Slovenian Gastronomy

Restaurants in Slovenia

Honestly, if Slovenia's restaurants only reached the standard that most people expect from a tiny little backwoods country, we wouldn't have bothered with Slovene Dream.

So read on...

Gastronomic tours

Let us take you on a journey that will having you boring the pants off everyone when you get back, regaling them with tales of comestibles that have - so far - slipped under the tyre company's radar (because the tyre company doesn't 'do' Slovenia.

Here are two itinerary ideas to get you salivating...

A fourteen night culinary tour of eastern Slovenia

San Rocco

The most gorgeous valley in the world? Who knows, but Logarska Dolina's vivid beauty tales some getting used to, so a few nights at Raduha will help. As well as dining on her fine cuisine, Martina will give you a cookery lesson and plenty of insights into the region's gastronomy.

Next in your fourteen night tour is the exemplary Sončna Hiša, a modern yet relaxed boutique hotel in the foody heaven of Prekmurje. A couple of tasting menus later and it's south to the rolling hills of Dolenjska, where you'll be staying at the idyllic Šeruga tourist farm (or the fairy tale castle of Otočec, depending on your budget).

Then it's time to invade Croatian Istria - specifically the little town of Brtonigla, overlooking the Adriatic - to stay at one of our favourites: San Rocco. Even if it wasn't for the truffles, the cuisine here has star quality - as have the rooms, wellness facilities and swimming pool: bliss all in one place!

Finally, it's back into Ljubljana and the Cubo Hotel, from where you'll sample the capital's delights, including dinner at its most famous restaurant, Gostilna As. Read more...

A feast for the eyes, as well as for the soul

Hiša Franko

A fourteen night tour taking in the west of the country - Bled(ish), Soča Valley, Goriška Brda, a dip into Italy's Collio, the Vipava valley and finally Ljubljana. You'll being staying in some of our finest hotels and dining on seven tasting menus in some of our finest restaurants.

Where appropriate, we'll arrange transfers so you can indulge yourself without a subsequent introduction to Slovenia's finest.

You'll also get a cooking lesson from one of the top chefs in the country... so you can back up your stories with actual evidence! Read more...

And here are some restaurant reviews to get your holiday going...

 

Vila Podvin

Vila Podvin

At last, a restaurant at least near to Bled that we would whole-heartedly recommend. During the slow decline in standards at Lake Bled (TripAdvisor and the local tourist board notwithstanding), we were left with an undeniably pretty lake/island/castle to look at, but nowhere to eat while doing so. The trouble is, there still isn't, as the excellent Vila Podvin is an easy drive away in the pretty village of Radovljica (pron. Radowlitsa) - but hey, you get to do the scenery stuff and within ten minutes, you're dining on some of Slovenia's finest cuisine!

The chef, Uroš Štefelin, takes his Slovenian cuisine very seriously, as we can testify having sampled a fabulous lunch with him. But more than that, as well as his restaurant duties (I say 'duties' advisedly, what with him being the owner and all), he runs various cookery classes, for adults and kids alike.

The kid's classes are particularly clever, as the parents get to pay for the ingredients... and then eat the consequences!

Furthermore, Vila Podvin supports the local producers by sponsoring a market once a month, where you can buy exactly the same produce as used in the restaurant.

All in all, this is a fine example of how to make a restaurant an integral part of a community, while offering its customers some seriously fine dining.

Oh, and if you can only make lunch: three courses for 15 euros. FIFTEEN EUROS!

Vila Podvin, Mošnje 1, Radovjlica, 4240. Tel: (0)8 384 3470

Oštarija

Ošterija

Oh my oh my... this (amongst other things) is what makes this job amazing: finding a restaurant that so exceeds expectations that you wonder how it hasn't been given international - or even national - recognition.

Luckily for us, other members of the family snuffled this place out and regaled us with stories about how they'd been fed so well for so little money. So, being us, we had to go.

