In Croatia, the choice of Mexican food is extremely poor and most of the time when they are advertising something as a Mexican restaurant or food, it has nothing to do with real Mexican. Some combinations of Tex-Mex yes, but true Mexican, unfortunately, no.
When I stumbled upon an announcement new Tacos And Burger Barr was opening in Zagreb, I instantly shared it with Jaime. We loved the burgers in Rougemarin (owners are the same guys) so we assumed this place is going to be huge as well.
When we arrived around 6 pm, the place was full. We saw two people leaving and asked the staff if we could take their (half of a) table and squeeze in with other girls. Thumbs up for the staff for asking them if it was ok with them, and letting us jump in.
One Croatian, one Spanish and two Mexican were ready to decide if this place finally managed to bring something truly Mexican into the town.
Having mezcal on the menu was a first great sign! Usually, people have no idea what mezcal is – three different kinds here made our hearts beat a little bit faster. Of course, we decided to start the dinner with Gusano Rojo, a brand we never heard off but it was unbelievably tasty. I, who do not like hard drinks, drank this one like it was nothing!
Even we came to try tacos, we were so hungry we ended up ordering burgers with fries and a portion of tacos to share. If I remember well, Rougemarin was one of few places that did not have a separate charge for french fries, but they came together with a burger by default. It would be great if Tacos And Burger Barr followed their practice. Until then, you need to pay 17 kn extra to get the fries.
Jaime and guys went for a chipotle burger and I decided on a cheese one. They hoped for chipotle to be spicy, but since they are used to eat spicy food, they did not feel anything. It would be great if they came in a more spicy option as well!
Burgers were big and yummy, not the best ones we ever tried but in top 5 for sure. They are served in cool wooden boxes which, not only are super practical for the kitchen, but look unique as well.
Tacos were there as well, sitting in the middle of the table. Nobody wanted to taste them at first, we were scared to get disappointed again. (Last year we found a stall selling tacos during the Advent which was a joke – we did not want the same to happen again.)
We must applaud them for making their own homemade tortillas from original masa harina. As soon as tacos came to the table, the guys commented how tortillas look great. When Mexicans say that in Croatia, then they must be fantastic. And they absolutely were – soft, tasty and perfectly sized.
There were four different kinds of tacos on the menu – made of poultry, fish, pork or beef meat. You can see the menu was carefully crafted to have something for everyone. We ordered beef cheeks tacos which were literally melting in our mouth.
I loved the salsa as well, however, guys were not so thrilled. They said cream should be skipped and traditional Mexican tomato or chile sauces should be served instead. I would just wish there were more than three tacos in the combo. Actually, I wish they were sold by piece and less expensive, just like they are in Mexico.
We notice the place is doing quite well just after the opening, but of course, there are several things which can help them to improve their service and position themselves as an iconic place in the heart of Zagreb.
We all agreed Tacos And Burger Barr is too expensive. Tacos are simple and cheap street food. Do not try to make them fancy and expensive. Allow guests to buy them one by one and combine different types. A combo of three small tacos for 50 – 60 kuna is too expensive, especially because you are still hungry afterward.
For the amount of 60 kunas, you can order a main dish in many restaurants, a whole pizza and a half, huge burger with fries and so on. Tacos should be cheaper and that’s it. Just as an example, an average taco at the expensive taco joint in Mexico City costs between 6 and 10 kunas. Here, you pay between 17 and 20 kunas.
We LOVE the fact they brought excellent tacos to Zagreb and we would be here every week if prices were more affordable. The staff was friendly and attentive, as well as nicely decorated restaurant. Tacos and Burger Barr could easily become our favorite place in the city, just if they remember they are in Zagreb, not London or NYC.
What is your favorite kind of taco? Did you visit Tacos and Burger Barr in Zagreb?
Tacos And Burger Barr
Jurišićeva 2a, Zagreb
Opening hours: 11:30 – 23:00
Closed on Sundays
Price range: 450 kn for 4
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Restaurant week in Zagreb just ended last night. This time, we decided to treat ourselves in two restaurants so last week we enjoyed family lunch in konoba Bracera and this Saturday Jaime booked a table for romantic dinner on a budget in a modern Bistro Lauba, or at least we thought.
