Where to Eat Local Food in Ljubljana?

Slovenia is a small and relatively unknown country. Still, I can assure you that it deserves to be put on the top-notch culinary tradition map, thanks to ethnic and authentic foods and high-quality products. As a tourist, your best chance to taste the best of Slovenia’s local food is to discover the outstanding culinary institutions of Ljubljana, the country’s vibrant capital city.

There are many ways to discover the Slovenian food tradition, from culinary workshops to tastings in the heart of Ljubljana’s markets and Open Kitchen. If you want to try Slovenian stews and deserts, you will have the most authentic experience in the best Gostilnas in town, those lovely typical Slovene restaurants.

Here is an overview of the Ljubljana’s traditional restaurants cream of the crop that will allow you to enjoy your Slovenian trip fully. You will also learn where to try the fantastic national pastries and what makes the particularity of this tasteful cuisine.

What is Slovenian Local Food?

Slovenia has an unbelievably rich and vibrant culinary culture, thanks to the influence of its Croatian, Hungarian, Austrian, and Italian neighbors. This diverse and cosmopolitan tradition includes homegrown local products as well as fresh meat, fish, and dairy products. 

Thanks to all of these influences, Slovenia has a particularly abundant tradition that mixes inherited local recipes and variations of extremely famous foreign dishes, such as the Italian risottos, plates of pasta, and pizzas.

The main dishes are simple stews and sauce dishes, but the country actually counts more than 1200 national and traditional specialties. Furthermore, 24 of the best Slovenian food products or dishes are part of the European Union Heritage list. The noblest Slovenian products are, for example, internationally renowned honey and excellent salt picked up in Piran.

Lucky you, who has the chance to visit the beautiful Slovenian capital. You will have an opportunity to taste a significant part of these traditional delicacies in some of the many Slovenian gostilnas, cafés, and even outdoor events! These fantastic places and dishes will definitely surprise you and make you fall in love with the Slovenian culinary tradition.

If you want to learn more about the Slovenian signature dishes before choosing your typical restaurant, you can check our article about the Slovenians favorite food and culinary customs.

Traditional Gostilnas you cannot Miss in Ljubljana

Gostilna Sokol

This ancient building provided with an eventful past is probably the restaurant that will offer you the most immersive experience inside Ljubljana’s culinary wonders. The Sokol Restaurant was built by Jakob Mehle in the exact same spot in 1874 and given its name, which can be translated in English by “The Hawk”. 

Numerous writings show that this place was already one of the finest restaurants in Ljubljana, notably around the year 1879. The site’s current identity was already there: a lovely location with many visitors passing through, a beautiful inside decoration, indigenous wines and products, and above all, significant portions of delicious meals.

The current owners acquired the place in 1998, intending to share and conserve the local cuisine. Both curious tourists and indigenous people love to eat in this fantastic place.In Sokol, you can order everything you can think of to discover the Slovenian tradition: tasting the local spirits and wines is a must, as well as the Slovenian specialty dishes such as mushroom soup in a bread cup. 

The veal stew, venison ragout, porcini risotto, and various roasts and steaks will also definitely satisfy your needs. For the whole experience, you can try pork or Carniolan sausages, the most famous national dish. After that, it will be the perfect time to try the indigenous desserts that include everything from the simple (but delicious) apple strudel to the local rolled dumplings, filled with walnuts or cottage cheese, called struklji.

If you are still eager to taste more of the Slovenian culinary way of life, this place is made for you! You can even come back for a cheap, rich, and delicious Slovenian breakfast that will allow you to start well a great day of visiting.

Gostilna Sokol, Ciril Metodov trg 18, 1000 Ljubljana
Contact: +386 1 439 68 55 / gostilnasokol@siol.net 
Opening hours:
from Monday to Saturday: 07.00 – 23.00
on Sunday and holidays: 10.00 – 23.00
Website: https://en.gostilna-sokol.com/

Slovenska Hiša – Figovec                            

The Figovec restaurant, also called Slovenska Hiša, is one of Ljubljana’s city center oldest inns. There, the fantastic food comes with an ancient and rich history. At first, Figovec was an inn used by cart drivers who made a stop in the city to rest and feed their horses, but above all, to eat scrumptious Slovenian dishes.

You can still feel strongly this tradition of local cuisine made with homegrown products and accompanied by the best Slovenian wines coming from all around the country. In fact, the history of the place dates back to 1776, the United States’ year of independence. In more recent past, this incredible inn/restaurant has reopened at the end of 2017. 

Both meat-eaters and vegetarians will be pleased with an extensive indigenous menu, well-presented food, and unique dishes served in a place carefully decorated to mix modern and authentic influences.                        

