All the Croatian vocabulary you might need at a restaurant or cafe in Croatia

Caffe bar in Sibenik, Croatia

Croatia is a tourist country, so many Croatians you might encounter in a caffe bar or restaurant will speak some level of English. However, if you’re outside the city centers, the use of English will be a bit more spotty and inconsistent.

It’s valuable to have some Croatian in your back pocket. Speaking some Croatian, even if imperfect or brief, is always welcome to a server and definitely a sign of respect. Not only could it yield better service, it could even produce some rakija…on the house.

Restaurants and caffe bars are a spectacular place to practice your Croatian. There is usually a bit more patience and you don’t have to speak in complete sentences.

This guide goes over all the vocabulary you might need when at a restaurant or caffe, including some must-need phrases for making a reservation, asking if there is space and requesting the bill.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

General words and phrases to use at a restaurant or caffe bar in Croatia

Word: konobar
Meaning: waiter

Word: kuhar
Meaning: chef

Word: gost
Meaning: guest

Word: kafić (birc, birtija)
Meaning: cafe

Word: restoran
Meaning: restaurant

Word: doručak
Meaning: breakfast

Word: ručak
Meaning: lunch

Word: večera
Meaning: dinner

Phrase: Dobro jutro!
Meaning: Good morning!

Phrase: Dobar dan!
Meaning: Good afternoon!

Phrase: Dobra večer!
Meaning: Good evening!

Phrase: Doviđenja!
Meaning: Good bye!

[Read: All the ways to say “Hi” and “Bye“ in Croatian]

Word: Oprostite!
Meaning: Excuse me! (Commonly used to convey “pardon” or “sorry”)

Word: molim
Meaning: please

Phrase: Da, molim.
Meaning: Yes, please.

Phrase: Ne, hvala.
Meaning: No, thanks.

Word: Hvala!
Meaning: Thank you!

Word: slobodno (Used when you’re done with your plate and it can be taken away or to ask someone who’s leaving if their seat/table is now available.)
Meaning: free

Word: juha
Meaning: soup

Word: meso
Meaning: meat

Phrase: morska hrana
Meaning: seafood

Phrase: lokalna hrana
Meaning: local food

Word: voće
Meaning: fruits

[Read: Croatian 101: Fruit Translation Cheat Sheet]

Word: povrće
Meaning: vegetables

[Read: Croatian 101: Vegetable Translation Cheat Sheet]

Word: predjelo
Meaning: starter

Phrase: glavno jelo
Meaning: main course

Word: salata
Meaning: salad

Word: desert
Meaning: dessert

Word: piće
Meaning: drink

Word: voda
Meaning: water

Phrase: mineralna voda
Meaning: sparkling water

Word: kava
Meaning: coffee

Word: mlijeko
Meaning: milk

Word: kava s mlijekom
Meaning: coffee with milk

Word: alkohol
Meaning: alcohol

Word: žestoko piće, žestica
Meaning: liqueur, hard drink

Word: wine
Meaning: vino

Word: pivo
Meaning: beer

Word: rakija
Meaning: Croatian hard liqueur

[Read: Rakija, Croatia’s legendary liqueur]

Word: šećer
Meaning: sugar

Word: sol
Meaning: salt

Word: papar
Meaning: pepper

Word: ulje
Meaning: oil

Word: ocat
Meaning: vinegar

Phrase: pribor za jelo
Meaning: cutlery

Word: tanjur
Meaning: plate

Word: čaša
Meaning: glass

Word: šalica
Meaning: cup

Word: boca
Meaning: bottle

Word: žlica
Meaning: spoon

Word: žličica
Meaning: teaspoon

Word: vilica
Meaning: fork

Word: nož
Meaning: knife

Phrase: slabo pečeno
Meaning: rare

Phrase: srednje-slabo pečeno
Meaning: medium-rare

Phrase: srednje pečeno
Meaning: medium

Phrase: jako pečeno
Meaning: well done

[Read: How to order steak in Croatia]

Word: pušači
Meaning: smokers

Phrase: prostor za pušače
Meaning: smoking area

Phrase: prostor za nepušače
Meaning: non-smoking area

Word: pušači
Meaning: smokers

Word: vegetarijanac
Meaning: vegetarian

Word: vegan
Meaning: vegan

Phrases to use before or on arrival

Phrase: Trebam li rezervirati?
Meaning: Do I need to make a reservation?

Phrase: Želim napraviti rezervaciju za dvoje/troje/četvero/petero/šestero.
Meaning: I’d like to make a reservation for two/three/four/five/six.

Phrase: Želim rezervirati stol za ručak/večeras/sutra.
Meaning: I’d like to book a table for lunch/this evening/tomorrow.

Phrase: U podne/jedan sat/dva sata/šest sati/sedam sati.
Meaning: At noon/one o’clock/two o’clock/six o’clock/seven o’clock.

[Read: How to tell time (in Zagreb, Split, Istria, and Dubrovnik)]

Phrase: Imam rezervaciju na ime […].
Meaning: I have a reservation under [your name].

Phrase: Imate li slobodan stol?
Meaning: Do you have a free table?

Phrase: Ima li mjesta za dvoje/troje/četvero/petero/šestero?
Meaning: Is there space for two/three/four/five/six?

Phrase: Je li ovaj stol slobodan?
Meaning: Is this table free?

Phrase: Molim stol za dvoje/troje/četvero/petero/šestero.
Meaning: A table for two/three/four/five/six, please.

Phrase: Imate li terasu/vrt?
Meaning: Do you have a terrace/garden?

Phrase: Ima li slobodnog mjesta vani?
Meaning: Is there a free place outside?

Phrase: Imate li prostor za nepušače?
Meaning: Do you have a non-smoking area?

