Christmas time is one of the most beautiful parts of the year. Everyone becomes more relaxed and cheerful. During the whole Advent, we enjoy in the various religious and secular aspects of this graceful holiday. But the highlight of the communion and family experience of Croatian Christmas is Christmas lunch. Getting together with family, laughing and catching of all what is going on in everybody’s life accompany gathering at a table.
What’s on Menu for Christmas in Croatia?
Although what will be on the holiday table varies from region to region, some parts of Croatian Christmas lunch are the same everywhere. The meal will always start with a cold appetizer. After that, soup can but does not have to be served – any soup. Then comes the centrepiece of lunch – the main course. There are various dishes on the table, but roasted meat is indispensable. And, of course, the meal must end with dessert.
There is a lot to be found for a cold appetizer on the table. However, a variety of dried meat products (usually homemade – sausages, prosciutto, bacon, kulen, etc.), Russian salad, aspic and cheeses are necessary. In some parts of Croatia, dried and bony fruits are also being served as a symbol of well-being in the past year. When it comes to the main course, every region in Croatia has its traditional Christmas roast.
The Stars of Christmas Lunch
As we said, the indispensable part of the meal and the star of the whole lunch is roasted meat. But in which part of Croatia we are in will determine what kind of meat it is and how it will be baked.
Zagreb and Surroundings
In Zagreb and its surroundings, the most classic Christmas roast is turkey, but sometimes it is suckling pig. In addition to turkey, mlinci (kind of flatbread; baked and latter, directly before serving, cooked briefly in the soup or baked or fried in fat) are must-have. You will also often find baked potatoes and strukli (kind of dough with cheese filling; can be cooked and baked) on the table.
Slavonians will most often serve roast beef, but sometimes it will be pig or chicken. What distinguishes the Slavonian Christmas table, apart from the beef, is the cake. Namely, along with other standard Christmas sweets, you will usually find a delicious multilayered cake on the table.
In the northern part of Central Croatia – Medjimurje, Christmas speciality is roasted, usually stuffed, duck. To the south, roast pork or lamb will be served for Christmas lunch. Here you will also find served gibanica – a layered pastry dish, with slightly thicker layers and some variation of cheese filling.
The centrepiece of a Christmas lunch in Lika will be roasted suckler pig or, less commonly, lamb. Since the Lika potatoes are much appreciated and well known in Croatia, it is obligatory in the side dish. Most often, you will get pole (halves) – potatoes cut in half and baked. The most delicious are grilled directly in embers.
Istria and Kvarner
At Christmas, the Istrians will usually roast the turkey, but sometimes it will be veal or pig. Often, the atmosphere and taste will complement the homemade bread. Here we will also find one speciality among the desserts – Bishop’s Bread. It’s a biscuit full of nuts and dried or candied fruits. It is best when it is several days old, which makes it perfect for the holidays as you can prepare it in advance.
Dalmatia is the only part of Croatia where you probably won’t get roast meat for Christmas lunch. Namely, the traditional main course for festive meals, including Christmas, is pasticada. It is a stewed piece of the finest beef, topped with gravy that is almost always served with gnocchi. If the roast is found on the table, it will usually be a turkey. Before Christmas lunch, in Split you will drink varenik – a hot wine with honey and pepper, and fritule – a type of small fritter with raisins, are served throughout Dalmatia before lunch.
In addition to the baked delicacies, you will find on the table in all parts of Croatia sarma – mixed minced meat with rice wrapped with leaves of cabbage that have been pickled in brine. It is customary to cook more than necessary of everything. So, for a few days after Christmas, you don’t need to cook a lot.
How do We End Croatian Christmas Feast?
For the end of the Christmas family get-together, as well as all-day snacking, we will prepare innumerable variations of Christmas cookies, honey cakes and wafers. Nut roll and poppy seed roll will also find its place among the desserts. Most of Croatia will also serve Christmas Gugelhupf that came to us from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. And for complete enjoyment, we also prepare creamy cakes – chocolate cubes, madjarice (Hungarian women), lamingtons, Russian caps, cremeschnitte and many more.
If you want to feel the atmosphere of Christmas in Croatia and enjoy our traditional Christmas dishes, let us know.
