Eating Out in Hvar
Holidays and travel for me always means getting into the local culture through food exploration. The options for Hvar are endless with many a restaurant through the cobbled streets and on the port. Here are my three favourites from my week’s visit but I shall be back to find out more!
The family-run Konoba Menego is a delightful restaurant with quite some cred behind its name. It’s a no reservations place serving true rustic Croatian food including Gregada and stewed boar.
The owner is an honest and caring man who had to turn us away at 10pm for fear of letting us down after a long wait on the steps outside. Get here for 7pm though and you’ll be in straight away. Staff are equally as honest in their recommendations too, advising us that the marinated fish wasn’t worth the money but instead to go for the grilled filleted fish. If the shrimp gnocchi is on the menu, you must get it! A silky and creamy thoughtful dish that is incredibly moreish for both the poufy homemade gnocchi and fleshy shrimp chunks, thanks to enough zing to power through it all.
Another favourite of the restaurants we visited was Konoba Luviji, recommended by Menego’s owner. Another menu staying true and seasonal to the Croatian vibes, unpretentious, unfussy but so very, very good. Here we booked and on arrival, through the little courtyard behind the church, were taken up to the rooftop to meet very smiley young waiters in t-shirts.
The home cooking style matched with the best and freshest ingredients really comes alive here. The Gregada included two delicate seabass, surrounded by the expected potato slices and white wine stew, and some unexpected mussels and langoustines. Other dishes which are a must here; a robustly marinated and oven baked ‘Squid with a Lid’, the smoky and skin-crisped grilled whole fish and the light and tangy octopus salad laced with plenty of olives, onions and tomatoes.
Luviji also has its own winery which you can visit for a wine tasting. We tried both their house rose and white, with the white edging it ever so slightly as it mirrored a delicious chenin blanc – fragrant, light and enough zestiness for the expected fish dishes to follow.
Last on the list is a Macondo, a restaurant found in one of the many alleys serving up hefty seafood pastas alongside Gregada. Don’t let the white tablecloths put you off, it’s not a rustic affair but certainly not stuffy.
I had my heart set on the lobster spaghetti, which wasn’t cheap but certainly was silky and perfectly balanced and saw a beautiful large scarlet lobster tangled in the strands. The other favourite dish was the impressive plate of mixed clams and mussels – truly a thing of beauty with the different hues of grey, brown and white from the shiny, ridged and smooth shells. Make sure you ask for extra bread to mop up all the white wine and parsley goodness underneath.
Service here was impeccable with very professional and friendly staff, I would say Macondo is a go between for the true easy going home-cooked atmosphere and a fancier, all the wallets out sort of place.
I’ve only talked about my favourite places for delicious and unpretentious seafood meals from my short trip here, but there is so much more in Hvar. Thoughtfully all of these restaurants also offer a strong meat dish if you’re all fished out, however if you’re wanting an entirely different palette, Hvar offers excellent burgers, tapas, pizzas, sushi and more.
The clientele throughout Hvar is mixed and the business owners have managed to cater to this incredibly well, so try going big a couple of nights and then more modest on others. Especially if you’re factoring in a big night out! Check out my Hvar page under Wander!