Lauba became a big hit several years ago. From a failed factory suddenly there was a nice, renovated space for rent , a gallery and also some fashion shows were organized there. Still, I did not really know what exactly Lauba is, what their offer is and the fact there is a restaurant was completely unfamiliar to me, and to many other citizens of Zagreb. So, when I saw its name on the list of participating restaurants, I totally fell for it. The menu seemed nice, especially because I read many praises about their creative bread with different spreads. Soon enough, we had a table booked for Saturday night.
We arrived at 7, while the restaurant was still almost empty. The waiter told us to sit wherever we like, the only problem was they almost do not have tables for two. There were only 4, of which one was right next to the big table of 8 or so which was full, and the other three were in other, “ugly” part of the bistro, completely isolated. Hm, ok. We sat in one of those three, the brightest one. It seemed like they prefer having big groups over couples. More when they started to move chairs from two other tables for 2 next to us to the bigger ones. For a moment they even put something that looked like folding chairs and they were changing them right in front of guests waiting for the table.
Doesn’t matter, we said to ourselves. We liked the modern decor mixed with industrial elements and the chairs were super comfortable. The menu was interesting and it sounded perfect on the paper. In the end, we came here because of the food, not the table in a prime location.
The menu was already on the table so we decided fastly. The waiter came and asked what would we like to drink, brought drinks and left, not checking if we are ready to order. He did not come back for more than 15 minutes. We felt like they forgot about us and we were even consider leaving when he came again.
The starter came fast. The variety of Lauba signature bread with different kinds of spreads sounded fantastic. We are bread lovers and we were looking forward to it, moreover because everybody on the internet was roaming how good they were. One popular foodie site in Croatia even stated as they are the best little bread in Zagreb. We expected a lot and here’s what we have got.
Honestly, I expected something completely different. I imagined warm little buns, fresh from the bread oven. I could even smell it. You know that appealing smell of a fresh bread? Yummy. Well, the bread was neither fresh neither warm. It was cold and in one piece. We needed to cut it ourselves and, needless to say, we made a mess all around.
Besides two pieces of bread (what a variety, huh?), we got four different spreads. I would love to share which kind of spreads they were, but I have no idea. The waiter did not say a thing, either the menu and we did not consider we needed to ask what are we eating, the waiter needs to present each dish in at least few words. I overheard words anchovies and cuttlefish ink when he was describing the dish to other guests and we could taste olives and cucumber. All in one, not what we expected it to be and we ended up quite disappointed with the appetizer.
For mains, we had a duck confit served with bread puree seasoned with blue cheese and beetroot chips. After tasting the best duck in my life in Julija, a wonderful restaurant in Ljubljana, I can say this one was just ok. The bread puree was weird, I think you can imagine how wet bread tastes like haha. We could not feel any taste of the cheese in it, it also lacked salt. The beetroot chips were such an excellent idea, but also without taste – it would be wonderful if it was seasoned well and served with some aceto balsamico. I left the most of it and Jaime ate my duck…
When they brought the mains, they did not clean the table – they left the whole appetizer on the table. There was no way we are going to eat it all and it was just occupying the space. I must mention they did not ask if we would like to keep it or no, they just assumed. This is how the table looked like… and we stopped eating the bread 20 minutes ago.
At this point, we were just waiting to go home. Our table was finally cleared and the dessert arrived. We were scared how is our next course going to look like, so we waited for it covering out face. 🙂 Luckily, served in a cute jar, beneath which was a plate from Ikea, the Lauba sensation with honey and rice flakes was really tasty. The highlight of the dinner, definitely.
