If you are a lucky tourist, you do not even know that you set foot in a paradise for sweet teeth. If you are a true ice cream lover, it may be one of the reasons for your visit to Ljubljana. Either way, you will not be disappointed in the city’s many flavors and great techniques, and will even be surprised to see how much ice cream is consumed there, at any time of the year.
While walking Ljubljana’s streets, you will find dozens of ice creameries and patisseries promising you the best ice cream ever. To find the best, there is nothing easier: you have to try them all! But if you do not have time, money, or stomach to taste them all, here are some tips to find the perfect place and flavor.
Thanks to a selection of a wonderful Top 7, let’s find out together what place suits you the most according to your taste and the advice of devoted tasters!
1. Vigò Ice Cream
Ljubljana has many excellent ice creameries to offer but its absolute rising star is Vigò. This place combines everything you can wish for. Imagine an ideal location and frame, a profusion of surprising and stunning tastes, a particularly exemplar service, and big tasty portions.
However, my first criteria -and it should be yours too- remains the flavor. In Vigò, you will have to choose between about 20 amazing and interesting flavors. The usual best are those who already combine two or three different tastes, like the Cheesecake one that regroups fresh cream cheese, dark chocolate and cookie bits, and strawberries.
Indeed, if you crave ice cream in Ljubljana, you better choose your flavor carefully. Do not worry, they are all great in most places and especially in Vigò. Still, I would advise you to not even consider taking more than one scoop at a time: the portions are really enormous there. If you are really eager to taste everything, you can try ordering two half-scoops with different mixed tastes, allowing you to try up to six flavors at once.
Furthermore, it would be a shame to not try the many milk and cream-based rich ice creams if you eat some. They are particularly worth it in terms of taste, compared to the sorbets that can seem more simple. However, if you are vegan or simply lactose intolerant, Vigò welcomes you well too.
Indeed, many sorbets and even more original tastes are totally vegan. Beyond the quite usual strawberry or raspberry flavors, you will also be able to choose between rose and white peach vegan ice cream, mango, lemon and Italian meringue, or again chocolate and orange sorbet.
If you are lucky enough to try the other original tastes, I particularly recommend you to order a scoop of chocolate from Madagascar. It shows a great example of the quality tradition observed by the creator of the place, learned in Italia, and the use of fresh and top-notch products.
Hereafter the ice cream taste, the place is worth visiting for how it succeeds to sublimate it. For example, all of your ice cream creations can be topped with a drizzle of white or dark chocolate. Plus, Vigò proposes four options for the degustation of your ice cream: in a cup, a regular cone, a waffle one, and finally a funny cone dipped in chocolate and drizzled with chocolate sprinkles.
You can also have your sweet scoops inside different ice cream cakes or even brioche, and enjoy it with a delicious tea or coffee amongst the wide range that they offer.
The whole experience in Vigò is perfect, notably due to the -rare enough to be noticed in Ljubljana- good service. It is a great achievement considering the number of clients that group here every day. In Summer, the queue can be particularly discouraging: if you know you will be able to come back later, do not hesitate to go explore one of the other shops listed below.
And if you stop by the Adriatic coast during your Slovene trip, you can also find another Vigò shop in Koper, with a slightly different menu!
2. Kavarna Cacao
Cacao is undoubtedly the best alternative to Vigò in town. This ice creamery remains the favorite of many inhabitants and tourists, as its main competitor appeared quite recently. In fact, it is voted best destination in Ljubljana for ice cream lovers nearly every year.
Cacao principally owes its success to its large selection of tastes, and most of all, its enormous portions. Its first-class products are sublimated by the wide range of sweets and desserts that accompany the many ice creams flavors on the menu. I also recommend you taste some of their surprising alcoholic ice cream drinks and cakes that are definitely worth the try.
