Taste the culinary treasure hidden in the deep blue Adriatic Sea.

One of the most prominent characteristics of Croatian cuisine is the strong influence of the delicious, yet healthy culinary tradition of the Mediterranean, which means plenty of olive oil, wine, garlic, and of course, fresh seafood. 

Stretching along the Adriatic Sea, the Croatian coast is rich in diverse marine treasures deeply embedded in the daily life and culture of the country. With picturesque fishing ports and vibrant fish markets, fresh fish is always available, and its preparation often reflects the simplicity and authenticity of the Mediterranean lifestyle.

Croatians are known for their appreciation of high-quality, fresh ingredients, and fish is an indispensable part of their diet. Discover which types of fish are popular in homes and taverns all over Croatia and why they are favored by locals and visitors alike. Prepare yourself for a gastronomic journey through Croatia’s fish specialties and experience the true taste of the Mediterranean!

Saltwater fish

The coastal waters of Croatia are teeming with a variety of saltwater fish that are celebrated for their unique flavors and textures. Croatian fish, particularly those from the Adriatic Sea, play a central role in the local cuisine, bringing a taste of the Mediterranean to every meal. 

From the vibrant markets to the tables of local taverns, these saltwater fish are integral to Croatian culinary traditions and are highly sought after by both locals and visitors alike. Each type of fish offers its own distinct culinary experience, making them a must-try during your visit to Croatia.

Red scorpionfish (škarpina)

You’ll recognize this fish by its specific orange or brick-red colour and venomous spines, but don’t let the intimidating exterior put you off! Once the spines are removed, you can safely enjoy the delicate, juicy meat inside, which is the reason why this Croatian fish is so highly appreciated. It may be one of the priciest types of seafood, but the spectacular taste is well worth it!

Dentex (zubatac)

A bit more affordable than red scorpionfish, the zubatac is also more commonly found on the menus of families on the coast of Croatia. This whitefish has prominent sharp teeth and appetizing, rich meat that can handle a lot of salt in the kitchen!

European seabass (lubin/brancin)

If you see the words agač, lubin, dut, luben, smudut or morski grgeč on menus of Dalmatian taverns, know that those are just various names for the seabass. This tasty fish is a fast swimmer that’s difficult to catch, but once you do, it’s best to throw it on the grill, “Dalmatian style”, which is called “na gradele”.

John Dory (kovač)

The John Dory (also known as St. Pierre or Peter’s Fish) is known in Croatia under the names kovač, šanpjer or riba Svetog Petra. It has prominent dark spots on the sides of its oval, compressed body, and legend says that they were left by the apostle St Peter as he was catching fish, which explains one version of its name. The supple, soft meat of John Dory is a true delicacy best prepared on the grill.

European pilchard (srdela)

The official name is european pilchard, but you may also find it on menus listed as sardine. Because of its affordable price and tasty flavour, it’s definitely the most popular type of fish in Croatia. Grilled, cooked or fried pilchards are a simple, unpretentious dish available at every corner during summer season on the coast, which is why it should definitely be part of your vacation experience!

Sea bream (orada)

Thanks to its amazing white meat, orada or komarča is such a renowned delicacy fishermen started calling her the “queen of the sea”. It’s also one of the fish commonly found in the traditional Croatian fish recipe called brudet, one of the most famous examples of authentic Croatian food.

Monkfish (grdobina)

The grdo in grdobina literally means “ugly” in Croatian, and this huge-mouthed fish is definitely an example of the less visually appealing Croatian seafood, but still delicious nonetheless. It also has few bones, making it perfect for children so they can get their daily dose of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Freshwater fish

While the Croatian coast is renowned for its saltwater fish, the inland regions are equally celebrated for their rich variety of freshwater fish. They are a vital part of Croatian cuisine, especially in areas away from the coast, providing unique flavors and culinary experiences. Freshwater fish such as carp, trout, and pike are popular in homes and restaurants across the country. Let’s explore some of the most beloved freshwater fish in Croatia!

Carp (šaran)

Carp is a well-loved freshwater fish in Croatia, known for its rich and tender meat. It’s particularly popular during the winter holidays, often prepared in traditional dishes like “fiš-paprikaš” or baked with a variety of herbs and spices. Its flavorful meat can hold up well to various cooking methods, making it a versatile choice in Croatian cuisine.

Trout (pastrva)

Trout is another favorite among freshwater fish in Croatia. With its delicate texture and mild, slightly nutty flavor, trout is often grilled or baked with simple seasonings to highlight its natural taste. Found in the clear, fast-flowing rivers of Croatia, trout is a prized catch and a delightful addition to any meal.

Pike (štuka)

Pike is a freshwater fish known for its lean, firm flesh and distinct flavor. It is often featured in Croatian fish stews and soups. This fish is a beloved choice for those seeking a heartier, more pronounced taste in their dishes.

By exploring these freshwater fish, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the diverse and flavorful offerings of Croatian cuisine. Each type of fish not only brings its own unique taste to the table but also reflects the rich culinary traditions of Croatia.

Experience the best of Dalmatian cuisine

You can probably imagine yourself enjoying a fish prepared “na gradele” and sipping on some authentic Dalmatian wine while overlooking the sun setting over the Adriatic, and that is exactly what awaits you in the outstanding restaurants of Camping Village Šimuni. If you want to fully immerse yourself in the Dalmatian lifestyle,  you can try fishing on the beaches of the camp, just keep in mind that you need to have a licence.

Check out the amazing offerings of Camping Village Šimuni and discover all the wonderful experiences waiting for you. If you have any questions or need more information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us through our contact form. We look forward to welcoming you and helping you create unforgettable memories on the beautiful Adriatic coast.