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Is eating in restaurants really that expensive?

Portland, Oregon
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Is eating in restaurants really that expensive?

So it is looking like we can find good accommodations within out budget but I've seen a number of posts reporting very expensive meals at restaurants. Does it really average $80 for a couple to have dinner at a restaurant?

Ely, Minnesota
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for Dubrovnik
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1. Re: Is eating in restaurants really that expensive?

Only if you are ordering very expensive things off of the menu. You can get by a lot cheaper than that.

Istria, Croatia
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for Istria, Croatia
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2. Re: Is eating in restaurants really that expensive?

You can eat for as little as 10 euros per person if you have pizza or spit grill. Or you can go to a better restaurant and have a wonderful plate of risotto for 10-15 euros. But if you want to splurge on a few courses (including fresh fish which is pricey) it can run up to $80. I would recommend eating at konobas which are sometimes rural family businesses. They are packed with atmosphere (think ancient stone floors, gigantic fireplace, beams...) and are often less expensive than restaurants (or restoran). Mains can run from $10-$25 per person or more if you want fresh fish/seafood. A tip: often at konobas you will receive a plate of complementary baking so do not bother ordering dessert!

A great idea is to frequent markets - pick up some great bread, cheese, meat, fresh fruit and you're off. If you have a few more splurgish meals just balance it out with less expensive meals.

You definitely do not need to spend $80 unless you want to! You really can eat well and inexpensively in Croatia especially if you do your research!

Brighton and Hove...
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for Trogir, Ciovo Island
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3. Re: Is eating in restaurants really that expensive?

Bottles of wine are expensive in restaurants - carafes of the house wine are not. I've never eaten 3 courses in a resaurant as I have always been too full.

Columbus, OH
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4. Re: Is eating in restaurants really that expensive?

We toured Croatia last summer. I agree with chefathome. It also really depends on where you eat. Where the tourist are, the higher the price. We three stayed on Lopud and fish dinner for two plus another entree, salads, house wine ran about 80 euros. In Dubrovnik, my wife ordered a salmon salad, house wine, and my son and I split a fantastic pizza with salad, for under 40 euro. I found fish to be expensive no matter where we were. While in Rovinj, we wanted to get rid of some Kuna so my wife had her nails done and the technician gave us some tips on where the locals go....fabulous and not as expensive. In Plivitce, we ate more pork and trout than what we eat in a year. It was extremely inexpensive. We purchased lemons as big as a softballs and made lemonade during the day and purchased bread, cheese etc for lunch snacks. So I guess, it is where and what you prefer to eat. We

Parma, Italy
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for Parma, Cremona, Zadar
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5. Re: Is eating in restaurants really that expensive?

It depends on where you go to eat. Before you enter, restaurants have a manu list exposed outside, so you can see the prices. I continue to say that it's still not expensive compared with other European places.

Kendal, United...
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6. Re: Is eating in restaurants really that expensive?

Those prices seem expensive to me ........ I wouldn't dream of spending that much on a meal in this country (UK). Surely these prices aren't the norm?

If you look on the left hand side of the page (in Travel Forums) there is a thread 'More on Croatia', then 'resturants' - click this and you'll get reviews on eating places in Croatian cities - might be helpful?

Edited: 24 January 2012, 14:34
Istria, Croatia
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7. Re: Is eating in restaurants really that expensive?

Just remember that it IS possible to eat inexpensively. Believe me - I've been to Croatia many times and was just there. Keep to the konobas and pizzerias as opposed to restaurants - they usually are cheaper. Have fresh fish only once or twice as a splurge treat. Order tap water to save money as bottled can be expensive. If you have a decent filling brunch you only need two meals a day. And if you go to the grocery store or market for brunches you will be fine! Stick to one course. Sometimes appetizers are filling enough (such as risotto).

Get off the beaten path. Drive into the country - do not go to touristy places where the menus are placed outside with great big pictures and in English. Most of those places are Americanized. Not all, but most. You want the places with discreet menus in Croatian (and perhaps English). Some places have no menu - you get what is fresh that day. I love those places. Even hit the places without English for a fun and interesting experience. You will be amazed at how you can get by!

It's true - it is definitely cheaper than many other European countries! We have been to England 6 times, Scotland 5 and Wales a few and we have found Croatian prices to be definitely less. Remember - stick to KONOBAS for authentic, local and inexpensive fantastic food.

Edited: 24 January 2012, 15:30
Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: Is eating in restaurants really that expensive?

Thank you so much to chefathome and everyone who answered, I really appreciate the info. Two years ago we were planning this trip for our anniversary but I got pulled in (via a Trip Adviser person) to consult with a tour operator. The cost was way over what we could afford so I gave up on the whole idea. This time we are planning for my 50th birthday trip and I am determined to watch our budget and make it work. Thank you especially for the tip about Konobas! I had never heard of them and they sound charming and perfect for us. We would like to steer clear of the super touristy joints.

Istria, Croatia
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9. Re: Is eating in restaurants really that expensive?

I just do not want you to miss out on what would be an extremely fabulous trip. The food is great. The konobas are so atmospheric. When we go to Croatia we splurge on fresh fish, etc. at a restaurant two or three times but the rest of the time is spent with food from the markets and/or grocery stores and konobas. They are worth seeking out, especially if you rent a car which is the way to do it in Istria at least. Croatia on a budget can be done, speaking from a lot of personal experience. I recommend trying the dishes I suggested above for an authentic experience.

Go and have the times of your lives! I could not think of a better way to spend your 50th. Croatia is THE destination in my humble opinion.

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Is eating in restaurants really that expensive?

Thanks so much :) Now all I have to do is edit. There is soooo much I want to see but we have 14 days and when need some relaxation as well as sightseeing. The tough part is I want to go to Hlebine for the Ivan Generlic Gallery, Ovinj and some of Istria, Sebenik, an Island and Dubrovnik. I was not sure about renting a car but we may do for a part of the trip. Want to see the St. Mary's Church, Beram also. Any suggestions ? Too much?