We had no idea how good Slovenian food and wine was going to be and were very pleasantly surprised. We love trying out local food whenever we travel, and it was great having local guide Mateja from Mateja Travel introducing us to new dishes.
There were so many highlights during our week in Slovenia. But one thing that consistently stood out was the cuisine – oh, and the wine too, and the cakes!
Several pounds heavier on our return than when we started out, we have put together a list of some of our favourite Slovenian dishes and foodie experiences we came across on our travels in Slovenia!
Traditional Slovenian Dishes
Bograč is a traditional Slovenian meat stew. The stew consists of four different types of meat—traditionally beef, pork, boar, and venison along with potatoes, onions, spices, wine, and sometimes mushrooms.
This dish is named after ‘bogracs ‘which is a traditional cauldron in which it is still prepared today.
Njoki, the Slovenian version of gnocchi served with pesto that is made with the very distinctive tasting pumpkin seed oil. An excellent choice for vegetarians and my very first Slovenian food in the country. Very enjoyable, indeed!
Kranjska Klobasa / Kranjska Sausage
I try hard to be vegetarian, but I confess I have a weakness for sausages and bacon, and I loved the Kranjska sausage. The Kranjska sausage has been produced in Slovenia since the beginning of the 19th century. It originates from the Alpine Gorenjska region in the north-western part of Slovenia.
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Legend has it that Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria stopped to eat at an inn in Naklo near Kranju. The innkeeper served the emperor with the only food he could offer, a simple homemade sausage. When the Emperor tasted one, he was so impressed that he enthusiastically exclaimed that this was no ordinary sausage, but a Kranjska sausage!
Made with high-quality pork, thick bacon, garlic, salt, pepper, and pig’s intestine – it’s yummy!
Masunjek or masovnik (it depends on which part of Carniola region you are in) is a typical shepherd’s dish, made from sweet and sour cream and a little buckwheat flour. It is best eaten warm and spread on delicious homemade bread, along with sour milk. It’s absolutely delicious.
Žganci With Crackling
Žganci is a typical everyday meal in the Alpine and central districts of Slovenia. The Žganci or buckwheat is burned not cooked to give it its unique flavour. The name Žganci comes from the Slovenian verb žgati meaning to burn or to toast.
This dish pairs very well with stew such as Obara.
Obara is Slovenian food at its best. A deliciously hearty Slovenian stew using various types of meat, offal (glad I didn’t know that in advance!) and lots of vegetables such as onions, celery, carrots, beans, peas and turnips. The stew is often served with žganci.
We devoured and enjoyed the Masunjek, Žganci and Obara at Šenk’s Homestead a lovely looking tourist farm in Jezersko that serves fabulously fresh farm to table dishes. Although we drove through the pouring rain to get here, it was well worth it for the superb warming Slovenian comfort food.
Šenk’s homestead is one of the oldest farms in Jezersko, dating back to 1517. With a stunning mountain backdrop, this would be a fantastic place to stay for a few days to enjoy good food and long walks in the fresh Alpine air. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time for that, but we did get a peek in the guest rooms for future reference – maybe next time!
Cold Cuts And Cheese Platter
Ok, so obviously this food is not unique to Slovenia, but this platter of cold cuts and cheeses were using locally sourced ingredients. They were a lovely side accompaniment to our wine tasting at Meum Winery. More on that later!
For the freshest seafood in Slovenia, you’ll need to head to Piran on the coast. We enjoyed a delicious seafood meal of scallops, octopus, and tuna with truffles at the Pirat Restaurant In Piran.
Istrian Slovenian Breakfast
The best way to follow a seafood meal is to enjoy a traditional Istrian breakfast the following morning. With home-cooked bread, fresh figs and locally sourced cold cuts – salami and pancetta, eggs and cheeses- it’s a great start to the day.
To be honest, I’m generally not a huge fan of prosciutto, but this wasn’t your typical everyday prosciutto – this was, well absolutely delicious.
Pršutarna Ščuka is a family-owned prosciutto drying facility that uses traditional methods. The meats dry on wooden racks and the family manually regulate the pure air of the Karst region into the interior of the prosciuterria. Due to climate change, the drying process now takes a few months longer than it did in the past. You see, proof that climate change is taking place!
The tour was surprisingly fascinating, partly because our guide and host Maja Ščuka was so enthusiastic and bubbly, you just couldn’t help but enjoy the presentation.
After our tour, we enjoyed a superb lunch under the 250-year-old mulberry tree. No prizes for guessing what we had for lunch – prosciutto! Plus pancetta, wild boar prosciutto, deer prosciutto, loads of cheese, home-made bread, figs, olives, wild strawberries and a glass or two of the local Teran wine.
Maybe it was the wine, but after lunch, there’s the opportunity to hand-cut prosciutto slices. It’s definitely a skill – let’s just say it’s not as easy as it looks!
For more information about visiting Pršutarna Ščuka, please take a look here.
Jota is like a thick soup or a vegetable-meat stew. It’s very traditional food from the Primorska Region in Western Slovenia -made with sour cabbage or sour turnips and potatoes, beans and ham or sausages. A yummy winter dish!
Pečenica (White Sausage)
Pečenica is a white sausage, similar to the German bratwurst and comes served with sauerkraut and crackling.
Another Slovenian Dish Featuring Pečenica
This one was served with krvavica (blood sausage), bacon with sauerkraut, crackling and pražen krompir. Pražen krompir translates as roasted potatoes, but they are really more like deliciously semi-mashed, semi-sautéed potatoes – yum!
