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The 5 Best Truffle Pasta’s in Istria

Did you know there are only two places in the world that white truffles grow? Croatia and Italy are the only two places that white truffles grow. That’s right there is no such thing as a white French truffle! They are all from Croatia or Italy and sometimes resold with another countries name on it at a higher price. These magical intoxicating mushrooms are rare and only grow during a certain time of year, which is why you will see the huge price tag in restaurants around the world. This is one reason that when you come to Istria you simply must take advantage by first eating LOTS of truffles and second by going truffle hunting. When you see the prices, you will smile since on average a plate of truffle pasta goes for about $15 a plate (when I was living in NYC, I saw tiny portions of truffle pasta for $80 a plate…OUCH) and you will see them on most restaurant menus but beware all truffle pastas are NOT equal. When I go looking for truffle pasta, I am looking for pasta that is made from scratch and freshly shaved truffles on top not the jarred stuff. There are two basic recipe’s Istrians use when making truffle pasta. One is with cooking cream and grana padano cheese and the other is a clear sauce made with egg, butter, and cheese. I personally prefer the egg one, but they are both delicious. Having spent 6 summers and living here for two I have tried 100s of truffle pastas in the area (they don’t call me Trufflelata for nothing;)). These are my 5 to die for truffle pastas that will turn you into a truffle addict just like me.

1. Dolina

Think grandma’s homemade cooking kind of place. The pasta is all made from scratch and is mouthwatering good. It may not be special ambient wise and may be in the middle of nowhere, but wow do they know how to make truffle pasta. You will notice as you eye the room that there are mostly Italians eating here, which in my opinion is always a good sign since who loves to eat good more than Italians??…(maybe French lol). They drive from Italy to Istria to eat because they know Istrian food is at a high quality at an incredible price. This is the place I go if I want a big bowl if homemade pasta from scratch with LOTS of truffle. They make it with an egg sauce and it really brings out the flavor of the truffle. This place is bucket list worthy.

What your ordering: Fuzi Pasta with Truffle (depending on the season black or white)

2. San Rocco

Hidden away in Brtiniglia this place will always hold a special place in my heart since it is where we had our fairytale Istrian wedding. The main reason we chose San Rocco was because they are known to have one of the top restaurants in Istria and is on its way to a Michelin Star. They are fine dining, so the ambience is beautiful. In the summer I recommend eating in the garden. They have a different take on truffle pasta. Their truffle pasta is made with bucatini pasta, fresh pieces of Adriatic fish and large shavings of truffle on top. It is TOP.

3. Rival Mare

Located seafront in Novigrad is a boutique hotel called Rival Mare. We ate here out of convenience after a long day at the beach, but it ended up being some of the best truffle pasta I had ever tasted! YUM:)

4. Niki's

This is the place where my love of truffles began. If it wasn’t for Niki’s I wouldn’t be living in Croatia since I would have never met my husband and moved to Croatia. This is the place where I first tasted truffle and where first laid eyes on Marko. My Father in Law’s restaurant Niki’s, which is now my home (we live in an apartment above!) is the place I have consumed the most truffles. Made with pasta homemade with love by Marko’s sister Irena you can’t go wrong.

5. Konba Morgan

If you’re looking for something romantic, situated on top of a hill near the city of Brtonigla is Konoba Morgan. It used to be a hunting lodge and is known for their meat, but do not overlook the truffle pasta! Sitting on their outdoor terrace, you see miles of vineyards and the beginning edge of the sea. Konoba Morgan has one of the best sunset views in Istria. It is our ultimate date night spot. Marko first took me here first for the pasta and second for the view. What more could you want? Truffles, a beautiful sunset, and surrounded by vineyards:)

6. Trattoria David

If you’re looking for a large quantity of pasta and truffles, then David is your place. The ambience is nothing fancy, but the pasta is homemade, and the truffles are bountiful:)