Slovenian cuisine is based on fresh locally sourced ingredients and reflects a wealth of regional diversity. For centuries it has been developing in the "gostilna" restaurants, traditional places to enjoy good food and wine in good company.
The contemporary approaches of today’s chefs have only refined and upgraded the old traditions. If you pay a visit to the Open Kitchen (Odprta kuhna) or visit one of the quality restaurants in Ljubljana, you might encounter contemporary variations of once popular dishes.
The most authentic Slovenian restaurants proudly use the markings of local heritage:
- Taste Ljubljana: the traditional dishes of Ljubljana, prepared using modern cooking methods
- Taste Central Slovenia: traditional local dishes of the Central Slovenia region
- "Gostilna Slovenija": top-quality regional dishes served in authentic local restaurants
Slovenian dishes and home-made produce can be bought on markets and in specialised shops. Among other things you can purchase quality cheese and dairy, honey (Slovenia has one of the richest traditions of apiculture in the world), cured meat and quality Slovenian wines.
The 5 best known traditional Slovenian dishes
Kranjska klobasa (Carniolan sausage): is the best known Slovenian speciality. The earliest known mention of a sausage referred to as "kranjska klobasa" dates back to 1896. (Typical of Alpine Slovenia, the region of Gorenjska.)
Potica, a yeast-dough cake with a variety of filling options, is the most typical Slovenian dessert. The best known of over 80 varieties are tarragon, walnut, crackling and poppy seed poticas. (Typical of central Slovenia.)
Prekmurska gibanica (Prekmurje layered cake) is a moist dessert consisting of layers of poppy seed, cottage cheese, walnut and apple filling. It is protected under the Traditional Speciality Guaranteed designation and can only be sold under its name when prepared according to the traditional recipe. (Typical of Pannonian Slovenia, the region of Prekmurje.)
Kraški pršut (Kras prosciutto) is dry-cured pork leg. It goes particularly well with a glass of Kras Teran, a red wine grown in the Kras region and well known for its healing properties. The prosciutto labelled as Protected Geographical Indication is a top quality product made on the basis of the centuries-long tradition of salting meat and drying it in bora, a fierce cold northeasterly wind blowing across Kras. (Typical of the coastal Slovenia and the Kras region.)
Štruklji is a traditional Slovenian boiled or baked dough roll with a variety of different sweet or savoury filling options, served either as a main or side dish. The best known are tarragon, cottage cheese, walnut, apple and poppy seed štruklji. (Typical of central Slovenia.)