On entering (after a nice drive from Ljubljana - definitely one of the prettiest motorways in Europe) we were greeted with a "Hello - haven't seen you for a while... how are you?" Not what you expect in a restaurant you've never been to, but it turned out that the waiter remembered us from when we were all at Pri Danilu in Škofja Loka (so things were looking up immediately).

Trouble was, the menu - although salivatingly tempting and reasonably priced - didn't promise ridiculously long meals at ridiculously low prices. So we started to peruse and choose... until the missus said, "I think you need to turn to the very back page." And there it was: Restaurant Gold.

The middle tasting menu, at five courses, was twenty-one (21) euros. So natch, we summoned said waiter who advised us that this would take two and a half hours of our time... while the seven course menu at thirty five euros would take another hour. Now, our five year-old loves restaurants, but maybe three and a half hours might be just a tad too much for her. So we 'downgraded' to the middle menu.

Of course, as is the modern tradition, there was an amuse bouchet, which amused our mouths very nicely and kept us unhungry while waiting for the first proper course.

There followed a double soup (nettle and cauliflower), somehow arranged in the bowl as a ying-yang thingummy. Such things can so easily become ying-tong in less accomplished hands, but these two were in perfect harmony.

That was followed by smoked trout fillet, trout mouse with caviar, a garlicky tuille, carrot purée and horseradish cream was devine.

A slate plate of chanterelles, scrambled eggs and mushrooms and shredded goat's cheese was delectible.

The roast pork was, to be honest, a little dry, but the accompanying vegetables were so... vegetably that we really didn't care.

And lastly the dessert. Almost - but not quite - world class.

But consider this: all of this, plus a glass of wine with each course, coffees and digestifs set the three and a half of us back 100 euros. That's 63 euros for the food and 37 euros for the rest.

That, in my book, is astonishing... this restaurant should be supported by one and all... and you should get there quick, because one day the tyre company will visit... and five courses are gonna cost you rather more than 21 euros!

Oštarija, Sokolski trg 2, Dolenjske toplice, 8350. Tel: +386 (0)51 262 990


Šeruga

Eva Šeruga

Not only is Šeruga one of our very best tourist farms, but their restaurant is open to all comers too.

Lili Šeruga and her daughter Eva run the hotel and restaurant side of things, serving traditional Dolenjska cuisine to their guests - and hungry passers-by... if there's any left.

Which is what we found to our cost, some years back, when we tipped up to talk to them about joining our merry band, while maybe sampling their wares. But wares were there none, as the horrible guests and those who had the good sense to book had gobbled up the lot. Of course, we dined at Šeruga a number of times since, munching through the girls' home-made Dolenjska delicacies, including trout from their very own stream (which you have to cross if you're staying). Go and eat - but better: stay.

Šeruga, Sela pri Ratežu 15, 8222 Otočec

San Rocco

Oh my, what a fabulous surprise. Make that two surprises: first, that a good friend should find this place and send me along for my birthday; second that this should be such a brilliant restaurant. I'll tell you what we had during seven courses of bliss, and if you don't want to eat at San Rocco... I guess you must have other priorities.

San Rocco

  • Entre
  • Foamy soup of wild seabass
  • Squids 'n' barley
  • Crab and wild asparagus ravioli
  • Rabbit and truffle risotto
  • Lamb
  • Dessert(s)

Hotel San Rocco, Srednja ulica 2, 52 474 Brtonigla, Croatia

Brič

While on holiday at Vila Lavanda in 2009, we joined the rest of you in attempting to eat the best possible food, at the most reasonable prices, in the jolliest places... and feeling smug about finding all three. Of course, we were off to a head start, having already known about a few local places, but this was one of those 'heard of it, drunk the wine, but have no idea where it is' places that we'd be destined to miss. So on our last day - actually on our way back home - we decided to pootle around for a bit to see if we could find Brič.

Tada! We did.

