Croatia might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of great breads and pastries, but with the right direction, Zagreb has some great bakeries to offer up. So grab your map app and a canvas bag to stuff full of delicately packaged pastries and make your way toward the tangiest sourdough and airiest croissants in Croatia’s hip capital.
Here’s how to find the best of the best.
Matcha white chocolate cookies that melt in your mouth. Sourdough corn bread with just the right amount of tang. A croissant-muffin cross (called a cruffin) filled with sweet creams in various flavors.
When a friend recommended this place for its sourdough, I made my way over – and then kept coming back. The sourdough-cornflour bread is perfect sliced thick on its own, surrounding a sandwich, or slathered in melted butter and all-fruit jam. The matcha cookie is my go-to Zagreb comfort food. Break it in half and the gooey chocolate stretches as if it can’t bear to part with itself. The croissants are well-made, the cruffins sweet and messy in just the right way.
The coffee is okay here, too, though the baked goods are what make the place truly special. And the patio is lovely and bright if you’re looking for somewhere to while away an hour. The only downside is the busy road right beside the location in the center.
Don’t miss: sourdough corn bread, matcha cookies.
Address: Vlaška ul. 27 (second location in the south: Trakošćanska ul. 42).
This old favorite is a place I make sure to visit every time I’m in Zagreb. Google Maps will only show you one location (south of the center, near a park), but there are actually three. The one I ended up at most often on this trip was the tiny, takeaway spot at Marticeva 21.
Similar to Bread Club, you’ll find cruffins (muffin-croissant crosses filled with sweet creams) and breads. Unlike Bread Club, here you’ll also find slices of banana and carrot cake, mini quiches, and cinnamon rolls. The coffee is fine, but yet again the baked goods are the draw here. The locals agree with me; I’ve never been here when there wasn’t a line.
There is no outdoor seating at either location, so in pandemic times, plan to take your coffees and pastries to go. Post-pandemic, the southern location has indoor seating and decent WiFi if you’re looking for a place to do a little work. Both locations are cash-only, so make sure to stop by an ATM before you visit.
Don’t miss: Chocolate cruffin.
Address: Preradovićeva ul. 39 (south of the center, near a park, indoor seating available during non-pandemic times) and Marticeva 21 (east of the center).
Skip the big chains
This is a good general rule of thumb if you’re looking for great eats, but it’s particularly true of Zagreb’s baked goods. The big bakery chains in the center are okay in a pinch, but you can tell they aren’t putting the same level of care and artistry into their baking. Breads are a listless yellowish-white. Pastries clearly processed. Foodies: beware.
Any favorite artisanal spots I’ve missed? Drop them in the comments.