5 Croatian words to use when you’re enjoying food (and 5 to use when you’re not)

Delicious food at Pivana 1892 in Zagreb, Croatia
Delicious food at Pivana 1892 in Zagreb, Croatia

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.

In this post, we cover:

Let’s talk about the food…

5 Croatian words to use when you’re enjoying food (and 5 to use when you’re not)

How to describe food you love in Croatian


Meaning: marvelous
Exclamation: Čudesno (je)!

English: Bepina Pizzeria makes a marvelous pizza with shrimps from the island of Brac.
Croatian: Bepina Pizzeria radi čudesnu pizzu sa škampima s otoka Brača.


Meaning: exquisite
Exclamation: Izvrsno (je)!

English: Let’s go to ARTiČOK tonight! Their pork loin is exquisite.
Croatian: Ajmo u ARTiČOK večeras! Njihov svinjski lungić je izvrstan.


Meaning: heavenly
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.


Meaning: succulent
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


Meaning: bland
Exclamation: bljutavo (je)!

English: The stuffed peppers are very bland.
Croatian: Punjene paprike su jako bljutave.


Meaning: disgusting
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.


Meaning: flavorless
Exclamation: Bezokusno (je)!

English: These ćevapi are flavorless. Where are the spices?
Croatian: Ovi ćevapi su bezokusni. Gdje su začini?


Meaning: nasty
Exclamation: Gadno (je)!

English: I know you like to eat fileki, but I think it is nasty.
Croatian: Znam da voliš jesti fileke, ali meni je to gadno.

Note: If you don’t know what fileki is, it’s a dish made with a cow’s stomach (tripe).


Meaning: rancid
Exclamation: Užeglo (je)!

English: This fish soup smells rancid.
Croatian: Ova juha miriše na užeglo.

View other food posts

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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