It is very common to be at a loss for words in Croatia as a foreigner when you’re not sure how to communicate your thoughts in Croatian. Whenever I’m at a restaurant and the waiter asks how the food is, I usually go to one of my two comfortable stand-bys: “dobro” and “odlično“. Frankly, it’s a bit basic.
If you’re a food lover like me, you probably want to be able to communicate your genuine reactions in Croatian instead of going mute, especially if it’s over-the-moon fantastic or if it’s completely wretched.
This is just the first in a long series we have planned to help you say what you want to say when it comes to food. In this post, we’ll give you 5 words you can say right now to express how much you love a dish, and 5 words you can say for when you really really do not.
For each word, we give a couple of examples, several of which include some of my top spots in Split. YOU’RE WELCOME.
How to describe food you love in Croatian
Exclamation: Čudesno (je)!
English: Bepina Pizzeria makes a marvelous pizza with shrimps from island Brac.
Croatian: Bepina Pizzeria radi čudesnu pizzu sa škampima s otoka Brača.
Exclamation: Izvrsno (je)!
English: Let’s go to ARTiČOK tonight! Their pork loin is exquisite.
Croatian: Ajmo u ARTiČOK večeras! Njihov svinjski lungićsu izvrsni.
Exclamation: Božanstveno (je)!
English: The amarena cherry ice cream from Gelateria Emiliana is heavenly. Best in Split.
Croatian: Sladoled od amarena trešnje iz Gelaterije Emiliane je božanstven. Najbolji u Splitu.
Exclamation: Sočno (je)!
English: This duck is succulent. Want a bite?
Croatian: Ova patka je sočna. Hoćeš zalogaj?
Meaning: tasty, delicious, delightful
Exclamation: Ukusno (je)!
English: Samir cooked Bosanski lonac for lunch. It was very tasty.
Croatian: Samir je kuhao Bosanski lonac za ručak. Bio je vrlo ukusan.
How to describe food you don’t enjoy in Croatian
Exclamation: bljutavo (je)!
English: The stuffed peppers are very bland.
Croatian: Punjene paprike su jako bljutave.
Exclamation: Odvratno (je)!
English: I don’t want to go to that restaurant. Their burgers are disgusting.
Croatian: Neću ići u taj restoran. Njihovi burgeri su odvratni.
Exclamation: Bezokusno (je)!
English: These ćevapi are flavorless. Where are the spices?
Croatian: Ovi ćevapi su bezokusni. Gdje su začini?
Exclamation: Gadno (je)!
English: I know you like to eat fileke, but I think it is nasty.
Croatian: Znam da voliš jesti fileke, ali meni je to gadno.
Note: If you don’t know what fileke is, it’s a dish made with cow’s stomach (tripe).
Exclamation: Užeglo (je)!
English: This fish soup smells rancid.
Croatian: Ova juha miriše na užeglo.