Montenegro, the hidden gem of the Adriatic coast, is renowned for its breath-taking landscapes and rich cultural heritage. The country has also emerged as a culinary paradise, boasting a vibrant food scene that caters to diverse tastes and preferences.
Whether you’re a fervent seafood enthusiast, an aficionado of traditional fare, an explorer of international tastes, or simply in pursuit of a luxurious dining experience, Montenegro has a table set for you. The spectrum of dining options here is not only vast but also exhilaratingly varied.
From charming local eateries serving traditional Montenegrin delicacies to international fine dining establishments, Montenegro offers an array of culinary experiences that are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palates. In this article, we present the top 10 restaurants in Montenegro, known for offering breath-taking backdrops, incredible service, and unforgettable food.
1. Stari Mlini (Kotor)
Best for: Experiencing the seamless blending of culinary artistry and the natural world.
Location and Arrival:
Nestled within the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kotor stands the renowned Stari Mlini. Its breath-taking waterfront location, complete with a private marina and a small helipad, offers a truly remarkable setting. Arriving by boat is a captivating experience, unveiling the awe-inspiring expanse of Boka Bay’s cliffs. The restaurant’s marina is thoughtfully designed to accommodate boats up to 50 meters, extending a warm welcome to some of the world’s most renowned yachts.
Steeped in history, Stari Mlini traces its origins back to the 1700s when it served as a flour mill run by a local family. It was the lifeblood of the medieval town of Kotor, Montenegro. Fast forward three centuries, and this historic mill has transformed into a restaurant, radiating with a captivating and magical atmosphere. Over the span of forty years, Stari Mlini Restaurant has built a reputation for offering an extraordinary yet laid-back fine dining experience.
Culinary Offerings and Atmosphere:
The carefully crafted menu boasts an extensive selection, highlighting freshly caught fish and seafood delicacies, as well as dishes crafted from ingredients nurtured on the restaurant’s own farm. As a cherished family-owned establishment, the restaurant blends traditional flavours. Beyond its culinary prowess, Stari Mlini emerges as an idyllic venue for meaningful occasions such as weddings and special celebrations. The natural beauty enveloping the restaurant, along with the lush garden, paints a picturesque backdrop for crafting unforgettable memories. A leisurely stroll through the charming fish farms and garden, complete with waterfalls and bridges, evokes a sense of stepping into a storybook.
Our favourite spot for dining is a table near the bridge. We would advise you to secure this spot in advance.
2. Galion (Kotor)
Best for: Supreme service and historical Kotor Old Town views.
Setting and Ambience:
Positioned in the heart of Kotor’s old town, Galion restaurant offers an unparalleled setting with vistas of limestone cliffs and the serene Adriatic Sea. The restaurant boasts a charming ambiance, accommodating a total of 70 seats that are thoughtfully distributed across four distinct areas. Each of these spaces exudes its own unique character, making it the perfect setting for a variety of occasions, including casual lunches, elegant dinners, intimate special occasions, joyous weddings, and romantic evenings. However, the crown jewel of the restaurant is undoubtedly its outdoor terrace, offering a breath-taking panoramic view of the Boka Bay that adds an extra touch of allure to the dining experience.
Terrace and Dining Experience:
International visitors embrace the outdoor terrace for summer dinners after long days of exploring Kotor, as the sun sets, and the night unveils its charm. The restaurant exudes an aura of tranquillity.
Gastronomy and Menu:
At Galion, gastronomy is an experience that extends beyond visual allure, though its presentation is undeniably captivating. The culinary offerings not only captivate the eyes but also tantalize the taste buds with an exceptional medley of flavours. At Galion, they begin by combining traditional recipes from fifty years ago with daring innovations, focusing on local seafood as well as the meat from the Montenegrin mountain peaks. Some of the visitors’ favourite dishes are beetroot gravlax, grilled octopus, and tuna ceviche. Results are genuine and reliable quality.
Service and Staff:
Visitors consistently praise Gallion’s service, and restaurant staff are celebrated for their exceptional courteousness.
