It’s generally very easy to find a café in Croatia, regardless of whether you’re in a big city like Zagreb or Split, on the coast relaxing in the sunshine … or anywhere else. Croatians love to drink coffee and you’ll find a café on almost every corner!
So besides learning about Croatian food and cooking in one of our blogs, now you have the chance to learn what to order and how in Croatia, too!
If you do find yourself desperate for caffeine and unable to find somewhere to get a coffee, you can try the following sentences.
Oprostite, gdje mogu naći kafić? → Excuse me, where can I find a café?
Oprostite, gdje je najbliži kafić? → Excuse me, where is the nearest café?
Oprostite, možete li mi preporučiti neki dobar kafić? → Excuse me, could you recommend a good café?
Možete li mi preporučiti kafić gdje imaju dobru kavu / dobro pivo / dobro vino? → Could you recommend a café where they have a good coffee / beer / wine?
If you know the name of the café, you can ask:
Oprostite, gdje se nalazi __________ (name of the café)? → Excuse me, where is ___________ (the name of café)?
Znate li kako mogu doći do __________ (name of the café)? → Do you know how can I get to ___________ (name of the café)?
Once you’ve found a café, sat down and decided what you would like to drink, it’s time to order! Waiters are usually very prompt. However, in case a waiter does not see you (or pretends not to) you can ask Radi li ovdje netko? (Does anybody work here?), which can also be considered a joke between the guest and the waiter, depending on their mood.
If you want to ask the polite way, you can raise your hand and say:
To order a drink you can also try:
Mogu li dobiti __________ (name of the drink)? → Can I have (name of the drink)?
Možemo li dobiti __________ (name of the drink)? → Can we have (name of the drink)?
Mogu li naručiti? → Can I order?
Može jedna cola / jedno pivo? → Can I have one coke / one beer?
Za mene jedna cola, molim. → For me, one coke, please.?
Croatians love to drink kava (coffee), which they usually drink with cold milk, but be warned: Croats drink their coffee veeery slooowly! :-D They love to sit in a café for hours and chat with friends while drinking their favourite drink. A free glass of water is also given when you order coffee, which is a nice extra perk.
In order to tell the waiter what you would like to drink, you need to understand the various ways in which coffee is served in Croatia:
kava s mlijekom / caffe late / macchiato (coffee with milk)
kava s hladnim mlijekom (coffee with cold milk)
kava s ledenim (coffee with cold milk in Dalmatia)
kava s toplim mlijekom (coffee with warm milk)
kava sa šlagom (coffee with whipped cream)
And if you prefer tea or some other non-alcoholic drink:
čaj od kamilice (camomile tea)
čaj od šumskog voća (wild berries tea)
zeleni čaj (green tea)
cedevita od limuna (cedevita lemon)
cedevita od naranče (cedevita orange)
mineralna voda (sparkling water)
voda iz pipe (tap water)
You might also have tried cedevita, a drink that Croatians like to drink on hot summer days. It is a powdery substance that is mixed with water and comes in different flavours.
Beer ( pivo) is one of the most popular drinks in Croatia, especially during hot summer nights. Nowadays nearly every brewery offers both dark beer ( tamno pivo) and lager beer ( svijetlo pivo). The most common beers are: Ožujsko, Karlovačko, Osječko, Velebitsko pivo, Tomislav and Pan.
Vino means wine. Red wine ( crno vino) and white wine ( bijelo vino) are separated into continental ( kontinentalna) and coastal ( primorska) wines. The best known continental wines are Graševina, Frankovka, Rajnski rizling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Škrlet, Silvanac zeleni, Pinot sivi and bijeli. The most popular coastal wines are Plavac mali, Babić, Dingač, Pošip, Malvazija, Žlahtina, Teran.
The following common drinks aren’t always on the menu, but can be ordered in any Croatian café … don’t worry, everyone will understand what you are ordering!
Gemišt is white wine mixed with sparkling water
Bambus is red wine mixed with coca cola
Bevanda is red or white wine mixed with regular water
Miš-maš is a sparkling orange juice (Fanta) mixed with red wine in such a way that separates the juice from the wine and as a result we have a two coloured drink.
Kombinacija or lovranski is white wine mixed with coca cola.