Let us help you find the ideal Croatia vacation spot where you will enjoy your dream vacation! We have prepared a quiz that will enable you to identify the right location for your vacation.
Are you looking for the dream weekend getaway in Croatia? We've got fantastic sail and stay offers in May for a unique holiday experience in Croatia. Contact us for more info!
To save you time on research for the most instagrammable places, we will suggest the best places to visit in Croatia where no photo can turn out badly!
Check out our list of reasons why long-term villa rental in Croatia is the thing you might need now. Stay with us and find out more!
We want to keep our guests updated with the steps that we are taking for a safe holiday at our villa. It minimizes contact with our staff while ensuring you have all you need for an enjoyable vacation.
For the easier and faster way of crossing the border of the Republic of Croatia and to keep our guests aware of the epidemiological measures that are currently active in Croatia, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of the Interior has launched a new website!
If you are planning a vacation in coastal Croatia from February to May there are a lot of interesting events to explore. These are perfect months for recharging batteries in the Croatian Adriatic.
We believe that, after reading this text, it will become clear to you that if you ever thought you were strong enough to resist any temptation, that Croatia is absolutely a country to make you have doubts in your convictions.
Can you imagine that there is an island where the stone is considered to be a treasure? An island which has a cave that hides a dragon, and whose hard-to-reach terrain is home to an impressive monastery built among rocks?
When we love someone we often like to say that we give him or her our heart. If you go on a vacation in Croatia, you will find out that there is a way to literally give your heart to the loved ones by gifting them licitar’s heart.
With the end of November, we all begin to feel the holiday atmosphere and the oncoming of Christmas. This year, you could experience Advent and winter magic with a slight twist.
Whether you are coming to Croatia for the first time or have already been here, Split have something to offer to you. The possibilities are numerous.
Sibenik is a historical city in the middle of Dalmatia in Croatia. Mediterranean climate assures perfect weather conditions throughout whole year. Here is our proposal of what to do in Sibenik.
If you decided to visit Brac, you are not going to regret. Contrary, you are going to be pleasantly surprised with its size, nature, history, gastronomy and everything else. There are so many things to do on Brac Island. Come and enjoy.
Your pet is member of your family and, for sure, you don't want to be apart from your best friend. So, when it comes to planning a holiday you want to bring your pet on vacation with you. First thing you need to be sure of is that your destination is pet friendly.
The Korcula Island in Croatia is an island in central Dalmatia and it’s the second most populous Adriatic island. If you are not sure why should you visit Korcula Island read about what to do and to see in Korcula.
Explore the most exclusive parts of Croatia on your Hidden Croatia Holidays. Explore all that Croatia has to offer from your private villa with help from our Croatia Travel Blog.
Learn about the numerous Game of Thrones filming locations across Croatia, from the popular destination of Dubrovnik Riviera to Split and beyond. Forge your own path to the Iron Throne.
With a well-preserved history, it's no surprise that Croatia is home to many wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Here are just a few of our favourites.
As Croatia gains popularity as a tourist destination, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are our top tips on what to watch out for if you're visiting Croatia for the first time.
Although December and the Christmas period may not traditionally be the most popular time to visit Croatia, the bustling Christmas markets and authentic Christmas traditions draw in tourists who are looking for a European city break in December.
Croatia is famous for its beautiful beaches and crystal clear sea, something that is not to be missed on your villa holiday. Read about our favourite Croatian beaches now.
Whether enjoying a Croatia island hopping tour or settling down for a luxury villa holiday, Makarska is a destination that should be on your list. Read now to find out why.
Brac is a special Croatian island full of culture and natural beauties that you are sure to fall in love with. Read now to discover why you should go here for your Croatian holiday.
Towards 301st Alka, which will be held on August 7, we get to know you with this symbol of heroism and glory, and synonymous of the city of Sinj. If you are on holidays in Croatia, we recommend you to be a participant of history in the present
Split is a hub of cultural and historical activities during the summer, leaving you entertained and with a better understanding of the rich Split history. Read our top 8 things to do in Split & book your holiday now!
Dalmatian specialty received this month a protected geographical indication on the level of the European Union, and it is being prepared since the time of the Turks.