Ajdova Kaša Z Jurčki is Great Slovenian Food For Vegetarians
The Slovenians do like their meat, but I can’t do meat every day so was very excited to find this dish on the menu. It’s made from buckwheat and mushrooms and tastes a lot better than it looks!
The mushrooms are called Jurček in Slovenian, which also means a silly person! Was Mateja trying to tell me something? !
Ćevapi or Čevapčiči – Bosnian Food!
On our last day and for a change from Slovenian food, we opted for some Bosnian food. We headed to Sarajevo 84 in Ljubljana and had the Ćevapi or Čevapčiči.
It is a bit like a kebab, and it’s usually served in five or ten pieces. Of course, we had ten each. It is served in a flatbread (lepinje or somun), with chopped onions, sour cream, kajmak (a cream cheese similar to clotted cream), ajvar, feta cheese, minced red pepper and salt.
Slovenia Cakes and Desserts
Kremšnita (The Famous Bled Cream Cake)
People say you can’t visit Lake Bled and not try the Bled Cream Cake and who am I to argue. Any excuse to eat cake is just fine with me.
They are made fresh every day using butter, eggs, cream, flour, and sugar with no preservatives, colourants, or other additives, which is why they are made fresh every day. Absolutely yummy!
Another traditional cake we tried in Bled was the Blejska Garmada. It is made from pastry, vanilla cream, raisins, rum, nuts and whipped cream on the top. Jonathan being a big fan of anything that contains rum quickly devoured his cake.
Potica/Sweet Doughnut Roll
Potica is a traditional Slovenian holiday cake in Slovenia. It is quite rich, so it is usually only baked on important occasions, such as Easter or Christmas or when Jonathan and I come to visit.
It’s a rolled pastry made with leavened paper-thin dough and filled with various fillings, but most popular is the walnut filling. I’m not a massive fan of walnuts but have to say the potica we tried was delicious.
Trojane doughnuts are huge. Our lovely host Mateja was always worried that Jonathan and I would starve to death if we hadn’t eaten anything for at least an hour. Fortunately, Jonathan and I love eating, and I never say no to the sweet stuff.
Trojane doughnuts are made with one part jam to five parts dough. We enjoyed blueberry and apricot jam doughnuts. Located on Štajerska Highway in central Slovenia, this is a must-stop on any road trip.
Wasn’t sure whether to put this dish under main foods or as a dessert but as we had it for afternoon tea, I’m placing it here.
Štruklji is a traditional Slovene dish. It’s made of dough and various fillings. The most common ingredients of the pastry are flour – usually buckwheat or wheat– mixed with egg, warm water, oil and salt. The mixture can be either sweet or savoury; the most common fillings are apple, cottage cheese, poppy seed, tarragon or walnut.
Štruklji can be steamed, boiled in water, baked or fried. Often served with either meat and gravy, (see my dilemma!!) but ours came with cream, so it’s a dessert!
Home “baked” pear rakija/šnops.
Mateja’s father made this in the year Mateja was born, that’s 44 years years ago! He had promised to open it for her wedding, but chatting with Jonathan was a far more important occasion lol.
Honestly, I don’t know how anybody can drink this stuff; just the smell makes me feel nauseous. But Jonathan, who speaks no Slovene and Mateja’s father who speaks no English, managed to communicate perfectly through the language of schnapps!
Riddle: Mateja’s father has lived in the same village all his life but lived in four different countries ?. How can that be?
Who knew that Slovenian wine was so good? We didn’t, well not until we enjoyed a wine tasting experience at Meum Winery. From Chardonnay to Rosé, from Traminec to Modri Pinot – they were all excellent quality. I’m no wine connoisseur, but I do enjoy a good glass of wine, and this was good. Have to say they were far better than most of the wine we have had in Malta, our current home!
And as we were eating at our host Mateja’s home that night, it only made sense to pick up a bottle or two for dinner.
We hope you enjoyed our list of Slovenian food and drink delights. We certainly enjoyed trying them. Did we miss anything out? What’s your favourite Slovenian food? Tell us in the comments below.
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Disclaimer: We explored Slovenia as guests of Mateja Travel. However, all opinions are entirely and genuinely our own. We wouldn’t recommend anything that we hadn’t enjoyed and experienced firsthand.
Traditional Slovenian Foods looks pretty tempting. It activated my taste buds
I sent this off to my friend Primoz, who lives near the Slovenian capital city, which I can never spell. He introduced me to Chevapi the last time he was in Portland, and I’m sure he will be interestsd to read your impressions of his local cuisine.
Thanks Tom. We stuffed and stuffed ourselves. It was amazing. Nice, fresh and just different enough to be interesting.
Primoź, my friend in Slovenia, after reading your posts about his home country, wrote back to me and said, “…..everything written in there is true.” Not that there was ever any doubt…..lol.
Excellent Tom! Thank you. ?. We strive to tell it like it is.
David and I loved Slovenia and would love to return, especially after reading your article!
I have not been to Slovenia, but I have been to Slovakia where I had the best corn-pancaces! 😀
Love food – wherever I go, whichever country I visit, local food is one thing I certainly look out for. Haven’t been to Slovenia but these mouthwatering dishes are certainly luring me. Would love to try the stew and plenty of wine to go with.
Amazing! I spent only two days in Slovenia and really liked the food – albeit, it’s very meaty and heavy. What I found really fascinating was the mix between the Italian, Balkan, and Turkish cuisines with an Austro-Hungarian twist – according to the cultures that ruled Slovenia in the past.