Being on holidays in a foreign country can be, at times challenging to eat in the way that you are accustomed to in your own environment. Whether you have health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, or dietary restrictions like not eating meat or being gluten-free, you can never be 100% sure of what really is in the foods from supermarkets, cafes or restaurants.
This is why buying fresh produce from local Markets and making your own meals is a great option! This way, you know exactly what is going into your fares as you are making them yourself. And, it also gives you a local understanding of the food, and where it comes from.
My family is currently renting a house in Dubrovnik, Croatia; which means we are able to cook at home a lot! I think, that we are an extremely healthy family eating mainly fish, vegetables, grains and fruits. A lot of the time we eat vegetarian, cutting fish out all together, so a local Farmer’s Market is indeed a godsend.
So where can one get produce if spending time in Dubrovnik, Croatia?
Our Market of choice is the famous Open-Air Fish and Produce Market in Gruž, where it has stood for many decades on a section of the ruined garden of an old Summer Villa known as Gundulić. These Ruins were previously owned by the last known Royal’s of Dubrovnik – the Bona Family. The Villa was first attacked in the World War 1, and completely ruined in World War 2.
The Gruž Market is the largest and cheapest in the City. It is a lively, colorful and very busy exchange where local farmers (& farmers from further out) sell everything from flowers, cheese, eggs, sweets, oils, liquors, fresh fruits and vegetables. Generally speaking the smaller stalls are run by immediate farmers, while the bigger stalls are hosted by farmers who travel from Konavle (suburb of Dubrovnik) or the neighboring country of Herzegovina.
There is also is an indoor fish market with daily freshly caught seafood coming straight off the boats governed by local fisherman who dock and drop-off at the Harbour directly across the Street – you can’t get any fresher than that!
The Gruž Market is the real-deal. Here you will find food that is grown on farms the old-fashioned way with no pesticides, additives or harmful chemicals. This area is one of the oldest settlements in the world, and they have thankfully kept themselves removed from modern-day food culture, which unfortunately is not the way with the same industry in the United States where I live with my family. Literally, what you see here is exactly how the local climate was able to produce the foods and I LOVE that!
Perhaps this is why people who eat a Mediterranean Diet are so healthy compared to other cultures, not to mention the natural beauty they have all around them keeping people calm and stress-free — just a thought!
Gruž Market is open every day from early morning 6AM to 6PM in the evening. I have heard though that all the good stuff is sold very quickly at the start of the day, especially in summer when locals/restaurateurs travel first thing to shop before it gets too hot. Friday and Saturday mornings are known to be the busiest, while Sundays are the quietest as a lot of the farmers take the day off.
Please Note; the adjoining Fish Market is a little different with timing. They open at 6AM but close when the fish runs out and on some days this is 10AM. However, the official closing time is 12 Noon.
How To Get There
If you do not feel like walking to and from the market (dependent on where you are staying) it is located close to public transport options of boats and buses. Privately, you can catch a taxi, with a pick-up hub conveniently located right across the Street.
Just say NO to plastic bags and take your own to the Market. I see so many abandoned bags littering the Adriatic Sea, and while I try to pick up as many as I can, if we just stop using them – PROBLEM SOLVED!
The Gruž Market is on the Street Obala Stjepana Radića on Gruž Harbour.
The other 2 markets in the Dubrovnik area include the oldest one, since 1892, in the Gundulićeva poljana in the Old City AKA Stari Grad. For History’s sake; Ivan Gundulićeva, whom the Market was named after, was a famous poet. Look for his statue in the middle of the Square. My father-in-law told me that Ivan committed suicide because his girlfriend ate all his tomatoes and he couldn’t cope. Ha, somehow I am not sure I believe him but it is a great story and truth be known tomatoes here are almost worth dying for!
Lapad Market is the smallest and most mellow of the 3. But, on Sundays they have this cool Bric-a-Brac vibe which neither the Old City or Gruž Market offers.
What You Can Make
Check out the photo below of the awesome lunch we had today from most of the ingredients that we picked up at Gruž Market – Chickpea Salad with Capers & Onions, Blitva (Silver Beet) with Garlic & Olive Oil, Roasted Tomatoes & Eggplant, with a Greek Salad & Ripped Rocket.
THANKS FOR READING MY BLOG!