You want to eat marenda? You don’t know what marenda is? No problem, just read this text and go to Konoba Na Kantunu in Rijeka. Konoba means a room in the Adriatic house in which you store olive oil, wine, dried fish or meat, etc. and also a restaurant with local domestic food with a rustic atmosphere which is reminiscent of private konobas. And Na Kantunu means “on the corner”. Because this konoba is, well, on the corner.
So what marenda is, you ask. It’s Italian word for a meal eaten between breakfast and lunch, often as a substitute for lunch, so that you survive until dinner. In Rijeka you will find a lot of places that serve marenda, but Na Kantunu is one of my favourites, because they treat ingredients with respect, and the place really does look like fine dining, because in the evenings, while other marenda places are usually closed, it transforms into a full-fledged fish restaurant.
If you ask me, order small fried or grilled fish, whichever is on the menu, because it’s fresh from the fish market nearby: blitva (mangel) and a glass of white wine. While you are waiting for food, if you are there during the warmer period, sit on the terrace near the river Rječina and observe how the people in small boats have to lean down to pass three bridges when going in or out to the sea.