Restaurants in Croatia: Where to Eat in Jelsa on Hvar Island
Looking to moor up for some grilled fish, head into the old town for an authentic stone experience, or just coffee and cherry strudel on the main square?
With its pretty harbour, rambling old town and relaxing main square, Jelsa is high on the list for at least a day trip for visitors to Hvar, and it is an ideal position to base a holiday on the island, given its central location and daily catamaran connection to Bol and Split.
Restaurants in Jelsa: Waterfront
Me and Mrs Jones – recently nominated in the Top 40 Restaurants in Dalmatia, Jones has crossed the harbour to the old Napoleon restaurant for 2011, and is now able to expand its offer of quality food and great service in the town's best dining location. With mooring directly outside the restaurants, guests can sail in and enjoy one of the most innovative menus on the island.
Marko's – on the corner of the harbour opposite the old town (and open all year), Marko's is a gem of a local, with friendly service, good prices and excellent food. The squid and tuna are particularly good, and it does not take much to encourage Marko to reach for his guitar and entertain with his folks from his native Virovitica.
Jesa – ideally located opposite the catamaran and sporting a fish tank at the entrance, Jesa is a long-time favourite in the town, offering hearty fare throughout the year.
Liberat – heading up the hill towards the cemetery, Liberat has one of the best restaurant views on the island, looking down to Jelsa and the open sea below. A splendid place to while away an afternoon, complete with the peace and quiet the more remote location offers.
Restaurants in Jelsa: The Old Town
Pelago – away from the water, the level of cuisine remains high, nowhere more so than at Pelago's, one street behind the water, a restaurant of two halves, part cosy stone restaurant, part open air greenery.
Nono – wandering up the street past the main church, this beautifully restored stone restaurant is one of the most authentic restaurants with a quality menu to boot. The meat dishes are particularly good.
Turan – recently opened and offering a varied Dalmatian menu, Turan has the additional benefit of a very nice terrace, open air dining in the heart of Jelsa.
Murvica – on the edge of the old town behind the petrol station, the restaurant and pension Murvica has a winning combination of Dalmatian culinary flair and German efficiency. Some of the best meat dishes on the island and the fish pate and tzatziki are outstanding.
Eating on the Main Square in Jelsa
Cafe Splendid – while Splendid can rustle up a sandwich on demand, the real strength of its culinary offer is the excellent selection of pastries, ranging from apple and cherry strudel to cheese piroska (pie), the cafe is never afraid to experiment, and the lemon cheesecake is a popular addition for the small expat community who gather for coffee every morning. Wireless internet is free for guests.
Toni's – opposite Splendid is Toni's, the largest cafe on the square. A pleasant spot offering a range of pizzas at affordable prices.
Pizzeria Jelsa – on the corner of the square, the recently renovated Eis Caffe Jelsa has expanded and now offers food as well. A great place to watch the action on the water, while munching through pizza, pasta and salad menu, which tries harder than most, with feta cheese and gorgonzola in the salads. One of the few places to offer a cooked breakfast.
The above list is by no means exhaustive and makes no mention of the numerous ice-cream parlours, but should serve as a useful guide for tourists looking for sustenance after investigating the stone heritage of Jelsa.