If you are on a holiday, it would be ashame if you don’t see all the charms of Croatia, many of which are hidden just in Lika. An old D1 road from Zagreb leads through Karlovac and Tušilović, and from Dalmatia it leads through Udbina, Korenica to Plitvice Lakes. And the whole of that region hides the natural beauties and offers special experience of discovering the intact nature surrounding you at any step. Slunj, Rastoke, Plitvice, Perušić... Wherever you go, nature will captivate you. Rivers conjure up the harmony of nature in the best possible way, and they are abounding in fish. The Slunjčica is rich in river trout, and the Korana, the Mrežnica and the Glina are home to other white fish (pike, chub, common nase). Rastoke is a story in its own right. Man just stands, watches, admiring. Nature has played with the blue-and-green water of the Slunjčica and has dispersed it in a number of falls, the most beautiful of which are Buk, Hrvoje and Vilina kosa. Rastoke is actually an overture to the Plitvice Lakes. The gastronomy of Lika will also enthrall you as well as its natural beauties.
Gastronomic specialties are marked with simplicity of preparation and observance of the tradition. Bread, the primary food, used to be baked beneath ashes and embers in the fireplace. A bell was used later, so nowadays, bread under the bell has become specialty. The developed animal husbandry has enriched the Lika dining table with dairy products. Even today, the courses of Lika dinner start with the renowned Lika cheese, škripavac. Škripavac is most often cow’s milk cheese (goat’s milk cheese somewhere), which is special by the way that the sieved milk is made into cheese immediately after milking. It literally scroops between teeth because of which it was dubbed škripavac (sb./smth. that scoops) Lika locals will also boast basa, sheep’s milk cheese made in a special procedure. Lamb is a typical gastronomic story of Lika. Generations travelling from Zagreb to the sea used to stop on Lika highways to relish the boons of the traditional lamb on a spit. If you want to sense the true spirit of Lika, a restaurant, Lička kuća is located opposite the North entrance (Entrance 1) to the Plitvice Lakes National Park. An open fireplace where whole lamb on a spit and traditional specialties under the bell are prepared is positioned in the middle of the restaurant. Certainly, we recommend you to taste food with the regional Lika quality sign, including the Lika lamb, škripavac cheese of Lika, hard cheese, Lika potatoes, and Lika šjivovica (rakija made of plums). The offer also includes dishes of the autochthonous Croatian cattle, buša.
- The diverse offer of the restaurant unites the specialties of the Lika region, made according to traditional recipes and of home products – the Lička kuća staff say. Prosciutto, basa, cheese, lamb under the bell, dish from a spit, potato halves, trout, soured milk ( type of home-made yoghurt), Lika fritters, Lika cheese, apple or plum strudel are but some specialties of the restaurant.
And, how a lamb is rolled on a spit can be seen at the Rastoke Restaurant within the Mirjana & Rastoke Hotel, which also has the original Lika specialties in its offer.
- Everything we have is only natural. Everything is supplied from local family farms, and fish is certainly our produce. We also offer game, which is supplied from our hunters. Our restaurant narrates the true tradition, and visitors like this. Everything that is the tradition of Lika is included in our offer, and especially specialties on a spit or under the bell – Filip Flanjak, the Restaurant Manager says.
And, for toast, we recommend rakija. Šljivovica is the queen, made of the Bistrica of Lika, the best plum variety in the area of Lika. One is for certain – wherever you go in Lika, you will satisfy your palate...