And what a fab find it is: so good that we'd even drive down from Ljubljana, just for a plate of their superbly cooked molluscs and fishy-wishies. Washed down with a bottle of their excellent Malvazija, Brič shows that lot over in Piran and Portorož how it should be done.

Dekani 3A, 6271 Dekani. Tel: +386 (0)5 669 9105


La Subida

La Subida

Sadly for us, we only managed to have one meal here during our summer hols in 2012, as we needed to investigate the rest of the area (sometimes I hate this job).

But. What a meal. And let me get this part over with first:

  • Diners: 2 + 3 year-old
  • Starters: 3
  • Mains: 2
  • Desserts: 2
  • Cheese: 1
  • Wines: a glass with each coarse (um, apart from the 3 year-old - organic fruit juice for her)
  • Coffees, grappa.
  • Michelin stars: 1
  • Euros: 160.70

In case you missed that: dinner for two-and-a-half people, including drinks, in a Michelin starred restaurant: 160 euros.

In fact, I'm not going to bother with going on and on about the cuisine/service/ambience: we loved it, Michelin loved it.

And so will you.

Oh, and if you're staying in the hotel, breakfast is sublime.

Zemono

Zemono

Actually, the restaurant is called Pri Lojžetu, but everyone knows it as Zemono.
As far as we're concerned, the best restaurant in Slovenia. In fact, probably one of the best in Europe. We first ate here some years ago, when I chose for my starter... squid with strawberries. I mean, if they could pull that off, they must be pretty good, eh? They didn't just pull it off, they lifted it to the realms of the sublime. The rest of that meal convinced us that we eat here every time we came to Slovenia.
A couple of years later, the day after our wedding, we took my best man and his missus for, er, lunch. We were served by Tomi, the manager, who suggested that we go for the tasting menu. I won't bother with reviewing the food (or the local wine): it was simply the best (and longest) meal we've ever eaten.
We've since eaten there a few times, and talked with Tomi about his passion for his restaurant. He is convinced that France lost it some time ago, and that Italy is where you will find the most sublime food. He simply takes that - and makes it sublimer. If you only eat in one place in Slovenia, make it Zemono.

It's not open Mondays or Tuesdays... and avoid Saturdays (wedding parties).

Gostišče pri Lojzetu - Zemono 5271. Tel: 05 366 54 40


Majerija

Majerija

Review to appear here soon.

Gostilna As

Gostilna As

Gostilna As is, quite literally, a legend in its own lunch-time. During the summer months, you can join the great and the good of Ljubljana's populace on the terrace, chomping on huge salads, plates of steaming pasta, or perhaps just a snack and a glass of something as cool as the clientele.

Actually, you can do exactly the same in the winter months too, as much of the terrace is covered and heated - unlike most of the conversation. Prices are reasonable, given the quality of the ingredients and cooking, and helpings that will keep you alive for a day or two.

The restaurant proper also has a separate terrace, naturally populated by the greater and gooder (for whom the word affordable is a given), and a cavernous dining room on the inside. The chef specialises in Mediterranean fishiness: no showy unfeasible mixes of flavours and textures - just well-sourced/well-sauced, properly cooked fish.

They also have a very good wine list and the restaurant staff are very good indeed.

Gostilna As, Čopova 5a, Knafljev prehod, Ljubljana. Tel: 01 425 88 22


Gostilna na Gradu

Gostilna na Gradu

Until recently, the phrase heard most often from people who had just visited the castle was, "Great castle, amazing view, fab exhibitions... shame about the naff caff". Or something like that.

Three of Slovenia's greatest restaurateurs - Ana Roš and Valter Kramer of Hiša Franko, and Svetozar Raspopović of Gostilna As - took on the task of turning it into a restaurant the city could be proud of. Between them they trained a team of young chefs to prepare and cook local, organic, seasonal produce, to a standard that befits a city's castle. Best of all, this is no tourist trap, and they're not into airs and graces: the prices are very reasonable for this standard of nosh.

