Traditionally, Varaždin has always been the best place to celebrate the end of summer at Croatia’s largest street festival – Špancirfest. Equally, it always becomes the best place to really enjoy a variety of superb flavours all in one place, from well-known traditional delicacies to creative innovative flavours, the gastronomic offer of this year’s anniversary edition of Špancirfest is a real foodies’ adventure – nobody should miss!
Three large festival gastro zones feature at the festival with a rich offer; Carlsberg Food & Party Zone, Wine City and Špancir Burger Festival. There are also ten smaller street food corners, and not forgetting the excellent Varaždin restaurants in the historic centre, from restaurants with a Michelin recommendation to those with a superb menu of traditional dishes. Essentially, you won’t go hungry or thirsty at Špancirfest.
To ease the stress and time of finding somewhere to park during this busy period, the City of Varaždin and the Varaždin Tourist Board have provided free parking for Špancirfest visitors at the Auto Klub Varteks car park in Biškupečka Street – every day during the festival from 17h. Guests will be transported free of charge by public city transport buses until midnight from the car park to Freedom Square (Trg slobode) in the centre of Varaždin.
To share more of a flavour of the mouth-watering delights of what’s on offer at this year’s 25th anniversary Špancirfest, we have showcased 9 gastronomic delicacies you shouldn’t miss:
1. How could anyone resist 30 thirty types of delicious burgers at Špancir Burger Festival? This tasty kingdom of delights features more than 30 offers, from smash, classic and other delicacies ready for everyone who loves-a-burger! If you’re not a meat-eater, there’s Beg’s Plant Based, surprising you with their world-class burgers – with top quality flavours. For the first time in Varaždin, Mate Janković with the Institute for Burgers, Ivan Pažanin with Chefs burgers, as well as Škartoc ljubavi, will be present as well as other new and established “burger-wizards” on Kapucinski Square.
2. Delicious Meatballs powered by Tako Yaki – to suit everyone’s taste. It’s easy to understand why Chef Martino Zanelli Kovačić prepares exquisite meatballs – as someone who simply loves them! He turned his passion into a business and has already “invented” a high number of innovative flavours. Why not try a variety of meatballs from meat, fish or, even fruit and dessert versions. Once you try them, you’ll simply want more as the love for dumplings from childhood never ends. Find them at the Carlsberg Food & Party Zone in the beautiful surroundings of the Old Town, where numerous other gastronomic surprises are ready and waiting, such as woks and wraps from the Rollin Flock team and the Zvonimir and Kajkuš restaurants with a barbecue.
3. Ferdinand knedle (Sweet dessert dumplings) – who doesn’t love them? Just try them and you’ll never forget the taste! These are no ordinary dumplings as they were named after Emperor Ferdinand, who simply adored them, and when choosing dumplings at Špancirfest, he would only say “This is for my empire”. You too can feel like an emperor – look for the attractive food truck at Špancirfest. Easy to find, located on Franciscan Square in front of Herzer Palace.
4. Gastro delicacies by Masterchef stars. The stars of the Croatian version of the TV show, Masterchef, Melkior Bašić and Damir Tomljanović will create gastronomic delicacies in Wine City, and Melkior is also in his special corner at the Špancir Burger Festival, creating finger-licking surprises. When they get to work spreading those finest aromas – it’s impossible to resist.
5. Reshetka – top quality meat delicacies made with love. The popular Đurina Hiža Restaurant from Varaždinske Toplice comes to the streets of Varaždin in the form of their mobile street-food version – Reshetka. Owner, Nikola Božić has received several national and international awards and recognitions for his meat masterpieces that everyone seems to love! So, if you’re in the mood for a tasty meat specialty, take a stroll over to Habdelić Square and pop over to the courtyard of the Medina Skrinja Pub where you’ll find Reshetka ready and waiting for you – mouth-watering juicy burgers, all made from top quality meat.
6. American style hot dogs and sandwiches. Find them at the INA Fresh Corners, in Gajeva Street and the Food & Party Zone. Juicy hot dogs and sandwiches for old and young festival visitors who like to eat and stroll – prepared with first-class meat.
7. Wines and cheeses – dream combinations. At Wine City, located in front of the beautiful Old Town castle, discover more than 500 types of wine from the most famous winemakers on offer. And when you combine the aromatic and golden drops with Vindija’s delicate cheeses, something magical happens, creating a real gourmet fantasy.
8. Fruit cones – a refreshing surprise for the summer heat. Chilled pieces of fruit in a hand-held cone is the perfect combination for kids and all fruit lovers. Simply, take them with you and you stroll through the streets, and if you have time, stop by again for another! It’s all happening at Kaufland Fresh Point in Šenoina Street, where this free dose of freshness is ready and waiting. Yes, that’s right – the fruit cones are completely free.
9. Homemade delights – something for everyone. Everything you have read so far is only just a small part of the sumptuous gastronomic offer at this year’s Špancirfest. At every step throughout the city you will find so many irresistible aromas of popular delicacies such as Varaždin klipiči, gibanica, langos, homemade cakes, ice cream, pancakes and much more. Whether you’re a fan of traditional flavours or an adventurous gourmet, you’re guaranteed to find something to match your taste at Špancirfest!
Ready for a festival stroll? In the mood for some great food and drink? See you at Špancirfest in Varaždin, from 18 – 27 August.