Where to eat in Budva (Gourmet Chick in Montenegro)

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Before I left Europe I managed to fit in a long weekend in Croatia and Montenegro with a group of friends.  In Montenegro we spent our time in the town of Budva.  Budva is about two hours drive from Dubrovnik but feels like it is also ten years behind, which is actually a good thing.  It is much less developed with a Meditteranean vibe alongside a bit of Eastern European bling thrown in for extra measure.   The quaint old, walled town is protected by thick stone walls from the tacky restaurants and bars  featuring miniature Eiffel towers and fun fair rides that line the sea front.

Cruising in a yacht around Budva – tough
Grill Basta Kralj
Possibly the nicest waiter in the world works at Grill Basta Kralj restaurant on the beachfront in Budva.  He charmed our entire table with his apparent genuine pleasure in doing his job.   Grill Basta Kralj is just an unassuming beach front restaurant and our expectations were not high after reading a menu littered with amusing English translations like “Stuffed pepper (with adverb)”.  We didn’t try the adverb stuffed peppers but were pleasantly surprised with a simple salad of sliced cucumbers, shredded cabbage and juicy, ripe tomatoes.   Breaded squid was tender and springy and served with a creamy potato salad.  Best of all was the service with a smile.

Details: Grill Basta Kralj, Seafront, Budva, Montenegro
Damage: Such a bargain my mother would approve.

6/10

Squid at Grill Basta Kralj

Korkovada
At night time there is no more enticing place to sit an eat than just outside the city walls on the designer outdoor sofas and tables which make up the restaurant Korkovada.  If you want ambience, it is there in the bucket load with mellow light spilling down from the old town walls and a passing parade of people to watch.  If you want food, best to go elsewhere.  Warning bells should have run when we discovered this was an Italian speciality restaurant named after a Brazilian statue (and with pictures of Brazil on the menu).  The house specialty of a stuffed veal pasta (€18) was cold and claggy and the risotto (€12) had a similar gluey texture as if it had just been reheated in a microwave.  Service was abysmal with a continuing game of “catch the waiter’s eye”.  One to avoid at all costs.

Details: Korokvada, Stari Grad, Budva, Montenegro
Damage: Pricey for Montenegro
2/10

The walled town of Budva

Jadran
Internet searches and a call for advice on Twitter did not throw up many restaurant recommendations for Budva and one helpful person told me “Don’t expect too much”.  In the end we turned to the receptionist at our hotel and asked if she could recommend some restaurants.  “There is one good restaurant in Budva called  Jadran” she said definitively.

Waterside tables at Jadran 



The restaurant has white linen clad tables along the waterfront in a setting which is tacky by day but almost verging on glamorous in the evening.  To start, bowls of steaming mussels (€10) were served in a fragrant broth and tiny spicy sausages arrived on a huge platter heaped with fried onions.  A whole fish (€45 per kilo) was baked in salt then set alight at our table before the hard shell of salt was cracked to reveal the tender fish which was packed with moisture.  This was easily our best meal in Budva.
Details: Jadran, Sea front, Budva, Montenegro.
Damage: Pricey for Montenegro
7/10
Eating a whole salt based fish at Jadran



Gourmet Travel Tips

  • We flew to Dubrovnik in Croatia return from London with Wizzair (£190/$287) and then got a taxi transfer to Budva which is around £80/$120 per car.
  • In Budva we stayed at Villa Lux (€70/£57/$87) which was out of the old town on a busy intersection.  Rooms were dull, threadbare towels and half the rooms did not have working air condition.  Let’s just say the use of the term “Lux” in the name of the hotel was quite misleading.  One to avoid like the plague.
  • Highlights included catching a ferry to the island and also hiring a boat for an afternoon (about €30 per person, negotiate at the port).

13 comments

  1. That looks absolutely amazing. I love waterfront dining 🙂

  2. That looks absolutely amazing. I love waterfront dining 🙂

  3. Oh I need to go to Montenegro! Looks absolutely gorgeous (although I am disappointed that you did not take one for the team and have the adverb-stuffed peppers!) 😉 That fish looks fantastic!

  4. Enjoyed reading your blog GC..Thank you.
    Cheers
    Alan ( cumbriafoodie )
    UK

  5. Yum! Looks like you ate really well. I was in Budva in September and had a good lunch at Bruno restaurant as well.

  6. Gourmet Getaways – There is something about sitting by the water isn’t there?

    Jeanne- I know I really should have tried them. Next time I promise.

    Cumbria Foodie – Thanks for reading.

    A Lady in London – Good to hear you made it to Montenegro as well – a beautiful country.

  7. I feel so dumb – I dun even know where exactly this is at all ! Me oughts to think I need to study the map more : D Seems like lovely meals nevertheless :3

  8. HK Epicurus – Ha ha! Next to Croatia – a beautiful part of the world.

  9. I love that Hotel Lux was anything but! Doesn’t sound like a haven for great meals, but I’m sure the other cultural delights made up for it – even for a gourmet chick.

  10. Ah I’d forgotten you’d been here late last year, interested to see how you got on. I’ve found the food there fairly uninspiring although probably this is because we’ve been on a short leash with the in-laws (who have an apartment there) and don’t get to go off exploring on our own much.

    The scenery around Tivat and the Bay of Kotor is stunning and makes up for the food!

  11. GD – Misleading and deceptive name!

    Sarah – Yes I finally got around to writing about it. As you say the scenery tops the food but we did find a few good places.

  12. We are staying at capitain apartments just 10 mins from old town closer to the shopping mall. Glad we didn’t go for villa lux. We got the 3 bed penthouse damage 3 nights 270 euros

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