As the title implies, it isn’t exactly easy to find a decent cocktail in Dubrovnik. The Balkans are still very much into their wines, which makes sense given how good they are. But, sometimes you just feel like a cocktail, or I do at least. When we visited Croatia in September of 2021, we searched far and wide for drinks. Our trip to the island of Hvar proved successful, but it was definitely a challenge to find Dubrovnik bars and restaurants serving cocktails. As the cocktail revolution slowly washes up on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, it brings classic, light drinks. Many of the cocktails call for two-ingredients or rely on Finest Call syrups. This is not to say you can’t find a good drink, but local offerings are still evolving. Below are some cocktail menus I saw as examples.
Dubrovnik Bars Within the City Walls
Although the exact year is unknown, Dubrovnik (formerly Ragusa) was founded in the 7th century. The walls around it were erected in the 13th century for protection. Today, the city is one of the most visited in the Mediterranean Sea. From this photo, you might be able to tell why, and it’s not because Game of Thrones was shot here (although you will find tours and t-shirts for that). It is a city rich in history, politics, art and culture. The walled city is home to roughly 2,000 people, and another 40,000+ live outside the city walls. To start our tour of Dubrovnik bars, we’ll start with a couple of places inside the walls of the ancient city.
It took a visit to a Michelin star restaurant to find cocktails fit for a global stage. The drinks at Restaurant 360 were as beautiful as they were delicious. Doom of Bloom (left) is made with Bloom gin, St. Germain, Yellow Chartreuse, Mullasano dry vermouth, and lemon juice. The floral garnish was almost too pretty to disturb. On the right is the Drunken Masters cocktail. It is a blend of Herencia de Plata Anejo tequila, fresh pear juice, Caribbean cane, and lemon juice. It was really good. Whether you visit for a fancy multi-course meal nestled in the historic walls of the city or grab a drink on the bar patio, this spot is a must visit.
2. Bota Šare
After a really incredible tour around the old city, we headed to Bota Šare for sushi. I enjoyed the Bota Style Gin. It’s a twist on a gin and tonic with Hendrick’s gin, prosecco, rosemary, fresh lime, and tonic water. Light and refreshing. The sushi was incredible and they also had a great wine list. All the cocktails were gin or Aperol based and perfect for a warm day. While the restaurant is decent sized with mostly outdoor seating, it does get very busy so reservations are recommended.
3. Buža Bars
While only the larger of these two bars serves cocktails, I wanted to still mention them. With some of the most stunning vantage points of the sea, you will not mind that your drink options are limited. (They have to hike the supplies into the walls and down to the bars.) These bars are the perfect place to watch the sun set. They are located on the western side of the city walls. You will see signs with arrows as you get closer–the hunt for them is part of the fun! The name of the bars translates to “a hole-in-the-wall” and you’ll see why when you get there.
Dubrovnik Bars Outside the City Walls
In the lobby of theHotel Dubrovnik Palace you’ll find the Sunset Lounge. Aptly named for the stunning views of the sunset outside the giant windows, you’ll find live piano music and drinks all day and every night of the week. We enjoyed several rounds of drinks there during our stay. My favorite cocktail was the Croito which is a twist on a Mojito. It is made with Havana Club 3 Year, lime juice, mint leaves, simple syrup, and ginger beer. They also had many variations of gin & tonics and drinks featuring fresh lemongrass.
5. The Cave Bar
The Cave Bar is worth a visit even if you aren’t into cocktails. The drinks we had were okay, but the atmosphere and the fact that you are inside a cave is the draw. For a full walk-through of the bar, check out my Reel. If you are going for cocktails, they have a HUGE menu to choose from. I tried the signature drink, which didn’t really sound like my thing, but when in a cave in Dubrovnik, why not? When you’re done with your drink, head into the glass-floored room for some stalactites and stalagmites.
The Cave Bar cocktail is made with Elephant Gin, Matusalem Rum Platino, Magic Mix, pineapple and peach purées, Blue Curaçao, and ginger beer. It was far too sweet for me, but definitely packed in a lot of flavors.
And there you have some solid Dubrovnik bars and restaurants for a cocktail. If you are going out to the Island of Hvar, you’ll want to check out these places as well. Cheers!