People from Slovenian northern neighbour Austria come to Slovenia just for the food, cause with Subalpine, Italian, Hungarian and Balkan mixture most people will find something to their liking - unless they're strict vegetarians. Many say that the pizza here is as good or even better as in neighboring Italy.


Generally speaking, Slovenian food is heavy, meaty and plain. A typical three-course meal starts with a soup juha, often just beef goveja or chicken piščančja broth with egg noodles rezanci, and then a meat dish served with potatoes krompir and a vinegary fresh salad solata. Fresh bread kruh is often served on the side and is uniformly delicious.

Common mains include cutlets zrezek, sausage klobasa and goulash golaž, all usually prepared from pork svinjina, lamb jagnjetina and game divjačina, but there is a large choice of fish ribe and seafood even further away from the coast. Popular Italian imports include all sorts of pasta testenine, pizza pica, ravioli ravioli and risotto rižota. A major event in the countryside still today is the slaughtering of a pig from which many various products are made: blood sausage krvavica, roasts pečenka, stuffed tripe polnjeni vampi, smoked sausage prekajena salama, salami salama, ham šunka and bacon slanina. Recipes for the preparation of poultry perutnina, especially turkey puran, goose gos, duck raca and capon kopun, have been preserved for many centuries. Chicken piščanec is also common. Squid is fairly common and reasonably priced.

Uniquely Slovenian dishes are available, but you won't find them on every menu, so here are some to look out for:

Kraški pršut - air-dried ham, similar to but not the same as Italian prosciutto

Å¡truklji - dumplings which Slovenians prepare in 70 different ways stuffed with sweet fillings, meat or vegetables

žganci - a type of polenta ajdovi žganci are made of buckwheat

žlikrofi - potato dumplings similar to gnocchi, specialty of the Idrija region

jota - a type of soup made of beans, sauerkraut, potatoes, bacon, spare ribs, and the main seasoning is garlic.

Some Slovenian desserts can also be found:

potica - a type of nut roll for holiday occasions also prepared with the widest variety of fillings.

gibanica - a very heavy cakelike pastry of poppy seeds, walnuts, apples, raisins, cheese etc, topped with cream

dietary restrictions

Slovenia is not the easiest of places for a vegetarian, although even the smokiest inn can usually whip up a decent fresh salad solata and fried vegetables on request. Lacto-ovo vegetarians will have it easy in Slovenia, while strict vegans won't find more than a handful of vegan restaurants in the country most of them in Ljubljana. It is wise to know that even the smallest store has its healthy food shelves with many non-animal alternatives. In the cities the Mediterranean chick-pea staple falafel and its cousin the vegiburger have made some inroads on fast-food menus. Many restaurants offer a "vegetarian plate", which includes potatoes, fresh or boiled vegetables and soya "steak".

In coastal cities, there is a paradise for pescetarians and seafood lovers. Local specialities are fish, squids, mussels, and octopus.

places to eat

At the top of the food chain is the restavracija restaurant, which could be a fancy restaurant with waiters and tablecloths or just a typical Chinese restaurant. More common in the countryside are the gostilna and gostišče, rustic inns serving hearty Slovene fare. Lunch sets dnevno kosilo cost around €7 for three courses soup, salad and main and are usually good value.

Fast food, invariably cheap, greasy and more often than not terrible — it's best to steer clear of the local mutation of the hamburger — is served up in grills and snack bars known as okrepčevalnica, where trying to pronounce the name alone can cause indigestion. There is no real Slovenian fast food, but Slovenians have adopted greasy Balkan grills like pleskavica a spiced-up hamburger patty and čevapčiči spicy meatballs are ubiquitous, but one of the more tasty if not healthy options is the Bosnian speciality burek, a large, flaky pastry stuffed with either meat mesni, cheese sirni or apple jabolčni, often sold for as little as €2. In recent years many fast food places started making döner kebabs, and they are now among the most popular fast foods in Slovenia, and can be found virtually everywhere.