To sum up our experience in bistro Lauba I will write just two sentences, which are saying more than the whole this text together. I work in a hospitality industry and we always leave a tip. This time, we did not.*
(*tipping policy in Croatia is way different than in the USA and some other countries. It is not mandatory, neither expected, but it is highly appreciated. Since I am a hospitality worker and I like receiving tips, I also always leave one in the restaurants.)
ps. Photos are the same quality as the restaurant 😀
Prilaz baruna Filipovića 9
website | TripAdvisor
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Two times a year, many restaurants in Croatia unite and participate in unique promotion – a restaurant week. Second weeks of March and October are reserved for delicious meals in some of the popular restaurants around the country. What is even more popular is the price – 100 kunas for a three-course menu per person (around 13€)! Normally, in every participating restaurant you can choose between one of three set menus, or you can choose one of three offered appetizers, main courses, and desserts. Some places even include a glass of wine. This bi-annual food event became one of the most popular gourmet manifestations in the country and, if you find yourself around, you should most certainly try the creative menus of the participating restaurants.
This October, we decided to treat ourselves to a meal in a restaurant we did not try before. We really wanted to visit Le Bistro in hotel Esplanade, but we they were already full when we called to make a reservation. I had some other secret wishes, but none of the restaurants from “my wishlist” were participating. Some menus were very appealing, but I let mom choose the restaurant where we would have a meal all together.
She went for Bracera, a cute konoba (a type of traditional restaurant characteristic for the region of Dalmatia) in the heart of Zagreb. It was a marathon Sunday and Jaime was running the whole morning, so Bracera’s location was unbeatable. It was just across the Cathedral, less than five minutes away from Zagreb Main Square, where Jaime just finished the race.
Jaime ran so fast we came almost an hour earlier than the reservation was made. I decided to take a chance and ask if there was a table for four available at that time. Lucky us, we were seated in no time. Since Restaurant week is highly popular, the specially designed and printed menus were already on the table.
As I mentioned before, konoba Bracera offered three different appetizers, three main courses, and three desserts, from which you could choose and compose your own menu. Since we were four, we tried to order as much diverse as possible to try different dishes. Tried. 🙂
We did well with the appetizer and ordered all three. The smoked tuna prosciutto served with Grana Padano cheese and rocket salad was simply delicious. We never tried tuna this way before so we were pleasantly surprised by this dish. I went for duck liver mousse, toasted focaccia and leak and apple chutney. If you are a liver lover, this dish would be perfect for you! The mousse was fantastic, very decadent and tasty, but what I loved the most was the chutney. The leek and apple combination was superb, I never expected it to be so pleasant. It was the biggest surprise of the lunch.
We tried hard to order different dishes, but somehow we all ended up ordering the same main dish. There was one vegetarian option, one fish and one meat dish, so the meat was a logical choice for us. The lamb cutlets with pine nuts, cherry tomatoes, and fresh cheese croquettes sounded appealing.
The main dish arrived (too) soon and left us unpleasantly surprised. The looks were great, but the portion was extremely small. Two tiny lamb cutlets, one-half of cherry tomato and five croquettes. Five. For us ladies, the portion could (maybe) be enough, but the male part of the family was left hungry. The meal was well prepared and tasty, but it was just so small. We ate the whole portion of bread to fill up the holes in our stomachs.
After delicious, but still disappointing sized main dish, we were all looking forward to the desserts. While dad decided to try the eclair, the rest of us went for the chocolate pastry with caramel sauce. The eclair was big and dad really enjoyed it. Our dessert was a bit smaller but still yummy.
I must say we had better experiences during previous restaurant weeks. There was nothing wrong with the dishes in konoba Bracera, but we could eat the whole lunch once again with no problem. During this manifestation price for the menu is really a bargain, but we are all aware it should and could be a fantastic way to promote a certain restaurant. Two times a year, they completely fill their restaurants and, certainly, still earn a lot.
The thing is that Croatians, in general, do not like small portions. Dear restaurant, except if you are offering spectacular five-course tasting menu, such small portions are a big no no. Especially if you are trying to promote yourself to a wider audience. Konoba Bracera offered a great menu, but we would love to know if this is a standard size for main dishes, or they are normally a little bit bigger. If they are, we would consider coming back.
Overall, our experience was good (but nothing more than that), we liked the food and the service, but not the portions sizes and how fast they were serving course after course. The restaurant was only half full so we did not feel like they were trying to get rid of us, but they were just too fast.