For instance:

  • beef tongue slices, bouquet of french beans and pumpkin oil mayonnaise - 5 euros
  • traditional potato ravioli served with lamb ragout - 7 euros
  • deer goulash with corn polenta - 8 euros
  • soft roasted veal with sage, baked new potatoes and salad of pan fried zucchini with herbs - 13 euros
  • home maid ice cream with elder flower meringue 3.5 euros

Hungry yet?

One warning though: if you like the quiet life go at lunch-time, as there tend to be a few noisy parties in the evenings (one of them was ours).

Gostilna na Gradu, Grajska planota 1, Ljubljana. Tel: 08 205 1930


Gujžina

Gujžina

Below you will see a review of Gostilna Mencigar Nobile. This is the version for all you (us) tourists, and is none the worse fior that.

Situated in the middle of the old town, it is within walking distance of just about everywhere - unless you over do it of course, in which case a slow stagger is recommended.

We've eaten here a few times now, so we've chomped through much of the menu: thick, meaty 'bograč', succulent pheasant, boar and other game, all kinds of pigginess, plus plenty of pumpkin oil, paprika and mushrooms.

The wine list is quite impressive, featuring many of the stars of pannonia, especially the excellent Marof.

We've already been back. But we'll doubtless do it again.

Gujžina, Mestni trg 19, Ljubljana, 1000. Tel: +386 (0)1 439 7040


JB

JB, Ljubljana

Rated by some as the best restaurant in Ljubljana, JB is frequented by the media, business and political bods of the city. The restaurant itself, although very comfortable (with plenty of space between the tables), is a strange interior designer's mess - mingling turn one of the century with the next, huge and beautiful wood paneling that would grace any ocean liner of the golden age of such things, but dotted about with pictures that look out of place and lighting that isn't exactly romantic.

Still, it's the food you're here for - and what splendid fare it is. I'll start by saying that you'll be paying up to 200 euros for two, including wine and bits... so treat yourself. The chef, Janez Bratovž, is touched with magic. He doesn't cook to impress, and you won't be faced with something daft like... OK, I have to admit, the one thing that got me - hooked me, really - was his oyster and mussel ice cream. The most perfect thing I've ever had in my mouth (that I could swallow): 'the taste of the sea', although simple and efficient in a zen-like way, doesn't begin to encompass the, the... Pseud's Corner of it all.

JB Restavracija, Miklošičeva cesta 17, 1000 Ljubljana


Gostilna Mencigar Nobile

Mencigar Nobile

A five - ten minute walk out of the centre of Ljubljana will get you to this lovely little restaurant. Yes, that's the one: hidden under some trees at the bottom of that 70's excuse for housing socialist citizens. But worry not - once inside (or even lounging on the terrace in the summer), you'll be relaxing into the bossom of Prekmurje hospitality, happily opening your maw to the culinary delights from the north-east of the country.

Anyone who knows anything about the local dishes will probably warn you to fast for a couple of days prior. Don't: the chef has a light touch and is more interested in bringing out the flavours of the fresh ingredients, rather than turn the customers into Mr Creosote. Anyway, the decor's too pretty.

Last time we were there, we had the lamb's lettuce, white cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds and smoked goose breast with horseradish to start, followed by tagliatelle with pumpkin seeds, cured ham and cream. Gibanica to finish (us off) of course. Sublime.

Oh, and a very good local wine list too, including Prinčič, Magdič and Marof.

Gostilna Mencigar Nobile, Zarnikova ulica 3, Ljubljana

Also see: Gujžina


Pri Škofu

Pri Škofu

Pri Škofu is unassuming in so many ways: from the outside you wouldn't assume that it's so pretty on the inside; on the inside you wouldn't assume that it's been there long (actually 40-odd years and nine years under the present regime); the menu appears so simple that you wouldn't assume such a high standard of cooking. Eventually, we had to admit that it wasn't the place being unassuming - it was us being presumptuous.
The owner, Maja Pitarevič has spent the last ten years transforming Pri Škofu into a perfect little restaurant. With her two cooks, she devises daily menus that get the best out of ingredients from the local market, resulting in dishes that are Slovene... but with a modern twist. It's the kind of restaurant you could easily find yourself going back to on a regular basis. We certainly will. Lunch is exceptionally good value.

