I didn’t find Cres a particular gastro destination. I mean, there’s food, there are restaurants but nothing out of the ordinary.

Pizza, chevapcici and French fries are still the main dishes served all around the island.

Even the fish dishes are safe options like fried fish or octopus salad.

However, during our two summers on the island (2021 & 2022) we found some surprisingly good eating locations.

The first one is actually a fried fish kiosk called Fast food “Riba Ribi”. The one like dozens in Liguria or somewhere on the Spanish coast.

The kiosk is situated literary on the main walking coast pathway and it’s hard to miss.

They serve deep fried smelt fish (gavuni, hrv.), sardines and calamari. Side dishes are French fries or bread, with a must have tartar sauce. Drinks; white or red wine. Not much to choose from but very tasty.

Served in a take away plates and eaten on the go or sitting in front of the kiosk, with your feet in the sea water is by no means a Michelin star experience but if you go there for a dinner it can definitely be an experience under the stars.

The fast food kiosk actually has its side kick friend next door serving burgers and such, but the fried fish sounded way better when you’re surrounded by the sea.

Luna Rossa pizzeria was one of the many, but good many, locations that serves everything from pizzas and pastas to meat and fish dishes. And when your kid eats only pizza & pasta, you have to make sure to drop by at least once during the vacation.

Situated at the very center of the city, just steps away from the marina, it’s rarely empty. During the summer it’s best to have a booked table or come before people start dragging their tired feet and empty stomachs. Around 7 ish pm lets say.

Not only the do they serve handmade pasta with locally produced ingredients, they also go step beyond with the black pizza (pizza dough made with the added active charcoal) and pizza with added hemp oil grown on the island. Not bad for a small town restaurant.

We decided to leave those new coming experiments for some other time as we went for fish and pasta. Not disappointed, at all.

Very tasty food with a decent size portions and a moderate presentation left us quite satisfied.

The biggest surprise of the town of Cres was a noteless Grill & BBQ House Porta Bragadina, situated right next to the 16th century town gates of the same name.

We passed by that restaurant many times, but never had the courage to dine there. First of all the menu was putting us of, with boring and dull dishes in 15 languages, the interior was very basic….there was nothing inviting until one evening we were too desperate and obviously too hungry to go somewhere else so we went in. In the end we dined there twice! Twice! That rarely happens as we like to explore different food locations. But the food was soooooooo good that we just had to go back.

With the grill and bbq in the restaurants name we were pleasantly surprised that the grill master ACTUALLY had some fish grilling skills as well, as the grilled tuna was fantastic!

We had both fish, meat and pasta dishes. The portions were gigantic and none of the side dishes or/and salads were needed but you know that old saying U gladnog su velike oči (The one that has the hunger has the big eyes). Is it a saying or I just made it up to mask my own voracity?!

Fried calamaris with potato and chard

While the Grill & BBQ was the most pleasant surprise of our Island of Cres gastro exploration, Konoba Bukaleta in Loznati was the most traditional local food experience.

Everywhere we go we try to eat local but traditional food also, and Cres being known for its lamb meat it was a must to try the dishes made out of these cute animals bee-eee-ee 🐑.

Bukaleta was recommended to us by our friends, native of Lošinj but now living in Bologna. I mean living in the belly of Italy you certainly know your foods so we had to visit Loznati.

The village is just 10 minutes drive away from Cres, so we left the baby with the grandmother and of we went. Although being 3pm in the afternoon on a god-knows-what-day in August, the restaurant was fully packed. There was a big group already singing at the table, couples or friends and family members. Everybody came for the lamb obviously as that was the main highlight of the menu.

We started with both cold and warm appetizers, paired with local white wine, and continued as expected, having tried almost everything interesting and not on the everyday menu for the past couple of weeks. Or months. I mean, Norway is a land of sheep meat, but a bit different in preparation (dried and salted mutton ribs, cooked as a stew and served during Christmas time).

Anyway…the dishes:

Lamb soup with cold appetizers
Parma ham, sheeps & goat cheese, lambs pate’

No visit to a location that is know for tripes is a decent visit. Especially if your other half is Debeli. He really likes tripes and where ever we go (Genoa, Milano, Firenze) he HAD to try the locally made tripes. Lamb ones were no exemption. And according to his opinion those one were the best tripes in his life.

I’m not a huge fan of lamb meat, but I liked the three styles of lamb meat preparation (fried, grilled and under the bell lamb).

My biggest happiness of the experience was a local traditional dessert. In the sea of palachinke (creps), tageskuchen and ice cream I was very happy when to find something specific for the region.


Olito is made by mashing together flour, dried figs, raisins and sheep suet. The name of this old shepherds sweet therefore comes from the dialect word for animal stomach and intestines – olito.

The dessert can be flavored with cinnamon, orange or lemon zest and then stuffed into a sheep stomach and boiled for a few hours. It’s served sliced and pan-seared in olive oil.

Very simple in preparation, ingredients, and taste olito tells the story of an island, harsh winters, glorious summer days and its hard working people. Not tourists like us, the ones that comes pale and white and return home all burned but happy to have tried something local.

You may also like