If you only eat in one restaurant in the Upper Town of Zagreb, Bistro Vještica should be it. Here’s why.
Zagreb isn’t necessarily known as a culinary hotspot. So it might surprise you when we tell you that it does have a number of wonderful restaurants that you should visit during your trip to the city. Bistro Vještica is an enchanting restaurant in the heart of the upper town. Serving traditional Croatian dishes in a picture-perfect setting, here’s why you need to put Bistro Vještica at the top of your list of places to eat in Zagreb.
A Hidden Treasure in the Upper Town
The bold flavours of traditional Croatian cuisine are brought to life in this small restaurant. It’s tucked away down a small side street in the heart of Zagreb’s Upper Town but you can find it easily – if you know where to look.
The central location is a real plus. Bistro Vještica is just around the corner from many of Zagreb’s main sight, including The Museum of Broken Relationships and St Mark’s Church. It’s the perfect lunch or dinner spot to recuperate after a spot of sightseeing. Locals love it, yet it’s still little-known by tourists, a win-win situation. Even better, you can normally get a table without too much difficulty if you don’t book ahead.
Bistro Vještica interestingly takes its name from the Witch of Grich. This is a cycle of famous Croatian novels written by the country’s first female journalist and national heroine Marija Jurić (pen name Zagorka). Gric is also the old name for the hill settlement on which the restaurant is located. Tradition is front and centre here, yet Bistro Vještica avoids feeling old-fashioned or outdated.
Why not check out our guide to one day in Zagreb, complete with a self-guided tour and map?
It’s never a great idea to judge a restaurant by appearances. After all, your culinary pleasure depends on a lot more than how the restaurant looks. That said, Bistro Vještica’s ivy-clad exterior and coral paintwork create a pleasant first impression. Luckily, that impression isn’t let down by the dining experience itself.
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If you’re visiting in the summer, grab a seat by the open shuttered windows.
Otherwise, settle in one of the many nooks in this cosy bistro.
It’s never a great idea to judge a restaurant by appearances. After all, your culinary pleasure depends on a lot more than how the restaurant looks.
What’s so great about Bistro Vještica? The menu is pretty extensive. There’s something there for everyone, even the fussiest eaters. It alternates between full-out traditional Croatian dishes to ones that have been given a contemporary twist.
So, what should you expect food-wise? Starters include dishes such as homemade smoked cow’s cheese and wheat polenta with bacon and onion.
Not forgetting Štrukli (filo pastry with cottage cheese) – a strong contender for the title of Zagreb’s favourite dish. The main courses are largely meat-based (in keeping with traditional Croatian cuisine). That said, there are several options for vegetarians to choose from too.
We went for oven roasted turkey thigh served with thin flatbread and traditional semi-cured sausages served with pan fried potatoes in a tomato sauce, then ordered some beetroot with horseradish and wild mushrooms to go with.
Everything was wonderful but the piquant sausages, absolutely bursting with flavour would be at the top of my list if I had to choose. They paired perfectly with the potatoes and beetroot, making for a hearty and undeniably delicious meal.
Everything was wonderful but the piquant sausages, absolutely bursting with flavour would be at the top of my list if I had to choose…
Sizes at Bistro Vještica are on the generous size and prices are excellent. Mains are priced around 45-65kn (£5-8) and bottles of wine 70kn+ (£8.50+). Considering the central location and excellent food, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect prices to be double this. Grab your seat before word gets out.
Looking for other recommended restaurants in Zagreb? Check out Lari & Penati in the Lower Town.