In this week's blog post we're sharing ideas on where to buy local produce, where to eat and indulge in Zagreb. We couldn't think of a better person to share recommendations than Anđela Ivčević, the lovely lady behind IG gastro profile @lil__kitchen. Not only has @lil__kitchen inspired us to try out new delicious recipes, but has taught us different tricks on how to store fresh foods and make lunches out of food scraps. Anđela's recipes are mostly based on fresh seasonal produce, so we were curious where she likes to shop and where she eats out. Here are Anđela's recommendations...
FRESH SEASONAL PRODUCE
Farmers market! Or as locals call it, pijaca, plac, or tržnica, depending on the region we are from. My favorites are Dolac in the city center and Kvatrić a little further east, but you can find them scattered in many other neighborhoods across the town. Besides veggies, fruits, dairy, fish and meats you will find a bunch of interesting characters there! Older people working there might not speak any foreign language, but that won’t stop them to accomplish some kind of communication and charm you.
Bio Bio stores if I want to be 100% sure something is organic. People on the farmer's markets are charming but they sell everything from local and organic to imported products of questionable quality and sometimes you can't really tell the difference at first sight.
PANTRY AND FRIDGE STAPLES
I buy as many pantry staples from bulk as possible so I really like to shop at Greencajg – they have nuts, seeds, grains, dry fruits, and many other goods in bulk and give a 10% discount when you bring your own jars or produce bags. I reckon that's a win-win situation – for the environment and for the wallet.
Plant milk and all kinds of other vegan alternatives I buy at DM (although it's a drugstore chain, they have a great selection of foods and stores all across Zagreb and Croatia in general) and previously mentioned Bio Bio. Another good place to buy healthy staples is Tvornica zdrave hrane.
Most of the dry spices and herbs, and sometimes tea, I buy at Harissa spice stores.
I like my daily dose of caffeine to be something quite nice so most of the time I buy coffee at Quahwa. They have a wide range of available options and I find I get great value for my money there.
On rare occasions when I don't have my own sourdough bread ready, Bread club is the place I go. Also, it's quite hard to resist their pastries - almond croissant is a thing from my dreams.
For all kinds of Croatian delicacies I like Gligora Cheese & Deli.
For any Asian ingredients I might need, I like to go to Pekinška patka. There are few bigger stores around the town but this little store covers all the basics and is somehow special – really nice owners that also work there might be the reason.
RESTAURANTS, BARS AND SUCH
I am very committed to making my own lunches and bringing them to work, but on occasion, I want a little break from that, I like to go to Kut. Their food is tasty, affordable and diverse. The daily menu consists of only three dishes but there is something that will satisfy everybody – from meat-eaters to vegans. Keep in mind they only serve lunch and take no reservations and at the evnings, they are available for private dinners by appointment.
If you want to try something quite bold and interesting but still at a reasonable price, go to Sopal. I think the best time to go there is Friday or Saturday night when food is accompanied by pretty loud music and literally a smoky atmosphere. But I find that's giving it a charm. Don't forget to reserve your seat in advance.
If you can try something high-end and taste Croatian ingredients in totally unexpected forms, go to Nav and experience their personal dining. It's literally personal because the tasting menu is adapted to all of your preferences and not only one of the best and certainly the most progressive chef in Croatia will cook for you, but he will serve and present you the food himself.
If you're just looking for a cozy place for a good coffee or maybe a really nice cocktail, check out Bar Botaničar. Besides being a cozy place to get a drink, Botaničar is also hosting all kinds of cool events – art exhibitions, concerts, pop-up flea markets...
And If you just want to chill at your couch and order takeaway, spare yourself scrolling thru delivery apps and just go order from Soi Fusion. I bet that's the best Asian takeaway you can have! Also, you can go to the restaurant itself where they have a bit bigger menu AND amazing deserts that sadly don't deliver.
Speaking on sweets... There are a lot of really good patisseries across the town but the one I'm enjoying lately is Vis a Vis – if you have any kind of food intolerance and/or are vegan, you will appreciate this tip. Also, if you want some classic desserts but don't want them overly sweet and heavy.
But, if you want to indulge in all the flavor, sugar and fat in the best way possible, don't miss ice cream at Orijent!
Let's end this list on a sweet note, but if you need more food and drinks-related recommendations, hit me up @lil__kitchen!