September Food Festival Blockbusters

Oh, yes, we love outdoor food festivals, especially in quite possibly the best time of the year – late summer. At the moment, two very popular festivals are overlapping on locations right next to each other, which is a perfect opportunity to tell something more about them.

The first one is Food Film Festival in Zrinjevac Park; the second is Zagreb Burger Festival, taking place on the neighbouring Strossmayer Square. Both are relatively new events, but already have their loyal and numerous audiences. Also, both don’t have much to do with traditional cuisine and customs, but nevertheless enrich our city and manage to bring a special kind of local flair to modern concepts that could easily have been organized anywhere else in the world.

“The best cinema you can find in Zagreb these days.” Image credit: Food Film Festival Zagreb FB

In its fifth edition, Food Film Festival once again combines two activities that pretty much everybody likes – eating good food and watching films. Although that’s not all… Various food and drink stalls run by well-known Zagreb restaurants, bistros, pastry shops and bars are there to cater for all tastes. From burgers, gourmet sandwiches, ice creams, milkshakes and ethnic food to more traditional things like soparnik, fritters, strudels or lamb-based street food. During the day you can just chill or get involved in the programme featuring music, book corner, workshops, children's zone and similar activities. When the sun sets and it gets dark enough, you take a blanket or cushion, make yourself comfortable and enjoy a film on the big screen. All the films are somehow connected with food and cooking, and they include an interesting mix, from animated films and documentaries to short films and Hollywood blockbusters. Yes, there's also music to set the mood, and the park becomes a great setting for hanging around.

“Last year’s Burger Festival had a stunning 170,000 visitors!” Image credit: Zagreb Burger Festival FB

In its fourth edition, Zagreb Burger Festival brings us eleven days dedicated to celebrating and worshipping the beloved meat patty in a bun. The trend of artisan burgers is not fading in Zagreb, although I'd say the peak days are behind us. Even if you're not the biggest fan of burgers, this festival is really like a hall of fame because almost all the big names and burger experts are here, showing their creativity and competing for the title of the best burger. Along with a long list of standards, there will be many specials prepared just for this occasion. I'm already sad because I know I won't be able to try everything. Of course, there will also be other BBQ and grill specialties on the go, even for vegetarians, as well as interesting desserts. The creativity does not stop with burgers, as the drinks section is also full of surprises. For example, in the hands of mixologist Marin Nekić, the traditional old-school gemišt (white wine spritzer) becomes a modern cocktail with ingredients like Tabasco sauce or peach syrup.

“Just one of many tasty reasons to dig into Zagreb Burger Festival.” Image credit: Zagreb Burger Festival FB

Everybody is back from the holidays, feeling energized, ready to start school or work yet wanting to have some more fun, the days are still warm but not unbearably hot, there are plenty of curious tourists roaming the street – all great preconditions for good times and successful street festivals. Not joining them seems like a big mistake.

“It’s not only about eating, it’s also about relaxing.” Image credit: Zagreb Burger Festival FB

Header image credit: Food Film Festival Zagreb FB

Author: Taste of Croatia / Morana Zibar