Rečna cesta 8, Ljubljana. Tel: 01 426 45 08

* Image courtesy Frog and Toad Travel.


TaBar

TaBar

"There's a new tapas bar in Ljubljana" - words that can only bring dread to the tummy: yet another international culinary disaster masquerading as the gourmet's eatery de nos jours.

How wrong you'd be if you'd had this thought and taken your hungry chops elsewhere, as this is in fact an international culinary triumph. I'd had the thought, but the missus, having ventured here before, dragged me in, kicking and screaming (OK, muttering).

It is indeed a trendy-looking place: very bright and funky - lots of smooth wood and smoother metal (but the seating is very bum-friendly). And it is indeed tapas... in that the portions are small and the prices reasonable. But Spanish it ain't: it's Slovenian through and through, with most ingredients coming from the Kras region. They do lend themselves to this approach and the chef(s) knows exactly how to squeeze the most from each dish, so that each is a perfect hit of local yumminess. For instance...

A dish if pig's cheek with rocket, strawberries and parmesan was a finely balanced affair, with the thinly-sliced, cured piggy face the star of the show with a fine ensemble cast behind it.

Where they get their octupusses from in Kras is beyond me, but I ain't askin' because these were some of the tastiest grilled tentacles I've ever eaten.

Grilled peppers and fried zucchini helped us feel a little more virtuous (given all the protein we'd recently consumed on our trip).

The wine list is equally good, with some very fine Slovenian wines on offer. Following the whites we had for the tapas course (by the glass), we were introduced to the concept of macerated (or 'orange') wine with the cheese. And a fine introduction is was! We already knew Janko Štekar and his wines from when we stayed with them a while back, but never thought of partnering his wines with cheese. So thank you TaBar: a little learning was done at your restaurant... plus a lot of eating.

We'll be back.

TaBar, Ribji trg 6, Ljubljana, 1000. Tel: +386 (0) 31 764 063


Trta

Trta

There are a number of very good pizzerias in Ljubljana, which I'm sure we will review soon, but this one is rather better than very good. Just outside of the Old Town, sitting beside the Ljubljanica river, this unassuming-looking place serves the best, most authentic pizzas in the country.

Unlike most local pizzerias, with the hundred-plus menu, the menu at Trta is shortish, while offering a range of pizzas that should tempt anyone who happens to be hungry.

Talking of which, never, but never order a 'medium' pizza for yourself, anywhere in Slovenia. Unless you really, really think you could finish one (and leave room for the excellent tiramisu).

Trta, Grudnovo nabrežje 21, Ljubljana

* Image courtesy Sophie at Tussen dromen en leven


Hotel Vander

Lunch at the Vander

Having dined on a couple of evenings at Vander, it is seriously remiss of us not to have told you about it here. Seriously remiss, because there is definitely something to tell.

But rather than attempt to stretch my memory back the last time we were there in 2013, to show how good the cooking is at Vander, I'm going to review their lunch.

Their cheap, fixed menu lunch. Because the chef, one Benjamin Launay, is a canny fellah. Rather than palm off lunchtime customers with a sous chef's meanderings around mushroom risotto, the lunch menu here is just a (slightly) cut down version of what you'd get for dinner - the main difference being a seriously truncated menu, with just two or three choices per course. The idea being of course, that you'll like it so much you'll go back for dinner.

The menu is also priced with a view to getting you the most of what you want:

  • Small - soup, main, side salad - 11 euros
  • Big - soup, main, side salad, dessert - 13.50 euros
  • Business - soup, main, large salad, dessert - 15 euros

On our day the soup was carrot: definitely something I would normally avoid if at all possible: dull dull dull. Until my first mouthful, when that small-but-significant portion of my life turned upside down. I would gladly go and eat again at Vander, just for their sublime carrot soup.