3. Theodorus (Tivat)
Best for: Authentic experience through the heart of Montenegro’s culinary traditions.
The Theodorus Restaurant, dating back to 1980, is nestled in the natural and fragrant shade of magnolia trees at the heart of Tivat’s most beautiful square. It is surrounded by the Buca Lukovic summer house, which originates from the aristocratic family of the 14th century, a summer theatre stage, a small museum, and an art gallery. The restaurant is easily recognizable by a splendid magnolia tree, renowned for providing an oasis of greenery and tranquillity. This environment offers a pleasant and homely ambiance, particularly during the summer months when it serves as a natural escape from the sun, becoming a favourite and charming dining spot.
Menu and Culinary Traditions:
The meticulously crafted menu stems from a fusion of experiences and traditions that bridge the gap between local Boka culture and international tourists, ensuring that the unique Boka customs remain ingrained. The dishes are prepared using age-old recipes, interpreted in a contemporary manner. This combination of tastes, aromas, and colours nourishes not only the body but also the soul with Montenegrin traditions.
Artistic and Cultural Significance:
The Theodorus Restaurant is a local gem that has gained popularity among both locals and visitors. Apart from its reputation for being one of the best local restaurants, people admire it because renowned artists and actors are often drawn to this place, utilizing its serene ambiance to write scripts and prepare roles for their performances on the Theodorus terrace. Upon completion of the summer performances at the next-door summer theatre stage, these well-known artists frequently return to the terrace to celebrate and engage with their audience, sharing moments over a glass of local wine. To this day, Theodorus remains a sanctuary for artistic souls, hedonists, and connoisseurs, offering culture at your fingertips.
4. Ćatovića Mlini (Morinj)
Best for: A romantic dining experience with a fairy-tale touch.
Location and History:
Catovica Mlini, nestled in the charming village of Morinj, halfway between the better-known towns of Herceg Novi and Kotor, presents an enchanting culinary haven. Its name, “the Catovic’s Mills,” pays homage to the Catovic family’s two-century-long dedication to flour milling using their historic mills. Over the past quarter-century, owner Lazar and his family, the proud proprietors, have transformed this establishment into one of Montenegro’s premier dining destinations and favourite restaurants in the country.
Menu and Culinary Experience:
The restaurant’s rustic charm is beautifully complemented by a diverse Mediterranean menu, where seafood takes the spotlight, although the menu also offers a range of alternatives. Indulge in seafood salads, prawns, homemade cheese, and locally renowned prosciutto, all representing the distinctive flavours of the region. The wine selection is equally impressive, offering an array of options, including exceptional international and homemade wines.
Dining Settings and Seasonal Highlights:
In the warm summer months, dining revels in the outdoor dining area. Surrounded by lush greenery and cooled by gentle breezes, the outdoor setting provides respite from the heat. Adjacent to the open-air terrace lies a charming little waterfall that never fails to captivate the guests’ hearts. Even during winter, the attentive staff readily offer blankets to ensure cosy outdoor dining for those who enjoy the beautiful setting. For those preferring indoor seating, the restaurant’s interior boasts remarkable traditional decor.
Accessing Catovica Mlini requires a short journey by car from the nearby cities or by boat, a minor effort for the exceptional experience that awaits.
5. Mudra Art Cuisine (Kotor)
Best for: Innovative gourmet cuisine creations tailored to aesthetical perfectionists.
Location and Setting:
Located in the heart of Kotor Bay as part of a 5-star Huma hotel, Mudra Art Cuisine epitomizes Montenegro’s culinary finesse. Mudra art cuisine is part of the Huma Hotel. The concept behind the hotel’s name is drawn from the mythical Huma bird, known in ancient tales for its perpetual flight in the skies, never touching the ground. Reflecting this, the Huma Hotel is meticulously crafted to serve as a haven for international travellers, providing them with a cosy sanctuary and a serene haven for rest and rejuvenation. Situated only 3 km from the port of Kotor, the hotel has 18 moorings accommodating vessels up to 25 metres, and many guests of Mudra art cuisine decide to visit the restaurant arriving with their own boat.