Slovenska Hiša Figovec, Gosposvetska cesta 1, 1000 Ljubljana
Contact: +386 (1) 4264410 / info@figovec.si 
Opening hours: Open every day from 11 am to 11 pm.
Website: https://figovec.si/


The restaurant Julija benefits from a great location in the heart of Ljubljana’s medieval city center, in a historical building which successfully combines modern cuisine with authentic vibes. On the menu, you will find a combination of famous traditional and international dishes. 

This place is ideal if you are traveling with people that have different tastes. You will have the chance to enjoy Mediterranean and Slovenian dishes of many kinds like seafood, vegetarian, or grilled dishes. There, the food is really diverse, and traditional recipes are well executed. Plus, they will be sublimated by the best Slovenian wines of the country.

Julija Restaurant, Stari trg 9, 1000 Ljubljana
Contact: +386 (0) 1 425 64 63 / julija.restaurant@masicom.net
Opening hours: Every day from 11.30 to 24.00
Website: http://www.julijarestaurant.com

Druga violina

This adorable gostilna nestled inside the old city center is a unique restaurant with the particularity to employ many people with special needs. This way, it has two great aims: promote social inclusion and acceptance, and make you discover the best of traditional Slovenian dishes. The place also occasionally hosts creative workshops direct towards children, as well as many other events.

You will have the opportunity to choose between Slovenian seasonal dishes, vegetarian and dietary dishes, and grilled dishes, among several other options. Their absolute go-to are the Kranjska Klobasa, their takes on indigenous beef soup and veal stew, and amazing desserts such as the Ljubljanski štrukelj the jabolčni zavitek.

Druga Violina, Stari trg 21, 1000 Ljubljana
Contact: +386 820 52506 / druga.violina@center-db.si 
Opening hours: Closed on Sunday, open from 11 am to 10 pm from Monday to Saturday
Website: https://www.facebook.com/drugaviolina 


Šestica is a local institution opened since 1776, making it an ideal setting to discover indigenous Slovene cuisine: this is one of the oldest restaurants in Ljubljana. It serves the best and most famous local specialties but is also a great spot to socialize with local politicians, artists, and writers in one of the place’s several cozy relaxing rooms.

Tavern Šestica, Slovenska cesta 40, 1000 Ljubljana
Contact: 00386 (0) 12420855 / Info@sestica.si 
Opening hours: Open from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 11 pm, and on Sunday from 12 to 17.
Website: http://www.sestica.si/en/home/ 

Kavarna Zvezda for the Sweet Teeth

If you ever mention your craving for a Slovenian pastry or dessert, every well-advised inhabitant of Ljubljana will recommend you taste one of Zvezda’s sweets. This place is the ultimate reference in town for cakes, from crostatas, strudels, and pies, to raw and vegan cakes, ice cream, and many Slovenian staples such as kremna rezina. 

Kavarna – Slasčičarna Zvezda, Wolfova 14, 1000 Ljubljana Contact: +386 (0)1 421 90 90 / info@zvezdaljubljana.si 
Opening hours: From 7 am to 11 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 10 to 8 on Sunday.
Website: http://www.zvezdaljubljana.si/

Odprta Kuhna, the City’s Open Kitchen

One of Slovenia’s most famous attractions is the open market tradition, with events organized every Friday on the Pogačarjev trg. From mid-March till the end of October, this food market, also called Odprta Kuhna, offers dozens of mouth-watering culinary Slovenian specialties.

About fifty stands allow you to try local meat dishes such as cevapcici or fish, and various specialties such as several kinds of burek, a Yugoslav street food specialty. Numerous Slovenian drinks are also on the menu to complete your discovery of Ljubljana’s cuisine.

This street food market is definitely one of the most pleasant and festive attractions in Ljubljana, and a great chance to try national dishes while spawning with the Slovenes. The food will even be prepared in front of you. However, be careful though: if it rains on a Friday, it means that the open-air food market will unfortunately not take place.

A Whole Culinary Tradition to Discover

Traveling to Ljubljana will satisfy both your travel wants and appetite. As a foodie, you will be delighted by the many different options you have to taste the Slovenian culture in the frame of a beautiful quiet city. After trying some of the mouth-watering gostilnas, discover the sweetness of the Slovene dessert and assist in one of the many one-off events that take place in Ljubljana, such as the Open Kitchen and various other punctual festivals that showcase the Slovenian indigenous food. 

If you are still eager to taste more, what do you think of trying one culinary workshop to learn how to cook a wonderful national dessert, or even to try our Potica recipe?

Thank you for reading our article. We do our best to provide you with first-hand information about Slovenia and its wonders. We know we are not infallible though. In case you encounter any mistakes in our articles or you have any suggestions, please contact us. Let us know how we could improve. It will help us to keep our information updated and deliver to readers the most valuable possible content.  We will gladly take your suggestions!