The Nutshell Guide to Ljubljana’s restaurants

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As trade winds are keeping me harboured in Ljubljana, and as the Eurobasket is already in full swing, I thought it would make sense to share some nuggets on where to eat, as Slovenia has so much to offer in terms of culinary pleasures, providing both Mitteleuropa’s greasy comforts and Mediterranean delicacies. Furthermore, the inclement economics is sadly keeping this small but glorious nation down, and Slovenes, courteous and wonderful as they are, should take pride in their lovely country and food. The following places are not the ones for a lash on Lasko and cutting into Kranjska (Sokol is great for that!), but more of a showcase of Slovenia’s great culinary tradition:

1. JB

Most ambitious of Ljubljana’s restaurants, lauds itself as being one of the Top 50 restaurants in the world, according to, a relatively obscure, San Pellegrino’s list. Despite pomposity, and the overlit interior, the food and wine are amazing and service impeccable. Two taster menus offer plenty to sample, but real stand outs are beetroot extravaganza with this humble root served in various ways and snails. Scallops are alos good, but I would avoid the bizzare combination of oilve oil and heavy creamy ice-cream.

2. Spajza

Although the staff can seem a bit too officious, and house proud, Spajza offeres a very warm atmosphere and is best enjoyed sitting in the graden on a warm summer’s day. Octopus is great and so is horse so there is plenty to choose from. Wine list again, is impeccable and recommendations apt. I wouldn’t miss anjoying some good fish with Movia’s Veliko Belo.

3. Vander

Vander urban resort is a well designed hotel in the very historic heart of Ljubljana and has an amazing restaurant which offers a limited, well priced, and beautifully executed fare. Charcuterie platter, with Slovenian prosciutto is great, while sea-bass is to die for, especially with Movia’s delectable Sauvignon.

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4. Gostilna XXI

Gostila XXI tries to bring a breath of fresh air into Ljubljana’s standard offer and the owner and chef admitted to being inspired by Belgrade’s Zaplet and Diagonala, which is always a good thing. There is no mistake in ordering here and the informal setting makes it the most appealing of the restaurants here for a relaxed dinner with friends.

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5. Fejstmeni

Great fresh sandwiches, quiches and salads await in this well designed deli. Cakes are amazing and do not miss the cheasecake.

6. Valvas’or

Valvas’or’s location and location makes it a perfect spot for a relaxed dinner. I would check out the foie gras and would focus on the fish. Prices are a bit high, but the service makes it worth it.

7. As

Although it does have traces of nineties sleaze (like, say, Knez in Belgrade) As offers a good, albeit overpriced fare…and great breadsticks which are best enjoyed with the local micro-brewed Kratochwill beer (more of an IPA).

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Best of the rest:

Kaffetino offers a barrista exeprience in the centre of Ljubljana.

Zvezda and Cacao have amazing gelatos that are not to be missed.Lolita’s not too bad either.

Paninoteka has a great breakfast menu, and you should try the truffled eggs.

Foculus and Osmica offer decent and huge pizzas.

Should you go to lovely Piran – check out Gostilna pri Mari.

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