Indulge in bespoke services and culinary specialties of culinary virtuoso Chef Andrew Jones, guided by an ethos of harmonizing with nature. Chef meticulously selects local elements to enrich his creations. The hotel’s private garden serves as a haven for seasonal experiments, fuelling novel menu inspirations. The alchemical interplay of ingredients gives rise to enchanting concoctions; deliberate, unhurried preparation accentuates the essence and taste of each component. On the dessert frontier, you can enjoy premier chocolate and homemade delicacies. All the dishes are served as beautiful works of art. It may happen that you feel guilty eating them (until you feel the taste).
6. Ribarsko Selo (Lustica Peninsula)
Best for: Exceptional fish and captivating sunset vistas.
Unique Dining Experience:
Prepare to embark on an unparalleled local experience at the Fisherman’s Village restaurant. As you step into this beautiful open-air seaside restaurant, the tantalizing aroma of freshly caught fish fills the air, courtesy of the local fishermen who provide the restaurant with their daily catch right in front of your eyes. Prepare to feast your eyes and taste a selection of first-class fish.
Unique Approach to Ordering:
What truly sets Fisherman’s Village apart is its unique approach to ordering food. The restaurant doesn’t have a classic menu. Waiter will recommend to you the best catch of the day and some of the famous dishes. To truly experience the magic of Fisherman’s Village, be adventurous and allow the chefs to create something original for you and just trust them. Unlike other local restaurants, they combine fresh ingredients with their own celebrated homemade recipes, resulting in unforgettable culinary creations that should not be missed.
Recommendations and Sunset Views:
After dining at the Fisherman’s Restaurant, we recommend taking a speedboat and visiting Mamula Island that is just across the restaurant, and you will have a direct view of it during your entire dining experience. The best time to visit the restaurant is during lunchtime or sunset as the restaurant terrace has one of the most beautiful sunset views in the country!
7. Monte Bay Retreat (Perast)
Best for: Premium cuisine with a view from Montenegrin postcards.
Within the embrace of Monte Bay Retreat is a restaurant that manages to leave an impression as profound as the Boka Bay views it commands. This boutique hotel is celebrated for its stunning infinity pool and the panoramic vistas of Boka Bay, which extend to the revered Our Lady of the Rocks and the tranquil St. George Island. These same vistas, so iconic that they grace the postcards of Montenegro and the pages of international travel magazines dedicated to this gem of a destination, can be enjoyed from every terrace, including the one hosting the remarkable restaurant.
At the heart of this culinary haven is Chef Nikola, a local luminary who has worked at the restaurant for many years now. With a keen understanding of the clientele and the numerous returning guests, Nikola has become more than a culinary maestro; he’s a cherished part of the experience. Beyond the mesmerizing views that draw visitors, it’s Nikola’s culinary artistry that captivates. His passion lies in showcasing the multifaceted tapestry of Montenegro, a passion that finds its true expression in seafood and fish dishes. Through a skilful interplay of tradition and innovation, Nikola conjures Montenegrin classics that resonate with modern palates. Every dish is an ode to the region’s seasonal bounties and local flavours, masterfully harmonized to create a symphony for the senses.
8. Misko (Ada Bojana)
Best for: A captivating dining encounter alongside the tranquil riverside, where time seems to leisurely unwind.
Historical Background and Ambience:
Nestled within the serene embrace of Ada Bojana, “Misko” Restaurant stands as a testament to culinary tradition and rustic charm. Established in 1991, it proudly holds the distinction of being the oldest fish restaurant on the Ada Bojana Island. The restaurant is positioned along the river, seamlessly blending into its natural surroundings, boasting a minimalistic wooden aesthetic that harmonizes with the island’s beauty.
Stepping into “Misko,” one is transported to a world where simplicity becomes synonymous with enjoyment. The ambiance mirrors the tranquillity of the island, offering a haven that echoes the joys of life itself. This sentiment resonates through not only the atmosphere but also the delectable food served here.
