Taste Ljubljana

Get to know some of Ljubljana's traditional dishes that are still being prepared today, mostly using modern cooking methods. Check out the list of restaurants where you can treat yourself to a typical Ljubljana lunch.

The range of dishes prepared in Ljubljana has always been wide and varied. Slovenia and Ljubljana lie at the crossroads of different culinary cultures, which is the reason why Slovenian cuisine reflects influences from Mediterranean, Alpine, and Pannonian cuisines as well as those from the culinary art of the Balkans and several other parts of the world, which are of a more recent date.

A typical feature of culinary art in Ljubljana has historically been the diversity of ingredients, some of the most notable being vegetables grown in the city's suburban gardens. The areas of Krakovo and Trnovo, located less than a half hour's walk from the heart of Ljubljana, are still the source of the vegetables sold from some of the stalls at the Ljubljana Central Market. Another indispensable ingredient has, of course, traditionally been meat, particularly beef and poultry produced by farms in Central Slovenia. A lot of different birds living in the wild were also widely consumed in the past.

In rural areas, excellent home-made bread baked in wood-fired ovens used to be prepared in the past and the city's modern-day bakeries continue and develop this tradition. The rich biodiversity of Slovenian fresh waters and the Adriatic Sea was reflected in a large consumption of freshwater and sea fish, crayfish, molluscs, and frogs, the latter a speciality of Ljubljana. The city's residents were able to choose from a wide range of fruits, both those grown in orchards in Ljubljana's surrounding areas and those that require warmer climates and were grown in the Slovenian coastal region of Primorska. 

Ljubljana lunch

The typical Ljubljana lunch, consisting of the dishes that the city's residents of the past most frequently prepared on weekends, is available at a number of the city's modern restaurants and traditional gostilnas (see the list under the 'Points of interest' tab).

The Ljubljana lunch includes the following dishes:

  • beef soup with noodles or 'bleki' (noodle dough squares),
  • 'pražen krompir' (sautéed potatoes),
  • boiled oxtail or another cut of beef used in the preparation of beef soup,
  • a side dish of horseradish with apples or whipped cream or, in the spring and summer season, egg sauce with dill ('šnitlihov zos'),
  • a salad of lamb's lettuce, beet, cauliflower, and hard-boiled egg or, in winter time, sauerkraut or sour turnip prepared in a variety of different ways,
  • cottage cheese pancakes with tarragon or apple strudel ('štrudl') as a dessert.

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