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The traditional gastronomic offer of Northern Croatia - pamper your palate

The traditional gastronomic offer of Northern Croatia - pamper your palate

Let the flavors of traditional Croatian dishes surprise you

Croatia's gastronomic offer will satisfy even the most demanding gourmets. Whether you prefer light Mediterranean dishes such as fish and seafood or continental dishes such as meat dishes and stews, we are convinced that everyone will find their favourite dish.

In this article, we present the gastronomic offer of northern Croatia, namely Zagorje and Medimurje. The culinary art of this region was shaped most by Austro-Hungarian influences, and among the dishes, you will find "common" folk dishes and those that were prepared in the castles of noble families.

Hrvatsko Zagorje is located in the north-western part of Croatia and is separated from the capital city of Zagreb by the mountain Medvednica, while it borders Slovenia to the west. We believe that on your trip to the Adriatic you have certainly passed through Zagorje without knowing it. In Hrvatsko Zagorje you will find numerous castles such as Trakoscan Castle, Veliki Tabor Castle and Miljana Castle, numerous archaeological sites such as the remains of the prehistoric man in Krapina, numerous spas and health resorts, all enriched by a delicious gastronomic offer and top restaurants. One could say that Hrvatsko Zagorje is still an undiscovered jewel of Croatian tourism, and therefore we invite you to discover this unexplored secret by yourself as soon as possible.


The gastronomic offer in Zagorje is diverse, but the most famous dish you should definitely try is Zagorje struklji. Financially affordable and simple, homemade ingredients have made the struklji an excellent appetiser, an enrichment for soups, a delicious main course, a quick snack or a sweet dessert that simply cannot be missed.

Zagorje strukli were prepared in every household from easily available ingredients. Their popularity among locals has transcended the borders of Croatia so that today they are often prepared as a presentation of Croatian gastronomy to the world. Strukli can be prepared in two ways: by boiling or baking. Both methods of preparation use the same basic dough, but while boiled strukli can be doused with melted fat and sprinkled with toasted breadcrumbs or served in a fragrant soup, baked strukli are doused with cream before going into the oven.

For Strukli, knead the dough prepared from flour, salt, one egg, lukewarm water, a little vinegar and oil, let it rest for a while, then stretch it well and fill it with a mixture of cow's milk cheese, salt, eggs and sour cream, and for sweet Strukli add sugar. The filled dough is sillfully rolled with the help of a tablecloth and then divided into individual packets, which are further processed in the desired way. Today, there are many variations of Strukli, such as Strukli with walnuts and honey, apple and cinnamon, blueberries or truffles. It is up to you to find your favourite Strukli.


Other traditional dishes that immediately come to mind when you hear the word Zagorje are turkey or duck with mlinci, pisana pecenica or blutwurst. Visit top restaurants such as the guesthouse Vuglec Breg, the wine cellar Gresna gorica or the restaurant Villa Zelenjak-Ventek, where you can taste the flavours of traditional Zagorje dishes.

The next time you travel to the Adriatic coast, we recommend that you take a short (or maybe a little longer) break and discover the charms of this beautiful fairy-tale region.

If you like the gastronomic offer of Hrvatsko Zagorje, it is time to head east - to Medimurje. This county stretches to the Hungarian border and is surrounded by the Mura and Drava rivers. Here the Alps end and the Pannonian plain begins, dividing the area into Upper and Lower Medimurje.

In this region, the provided food for its inhabitants was always conditioned by the continental climate. Dishes were suitable for the hardworking people who worked in agriculture. Today, the traditional and modern cuisine of Medimurje is complemented by locally produced wines, some of which have a history that goes back decades and even centuries.


The most famous dessert in this region is the Medimurje gibanica, which has no less than four fillings! Walnut, poppy seeds, apple and cheese are combined into a layer cake that delights with its succulence and whose taste evokes memories of endless fields. The basic element of this unique cake is crusts specially prepared for gibanica, while rich layers of different fillings with different textures and flavours are spread between the crusts, perfectly complementing each other. The first layer traditionally consists of poppy seeds doused with hot and candied milk, the second filling is prepared from fresh cow milk cheese, followed by ground walnuts, and finally, grated juicy apples are added. Many people pour sweet or sour cream over the gibanica before baking, which adds a recognisable richness to the taste.

On your way to discovering this beautiful area, be sure to stop and have a picnic with a basket full of Medimurje delicacies or visit top restaurants such as Mala Hiza, Medimurski dvori or Hazic Wine House, where you can try traditional dishes such as rabbit with young Medimurje asparagus, meat from Tiblica, and for dessert, apart from Medimurje gibanica, pumpkin seed ice cream.

All you need for this gastronomic excursion is good company, an empty stomach and good will. What will change after returning from this area is the fact that your heart will be a few sizes bigger, and maybe it will add a few extra kilos to your weight. Enjoy, explore the north of Croatia and experience its uniqueness and the locals!

Ana-Marija Tot

+385 1 222 70 50