Though getting a burger in Split might be a pretty straightforward thing nowadays, if you found yourself ordering a hamburger ten years ago, you might be surprised to see that what you got was not the classic All-American burger we all know and love. Instead, you would be greeted with the so-called “pljeskavica”, a grilled dish consisting of a spiced meat patty, reminiscent, but not at all similar to the classic burger patty. Indeed, pljeskavica, the staple of ex-Yugoslav fast food, is usually served in a lepinja, the slightly salty soft bread more commonly associated with the delicious ćevapi, that in reality has very little in common with the usually sweet and soft burger buns.
As we have previously explained in our article on the history of ćevapćići as the staple street food of the Balkans, once ćevapi have taken over the markets of the ex-Yugoslavia as the number one street food, pljeskavica followed as a distant second. But as the rise of the street food joints in the seventies and eighties coincided with the rise of popularity of American cinema, an apparent similarity between the great American dish, the hamburger, and the local specialty pljeskavica was noted, so that the latter eventually became synonymous with the former, at least in the idiom of Split, Dalmatia and much of Croatia.
For the longest of times, burgers in Split could only have been found at the local McDonald’s franchise, with the independent burger joints and burger-serving places only started springing up locally from 2016 and beyond. Indeed eight out of the nine burger joints on our list have been established either in 2016 or in 2017. Who would have guessed?
Today, the burger scene in Split has been as competitive as it has ever been and burgers have become an important part of, not only the local offer, but of local street food in general.
Without further ado, check out our curated list of best burger joints in and around the Old Town of Split.
The 9 BEST Street Food Spots in Downtown Split To Grab a Burger At (In the alphabetical order)
(Click on the name or the picture to see the street food place’s details and contact information.)
BBQ Škatula is a fun little barbecue joint specializing in the staples of the American-style street food. As perhaps the only place in town that can boast with slow cooking over a barbecue smoker, Škatula’s smoked pulled pork and marinated pork ribs are as succulent pieces of meat as you can get. At offer are also several burger and tortilla options, together with french fires and a kick-ass coleslaw salad. A bit farther away from the city center, Škatula is well worth a detour for some tasty American barbecue, including their succulent burgers.
Bosso is a classic burger joint located just next to the busy Marmontova Street, not far from the Fish Market. They offer an extensive list of burgers going well beyond the usual Split offer of beef, chicken and veggie options as they also offer lamb and fish burgers. A selection of stakes and barbecue favorites like ribs and ćevapi are also readily available. The portions are rather considerable and reasonably priced. As one of the places in the Old Town specialized for burgers and the classics of the American grill, Bosso is a popular spot for getting a burger while in Split.
Settled in the ground floor of Split’s most prominent nineteenth century residential ‘palace’, at the western end of Riva Promenade, Fabrique Pub is a hotspot of the Old Town social life. Decorated in the industrial style, Fabrique boasts with one of the more stunning interiors in town. At the drinks side of the menu is a substantial selection of international beers, a number of cocktails, a selection of gin and tonic options and a variety of coffee choices. Their food menu goes well beyond the usual pub dishes, serving not only the classics (burgers, pizzas, barbeque wings), but steaks and the pan-Balkan grill-classics (ćevapi, pljeskavice, smoked sirloin).
Now neatly nestled in the plateau above the Bačvice Beach, the second iteration of Mandrill, after having moved from its Toć neighborhood upstart, promises to satisfy the taste buds of every craft beer lover. At offer is an extensive selection of various local and imported beers, both bottled and tapped, but the pub’s real winners are their home brewed beers. Apart from the crafty beverages, Mandrill also serves a variety of pub staples like bbq chicken wings, pork ribs, pizzas and the crowd’s favorite burgers. Apart from the burger classics, they do offer some funky options like the blue burger that comes in a blue patty and with blue cheese as one of the toppings, as well as the truffle burger that comes with the otherwise unusual tartufata paste.
Misto Street Food Factory is a splendid little eatery at the mouth of Bosanska ulica, one of the busiest pedestrian entrances to the Old Town. Their innovative concept of street food based around the ‘sandwichized’ versions of some of the staples of Dalmatian cuisine sets them apart from the rest of Split’s food scene. At Misto you will have an opportunity to try the almost unthinkable: pašticada or brudet in a sandwich; though less adventurous eaters can always opt out for the more conservative options like their selection of classic beef, chicken or fish burgers.
Located in the neighborhood of Gripe, on the opposite side of the road from the Gripe Fortress, Plan B have been one of the pioneers of Split’s new pub scene. Beloved and frequented by locals, Plan B is just all-around great place to visit. They serve a variety beers, both ‘standard’ and craft, as well as a selection of some tasty pub classics like burgers, pizzas, wraps and barbequed chicken wings. Though a further away from the Old Town than most other places, Plan B is an excellent visit for a couple of casual evening brewskis and some burgers with fries.
Toro is a splendid little meat-centric street food joint located on the square behind the Croatian National Theater. At offer is a diverse selection of steaks, burgers, gourmet sandwiches and some local grill staples. Their burger offer consists of some 100% beef and chicken classics.
Toto’s is a casual, modern burger eatery located at the end of the Riva Promenade, overlooking the Matejuška Bay and the Port of Split. They offer all kinds of burgers, from the classics like the 100% beef or the crispy chicken to the modern veggie-based patties. Those looking to cut out the bread from their diet can try Toto’s delicious Caesar salad or their tortillas. As one of the pioneers of the burger locally, Toto’s have truly earned their reputation as one of the best burger joints in town.
Veg is a medium-sized vegetarian eatery nestled behind the Croatian National Theater, at the very edge of the Old Town. At offer are a variety of vegetarian dishes, inspired by cuisines from all around the world, with plenty of vegan options too. Veg’s delicious vegan burgers come in soft wholemeal flour buns, with veggie patties that come in two options: the beetroot and chickpea mash or the bean and walnut mixture. A must visit for all non-meat eaters.