Like everything else in Slovenia, the cuisine is influenced by the countries turbulent history. Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Yugoslavia all left their delicious mark on Slovenian cooking. And Ljubljana is the perfect place to try all those typical dishes as well as international food. My favourite food experience in Ljubljana was the open-air food market. Every Friday (if the weather allows), local restaurants cook in front of the Cathedral with music and drinks. If you want to cook your own tasty meal or buy some food souvenirs, check out the regular daily farmers market. Local farmers sell their goods, and there’s even a fresh milk dispenser! It’s a can’t miss in Ljubljana.
Here are a few things you absolutely have to try:
My favourite Slovenian food is börek. These savoury pies are made with crispy filo pastry and all kinds of fillings. I loved the spinach/cheese version in particular, but there are also meat and potato filled ones. They come as individual little pies or by the slice, and they make for a perfect snack. You can buy them at bakeries, supermarkets, and most döner places.
Slovenian cuisine is heavily meat-based. Hungarian style goulash is on almost every menu as are different kinds of sausages. Since Slovenia has a big bear population, you may even be able to try some bear sausage. Other popular meats include boar and horse, as well as good old beef and pork. The dry cured Kraški pršut tastes a lot like Italian prosciutto.
Slovenians love a good cake. And so do I! The most famous is probably the Bled cream cake, much like a millefeuille with a custardy cream and whipped cream filling. Potica is less fancy but just as tasty. This bundt style cake has a swirl of delicious walnuts or poppy seeds in the middle. Traditionally they were baked for Christmas and Easter, but they’ve become popular year round.
Much like in Austria, savoury dumplings are popular in Slovenia as well. You can get these štruklji in soups or as main dishes with all kinds of fillings and trimmings.
5. Beer and wine
You may not have expected it, but Slovenia is a big wine country. The most famous white is malvazija, which translates to ‘poor vision’ (probably named after the wine’s effect on your eyesight). The main red wine (and my favourite) is refošk, a dark, rich wine that you definitely do not want to get on your clothes.
Beer is also popular in Slovenia, and especially craft beer is on the rise.