Pula is the biggest city in Istra and the capital. Is really touristic place but there are few place with a great quality of food. In this page I would like to tell you some place where I went where you can have great food or enjoy drinks.
I write 4 different categories of things to do. I tried them personally and I think is something you really need to see in Pula.
A bit of history
First of all I would like to tell you a super short story about the city. When I visit the city I like to know basics don’t to arrive completely ignorant. Pula/Pola like many cities in Istra is bilingual: Italian and Croatian. The Italian community in Istra is really strong and you can see also Italian flag on the public buildings.
The village of Pula was founded by Histri, this is why the name of the region. After that we have 3000 years of history and different colonizations. The town was elevated to colonial rank between 46–45 BC as the tenth region of the late Roman Republic, under Julius Caesar. This is the period where Arena and all the Roman part of the city was built.
Most of the places that you can find here it’s hard to find, they don’t have a big advertising outside and you have to know where they are.
Address: Ul. Dinka Vitezića 4, 52100, Pula – click here for the map
Prices: Not a cheap place for dinner. Lunch is average in Pula
For lunch they have menu “a la carte”. For dinner you can choose between two fixed menus: fish for 195kn and meat for 175kn. Both are the best tastes of Istra that you can find in Pula. I really love this place. Quiet and nice atmosphere, people are kind and you can feel like home.
Fish Food “More”
Do you want the best quality of fish in Pula? This is THE place. They don’t have menu, it change every day depending of the fish. Restaurant is really popular. Not a fancy place, locals love this. You can simply go there, see what they have and order grilled or fried fish, squids, clams, etc. At the end don’t forget to try the local brandy: biska.
Address: Flanatička ul. 16, 52100, Pula – click here for the map
Prices: Below average
It’s in the city center, really close to the green market, but hard to see. I was really surprised the first time I ordered a simply tuna salat. There was a great well cooked tuna steak and it was so juicy. They gave me also for free like a starter goat cheese with balsamic vinegar. Amazing! I like restaurants where you can find good local food, but I love more if they treat you like a friend and not as a stupid foreigner customer. Fish soup is also extremely tasty. The best you can do is to ask to the waiter what they have fresh and taste a glass of wine from their long list.
I think this is the only restaurant in the old town where I will eat. I did’t try all, but this is open all over the year and is not just for tourists. Quality is really hight and you can taste squids from Adriatic, just ask them.You can taste many local dishes and good wines. It looks a bit fancy but prices are average and you will be surprised about their kindness.
Cafes and pubs
Wine & Food Tappo
I love their little plate with salty sardines and marinated anchovies. I almost order only that one when I go. Bread is homemade and olive oil is local. I like also their selection of cheese and salami, included one with truffle. They are close to Arena and you can easily find them walking on the main street. Is one of the last building before Arena.
Caffe Bar Valkane
This is my favorite place to have a coffee or a fresh homemade lemonade in Pula. This caffe is under pines in a wonderful bay. Easy to access, with free parking and a nice walk around. Tables are almost only outside, but all under the shadow of trees. Amazing the breeze you can feel always here. Great to relax, read a book or chat with friends.
Cafe Baobab – ex Beer Club
If you want to try Croatian beers this is the place. They have a long list of craft beers national and internationals, you can find a lot! It’s not in the city center, but easy to reach by bus or by car. Is in the neighborhood of Veruda, close to green market. In the summer they have a terrace outside. Check their program, sometimes there is live music.
Address: Rizzijeva ul. 47, 52100, Pula – click here for the map
I can say, this is a winter place. During summer they organize events around the city, check the website for the program. It is a winter place because in the club there is no outdoor space, and people smoke (like everywhere). They host local bands or national musicians. You can listen a good quality of Croatian music, included the rock from eighties, which is my favorite of the region!
Those are my favorite places in Pula. I will speak soon about open-air locations, where you can walk and relax without to be with thousands of tourists.
See you soon