Maybe this definition was more appropriate ten or twenty years ago when marenda (a brunch time) was a part of workers in big Split ex-communist enterprises.
However, the modern age has changed everything, but this brunch has remained as a part of Split tradition.
Marenda or gablec (name used in Zagreb area) is a kind of ritual event, a traditional custom in Dalmatian towns and cities, particularly in Split.
Marenda (brunch) is eaten usually between 09:30 and 11:30, but it can be eaten, rarely even in the late afternoon. It’s a meal that has equal importance as a tee time for Englishmen. It’s more popular among the middle and older aged generation.
The brunch time is not, as at first glance may seem, just satisfying a person’s need for food. It’s much more. It’s the time and place for friends to be together early in the morning. Marenda is the right time for socialization.
Marenda In Split Delicious Food
The brunch is served in Split’s taverns (konobe). The food is delicious and homemade. It is not a surprise that many claim that they eat better in a tavern than at home.
For your information, marenda is only a single meal dish and usually a “spoon” type of meal. Please, don’t mix this meal with breakfast as they have nothing in common.
A good brunch goes with a good wine, usually a “quarter” (1/4 liter) of domestic, black wine that will cost you from 50 to 100 KN (from € 7 to 15 €).
How to find the best place for marenda in Split if you are visiting this city for the first time? The best way is to explore the old city core visiting some taverns.
If you accidentally get into any tavern and if you see that a group of local friends that at the same moment are talking loudly and eating a delicious food, they are only enjoying marenda (brunch).
Another sign that you are close to restaurant that serves a brunch, is the smell that makes even those fed up more hungry. Trust your nose!
Marenda in Split Menu
Marenda has always taken place somewhere between ten o’clock in the morning and noon. What kind of food this brunch offers? The most traditional dishes are:
- Tripe – tripice in Croatian
- Pasticada – beef stewed in red wine and prunes with gnocchi
- Pasta Fazol – Dalmatian beans with pasta
- Polpete u sugu – meatballs and sauce
- Manistra Usuvo – spaghetti and meat sauce
- Boiled meat – as veal shank
- Przene girice (gavuni) – fried smelts
- Tuna pasticada – at Pimpinella tavern.
- Sipa s bobom – cuttlefish with broad beans (in spring season)
- Sardela or Sardine – traditionally marinated fish.
The Best Taverns For Marenda In Split
Many things has changed in the past twenty years but a list of new taverns (konobe) has significantly increased. Below is short insight of some most popular marenda eateries in Split.
Ostarija Vidjakovi Konoba
This is the oldest tavern in Bacvice district, rather difficult to dig out as it’s hidden in a narrow street. Founded in 1799 has a nice terrace. The menu is strictly Dalmatian with traditional dishes, grandma’s recipes and seafood. Find it on the map!
Tavern Trattoria Bajamonti
The locals know this tavern, under the name ‘below the clock’. It’s located in the very center close to Pjaca square. It’s interesting fact that this tavern has no freezer, as his owner says, they have no need! The address is Bajamontijeva 3 street, tel. +385 21 355 356.
You can be sure this tavern offers daily fresh food, mostly seafood. The owner Toni Bircic every working day begins first visiting fish market and the green market.
You never know in advance what he is going to cook that day because the menu depends on the fishermen, the weather conditions. Marenda in Split in this tavern is based on fresh fish.
Stare Grede (Old Beams) Tavern
Stare Grede means ‘old beams’, a traditional tavern only 1km from the center, located in the 110 year-old house built of stone with rustic wooden benches, stone walls. It’s the best place for marenda in Split. The address is Domovinskog rata street 46, tel:+385(0)21 485 501.
Specialty of this tavern is tripe “stews” but not those cheap or frozen but tripe with broad beans from 29.00 to 39.00 KN, or veal with peas from 29.00 to 39.00 KN or
boiled beef from 29.00 to 39.00 KN.
More Places For Marenda In Split
- Apollo 11, Put Plokita street 30, Split
- Konoba kod Joze, Sredmanuska 4 tel. +385 (021) 347397
- Tinel tavern, Tomica Stine street 1 tel.+385 (0)95 829 2005
- Pimpinella, Spinciceva street 2 tel +385 (0) 21 389606
- Gradska Kavana – Narodni Trg 1 (Pjaca) +385(0)21 317 835
Fife Restaurant Cheap Brunch
This restaurant is one of the most popular places to taste generous portions of marenda in Split. It’s more popular among tourists then locals. This restaurant is the best choice if you are traveling on budget.
Don’t forget to see all the places I recommend to eat in Split city! It’s an important resource for first-time visitors that will make sure you eat only the best food without spending too much.
As a native of Split, I also recommended some classic food dishes as a must-try for visitors, so take a few moments and read that post as well.