Kotor’s days as a secret travel destination are sadly behind us as the city’s UNESCO status and frequent travel awards have helped spread the word about this picture perfect and unique gem of the Adriatic.
However, as the tourists have started to flock to the bay, so have the number of tourist trap restaurants providing overpriced and low quality food in the town.
During our stay we learned quickly to get off the beaten path and go the extra mile to find the best and most authentic Montenegrin meals the town and area could offer. We hope you enjoy our recommendations.
Basics: Get out of the squares!
Kotor’s Old Town has a series of fantastic and picture perfect squares littered with tables from nearby restaurants. Predictably, these restaurants tend to pump out quick and unimaginative meals for the masses of tourists coming off the cruise ships.
Our advice: get out of the main squares and enjoy some of the smaller gems and local hangouts in the backstreets and towards the back of the city.
Our recommendation: If you really want to dine in a main square we’d recommend The Astoria Boutique Hotel Kotor restaurant on their outdoor terrace. The restaurant does fantastic eggs benedict for breakfast, great pasta and meats for dinner and a great cocktail menu. The service is extremely fast and professional.
Kotor hidden gems:
Inside the city there are a few great places to eat, most of them located towards the back of the city and near the entrance to the fort. Przun restaurant boasts a creative and innovative menu, which will give you the fine dinning experience at frugal prices. After dinner there’s a number of great pubs nearby or you can do some wine tasting at the Old Winery Bar to sample some Montenegrin wines.
Our Recommendation: Our number 1 recommendation (other than all of the above) is Restaurant Scale Santa. Boasting a varied but authentic local menu, the restaurant uses beautifully fresh and natural ingredients to serve up healthy dishes in hearty portions at humbling prices. We’d definitely recommend the steak and porcini linguini, but remember to leave some space for local speciality Krempita for dessert. You won’t regret it.
If you’re looking for the best Montenegro has to offer and aren’t afraid to pay for it, we’d recommend the gastronomic cuisine at the Port Regent Hotel in Montenegro. The hotel itself is in the heart of the playground for the rich and famous that is the Porto Montenegro, the Adriatic answer to Cannes and St Tropez. The Port Regent Hotel’s philosophy of food as art, and the constant experimentation with local produce, wine and fruit makes this a unique and local experience.
Our recommendation: Pretty much everything we had at the restaurant was really good although the fillet mignon stood out from the pack as the king of the mains. However, the restaurants masterpieces are all located on the dessert menu. I chose the tropical dessert that included passion crème, coconut foam, almond crumble, and passion and mango sorbet. It was easily the best dessert I ate all weekend, month and even possibly year.
Eat like a local:
If you’re feeling thrifty and want to really eat like a local, there’s really only one place to go…
Our recommendation: The Tanjga Grill is the number 1 restaurant in Kotor according to TripAdvisor despite being a ‘cheap eat’. An otherwise underwhelming greasy spoon takeaway is actually a mini mecca for deeply marinated BBQ meats of big, hearty proportions. The meats are great, the chips dripping in BBQ sauces and it really doesn’t matter what you order: it’s all just one big guilty pleasure. Plus, it’s almost impossible to spend €10 and finish what you ordered. A great escape from the tourist crowds and one for the back packers or adventurous dinners alike.
Traditional Montenegrin experience:
To get a really authentic and traditional experience head up the mountain to the Njegusi region. Njegusi is high above Kotor and has a wonderful and unique climate. The heat of the Bay of Kotor and the cool winds of the Montenegrin mountains meet. The mixture of dry heat and low humidity makes it the perfect place to make Montenegro’s famous Njegusi sausage… perfect to pair with local cheeses and wine.
Our recommendation: Kod Pera na Bukovicu is a family run restaurant place on a beautiful hillside, near to the start of the Serpentine Road down to Kotor. The restaurant is the oldest in Montenegro and the menu has stayed exactly the same since it opened: you get what the chef feels like serving you. This includes a fantastic selection of local cheeses, bread and cured meets that are made and cured on site at the restaurant.
Although we didn’t eat here, we wanted to include the rooftop bar at the Boutique Hotel Hippocampus, because who doesn’t love a good view over a glass of vino?
For a tasty lunch from the josper grill head to the Cattaro Restaurant and Lounge Bar just outside the Old Town walls.
Armonia was a welcome stop when visiting Perast, for ice cold drinks and front row seats to the Bay of Kotor and Our Lady of the Rocks.
If you’re after local wines spend some time at Crush Wine Station at dusk, watching the sun set over the shiny yachts in Porto Montenegro.
Have you sampled Kotor’s culinary delights? Let us know in the comments below.
Thank you to the Tourism Board of Kotor for hosting us on our trip, however our opinions are always honest and our own.
Last modified: 11th August 2018