Kaptol 5 (in front of cathedral)
website | TripAdvisor
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Outside is a wonderful day, Sunday, and we are on the way to the city. The autumn is approaching fast and we are fully aware we need to fulfill every sunny day. It is beginning of September and Jaime has been in Croatia for a year already! Like we needed a reason to celebrate, we decided to explore some less known areas in of Zagreb’s Upper town and grab a nice lunch afterward.
Even I have a list of ten or more restaurants I want to try in Zagreb, Jaime is more in for some ethnic food. We are debating if we want to eat Mexican or try some other cuisine, as he remembers a cute Korean restaurant, just off the main square. At first, I am not thrilled, but I decide to go along with his choice and try some Korean food in Zagreb.
The restaurant is almost empty when we enter. We are obviously the only non-Asian guests, and we stayed the only ones until the end of our meal. I cannot understand people who do not try the local food on their travels! Every person who enters this restaurant is a Korean, except us. Why they do not visit authentic Croatian restaurant?! But from the other side, they seem to really like it, so the restaurant must be good!
We are greeted by a young waitress and given the menu. As much as most of the meals do have some explanation, it still doesn’t mean much to us – we would definitely appreciate a photo next to every meal on the menu since we are not familiar with the food. We check out “a guide” how to eat SSAM and we are intrigued, even if we have no idea what that is. In the end, we ask the waitress for her recommendation and personal description of meals.
For the appetizer, we decide to try mini delicacies from the grill and mandu Korean dumplings. Dumplings are tasty and offer nice intro in what we can expect from this lunch. If it continues this way, we will easily fall in love with this place. However, the delicacies are the way to expensive for what’ve got! Six fried pieces of vegetables (zucchini, mushrooms, and onion) should not cost 45 kunas. When we placed the order, we expected to try something new and unusual, so we were ready to pay for it. But cmon, this is just not worth it.
We love the way they serve food. The food is arranged on big platters and placed on a stand with a candle inside. Like this food stays warm, continues to cook as you eat it and, of course, looks very attractive!
As soon as we finish with the appetizer, the main dish arrives. Jaime decided to try pork SSAM and I went for chicken bulgogi SSAM. As the menu explains, SSAM is a Korean BBQ and it has a special way of serving and eating. That’s exactly why we wanted to try it!
Meat is served the same way like the appetizer, on big plates heated by the candle. The main plate is surrounded by many small pots filled with different garnishes like the rice, cucumber, lettuce, and ginger. To eat it properly, you should take a piece of lettuce and fill it with meat previously dipped in soy sauce, then add rice and other garnishes. Then roll it and eat it like a taco! 😀
Jaime ordered spicy pork so I was not able to try it, but my chicken was made in heaven! It was soft, with wonderfully balanced spices and it was not spicy it all. I am not sure what was it, but the red garnish was too spicy for me so I generously ceded it to Jaime.
Eating Korean food this way is so much fun! We enjoyed it and learned something new. I will never forget the moment when I realized there is no regular cutlery, just the eating sticks! I have no idea how to use them hahaha! I tried and I failed big time. We were laughing up to tears when I was asking the waitress for a fork or otherwise I would definitely stay hungry. Even it was super fun, they should definitely place the cutlery somewhere on the table.
To sum up, we loved the presentation of the food and food itself. Location of the restaurant is fantastic as it is easily accessible. However, we did feel a bit uncomfortable being the only non-Asian guest. They should definitely develop a website and organize various events to attract more local visitors and get them to know Korean culture better. The more detailed menu with photos would also be of great help!
Cro K restaurant
Pod zidom 4 (right across Dolac, just steps from the Main Square)
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Can you believe we did not try even one single burger in Zagreb until a few weeks ago?! I had an afternoon shift when I started to have a weird craving for a burger. Weird, because I ate burgers rarely and I always made them at home. As part of my job, I learned a lot about good burger places in Zagreb, but I was never able to make a personal recommendation.
That evening we decided to try burger bar closest to my work. It was fantastic and encouraged us to try several more all around the city. Here are three burger bars which, in our opinion, have the most amazing burgers in Zagreb.
