• By Deanna Segrave-Daly
  • In 2018
  • October 24, 2018

Local Flavors of Dubrovnik, Croatia

healthy eating in croatia
by Judy Matusky, RDN, LDN

Dubrovnik is a stunning, seaside coastal town with cuisine that has been influenced by Italy, Greece, and Turkey.

healthy eating in croatia

My family and I traveled to Dubrovnik in early September and immediately fell in love with the country. Restaurant menus were filled with fresh seafood dishes like grilled octopus, stuffed squid, black seafood risotto, and fried sardines. Seasonal vegetables included eggplant, zucchini and peppers which were grilled or stewed.  Although risotto cooked with seafood or squid ink is very popular, you could find many pasta dishes as well. One specialty was “under the bell” which was a slow method of cooking octopus, lamb or chicken under a cast iron dome over hot coals. In Dubrovnik, desserts were modest with a selection of fig cakes, candied orange peels, layered phyllo with nuts and honey, and Croatia’s version of gelato.

healthy eating in croatia


When I’m traveling, one of my first stops is a local supermarket. Konzum was a  market near our villa and I was pleasantly surprised to see a promotional campaign for fruit and vegetables featured on their store bags (above). After walking the aisles, I purchased enough food for breakfast and “on the go” lunches. My shopping cart was overflowing with yogurt (which was the creamy, full-fat kind), hard cheeses, cured meats, whole grain breads, assorted vegetables and fruit (including lots of local grapes), muesli cereal. olives, olive oil, local honey and of course, Croatian red and white wine. Having our fridge fully stocked was a healthy way to fuel our daytime activities.

We enjoyed a trip to the Matusko winery just outside of Dubrovnik on the Peljesac Peninsula prized for its production of Plavac Mali wine. These small, blue grapes produce Croatia’s best red wines. On the way back we stopped at Ston, to see the ancient salt pans and Mali Ston to taste oysters and mussels pulled right from the sea.

Other delightful pleasures included fruity, freshly pressed Brachia olive oil from the Island of Brac, hard sheep’s milk cheese from the Island of Pag, and Prsut, a Dalmatian prosciutto that contains no additives. With an abundance of fresh, local, seasonal food, Dubrovnik is a nutritional dream.

Judy Matusky, RDN, LDN, is the owner of Athens Nutrition in Ardmore, PA