Lonely Planet Writer

An IPA craft beer-flavoured ice cream has tourists forming lines in Zagreb

Ever thought that beer and ice cream don’t go together? Think again, as the IPA craft beer-flavoured gelato served at Slastičarnica Orijent in Croatia’s capital of Zagreb is shifting this paradigm as we speak.

Ready for a beer-flavoured gelato?
Ready for a beer-flavoured gelato? Image by Troy House/Getty Images

Orijent is a family business which has been up and running for over 80 years now. With retro furnishings, some original decor and nothing but cakes and ice-cream on offer, it exudes an air of old-fashioned, contrasted by the hip names of their scoops. Currently trending are the black sesame Night’s Watch, green Matcha and East-inspired Halva, all made the traditional way from fresh ingredients, including pasturised eggs and cream of milk, and excluding powders and additives.

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The IPA craft beer gelato was envisioned by the son of one of the current owners, a passionate beer connoisseur and a recreational brewer. Having heard that a similar ice-cream existed somewhere in the USA, he challenged his mother, father and aunt to mash one up in Croatia. After tasting a variety of samples, the family tribune selected Nova Runda Indian Pale Ale as the best match, as it allows for both the bitterness of the beer and the sweetness of ice cream to stand out, accentuated further by light, citrusy notes.

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Located in Maksimirska Street, in a non-touristy area of Zagreb, Slastičarnica Orijent makes for a destination on its own, and adds yet another reason to visit Lonely Planet’s 2017 Best in Europe number one town.

By Vesna Celebic