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.

Slavonia

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.

Central Croatia

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.

Lika

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

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.

Leave a comment

Text below Leave a comment on a single blog view.

Related posts

St. James Cathedral in Sibenik, Croatia - UNESCO site What to Do in Sibenik in Croatia?

What to Do in Sibenik in Croatia?

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.

Sea view from the terrace of luxury villa - Brac Island in Croatia - Orvas Villas Things to Do on the Brac Island

Things to Do on the Brac Island

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.

Pet Friendly Holidays in Croatia

Pet Friendly Holidays in Croatia

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.

Why Should You Visit the Korcula Island in Croatia?

Why Should You Visit the Korcula Island in Croatia?

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.

Luxury Villas in Istria

Luxury Villas in Istria

Whether you are looking for a peaceful and completely relaxing vacation or an active and adventurous one, Istria and luxury villas in Istria are not going to disappoint you.

Hidden Croatia Holidays

Hidden Croatia Holidays

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.

things-to-do-dubrovnik Luxury Villas in Dubrovnik

Luxury Villas in Dubrovnik

Luxury Villas in Dubrovnik are the best way to explore all the adventures this wonderful city has to offer.

lokrum-island Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Croatia.

Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Croatia.

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.

What To Do in Croatia in June 2018

What To Do in Croatia in June 2018

June is underway and it is going to be a busy month across Croatia. From festivals to local events there is sure to be plenty to do across all of the Croatian holiday destinations.

Our Top Tips For First Time Croatian Tourists

Our Top Tips For First Time Croatian Tourists

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.

Ice Park - J. Duval.jpg Christmas in Croatia

Christmas in Croatia

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.

dubrovnik Things to do in Dubrovnik

Things to do in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a beautifully historic part of Croatia that is popular for a reason! Think Game of Thrones, Mediterranean sunshine & authentic Croatian culture.

View on Hvar town and Pakleni Islands from the Hvar Fortress - Orvas Villas Croatia 4 Things To See On Your Hvar Holiday

4 Things To See On Your Hvar Holiday

Hvar is an island with a long and rich history, making it the perfect place for a Croatian holiday. Read our blog now to find our top 4 things to do.

diocletian-palace Days of Diocletian

Days of Diocletian

The Days of Diocletian is a traditional three-day event that takes a step back in time to honour the Roman Emperor and his importance in Split history.

sinj-alka The pride of the town of Sinj

The pride of the town of Sinj

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-croatia-cathedral The Top 8 Things to do in Split

The Top 8 Things to do in Split

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!

Specialty from Split Riviera - Orvas Villas Specialty from Split Riviera – Soparnik

Specialty from Split Riviera – Soparnik

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.

villa-vjeka-brac-island Why enjoy villas?

Why enjoy villas?

If you choose a villa holiday, you cannot go wrong. We bring you the benefits of enjoying that accommodation.

For a free & immediate callback, enter your number below and we will call you as soon as possible.

Email: