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Foodie Guide to Slovenia

on August 9, 2021

As Slovenia reopens to tourists, Slovenian gastronomy offers the perfect choice for a culinary adventure vacation. A dedication to sustainability in all areas have led to Slovenia having been named European Region of Gastronomy 2021 as well as being recognized as one of Europe’s most exciting new culinary capitals.

The unique advantage of Slovenian chefs is their access to local ingredients from unspoiled nature and environment. Slovenian culinary philosophy is based on the principle ‘from garden to table’ and this is reflected in the close relationships between chefs and local producers, as well as the deep connections between Slovenian landscapes and traditional culinary experiences. As you visit Slovenia, also visit Slovenia’s award-winning winemakers, who are now being recognized by wine experts as some of the best in the world.

For more information about Slovenia’s gastronomic scene, visit: https://www.tasteslovenia.si/en.

 

Overview of Foodie Guide to Slovenia

This guide is intended to help you plan your Slovenia foodie trip based on our recent trip exploring the unique foodie experiences of Slovenia.

This guide includes:

  • Google Map with restaurants and wineries
  • Foodie highlights from Slovenia 

I hope you’ll find this guide useful in planning your own unique foodie trip to Slovenia!

 

Foodie Guide to Slovenia Google Map

In the Foodie Guide to Slovenia Google Map, you’ll find the foodie destinations we visited. We also included some places we didn’t get to see as additional options for your trip planning.

 

Day 1 | Ljubljana

Ljubljana is the capital and the largest city in Slovenia. Despite its size, the city has maintained a calm, relaxing atmosphere, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

Its name comes from Medieval name Laibach, which is of uncertain origin. In popular culture, it is thought that the name of the city is derived from Slavic “Ljublja” – meaning to kiss or to love. What else could be a better sign that we were going to fall in love with Ljubljana and Slovenia?

We stayed at Tromostovje Apartments near Triple Bridge, the famous work of the exceptional Slovenian architect Joze Plecnik. The three-lane bridge crossing designed in 1929 is an architectural masterpiece which connects people on the two sides of the River Ljubljanica, the old town and the new, the past and the present. The best parts of the apartment were the views of the castle and decorative wallpaper based on the popular children’s book Pepelka.

For dinner, we went to Jezersek Ljubljanksi Grad restaurant, a Michelin Bib Gourmand, behind the ancient walls of Ljubljana castle. We visited during the Slovenia Restaurant Week and got to try the amazing exotic passion fruit brulee, a must try when visiting the Ljubljana castle. We walked up to the castle because we arrived too late for the 70m-long funicular (closes at 18:00) but plan to take the funicular or drive with a car because the walk up the hill can be tiresome.

 

Day 2 | Ptuj and Maribor

Ptuj is the oldest town in Slovenia and one of the oldest in Europe. It is set on the banks of the Drava river and is full of monuments that testify to its history spanning two millennia. Mestni trg is the main square, popular with locals for morning coffee and evening drinks. On the high ground is the Ptuj Castle overlooking the town.

We spent our time in Ptuj visiting family but there are a lot of great restaurants in Ptuj, including Gostilna Ribic, Gostilna Rozika, and Gostilna Grabar.

 

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30 km from Ptuj is another beautiful town, Maribor. When visiting Maribor, do not miss restaurant Hisa Denk and Restaurant Mak, and Old Wine House with the oldest wine in the world.

 

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Day 3 | Postojna and Vipava Valley

Day 3 started early with a drive to Postojna Cave, Slovenia’s most popular natural attraction. It has over 20 km of chambers and tunnels formed by the water of the Pivka river. The caves were first opened to the public in 1819 and now receive nearly half-million visitors every years. When visiting, dress warm as it’s cool underground.

10 km from the Postojna  cave is the Predjama Castle, a dramatic, fairy-tale like castle carved into a huge cave. If you want a dramatic backdrop for a family picture, this is it.

For lunch we drove to Gostilna Pri Lojzetu, one Michelin star restaurant. The mesmerizing views of the Vipava Valley nicely complemented the unique delicacies created by chef Tomi, one of the best chefs in Slovenia.

 

Day 4 | Lake Bled

The mesmerizing beauty of Lake Bled, amid the Julian Alps in northwestern Slovenia, is home to Bled Island and Bled Castle. The Castle, perched on the north shore of the lake, evokes the Medieval era. Bled Island, in the middle of the lake, is home to a pilgrimage church, The Assumption of Mary, constructed in the 17th century. The Baroque stair, consisting of 98 stone steps, is often the site of weddings. Considered to be good luck, many grooms have carried their brides up the stairs prior to ringing of the bells for good life inside the church.

Lake Bled is pure and serene, and the lake water is cool and energizing. It is a perfect getaway from busy life, for the soul and body.

Best way to get to the Bled Island is with a pletna boat, a traditional boat with origins dating back to 1590. The boat is propelled by an oarsman standing on top of the boat and rowing with two oars.

Almost every cafe along the lake offers the cream cake known as kremna rezina (also known as kremsnita and Bled cream cake), but the original bakery is inside Hotel Park. Do not miss tasting this original Bled delicacy.

30 km away is the beautiful Lake Bohinj, another beautiful lake that is not to be missed if you’re staying in the Bled region for few days.

