Zagreb - Samba Walker was here:
A few meters from the Stone Gate, Zagrebʹs attraction, shrine and a main entry into the Upper city, you will notice a beautiful balcony and just around the corner there is the entrance into Cafe and gallery Lav. Maybe youʹll decide to take a walk in Zagrebʹs old town first, since all the main sights are very close, but in any case you wouldnʹt want to miss drinking tea and coffe here. The place is both a gallery and a cafe which makes it unique. The moment you step inside surely the overall mood, soft lighting, cosy armchairs and imaginative pieces of art surrounding you will make you feel comfortable, at ease and at home. Occasional concert or a party happening here will allow you to discover a more lively side of this otherwise peaceful spot.
Close to the top of the popular Tkalčevićeva street youʹll certainly notice a cute yellow front of the house with a heart-shaped door knob and a roof made of candy. Although itʹs not a real candy it resembles a lot to the one in the fairytale Hansel and Gretel (croatian: Ivica i Marica), which is also the name of this restaurant and cake shop. Under one of the most photographed roofs in Zagreb youʹll enjoy some of the best traditional meals of Croatian cuisine all prepared from ecollogically certified food and without any preservatives and artificial additives. Even an ice-cream is produced in a traditional way from natural ingredients such as milk, pasteurized egg yolks, sweet cream, fruit and natural flavours. Once youʹve tried it youʹll always come back for more.
In Martićeva street, still in the city centre but far away from the crowded Zagreb špica (Saturday morning custom of drinking coffee in city centre, near Cvjetni square), there is a bar with a style of its own. Itʹs so diverse from other bars in Zagreb that could be said that nothing of a similar design can be found. Some would call its interior design overwhelming and bursting with too much detail and others find it playful, fun and very creative. On one subject everybody agrees and that is their delicious cheesecake and a really good coffee. Observing, commenting and noticing fun things in this space will entertain you and visually and mentally occupy you, so be prepared to take some extra time when paying a visit here.
If youʹve just moved to Zagreb and feel like a stranger who would like to find a place where youʹll feel as comfortable as in your own living room and at the same time among a circle of people that often stop by at the same cafe and read, work or have fun there, this is your spot. A bar and a book club, a wifi zone with free internet access where you will meet all sorts of easygoing people; freelancers working from their computers, lovers of literature borrowing foreign literature magazines or just a random Zagreb tourist reading a book in english. Offering all sorts of events from independent cultural scene including literature workshops, concerts and poetry readings, Booksa will probably seduce you with its simplicity and charm.
In the city centre (close to the ZKM, Zagreb theatre) there is a small cafe with a stunning backyard terrace that you could easily enjoy during the summer because of the atmosphere, decorations and delicious homemade cakes you can taste. Jutro means morning in croatian language so the name of the cafe suggests you could start your day here. The interior is very small but cosy and designed in a very creative way with many colorful details that enliven the room and make the overall mood pleasurable. A lot of the things hanging on the walls or lying on shelves are handmade art ready for sale but also a great decoration for the cafe itself. Sometimes you can stumble upon a concert here or merely come to socialize with your friends over a cup of tea or a homemade cake.
Located in a street just above the central market Dolac (parallel with Tkalčićeva street and delicious Ivica i Marica restaurant) after sightseeing Zagreb, you can sit down on a terrace of a great restaurant called Kulinarijat. The prices are average, the food diverse and well prepared. If you come here to eat during ’RESTAURANT WEEK’ (an event that happens twice a year, in March and October) you can taste yummy menu’s with 3 courses and a glass of wine in a unique price of 100kn. You’ll be delighted with the presentation of food, the thrill it evokes in your taste buds and with the nice environment surrounding you. The ingredients chefs use here are from small local producers that take care of them in a healthy and well controlled way.
How often do you get out of the restaurant completely amazed by the unique experience you’ve just lived and at fair price? Not that often I suppose. This raw food restaurant will give this experience to you. Whether you are a vegan or an all-eater you’ll enjoy every bite and be stunned by creativity, taste, combination of ingredients and simplicity of dishes that truly evoke your senses. Probably you’ll find yourself asking the waiter/owner a bunch of questions about the ingredients and an overall idea of the dish and she will respond warmly and thoroughly just stiring up your curiosity about raw food. It’s also the only exclusively vegan restaurant in Zagreb, the ingredients are seasonal, organic and grown locally. Just keep an open mind and this place will delight you.