Submarine BBQ was the first place we went to. We chose the location in Frankopanska because it was close to my work – and it is basically close to everything else in the city center. It was warm summer night and everybody was sitting outside. We decided to come in and check out the interior as well – and good we did! I wanted to try their burger slider everybody is talking about. It is a combo of three mini burgers of different taste (classic, smokehouse and pulled pork burger) and an excellent choice for the first time. Or every time! Jaime ordered double smokehouse burger and we accompanied them with two portions of classic fries and cokes.
They promote themselves like “all-natural homemade gourmet burgers”. Burgers are 100% beef and made from local meat. Lady who was serving us was nice, cheerful and professional. When the order arrived, we smiled. Look at that burgers! They were so cute and looked just amazing!
I started with a smokehouse burger, which was a wonderful combination of flavors. I continued with the classic burger and left the pulled pork one for the end. What a mistake! I almost could not eat it and it was the most amazing burger I ever ate or I could even dream about! It was tender and sweet, mouthwatering. If you go, and you should, treat yourself with pulled pork burger!
In our opinion, Submarine has the best burgers in town. We loved everything and it is a total winner in our eyes! The combination of flavors, french fries, interior, service and, of course, pulled pork burger! I heard some complaints about the portion sizes, but when the waitress asked if we were in the mood for the dessert – we could not eat it. And I am always in the mood for a dessert!
Update: Their new menu does not include the pulled pork burger (what a shame!), but you should try delicious smokehouse burger and their homemade ice creams. We managed to fit it in this time.
Address: Frankopanska 11 and Radnička 34
Web | Facebook
Total bill for 2: 153 kn (burgers, fries, and drinks)
Papa’s American Bar
Again, I was hungry at work and, since it was a holiday, Submarine BBQ was closest. I gave a call to Papa’s asking about their working hours and decided it was a great opportunity to try out the new burger joint. Rumors say Papa’s burgers are the best so we came with big expectations. Jaime treated himself with Chicago taste burger, which was a spicy one (they say), and I chose house special Papa’s burger. The waiter recommended those two, and we listened, ordering as well one portion of fries and two Cokes.
When the order arrived, I knew I would not be able to eat more than half. Burgers were big, bigger than in Submarine, tasty and juicy. Jaime loved his burger but hated mine (the other half I could not eat lol), he did not like kajmak which he normally loves with ćevapi. Among this three burger bars, we must say Papa’s was our least favorite (but still very good!). More creative combinations of flavors and something innovative would definitely make us return.
PAPA’S AMERICAN BAR
Address: Tuškanac 1
Web | Facebook
Total bill for 2: 113 kn (burgers, one fries, and drinks)
RougeMarin was on my to-go list probably since the opening, but you know how it goes. I learned my lesson in Papa’s and, even we went for a quite late lunch, that Saturday morning I did not want to eat almost anything. We chose a table on the terrace and enjoyed the sun and views to their garden. It took less than a minute for us to decide on weekly special burgers (Jaime needed to take the double, though).
RougeMarin was the only place where fries were included in the price. However, the price was quite higher than in other places, but that was fine since we choose the more expensive specials. When they arrived, we did not say anything for a minute. I never saw bigger hamburger than Jaime’s double weekly special burger. He needed to contemplate how is he going to eat it. 😀 My regular burger was also huge, but as I said – I came prepared.
The food was amazing and so juicy I needed tons of napkins! But also it was too salty because of salty prosciutto (they needed to put less salt in the rest) and I disliked the unnatural yellow color of the bun. I do not know what they colored it with, but my fingers were yellow afterward. Please do not do it, your food is enough attractive and tasty without it!
Address: Folnegovićeva 10
Web | Facebook
Total bill for 2: 174 kn (burger weekly specials and 3 drinks)
Three burger joints and three kilos later, we are happy to say we found our favorite burger place in the city.
Where did you try the most amazing burgers in Zagreb?