The missus chose seabass fillet on a bed of herby mash and a light summery duvet of clam sauce. The fish was perfectly cooked - the flesh succulent and the skin crisped nicely.

I had the prime porky-worky, served with braised cabbage, home-made pasta and what I prefer to call gravy, but if I were at all poncy a jus. Oh em gee, that was one of the best cooked piggy bits I have ever eaten in a restaurant (although my grilled pork chops from Moen's in Clapham take some beating).

A delicate little dessert to finish, plus coffees and some very fine wines by the glass took this cheap lunch to a level that most restaurants could only wish for.

And the dinners... wow.

Hotel Vander, Krojaška ulica 6-8, Ljubljana, 1000. Tel: +386 (0)1 200 9000

Rajh

Rajh

Whenever we are in Prekmurje, we make a beeline for Rajh, as it manages to sum up all that is good about Slovenian cuisine - and good restaurants in general.

The welcome is always warm and friendly, the ambience is free of airs and graces and we know that the cooking will be special-but-not-daft (you know what I mean). Behind this ease of itself, is the fact that the restaurant is owned and run by four generations of the Rajh family, all of whom have contributed their individuality to the whole shebang. Along with Tramšek (below), they have a special arrangement with our Sončna Hiša, so ask at reception for them to book a table for you - it'll be a highlight of your holiday.

Gostilna Rajh, Bakovci, Soboška ulica 32, 9000, Murska Sobota

Tramšek

Tramšek

Truth be told, our only dining experience at Tramšek was as guests of the owners of Sončna Hiša - and this after two wine tastings earlier in the day!

So they kind of knew we were coming - but then, all you need to do to duplicate the experience is call ahead and say you're with us. Anyway, as usual, I took a few good views around the dining room, to check that our co-diners were as cock-a-hoop as we were.

Yes, you've got it: yet another fab restaurant in Slovenia. The chicken stuffed with pumpkin seeds (see picture) was a riot of flavour, as was the deliciously unctuous slow-roasted wild boar. As we were discussing hotel stuff (and our wine adventures), I didn't take any notes at the time - all the better to relax with some of the nicest cuisine in the region.

Žerovinci 25B, 2259 Ivanjkovci


Pri Danilu

Pri Danilu

In our 'early years' (up to around 2005 - well, it's early for us) Gostilna pri Danilu managed to avoid the ravenous hordes of us two, as we chomped our way across the country. During that time we'd heard rumours about this mysterious and magical restaurant, in a little villagette just outside Škofja Loka, and its apparently shy patrons (unlike some restaurateurs, who shall never remain nameless). As it happened, we had a meeting there with one of Slovenia's wine heros, Gašper Čarman... who happened to be Vesna and Dušan's son.

And in many ways, that first meal (there have been many since) changed a lot for us. It proved that there wasn't necessarily such a gulf between the so-so and the yee-haw: these people did everything perfectly, but without the song and dance (which are not available in the literary sense either). Not only is Vesna a fabulous chef, but it's obvious that her sources are the very best.

It's not so mysterious anymore, as it's one of our favourite restaurants in the world. It's still magical though.

Reteče 48, 4220 Škofja Loka. Tel: 04/5153-444


Topli Val, Hotel Hvala

Seafood at Topli Val

Topli Val (Heat Wave) has been serving beautifully cooked sea- and fresh-water fish dishes since 1976 - and for the past twenty years under the roof of Hotel Hvala. We had the most divine lunch there, licking fingers, chops and lips, ensuring we got every drip of sauce available from our huge plate of garlicky crustacea. Most of the other diners appeared to be Italian and all were obviously hugely happy. Having filled ourselves with fish, we were sorely tempted by the Gibanica (pron. gibanitsa: apple, poppy seed and curd cheese cake) an Italian couple were chomping. So we ordered two. Big mistake - it turned out that the Italians had been here before... and were sharing one portion. It was good though (but we couldn't eat again until the next day.
As the fish (and other ingredients) are delivered fresh daily, we recommend that you ask your waiter, "What's cookin'?".

