Lari & Penati is a tiny restaurant in Zagreb serving up some of the best food in the Lower Town. Looking for what to eat in Zagreb? Here’s why Lari & Penati should be at the top of your list.
Lari & Penati is something of a hidden gem. Tucked away in Zagreb’s Lower Town, it’s a small bistro and wine bar beloved by Zagrebers and those in the know. Sure, it’s small and can be very difficult (read sometimes impossible) to book tables at times but it’s worth every ounce of the effort.
Named after two of the Roman gods of the hearth, Lari & Penati is very much a home away from home. A place to bring your friends, hang with the locals. A place to enjoy some stellar food and match it with some excellent wine. Almost all cities have restaurants like these – understated, stylish and a real find if you happen to stumble across them.
A place to bring your friends, hang with the locals, enjoy some stellar food and match it with some excellent wine.
The decor is quirky, with pots and pans adorning the walls and garlands of flowers hanging from the ceiling. There’s also a snug outdoor terrace that’s perfect for an alfresco meal in the warmer months.
So what makes it so special? Lari & Penati’s daily-changing menu showcases the fresh ingredients and bold flavours of the region. When we visited, the dishes ranged from salads such as the marinated sea bass salad to warm dishes such as aubergine parmigiana. Other stars of the show included BBQ ribs with coleslaw and potato salad.
One of the great things about Lari & Penati is that, despite the excellent quality of the food, it’s excellent value. Even for Zagreb. Salads are priced between 55 and 65kn (£6-7) and warm dishes between 30 to 90kn (£4-11). This also extends to the wine list, which is filled with a range of local and international wines. Prices start from 19kn (£2) for a glass and 125kn (£14) for a bottle.
The marinated sea bass salad was delicious. A mound of the marinated sea bass artfully placed atop a bed of lettuce and rocket. It was topped with a few segments of satsuma and served with bread, balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Simple, yes. Delicious? Certainly. Each ingredient worked together to create a pleasing balance of sweet and savoury flavours.
A mound of the marinated seabass was artfully placed atop a bed of lettuce and rocket, topped with a few segments of satsuma and served with bread, balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.
The dessert menu is pretty limited (it was one dish during our visit), but the sound of a rhubarb and strawberry pie sounded too good to pass up. I was glad I didn’t. The traditional Croatian dessert boasted crumbly pastry and again that perfect balance of tart and sweetness for a delicious dish.
Lari & Penati is the perfect place to try some Croatian wines. The large majority of the wine list is also served by the glass, giving you the opportunity to try a few varietals from different regions of the country. Our pick of the evening was the Ines i Bijelom cuvée from the Roxanich region. Ines i Bijelom is a rare orange wine that strikes the balance between tartness, fruitiness and depth of flavour and paired perfectly with the sea bass salad.
Lari & Penati is the perfect place to try some Croatian wines.
Overall, Lari & Penati is a wonderful place for a relaxed lunch stop during the day or dinner while rubbing shoulders with the locals.
Lari & Penati
10000 Zagreb, Croatia
+385 1 4655 776
Looking for other places to eat in Zagreb? We also loved Bistro Vještica in the Upper Town.