Zagrebački odrezak: Tasty Croatian dish popular among locals

Food & wine

Croatia is famous for many sea specialties, but there are some continental dishes you just have to try! Read about zagrebački odrezak, a true classic you can find on the menu of almost every Croatian restaurant.

If you were to come to Zagreb and ask for a typical lunch, you would probably start off with ajngemahtec, a bowl of hot chicken-vegetable noodle soup. The meal would continue with a side dish of creamy rice with peas, popularly called rizi-bizi — a dish easy to make, but hard to perfect. But the real star would be the main course, zagrebački odrezak, a delicious veal steak filled with ham and cheese.

Zagrebački odrezak, or Zagreb steak, is a traditional meat dish popular not just in Croatia’s capital, but all over Northern Croatia. The secret to preparing it perfectly is using the most delicious parts of veal and filling them with a low-fat ham and cheese that melts easily. Although veal is the most common meat to prepare this Croatian dish with, it can also be prepared with pork, chicken and turkey.

Many variations of the popular dish

Many European cities have a dish similar to this popular Croatian food, the most famous being wiener schnitzel. The biggest difference between the two is the fact that the popular Vienna steak doesn’t have ham and cheese in it.

There is one more famous dish that bears a close resemblance to zagrebački odrezak. Cordon bleu is a variation of this typical Croatian food, but it comes from Switzerland. The main difference is that cordon bleu sometimes has ham on the outside as well as on the inside and, besides frying, it can also be prepared by roasting.

There may be many variations, but we encourage you to try the Croatian version and enjoy it as locals do!

Try the traditional recipe:


  1. Put the veal steak in a plastic bag and pound it until it’s flat and thin. Add salt and pepper.
  2. Cut ham and cheese in rectangular shapes and put them on one side of the steak. Fold the steak and seal it with toothpicks so it doesn’t unfold during frying. If you want to add some extra flavour, you can use mustard instead of the toothpicks to hold the edges together.
  3. Roll the steak in flour, then in lightly beaten eggs and, finally, in breadcrumbs.
  4. Fry each side in hot oil for a few minutes until you get a golden crust.
  5. Put the steak on some paper towels to absorb the extra oil.

Serve it with rizi-bizi and some green salad and, for a little twist, end this traditional Zagreb lunch with a popular Dalmatian dessert!

If you’re not a fan of trying out new recipes at home, don’t worry — next time you’re in Šimuni make sure to visit Genius bar and enjoy zagrebački odrezak on the beach. Book your vacation in Šimuni now and let this be just the beginning of your Croatian food exploring adventure!