Since then, we thought we should dedicate a little more time to really um, focus on the cuisine at Topli val. Having booked one of the suites (some of the best rooms in the Soča Valley), we took ourselves down to the dining room and asked for the best they could do. We both chose the fish tasting menu (but as Darinka was pregnant, she opted for the cooked version, as my first course of various raw fishiness was off-limits).

And as I have said ever since, it was without doubt the best piscine meal it has ever been my pleasure to eat - including some rather special places in New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong etc.

That good.

Trg svobode 1, Kobarid. Tel: 05 389 93 00


Hiša Franko

Hiša Franko

When they took over some years back Ana couldn't cook and Valter liked a glass of wine. Now Ana runs one of the best kitchens in the country and Valter is one of Slovenia's best sommeliers.

All produce is organic and grown locally, and the water spills from the spring beside the house. The cooking can best be described as Modern Slovene - taking traditional recipes and refining them into something new, extremely tasty and just different enough to be interesting, but never a challenge. For one of our meals we had nettle risotto and smoked duck breast in crispy pockets served with fresh stracchiano to start, mains of deer fillet with pumpkin mash, sun dried plums and chocolate sauce and crusted beef with herb salad. Dessert was one of those experiences that I will never forget: a chocolate souffle with 'a melting heart of white chocolate and mint'. Melted our hearts, anyway. The wine was also exceptional.

That was written some time ago. We've eaten Ana's marvels many times since, each time being transported into a dream-like state, marveling how she has developed her taste and technique over the years. We believe that she will eventually gain the international recognition she deserves - then you'll pay (for not getting here earlier)!

Staro Selo 1, 5222 Kobarid. Closed: Monday, Tuesday


Breza

Breza, Kobarid

Breza is renowned for it's traditional Slovene cuisine: Austro -Germanic. Matthew Fort wrote a piece in The Guardian about this place. The trouble is, his guide told him that Breza is heavily influenced by Italian cuisine. That'll be that little piece of Austria that will be forever Italy, then. Nope, Breza specialises in alpine cooking, i.e. soups that will stick to your insides, carbs that will make Mr Atkins run screaming and meat - lots of it. Make sure you're hungry when you get here. 

Mučeniška ulica 17, Kobarid


Kotlar

Kotlar

Kotlar specialise in serving fish as fresh and as simple as possible. The recipes aren't complex: what you'll get is the best fish and a lot of finesse. The staff are helpful and friendly and the place buzzes with talk and chomping.

Actually, on weekends, 'buzzing' is a slight understatement, as it starts filling up from about midday with hordes of Italians, who scoot across the border in search of cooking better than they can find back home.

The last time we were there for lunch, the food was so good we couldn't imagine that any other restaurant could serve such beautifully cooked fish.

Until we ate that evening in Topli val, that is (see above).

Trg svobode 11, Kobarid. Tel: 05 38 91 110


In brief...


As well as some great restaurants (some world-class), there are hundreds of little inns (gostilne), tourist farms and pizzerias dotted about the country. We would certainly recommend that you try them: the cooking is invariably very good and you will find some exquisite local dishes.

On the left you will find a list of some of our favourite restaurants... so far. The problem with restaurants - the world over - is that they tend to change for more reasons than we could list here, so we have to keep on returning to sample their wares. The sacrifices we make for our customers...

Many of the restaurants are truly world-class - but compared to their equivalents in western Europe, they are very reasonably priced. This is probably in no small 'thanks' to the Michelin peeps, who obviously really can't be bothered to visit such a tin-pot little country.

If you want the best of the best, be prepared to pay in the region of 150-200 euros for a meal for two, including a selection of very good wines... and that includes our meal at La Subida, which, being in Italy, does have a Michelin star!