Natural Surroundings and Local Traditions:
Nature comes alive around “Misko” Restaurant. Different kinds of birds fly in the sky, ducks wander around in the water, reminding us of the lively environment here. In this natural spectacle, local fishermen steer their small boats, connecting to traditions that have been around for a long time, just like the river itself.
Central to “Misko’s” allure is its network of local fishermen, a relationship that allows the restaurant to present an extensive array of fresh fish. These catches, sourced from the shores of Ulcinj, ensure that every dish is a celebration of quality and authenticity.
Scenic Beauty and Access:
The restaurant’s location gives a clear view of the unique beauty of Ada Bojana. The houses by the river showcase human creativity, making the whole place charming. Watching the people around you becomes really special here. Every look you take captures a story that’s waiting to be heard.
To get to the restaurant, visitors staying at the Ada Bojana River houses can opt for a leisurely boat drive rented by locals. If you can’t find a riverboat, call the restaurant, and along with your reservation, they will arrange it for you. The restaurant also provides car access for those who want to arrive by road.
9. Al Posto Giusto (Tivat)
Best for: Enjoying the dishes that effortlessly transport you to the heart of Italy, allowing you to relish the sensation of truly being there.
Culinary Experience and Atmosphere:
Get ready to have your taste buds dancing with delight! Imagine a place where the sun-kissed vibes of Italy and the Montenegrin culinary flair come together in a symphony of flavours. Welcome to Al Posto Giusto, a foodie haven nestled in the heart of Porto Montenegro’s yacht marina in Tivat.
Locals love this “Italian” gem, and travellers can’t help but join the fan club. Even the Italian visitors, known for being tough pizza and pasta critics, give their nod of approval – now that’s amore! It’s not just about the food here – it’s an experience. Picture yourself surrounded by chic vibes, mega yachts, and fashionable people visiting Porto Montenegro. Among them, you’ll find a multitude of renowned and famous personalities who choose this destination for their yacht vacations, adding an extra touch of glamor to the scene.
Don’t forget to try local frozen VISNJA rakija. It’s the restaurant’s best seller during the second part of the day. For beginners and newcomers to Montenegro, rakija can be defined as a strong distilled alcoholic beverage made from various fruits, found across the Balkans and the Mediterranean. However, VISNJA rakija is a sweet and gentle one. For the brave ones, explore the other options from the list.
10. Lustica Bay Leisure Moments Garden (Lustica Bay)
Best for: Brunch & live culinary experience.
Culinary Experience and Chef Introduction:
Lustica Bay Marina Beach Club has curated an unparalleled experience for its cherished visitors, one that is destined to stay in their memories. Named the “Garden Experience,” this offering is a manifestation of culinary artistry where guests are treated to a live cooking spectacle by esteemed Olivia Mell, a superstar within the Montenegrin culinary scene. Guided by her boundless passion, Olivia Mell’s culinary journey commenced in the landscapes of Australia before traversing to the gastronomic haven of France. It was within the kitchens of multiple Michelin-starred restaurants that she practiced and became an expert in what she does.
The Garden and Brunch:
The Garden setting exudes an air of relaxation, inviting guests to partake in a leisurely brunch that soothes both the palate and the soul. Immersed in the embrace of this captivating backdrop, Olivia Mell’s “bubble food lab” becomes a stage where culinary alchemy unfolds. With an ever-evolving menu that changes its guise every week, guests find themselves embarking on a gastronomic odyssey of surprise and delight.
Montenegro’s culinary diversity shines through these top 10 restaurants, scattered across picturesque coastal towns and luxury destinations. Each one offers a unique dining experience that captures the essence of this remarkable country. Whether you’re savouring traditional Montenegrin dishes, indulging in international flavours, or relishing innovative fusions, these restaurants promise to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds and create cherished memories. So, prepare to embark on a culinary journey that unveils the flavours of Montenegro, one delicious dish at a time.