 

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When visiting Lake Bled, definitely stop by the Bled tourism office which has been recently renovated and offers local delicacies for purchase. The staff is courteous, friendly, and helpful.

 

Day 5 | Bohinjska Bistrica, Most na Soci, and Kobarid

We left Bled early in the morning to catch the car train from Bohinjska Bistrica. We’ve been with a car on the boat but never on a train. You board the train with your car and then enjoy the train ride inside the car. The car train is a shortcut through mountains with beautiful views.

Our car train stop was at Most na Soci. This is one of the most important prehistoric settlements in Slovenia with over 7,000 grave sites from the Bronze and Iron Age which can be seen at the Tolmin Museum.

Next stop was at Tolminska Korita (Tolmin Gorges), a beautiful natural park with waterfalls and refreshing Tolminka river. There’s a small parking lot next to the park but it’s almost always full. To be safe, you can park in a parking lot just before the park and then take the free shuttle.

 

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The highlight of the day was lunch at Hisa Franko, a two Michelin star restaurant by Ana Ros. We indulged in the Reincarnation Menu which is a time capsule of local ingredients available during COVID times. This is one of those lunches you never forget.

Following lunch, we went to Kamp Koren, a nature campsite in Kobarid with wooden cabins. The surrounding was pristine. Camp had many activities for families and kids. We went for a refreshing swim to Nadiza beach on river Nadiza. Our day ended with a peaceful evening on the cabin porch. Before we left the next day early in the morning, we stopped at the Kamp reception only to be surprised by a large table filled with Slovenian local delicacies. This was definitely one of our best breakfasts ever. 

Day 6 | Lipica & Koper

Our daughter loves horses. She absolutely adores them and we couldn’t pass on the chance to see the world-famous Lipizzaner horses at the Lipica Stud Farm. Not only did she get to see them, but she also got to ride the horse carriage.

One interesting fact about the snow-white Lipizzaner horses: they’re not really white, they’re gray. They’re born black and then turn white when their black hair turns gray. This brings a whole new perspective of beauty to graying 😀.

 

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Our next stop was the Istria region of Slovenia. We stayed at Grand Koper, a new, beautiful hotel in the heart of Koper, which just opened this year. For lunch, we had a seafood delight delicacy at Hotel Koper’s Capra Restaurant with a beautiful modern interior. Hotel’s pizza at Caprizza is also outstanding.

Few minutes outside of Koper, we visited the Brzan family Wine Cellar. They make a few varieties of wines, including the red wine delicacy of the region, Refosk.

There was also another treat that was awaiting us: red ribez (red currant), which I hadn’t tasted since childhood.

Once we returned to Koper, we visited Barba Sol, a manufacturer of fusion salts with over 35 flavors, including the chili flavor, my favorite.

Koper is a vibrant and historical town. It’s a great place to use as a base to explore the entire Istria region.

 

Day 7 | Slovenian Istria: Portoroz, Piran, Izola, Koper, and Ankaran 

Slovenian Istria is a perfect getaway for foodies. Coastal towns show their beauty in the sun and blue waters, while green Istrian rural areas are home to original cuisine with olive oil and wild plants, wineries, and truffles.

We spent the day exploring Istria with Matej of the Lisjak Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the largest producer of olive oil in Slovenia. Matej has a fleet of Vintage Fiat Minivans that he uses for Vintage Gourmet Tours, which can conquer any terrain. We began the tour with rugged ride through the backroads of the coast for breathtaking views of coastal towns.

Next stop was the Lisjak Olive Oil manufacturing site and tasting room. We sampled a few top quality olive oils that won major awards, and also tried a few of the flavored olive oils which are the latest innovation from the Lisjak family.

After the olive oil tasting session, we continued the tour with a stop at Gold Istria Truffles. They have a restaurant with an extensive truffle menu, and also a tasting room serving various truffle delicacies. They also coordinate truffle hunting tours.

Our last stop was the Fonda Fish Farm. This is no ordinary fish farm. The fish are fed manually using only the highest quality food on the market originating exclusively from sea animals and plants. The fish farm fits right in with its ecosystem and has become a refuge for numerous fish and other marine organisms.

True to their mission to breed the best farmed fish in the world, the seabass carpaccio was outstanding.

The Vintage Fiat minivan didn’t disappoint. Although  air conditioning would have been nice on a hot day, the breeze from open windows provided an experience that won’t be forgotten.

In the evening we went for dinner at Rizibizi,  a Michelin Plate restaurant. The restaurant terrace has a charming view of the sea and a Mediterranean menu with local ingredients.

 

The Slovenia foodie trip was full of unique, unforgettable experiences. Whether a foodie or not, Slovenia is a country you must add to your bucket list and visit soon.

 

Additional Foodie Places to Visit in Slovenia

If you have more than a week for your foodie trip in Slovenia, or want to substitute some of the places from this itinerary, take a look at the Best of Slovenia Google Map below which highlights the best of Slovenia.

Undoubtedly, the most difficult part of your trip planning will be to select your itinerary. There’s so much to see, do, and taste in Slovenia. 

 

Additional Resources

Here are additional helpful resources for planning your foodie trip to Slovenia.

I hope you find this guide helpful in planning your own Slovenia foodie trip! Contact us for any questions as you plan your trip to Slovenia.

 

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