This awesome place is your best option if you want to share a sophisticated ice cream cup with your significant other. Indeed, this is the best place in town for enormous, original and cheap cups, and they come with an amazing view on the Ljubljanica and the Cathedral Saint Nicolas if you decide to eat on the terrace, two steps away from Prešernov Trg.
It is also the ideal choice if you are just passing by and suddenly crave ice cream but do not have much time to spend. Even if there is always a queue, it moves fast: you can be served almost immediately. The only issue of the place has to be its too wide selection: it would be really too frustrating to go there only one time!
Luckily, this is very easy to stop there even once a day, as Cacao is very well located and inexpensive as can be. For 2 euros, you will get an amazing flavor (or two if you ask for a mixed half-half) that comes under the shape of two big scoops.
However, you will have to choose a taste at some point, so here is my advice: go for creamy ice cream if you can, you will not regret it. The salty caramel and white chocolate/pistachio are two amazing go-to that particularly pleased me, but the place’s beloved flavors are numerous. You cannot go wrong with sachertorte, muffin, almond creme, tiramisu, or again the traditional chocolate.
If you are following a particular diet or have any food intolerance, you have come to the right ice creamery. Cacao offers a selection that includes at the same time gluten or sugar-free options as well as vegan ones. I particularly recommend you the dark chocolate one.
And when you will finally have to leave town and its iced delights, you can still hope to cross Cacao’s way in Portoroz, on the Slovene Adriatic coast, and even in Prague!
3. Fétiche Patisserie
If you ever feel the need to try the city’s most qualitative ice cream -and you will!-, you have to stop by Ljubljana’s French patisserie, Fétiche. There, be warned: quality is valued over quantity and you may find your ice cream too small after trying Vigo or Cacao. This might be the only place in town where it seems worth it to have two scoops.
Fétiche is, however, blessing us in terms of taste and products. All of their ice creams are homemade and free of powder, preservatives, and artificial colors. The most impressive ones are the fruit ice creams, made of fruits at 100%, whether they are fresh or in the form of a purée. I’ve tried their good Sicilian pistachio but I’d recommend trying more original and interesting flavors.
Indeed, the main interest of the place is their pretty unusual flavors, such as black sesame, cognac with dry plums, or more exotic fruits such as mango. The snicker’s flavor is also to die for, with its rich hazelnut taste. However, if you are fond of vanilla, this basic flavor becomes delicious in Fétiche, due to the use of Tahitian vanilla.
Keep in mind that the visit is definitely worth it: they are considered by the finest connoisseurs as the best in town. This is good to know since the Fétiche ice creams are the most expensive ones in town. Furthermore, they charge a little extra if you decide to sit and enjoy it on the terrace.
The other main downside is that the ice cream stand only stays there during the year. Nevertheless, if you visit Ljubljana at another time of the year, do not hesitate to stop and enjoy their delicious French patisseries.
While walking the city streets, you might come across Zvezda, one of the most renowned confectionery and patisserie of Ljubljana. The locals love it for their cakes, but if you happen to be hungry as a wolf, you have to taste both.
Once sat at Zvezda’s great terrace, you will taste delicious creamy or vegan artisan gelato. Then, you will undoubtedly fall for it and wish for trying it on every Summer day. This would be very easy: Zvezda already has four locations in town, and even one in Piran if you make it to the Slovene coast. You will notice that they are frequented by a lot of different people, from old ladies to students but also businessmen, as it is a really sophisticated place. You may even apperceive the Slovene president there!
Zvezda can seem more expansive than the other ice creameries, but I assure you that your 2.50 euros for one scoop are really well invested. There, you can ask for another ice cream that combines two flavors, the Quella ice cream. It will allow you to taste more of what is the town’s biggest gelato selection.
This is a great place if you do not have the chance to be able to eat regular ice cream. Zvezda has a wide range of “special” ice cream made with rice milk, perfect for vegans and intolerants. It also proposes stevia ice cream for diabetics.
When it comes to defining the best tastes, the struggle begins. However, you cannot go wrong with the dark or white chocolate flavors, especially if you associate them with fruity sorbets as mango or even raspberry.
