People keep asking me for my favorite places to eat and drink at in Split, so without further ado (and in no particular order), here they are.
UPDATE: Kobaje Beer Garden used to be included in this post. In July 2015, the management of Kobaje changed and the quality is no longer as it was, and in fact, has quickly declined. Therefore, I can no longer recommend it. It was quite a treat to enjoy Kobaje while it lasted, although its hayday was brief. From what I hear, we haven't seen the last of the original Kobaje creators so stay tuned!
1. To Je To Caffe Bar
There is so much to love about To Je To. It has really improved morning coffee as well as night life in Split. It's probably the only place to get an iced coffee in Split, served in a huge beer mug (which is the only size an iced coffee should come in). All of the barista/bartenders are supremely nice. After your second visit, you'll get recognized and they'll know your usual order.
In addition to relaxing with a coffee during the day, they hold events nightly from Monday's Quiz Night to Tuesday's Open Mic to Friday's Karaoke. They also feature local musicians, all excellent. You are lucky to get a seat at their events. Reservations for the weekly Quiz Night fills up in minutes.
The caffe is owned by fellow expats. As a result, they understand the value of welcoming everybody. This is refreshing especially for foreigners who sometimes struggle to find their place in a new country. There is no rush to leave. Nobody is annoyed that you're there as long as you behave.
If all that wasn't enough, Monique Lafitte, one of the owners, organizes monthly fundraisers at the caffe for various Split charities including but certainly not limited to: the Red Cross (for the recent Balkans floods), Udruga Sehaliah (dog rescue), Caritas (food drives for Christmas & Easter) and Udruga Deseti Zivot (spay/neutering street cats). She is also the graphic designer responsible for the beautiful posters you may have seen on their Facebook page.
2. Kruščić Artisan Bakery
This is the holy grail of bakeries in Split. As most other bakeries offer the standard sugary pastries and lifeless loaves, Kruščić raises the bar on both fronts. Their bread is outstanding and is definitely the focus of this little bakery. However, they always have a few sweet things out, sweet breads, custard pies and delicate cakes depending on what is in season.
Always go early. They may be open until 2:00pm, but they run out of a lot by 11:00, even earlier some days.
The pastry to try: Puljena školkja. It's a delicious bread pocket filled with 3 kinds of cheese and swiss chard in winter and zucchini in summer. There is also bubbly melted cheese on top of the pastry.
3. Bepina Pizzeria
Only open for a handful of months, Bepina is by far the best pizza in Split right now ousting my beloved Gušt for the top spot. Located in the Duilovo neighborhood, it's a bit of a hike from the city center but is completely worth it. Here are just a few reasons why you should make it your pizzeria:
- Pizzas are all around 40 kunas, which is super affordable compared to the 70 kuna pizzas in the touristy parts of the city center
- The shrimp (shown above) are caught off nearby Island Brac
- Once the pizzas come out of the oven, they are finished with a an olive oil, fresh garlic and parsley gremolata, which is just about the most heavenly way to top a hot pizza.
- It's way off the beaten path, which means no tourists
- The pizza is excellent, and delicious cold the next day as well.
4. Luka Ice Cream & Cakes
We are lucky that there is no shortage of gelato shops in Split. Many of them are very good, but they all have the same flavors. Luka, opened last year near HNK, stomps every other ice cream in its path. All home made, the ice creams and sorbets are extremely well done and come in wide variety of unique flavors that you won't see anywhere else. They also make cakes and other treats.
Since everything is made from natural ingredients, they don't have the same flavors everyday. So if you happen by and see something interesting, better pounce because you might not see it again for a while.
The two flavors to look out for: Carrot Sorbet and Rosemary Yogurt