Best of Zagreb offer unique and original guided walking and sightseeing tours, day trips and excursions.
We tried their Fast & Simple Zagreb Food Tour which included a walk through historical Zagreb and some delicious treats with our wonderful guide, Samia, and this is what we thought:
We started the tour in a way we think all food tours should start, actually in a way we think all tours should start: with chocolate.
Kras is a Croatian food company based in Zagreb who specialise in confectionary products.
The chocolate was very tasty and the perfect start to our tour.
Our first stop was Dolac Square. Since 1925, Dolac Square has been the home of one of the best farmers' markets we've ever been to. Why did we like it so much? It was so clean and, perhaps more shockingly, sooo quiet!! We are so used to being hassled and shouted at at markets, but there is none of that here. As Samia pointed out, all the fruits and vegetables have prices on them - why would they need to shout out to us?
Guided by Samia, we made our way through the market, past many different fruits and vegetables of all different colours. All were seasonal and all were beautifully coloured.
My favourite stop was at a wild berry stand. The difference in size between the wild blueberries and the home grown blueberries was unbelievable!
And we got to try out some of the freshest, juiciest blackberries we've ever tasted.
We loved walking through the farmers' markets with Samia. We like visiting markets, but they can often be intimidating - especially in a foreign country. But with Samia we were free to browse, take photos and soak up the awesome atmosphere.
The fish and meat markets
Although we've recently become vegetarian (and are aiming to become vegan), we still thought that it would be important to visit the fish and meat markets, as these are such an important part of Croatian cuisines (and really, most cuisines).
We learnt that as Zagreb is only 1.5 hours from the sea, the fish is very fresh and most sellers are proud to say that it ‘swam this morning’.
We also learnt that it’s perfectly acceptable to eat horse in Croatia, there were a couple of butchers selling horse.
We checked out some herbs in the inside market - apparently Croatia grows a lot of medicinal herbs, more than any other country in Europe!
Alcohol in Croatia
There are three traditional types of alcohol in Croatia: beer, wine and brandy. One type of brandy is made with plums, the other with grapes and almost all types include a few medicinal herbs or more!
Next we tried sauerkraut. Now I’m not a big fan of sauerkraut (to my soon-to-be mother-in-law’s dismay), but, this sauerkraut was delicious!!! They have two types of sauerkraut in Croatia: thinly sliced and plain old leaf. We tried the thinly sliced and it was so good, with a strong vinegar taste.
Then came the corn bread, again not something I’d usually go for, but again something that Croatia has changed my mind about!
We also tried lots of different fresh cheeses. Lots of these will be mixed with fresh cream, and some will be mixed with egg which makes the filling of our next treat:
This was one of our absolute favourite foods of the day: Burek. Fresh cheese, cream and egg are mixed together to make the filling, which is then put between lots of layers of dough.
Actually, traditionally Burek has a minced meat filling. But we went for a cheese one. They also do apple ones!
The cheese Burek was amazing! It was so tasty and nice of hot - perfect for a cold rainy day.
Next came a dish that’s similar in some ways: Strukli is a cheese filled dish between a layer of dough. It’s served either boiled, or boiled and then baked. We had the latter option and it was simply divine.
It was similar to a white lasagne, though the dough is of course completely different. The difference between a Strukli and a cheese Burek is the number of layers.
Croatian Street Food
Croatians are not too fond of street food, as they believe food is a social thing to be enjoyed with friends and family.
However, around Zagreb there are a still a couple of tasty street food options, both based around corn: one is popcorn and the other is fresh corn-on-the-cob!
We tried a corn-on-the-cob and it was delicious, really fresh and juicy and the perfect thing to follow the rich Strukli.
There are two types of traditional Croatian cakes: one is based on foods you can find round the house or farm - nuts, berries etc, and the other is based on what the royals would eat.
We tried an example of each cake: the farm type had sultanas, cottage cheese, walnuts and poppy seeds. The royal type was made with egg white and sugar.
Both were really nice and so different! The poppy seeds complimented the sultanas really well, and the royal one was like a soft, fluffy meringue.
Our tour ended just like a good food tour (and indeed any good tour) should: with wine!
I tried a white: an Itocki Traminac Vrh which apparently the Queen (of England) likes!! I liked it too, it was dry with a honey aftertaste.
Tanbay had a red: a Josic Cuvee. It was smooth and slightly smokey.
Traditionally, the Croatians mixed wine with water to create weaker wines.
All in all, we loved our Fast & Simple Food Tour with Best of Zagreb. Everything we tried was local, fresh and delicious! Our absolute favourite was the Strukli.
Our guide Samia was lovely, she was really knowledgable and shares our passion for food.
We highly recommend this tour when you come to Zagreb. To book your spot head over to their website: Best of Zagreb and/or find them on TripAdvisor and don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
(Please note, each Fast & Simple Zagreb Food Tour is slightly different, depending on time of the year/ which shops are open, so your tour might feature some slightly different treats.)
Disclaimer: Travelling Weasels were invited as guests of Best of Zagreb, but as per usual, all opinions are our own and we would never recommend anything we haven’t personally tried and loved.
We're Laura and Tanbay, a British/German couple who have successfully weaselled our way out of the rat-race and want you to do the same!