5. Ice Wave
If you have already been through most of the ice creameries of this list and are looking for a refreshing change, Ice Wave is made for you. You may have heard about the concept while scrolling down on Instagram, and now you can taste it for real in Ljubljana, on Copova ulica! You can also try them if you come by the open kitchen market, every Friday from March to October.
This special ice cream is carved from a frozen metal plate, allowing to create amazing sweet waves shaped from fat-free greek yogourt, for example. Wavy ice creams are then the best healthy option in Ljubljana, but you can choose to add a lot of mixings, toppings, sprinkles, and even pancakes if you are really hungry and adventurous.
You can also replace the greek yogurt base with an Italian base, without yogurt flavor, or a creamier one. Concerning the number of toppings, you have a choice between three sizes. The smallest is the Mini Wave, offering one mixing and one topping; the medium size is called Perfect Wave and has two mixings, while the Tsunami one has three of them.
This Spanish franchise is not the most authentic, but the ice cream is good and it offers infinite combinations of flavors and textures, but also temperatures with a hot and cold mix if you choose the Volcano product.
The Volcano is a hot product coming in mini or medium size: it allows you to get both ice cream and sweet crepe. Furthermore, its cone shape will give you the opportunity to eat this without cutlery, while walking along the Ljubljanica or into Tivoli Park.
You may have heard that Ljubljana is sometimes considered as the World’s ice cream capital. This is not only caused by the impressive number of ice creameries housed in town but because of Lolita in particular.
Indeed, according to a 2015 survey driven by SoolNua over 25 000 voters, Lolita won the title of capital of ice cream. Ljubljana has then entered the desired World Ice Cream Index. However, this may seem surprising if you have already put a foot in Ljubljana: you do not find many tourists in front of Lolita’s ice cream counter!
This cute cake shop located in the Filip Mansion is still a popular place in town, but people seem more interested in their cakes and desserts. It indeed serves a great offer of sweet delights prepared by Gorazd Potočnik, a specialist of candied roses and oranges, and chocolate lollipops. You can also find a great variety of pies, biscuits, panna cottas, and mousses. If you enjoy your ice cream in a cone, you can even try their waffle cone!
This lack of success is not linked in any case with the quality of the ice cream, but to the poor choice of flavor, added to the size of the portions, to small for the Slovenes in comparison with Cacao or Vigo.
You can, however, delight yourself with the place’s pink and green decoration: it was indeed nominated for Best International Interior in the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards.
7. Gelateria Romantika
This cute ice cream and waffles place is becoming an institution in Ljubljana. You can also find it at the open kitchen that takes place on the central market location every Friday. Its opening hours are as follows: open from Monday to Thursday between 07:30 and 20:00, on Fridays from 07:30 to 21:00, and on weekends from 09:00 to 21:00.
I particularly recommend their waffles but their gelato is also nice. Its main upside is the great range of flavors it offers, always made with quality and fresh products. It also proposes many different vegans savors with a great variety of plant-based milk.
All of their fruits, herbs, and vegetables come directly from Slovenia, as they originate from local farms in Istria or Prekmurje. Plus, they mostly use products that are guaranteed by a fair trade or ecologic certificate.
Love for Ice Cream
Even choosing between these 7 great ice creameries might be difficult, but I can assure you that none of them will disappoint you if you take this advice into consideration. In any case, do not miss the chance to taste ice cream in Ljubljana: it is especially amazing during Summer to have a refreshing scoop on the banks of the Ljubljanica.
Furthermore, this is not an exhaustive list! There are still plenty of other renowned ice creameries in Ljubljana that are worth visiting, such as the Grefino ice cream bar for example. The most important thing is to make your own opinion according to your taste, knowing that you will unlikely go wrong: most places in Ljubljana are using amazing products and offer wonderful frames that will allow you to appreciate your scoop even more.