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In Split, you will definitely not be hungry. There are hundreds of restaurants and foodie places all around the city, especially within the Diocletian’s Palace. I must say we were unpleasantly surprised with the price of food in Split. Better said, we were totally shocked by the fact they charge 130 kn for plain pasta in the city center! Yeah yeah, you do not need to eat in the center or even in restaurants, but that’s just crazy. Soon there will be no domestic tourism because we will not be able to afford anything. Obviously, prices are high for tourists, but –sadly– locals say they do not drop when tourists leave…
However, we did manage to find places we loved without getting broke. Places, which are not made only for tourists. Places, which are loved by locals all year long. Following our recommendations, you could eat all day, from the dawn to the dusk!
Split Food Guide: Where to eat in Split
Breakfast in “Kruščić” bakery
This lovely little bakery is recommended all over the internet and we just needed to check why. They are open only from 8 am until 2 pm and they have the most amazing homemade products! Yes, everything here is homemade and produced with love, in small amounts. They are the proof that putting quality over quantity creates spectacular results. Come early for the best products, because they tend to sell fast.
Great for: daily dose of bread, yummy pizzas, sweet pastries and everyday breakfast
Location: Obrov ulica 6
Fast snack in fast food “Ciprianis”
If you get hungry during the day, or you would just like to grab a fast meal, head to Ciprianis. They have different kinds of huge pizza cut, which will cost you only 12 kunas. One if enough for in between meals, but take two if this is going to be your main dish.
Great for: pizza cut and saving money
Location: Oca Gabrića 43
Afternoon snacks and drinks in “To je to” – CLOSED
I stumbled upon this place on Facebook and when I saw they are serving Mexican dish chilaquiles for breakfast, I knew we will pay a visit. The owner is an American guy who, together with his Columbian wife, manages this friendly place full of Latin delights!
We missed the breakfast, but we stopped by for a quick snack and drinks in the afternoon. Nachos with pico de gallo and cheese dip were great with their craft beers and margaritas. Margaritas they make are crazy strong and they would make you drunk easily! 🙂 People working there are very friendly and chatty so if you are in the need of a friend and tasty cocktail, go there!
Great for: craft beer, cocktails, Mexican snacks, if you need a friend
Location: Ulica Tome Nigera 2, just off Martmontova
Romantic dinner in Perivoj
Falling in love with Perivoj immediately after learning about its existence meant only one – we needed to treat ourselves and have a dinner there. And we did. The most amazing, tastiest and beautiful dinner. The five-course tasting menu was an excellent choice for our first visit. Each course was so different than a previous one – by the taste, ingredients, and looks.
Next time we are coming to try all the cakes and ice creams made by wonderful Tea Mamut, new Croatian pastry star. The dessert within the menu was heavenly and it just circled the whole experience. That’s exactly what our visit was – an experience.
More about our time in Perivoj you can read here.
Great for: romantic dinner, cakes, and beautiful environment
Location: Slavićeva 44
Dessert all day long at “Luka ice cream and cakes”
I read few articles about Luka’s place and they were all in superlatives. When you read about “the best ice cream in Split”, you must go and try it yourself, right? Since our apartment was conveniently located full 3 minutes from it, we just needed to stop by every time we went to the city or back home. And you know, they were wrong – it is not the best in Split, it is out of this world! The best and the most creative ice cream you ever had!
Every day, they produce something new. Do not be surprised if you do not find a flavor you tried yesterday – every day is a “fresh start” for Luka. We tried several flavors like lavender (tasty but confusing because it tastes like something you normally smell only), cucumber and peach (weird) and banana with caramel (absolute hit, Jaime went crazy for it). I just checked their page and saw their new fresh figs ice cream. That’s it, I’m packing my bags! (Joking. But when I say next time we are coming to Split only because of Luka and Perivoj, that is not a joke.)
Great for: the best ice cream you ever had
Location: Slavićeva 44
Our gastro experience in Split was a great one and we can’t wait to come back to eat some more!
Did you try any of this places? If not, which one would you like to visit?
READ MORE ABOUT SPLIT
Split City Break: Diocletian’s Palace and around
Restaurant Perivoj in Split, a seriously good restaurant
Split Dream Apartments in Split
If you like Split, you want to check out our Facebook album Discover Croatia – Split, Trogir, Zadar.
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