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While traveling in Zagreb we came across a mom-and-pop restaurant called Mimice (Ulica Nikole Jurišića 21), a hidden gem located a short distance from the main square. Apparently, it’s one of the oldest fast-fish joints in the city and clearly a Croatian institution since we found ourselves to be the only non-locals in there.

Ordering lunch was tricky because the staff spoke very little English, if any at all. We admit, we were a little timid about placing an order with the woman sitting at the walk up cafeteria-style window, and resorted to the ol’ point-smile-‘n-shrug, but it worked! We were handed some bread and a plate piled high with freshly deep-fried ribice, which means “little fish.” After a generous squirt of lemon juice, we used toothpicks to spear and pop the entire fish into our mouths. Crispy, salty, citrusy goodness! To this day, we still reminisce about this memorable meal.

Traveling and eating in Croatia is extremely affordable. I’m not sure what this would cost in North America, but over there, this delicious lunch set us back a whopping $2.

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before

Fresh coastal mussels (steamed and drenched in olive oil and lemon juice), served with a side salad (no iceburg lettuce here), a basket of bread, plus freshly caught grilled fish with zucchini and greens topped with roasted tomatoes. Location? Split, the largest coastal city in Croatia. We feasted on this magnificent lunch at Šperun while waiting for our high-speed ferry to whisk us away to an island called Vis. Let’s just say lunch remained with us only for a short while. One very fast boat and one rocky sea makes for two very distraught travelers. ‘Nuff said.

after

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There is no better way to start a morning in Dubrovnik than with a burek. Above you’ll see a cheese one and a version that makes eating a hot dog for breakfast almost acceptable. Available at most bakeries in Croatia, a burek is made from layers of thin phyllo dough filled with feta, meat, potatoes or vegetables. They’re flaky, greasy and easy to eat — making them the ideal fast food. This one came with ham, cheese and ketchup baked in. Eat that Mickey D’s!

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