Phrase: Imate li prostor za pušače?
Meaning: Do you have a smoking area?

Phrase: Smije li se ovdje pušiti?
Meaning: Is it allowed to smoke here?

Phrase: Do kad ste otvoreni?
Meaning: Until when are you open?

Phrase: Do kad poslužujete?
Meaning: Until when do you serve?

Phrases to use to order food or drink

Phrase: Mogu li dobiti jelovnik?
Meaning: Can I get the menu?

Phrase: Mogu li dobiti cjenik?
Meaning: Can I get the price list?

Phrase: Mogu li dobiti listu vina?
Meaning: Can I get the wine list?

Phrase: Želim naručiti piće/juhu/jelo/salatu/desert.
Meaning: I’d like to order a drink/soup/dish/salad/dessert.

Phrase: Što preporučujete?
Meaning: What do you recommend?

Phrase: Imate li kućnih specijaliteta?
Meaning: Do you have house specialties?

Phrase: Imate li dnevni jelovnik?
Meaning: Do you have a daily menu?

Phrase: Imate li vegetarijanski/veganski jelovnik?
Meaning: Do you have a vegetarian/vegan menu?

Phrase: Imate li dječji jelovnik?
Meaning: Do you have a children’s menu?

Phrase: Mogu li naručiti za van?
Meaning: Can I order takeaway?

Phrase: Želim naručiti za van.
Meaning: I’d like to order takeaway.

Phrase: Na dijeti sam.
Meaning: I’m on a diet.

Phrase: Ne jedem […].
Meaning: I don’t eat [name of ingredient/dish].

Phrase: Ne konzumiram šećer.
Meaning: I don’t consume sugar.

Phrase: Ne pijem alkohol/pivo/vino/gazirana pića.
Meaning: I don’t drink alcohol/beer/wine/sparkling soft drinks.

Phrase: Ne volim […].
Meaning: I don’t like [ingredient/dish].

Phrase: Želim naručiti […].
Meaning: I’d like to order [name of drink/dish].

Phrase: Ja ću […]
Meaning: I will have [name of drink/dish].

Phrase: Koji su sastojci?
Meaning: What are the ingredients?

Phrase: Ima li u jelu […]?
Meaning: Does it have [ingredient]?

Phrase: Imam alergiju na orahe/gluten/laktozu.
Meaning: I’m allergic to nuts/gluten/lactose.

Phrase: Koliko je porcija velika?
Meaning: How big is the portion?

Phrase: Kada će biti gotovo?
Meaning: How long will it take?

Phrase: To je sve.
Meaning: That’s all.

Phrase: Ništa više, hvala.
Meaning: Nothing else, thanks.

Phrase: Što je bolje?
Meaning: Which is better?

Phrases to use during your stay

Phrase: Dobar tek!
Meaning: Bon appétit!

Phrase: Uživaj u jelu!
Meaning: Enjoy your meal!

Phrase: Želiš li probati malo?
Meaning: Would you like to taste some?

Phrase: Mogu/možemo li dobiti vrč vode?
Meaning: Can I/we have a jug of tap water?

Phrase: Mogu/možemo li dobiti još kruha?
Meaning: Can I/we have more bread?

Phrase: Mogu li dobiti još mlijeka?
Meaning: Can I have more milk?

Phrase: Mogu li dobiti čašu vode?
Meaning: Can I get a glass of water?

Phrase: Gdje je WC/toalet?
Meaning: Where is the toilet?

[Read: How to ask where the toilet is in Croatian (and how to find public toilets throughout Croatia)]

Phrase: Imate li kakvih deserata?
Meaning: Do you have any desserts?

Phrase: Mogu li vidjeti listu deserata?
Meaning: Can I get the dessert menu?

Phrase: Sve je odlično/u redu.
Meaning: Everything is great/okay.

Phrase: Jako je ukusno.
Meaning: It is very tasty.

Phrase: Nisam ovo naručila/naručio.
Meaning: This isn’t what I ordered.

Phrase: Preslano je.
Meaning: It is too salty.

Phrase: Preljuto je.
Meaning: It is too hot (spicy).

Phrase: Premasno je.
Meaning: It is too greasy.

Phrase: Hladno je.
Meaning: It is cold.

Phrase: Hoćemo li dugo čekati?
Meaning: Are we going to wait long?

Phrase: Hoće li narudžba uskoro?
Meaning: Is our order on its way?

Phrase: Predugo smo čekali.
Meaning: We waited too long.

Phrase: U jelu je kosa/dlaka.
Meaning: There is hair in a dish.

Phrase: U jelu je nešto prljavo.
Meaning: There is something dirty in a dish.

Phrase: Čaša/šalica je prljava.
Meaning: The glass/cup is dirty.

Phrase: Tanjur/pribor za jelo je prljav.
Meaning: The plate/cutlery is dirty.

[Read: 5 Croatian words to use when you’re enjoying food (and 5 to use when you’re not)]

How to ask for the bill

Phrase: Želim platiti.
Meaning: I’d like to pay.

Phrase: Račun, molim.
Meaning: The bill, please.

Phrase: Platit ću gotovinom.
Meaning: I’ll pay in cash.

Phrase: Primate li kartice?
Meaning: Do you accept cards?

Phrase: Platit ću karticom.
Meaning: I’ll pay by card.

Phrase: Ja ću platiti.
Meaning: I’ll get this.

Phrase: Podijelimo račun.
Meaning: Let’s split the bill.

[Read: Guide on tipping in Croatia]

Phrase: Zaboravila/zaboravio sam novčanik.
Meaning: I forgot the wallet.

Phrase: Račun nije točan.
Meaning: The bill is incorrect.

View our other food articles

Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant. We can recommend one if you contact us.

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