The small, charming village of Juricani has a long and storied history within its coastal setting in Istria, Croatia. It is a place with a deep culture and traditions that have been maintained over generations. Its impressive landscape is home to ancient Roman ruins, vineyards, and rolling hills. During the Middle Ages, Istria became part of the Venetian Republic. This period saw the area experience growth and prosperity, as trade increased dramatically. It became home to a number of craft workshops, while the harbor in Umag served as a busy trading port.
Istria, and Juricani in particular, is now a popular destination for tourists, who come to soak up its rich history, culture, and lovely rural setting. No wonder local cuisine represents an unrivaled fusion of Mediterranean and Central European flavors. Here in Juricani, melding two worlds of cooking is an art form that has been perfected over time and through many generations of chefs and families. From seafood soups to head cheese and from local wines to stews, Juricani has a variety of flavors to explore.
It's an Italian appetizer made from thinly sliced raw meat or fish, drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil and served with onions and capers. Carpaccio was introduced in Venice in 1950. A restaurant owner cooked it for a countess who couldn't eat boiled meat for medical reasons.
Konoba Buščina is located in the village of Buščina, a peaceful spot between Umag and Plovanija, close to the Slovenian border and away from the city bustle. The restaurant has been serving authentic Istrian and Mediterranean cuisines for 30 years, remaining true to its philosophy: adhere to seasonal produce and offer seasonal dishes. This is why the menu at Konoba Buščina is changed throughout the year so guests can always taste something new.
By drawing influences from local culture, ingredients, and traditional methods of preparation, Istrian cuisine will satisfy you with freshly caught seafood, natural olive oils, and local wines. Konoba Buščina was among the first in the area to be granted a license, back in 2006, for being trained to prepare and sell specialties made of Istrian Boškarin ox meat.
Among traditional Croatian dishes on the menu, you will find Boškarin ox carpaccio, goulash, and wild boar stew. Boškarin ox carpaccio is made from a slice of beef tenderloin marinated in olive oil, garlic, dried oregano, and black pepper. The meat is then topped with a tomato, lemon, and olive oil sauce and served cold. The wine list features top-quality domestic wines coming from Coronica, Kozlovic, Degrassi, Cuj, Kabola, and Prelac, as well as Italy and Slovenia.
Sea bass is distinguished by mildly sweet flavor and meaty consistency. There's a variety of ways to prepare sea bass, namely to grill, roast, steam, poach, and fry it.
Croatia is known for its stunning natural beauty, with breathtaking scenery to be especially found in the rural areas of the country. To fully experience the atmosphere, stop at a local rustic tavern such as Konoba Sole. The interior of this dining establishment and the guest house looks like it was taken out of a fairytale, boasting distinctive wooden beams and stone foundations. Konoba Sole is nestled halfway between Umag and Buje and specializes in fish dishes.
The rich seafood menu changes, according to the season, and is based on the catch of local fishermen. Konoba Sole takes special pride in marinated anchovies, salted sardines, fresh raw shrimp, sea bass carpaccio, and a wide range of shellfish. Grilled or fried calamari, raw scampi, Jacobs clams, and risotto Sole are among the most popular dishes at the tavern. The wine list comprises about twenty titles, mainly from the Buje region and northern Istria.
For those who look to get away from city life, Konoba Sole offers four-star apartments. These charming accommodations provide more than just a place to sleep — they create a unique living experience that can help recharge and inspire.
Prepared either indoors or outdoors, juicy pork ribs are always a treat. There are two types of pork ribs, namely spare ribs and baby back ribs.
Opened in May 2020 and located in Petrovija, Konoba Bokun is a fancy rural restaurant that evokes a feeling of luxury and relaxation. Stepping inside, guests will be immediately struck by the elegant and airy atmosphere of the place, with a natural source of light casting a warm, inviting glow, while a light-colored palette of beige tints, browns, and creams enhance the effect. Konoba Bokun serves original Istrian specialties, combining a long-standing culinary tradition with new innovative flavors.
To start, the tavern offers meat-based appetizers featuring beef carpaccio on arugula salad and Parmesan cheese and Istrian domestic raw ham. You may then move on to the main courses, choosing between lamb chop in a sauce of Mediterranean herbs and vegetables, pork ribs with potatoes and vegetables, and homemade Istrian sausages grilled with sauerkraut, among other dishes.
Konoba Bokun offers a beautiful view of the garden with an olive grove in the extension from the inner part and terrace. The outdoor patio, with candles and natural surroundings, is a great option to celebrate birthdays, christenings, communions, promotions, weddings, or run business meet-ups.
Scallops are often referred to as gourmet seafood. While having very tender meat, they are considered to be rather sweet in taste. Scallops can be eaten raw or cooked.
When you think of rural restaurants in Croatia, the Mediterranean atmosphere quickly comes to mind. The tranquility of a pastoral area combined with the exquisite aromas of homemade Mediterranean food is the perfect combination for a relaxing meal, and you can find it all at Restaurant Melon, in Petrovija. This tavern serves a variety of delicious dishes ranging from freshly caught fish and seafood to homemade pizzas coming right out of the wood-burning oven.
Seafood and fish caught on the nearby coastline provide excellent options for those looking to enjoy the taste of the Adriatic Sea. At Restaurant Melon, you can try traditional Istrian pasta fuži with shrimp and truffle sauce or pasta with deep-sea scallops and scampi carpaccio. Pizza lovers will appreciate positions such as Rustica made with ham, mushrooms, artichokes, and asparagus, Pescatora, which goes with salted anchovies, tuna fish, and capers, and Prosciutto & Funghi with tomato, cheese, mushrooms, and ham.
The unique blend of history, traditions, and culture of Istria contributes to the beauty and charm of the Croatian Riviera, which is worth visiting for anyone interested in experiencing the richness of the past and exploring hearty local cuisine. From cured meats and cheeses to Italian-style pasta and risotto, Istria's cuisine is a delightful blend of modern dishes and traditional flavors.