Pizza at a restaurant in Rovinj

We’re middle-aged travelers so we like pairing our pizzas with something a little healthier. In Croatia, that usually meant a side dish of grilled vegetables

Grilled vegetables at a restaurant in Rovinj

…or a simple but always satisfying Greek salad.

Greek salad at a restaurant in Rovinj

Konoba Neptun is located in the Old Town, just around the corner from Wok.About (#7).

Konoba Neptun restaurant in Rovinj, Croatia

Konoba Neptun

Address: Ul. Joakima Rakovca 10, 52210, Rovinj
Operating Hours: 9AM-11PM, daily
What They Offer: Seafood, grilled dishes, pasta, pizza

6. Papa’s

As much as I love going to restaurants, I’m a street food guy at heart so I became excited when that shop owner recommended Papa’s to us. Located just outside the Old Town, near the bus station, it’s a super popular take-out-only shop that sells street food dishes like burgers, sandwiches, and pizza.

Nothing compares to Neapolitan-style pizzas but if you want something quick and filling for cheap, then these thick pizza squares for EUR 2.50-3 (November 2023) are tough to beat. You can’t tell from this picture but Papa’s makes their pizzas using soft and doughy, inch-thick crusts. These pizza squares are quite filling so one slice for most people is more than enough!

Pizza from a restaurant in Rovinj

I didn’t feel like eating meat today so I ordered the tofu and vegetable wrap. For just EUR 7, I was expecting just one wrap so I was surprised to open the container and find two wraps cut into four pieces. What a great deal considering how expensive food can be in these coastal Croatian towns!

Tofu wraps from a restaurant in Rovinj

Here’s an inside look at the wrap. It was made with tofu, leafy greens, corn, red beans, pickles, and guacamole in a nicely toasted tortilla wrap.

Inside the tofu wrap from a restaurant in Rovinj

We walked by Papa’s a few times during our stay and there was always a small crowd of locals outside waiting for their food. They do have a couple of standing-only tables but most people get their food to go.

If you want great food for cheap in Rovinj, then Papa’s is a great place to visit.

Papas restaurant in Rovinj, Croatia


Address: Carducci 1, 52 210, Rovinj
Operating Hours: 10AM-5PM, Mon-Sat (closed Sundays)
What They Offer: Comfort food

7. Wok.About

I prioritize local food when putting together these restaurant guides, but after a few days or weeks of eating seafood, then you may be in the mood for something a little different. That’s exactly what this street food shop can offer you.

As its name suggests, Wok.About specializes in Asian dishes like fried noodles, stir-fries, spring rolls, and pad thai. Pictured below is a surprisingly delicious box of their chicken fried noodles.

We’re originally from Southeast Asia so we know a thing or two about Asian food, and I can honestly say that we were shocked by how good this was. The chicken was unbelievably tender and the noodles had that wok hei flavor that we weren’t expecting to find here in Rovinj!

The cooks at Wok.About are all Asian so I guess we should have expected it.

Noodles from a restaurant in Rovinj

This chicken burrito was pretty darn good two. Tasting more Asian than Mexican, it was sort of like an Asian stir fry wrapped in a tortilla.

Chicken wrap from a restaurant in Rovinj

Aside from making good Asian food, Wok.About gives budget travelers another place to get a filling meal for cheap in Rovinj.

Wok About restaurant in Rovinj, Croatia


Address: Pro. Marina – Passo Marina, 52210, Rovinj
Operating Hours: 12NN-11PM, daily
What They Offer: Asian dishes, comfort food

We visited Rovinj in late November and unfortunately, these last three restaurants and bars were already closed for the winter. They came highly recommended, especially Restaurant Orca, so I suggest checking them out if you can.

8. Orca

Restaurant Orca was recommended to us by two locals – the aforementioned shop owner and a chef whose family happens to make some of the best organic olive oil in Istria.

When two locals (especially a chef) suggest a restaurant, you don’t ask too many questions. You just go, which is what we intended to do until I saw on their Facebook page that they were already catching rays in a warmer place somewhere. Bummer!

Restaurant Orca is located about a 50-minute walk northeast of the Old Town. That may be too long of a walk for most people but you should be able to catch an Uber in Rovinj. Just be sure that the restaurant is open before you make that trip. I’m sure it’s worth it.

Address: Gripole ul., 52210, Rovinj
Operating Hours: 11AM-11PM, Wed-Mon (closed Tuesdays)
What They Offer: Traditional Istrian cuisine

9. Scuba

We already knew about Scuba Restaurant from our research so I was happy to hear the shop owner recommend it to us as well. Unlike Orca, Scuba is much easier to get to. It’s one of the many restaurants along the waterfront so you don’t have to go too far to try their food.

Looking at their menu, Scuba appears to specialize in seafood but they do offer grilled meat dishes as well. The octopus peka – octopus slow-cooked in a wrought-iron vessel – looks especially inviting.

Address: Obala Pina Budicina, 52210, Rovinj
Operating Hours: 2-11PM, daily
What They Offer: Seafood, meat dishes

10. Mediterraneo

No, Mediterraneo isn’t a restaurant that serves Mediterranean cuisine. It’s a cocktail bar that offers some of the most striking views in Rovinj.

Based on what I’ve read, the cocktails at Mediterraneo are a bit pricey but the view and venue more than make up for it. Check them out if you visit Rovinj during the warmer months.

Address: Ul. Sv. Križa 24, 52210, Rovinj
What They Offer: Cocktails


To help you find these restaurants in Rovinj, I’ve pinned them all on the map below. Click on the link for a live version of the map.

Map with pins


We aren’t too big on fine dining – especially when the restaurant is located inside a hotel – but people looking for a truly special experience may want to check these places out.

The Wine Vault inside the luxurious Monte Mulini Hotel is said to be a great place to try modern Mediterranean cuisine, as is Michelin-recommended Cap Aureo on the fifth floor of the Grand Park Hotel. Both luxury hotels are operated by the Maistra Hospitality Group.

If you’re guided by the Michelin constellation, then you’ll be pleased to know that Rovinj is currently home to two one-starred Michelin restaurants – Monte and Agli Amici Rovinj. Both offer tasting menus with creative dishes that showcase the very best of Istrian cuisine.

That about wraps up this Rovinj restaurant guide. If you have any questions or comments, then feel free to send us a message via the comment section below.

Thanks for reading and have an incredible time in Rovinj and Istria!


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