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ROAD TRIP: CROATIA, MONTENEGRO & BOSNIA… PART 2 of 10

PART 2 – DUBROVNIK: EAT PIZZA AND LISTEN TO THE CROATIAN 

For a few bucks the bus dropped us off smack in the center of town, where we were greeted by torrential rain on Brsalje, a main thoroughfare outside the old city’s Pile Gate.

We ducked into the first shop we saw across the bus stop, which turned out to be a pizzeria (we think it’s the one in the photo above). Not too excited at having pizza be my first meal in a new town, I ordered a basic margherita pizza and a local beer, hoping the beer would add a bit of exotic to the pizza.

The first bite into the soft chewy dough with slightly tangy and brilliantly red tomato sauce instantaneously recalled to my memory a decade-old conversation with a friend. He had told me he would get a slice of pizza in every new town he visited. A bit incredulous at the value of this habit back then, now I am ready to make this a formal travel tip of mine: try a slice of pizza in every country you go to because you will be able to identify the local gem that makes life special. In case of Croatia, it was at this moment that we discovered the delight of their fresh local tomatoes.

This revelation would follow us like a theme throughout the trip as we never skipped a tomato salad – sometimes a bit Greek to us with feta cheese on top with cucumbers and red onions, sometimes with cabbage dressed in vinegar, and depending on where you were in the former Yugoslavia also called the Serbian Salad.

We indeed tried to get one last bite of this wood-fired pizza when we got back to Dubrovnik 10 days later but alas ran out of time. No matter there are plenty of good pizzerias in town.

In fact, there are a lot of tasty treasures in and outside the fortress walls of the old city.

I would however be depriving you if I did not mention the MOST amazing restaurant in the area, and this is Konoba Dubrava. If I may sneak in another tip, if a Croatian, who’s living abroad, tells you to go somewhere in their homeland, go there. Situated high on the hill top, a short taxi ride will take you there and views along the trip looking down the fort and the sea alone will already be worth it. Once you have arrived you can sit indoors in a cozy rustic setting or chose, as we did, to sit outside and dine al fresco. There is literally a walk-in firepit where the chef walks in and out to check on the meat.

Our friend had also recommended the spit-roasted lamb and flat bread. Unfortunately this takes over 4 hours to cook and you must reserve a day in advance. We ordered the regular mixed grill which was also just fantastic, leaving us yearning even more for the taste of the spit-roasted lamb and flat bread.

But these are the types of restaurants that are not fleeting, the memories will be even more precious when we go back years, perhaps decades later.

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NEXT: PART 3  of 10

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ROAD TRIP: CROATIA, MONTENEGRO & BOSNIA – A 10-PART SERIES

PART 1 – THREE TIPS ON PICKING A TRAVEL DESTINATION

PART 2 – DUBROVNIK: EAT PIZZA AND LISTEN TO THE CROATIAN

PART 3 – AVOID MADE IN CHINA STUFF

PART 4 – DRIVING IN THE EMERGING MARKETS

PART 5 – KOTOR: SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO EMBRACE THE TOURIST TRAP

PART 6 – BUDVA: WHEN IN A ONE RESTAURANT TOWN, GO TO THE ONE RESTAURANT

PART 7 – ALBANIA: DROP TIJUANA, IF YOU HAVE TO DROP A LOCATION – – OR NOT…

PART 8 – SARAJEVO: DON’T BE A FEARLESS AMERICAN

PART 9 – MOSTAR: ALWAYS GIVE A PLACE 24 HOURS BEFORE YOU JUDGE

PART 10 – HVAR, SPLIT AND STONE: A JOURNEY’S END

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Stock Image Of Dubrovnik Courtesy of Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock.com