Where to eat in Ljubljana – Slovenian cuisine and gastronomy in Ljubljana

  1. Tips for studying abroad in Ljubljana – Study abroad in Ljubljana
  2. How to get to Ljubljana – Getting to Ljubljana by plane, train, bus or car
  3. Public transport in Ljubljana
  4. Accommodation for students in Ljubljana & Cost of living
  5. Save money in Ljubljana - Tips for living in Ljubljana on a student budget
  6. Ljubljana neighbourhoods – The most important districts of Ljubljana
  7. Ljubljana Nightlife – A guide to nightclubs and going out in Ljubljana’s
  8. Where to eat in Ljubljana – Slovenian cuisine and gastronomy in Ljubljana
  9. The best things to do in Ljubljana
  10. Festivals in Ljubljana – Festivals and events in Ljubljana
  11. Day trips from Ljubljana – Places to visit and Excursions around Ljubljana
  12. Ljubljana in 3 days – what to see and do in 3 days

There are different influences to the Slovenian kitchen from centuries under the rule of Austro-Hungarians. Furthermore the neighbouring countries like Italy and Croatia play their part in Slovenian cuisine. Nevertheless in Ljubljana you can still find traditional dishes alongside with more modern one. Some traditional dishes are the following:

  1. Beef tongue might be a bit weird to taste but it is a speciality in Slovenia. It is servedwith pea puree and horseradish sauce and slices of warm pear encircle the tongue. The meat is rather juicy and marbled with fat.
  2. Frog legs are especially eaten in Eastern Slovenia but it is also a traditional dish for Ljubljana and it has been declared as the basis of the traditional city cuisine of Ljubljana. It is served as an appetiser on the menu of a restaurant.
  3. Pražen krompir are roasted potatoes and the most spread dish in Slovenia. The potatoes are cooked for 40 minutes in simmering water and are fried then with onions. That is the basic recipe and it can be added mushrooms, vegetables or bacon.
  4. Flying žganci is prepared different in every region in Slovenia. It is rich in energy, gives a lot of carbohydrates and the translation would be fried chicken drumsticks and wings. This dish was eaten by poor people as well as by rich people and served for breakfast and lunch. It is prepared from buckwheat, corn, wheat or barley flour, sometimes also from groats or potatoes.
  5. Kranjska klobasa is a typical Slovenian meat dish and its translation would be pork and bacon sausage. The product itself is mentioned in the beginning of the 19th century and a butcher in Upper Carniola invented it. Nowadays it is spread all over Slovenia and seasoned with garlic and pepper.
  6. Štruklji is one of the most characteristic Slovenian dishes that is prepared in every gastronomical region in the country. You can eat it as a savoury or as a sweet dish and it is prepared for everyday and festive occasions. They are boiled, steamed, baked or fried rolls and the sweet variation consists of cottage cheese and walnut filling with buckwheat.
  7. Potica is a nut bread which will be traditionally served for Easter and Christmas in Slovenia. Its yeast dough will be rolled and stretched paper thin whereas the filling consists of walnuts, butter, eggs, cream, and honey or sugar.
  8. Slovenia is famous for the Apple Strudel as well. You can guess the Austrian influence here as the country was ruled for some time by the Austrians. The dough is quite fluffy and you add slices of apples which will be cooked in the oven then within the dough. Furthermore for the taste, typically cinnamon, almonds and raisins are added. You might want to try this dessert in the cold seasons as it is served hot and it warms you up. But if you know you're coming Ljubljana once and really want to try it, just order it, no matter the season.

I will first list some of the place for traditional Slovenian food and go on with the places most students will visit due to the Studentski boni system.

Where to eat traditional dishes


This seafood restaurant located at Vodnikov Trg 5 serves fresh fish snacks like grilled Istrian sardines for 4,90€, grilled salmon fillet for 6,90€. Lunch is served from Monday until Saturday between 10am and 2pm. As starters they also have langoustine soup, a black risotto with cuttlefish and a mixed seafood salad. Their main dishes would be fresh-caught Adriatic and crus-taceans that are grilled, poached or roasted. The opening hours are:

  • Monday to Friday from 10am until 11pm
  • Saturday from 9am until 11pm
  • Sunday from 12am until 11pm

Furthermore they have a fish market where they offer homemade codfish spread, local octopus, different olive oils from Slovenian Istria, Greek olives, fruit juice from Slovenian farms. They do their own pasta from buckwheat and of spelled kamutove flour. I already talked about the Open Kitchen in Ljubljana every Friday from Spring to Autumn. Valentin has a street food stand there as well.

Pri Kuklju

Pri Kuklju (Trubarjeva cesta 31) is one of Slovenia's oldest traditional, family-runned restaurant whose history goes back to the 19th century. The restaurant's speciality are potica rolls, often served as part of themed meals related to festive traditions (it is a traditional nut bread served at Easter and Christmas in Slovenia. It is a yeast dough rolled paper thin and spread with ground walnuts, butter, eggs, cream, honey and sugar). The opening hours are:

  • Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 12am until 10pm
  • Saturday from 12am until 10pm
  • Sunday from 11am until 6pm
  • Monday and Tuesday it is closed.

The restaurant also offers a wide choice of wines from all Slovenian wine-growing regions. It has its own cake shop and bakery. Booking a table in advance might be necessary and it is a bit pricey.

Restavracija Strelec

The restaurant is located in the Shooters’ Tower of Ljubljana castle. They have an authentic historical atmosphere and really good traditional Slovenian cuisine (e. g. beef tongue, boiled oxtail, frog legs). As it is located in the castle, besides traditional Slovenian food you will find dishes from the medieval times. Here are some dishes you can try at the restaurant: Selection of salamis, biosing minced bacon and pickled vegetables for 15€, castle soup of the day for 6€, pasta stuffed with duck liver, duck tongues and onion soup for 15€ and grilled cauliflower, cauliflower stalks, goat cottage cheese dumplings, breadcrumbs roasted on brown butter and matured cheese foam for 14€. As you can see from the prices, it is quite expensive so be aware of that if you want to go there. The opening hours are:

  • Monday to Saturday from 12am until 10pm
  • On public holidays it is closed.

You definitely should book a table in advance as this restaurant is quite popular and a lot of people like to go to the castle to eat in such historic surroundings.

Gostilna Ledinek

This restaurant is located at the hill Šmarna Gora (Šmarna Gora 4) near Ljubljana. If you managed your walk up, grabbing something to eat at this place is a good idea. The staff serves traditional Slovenian dishes like ričet barley stew, jota bean and sauerkraut stew, sauerkraut with buckwheat žganci (traditional Slovenian lumpy dish of boiled buckwheat flour, shredded and sprinkled with melted fat), Carniolan sausage, and štruklji rolls filled with cottage cheese and tarragon. They have homemade bread as well with wild garlic for example and walnuts. With nice weather you can sit outside, enjoy the sun and eat nice traditional food. The opening hours are:

  • Monday to Sunday from 7am until midnight

Gostilna Sokol

The restaurant is in an old townhouse in the center of Ljubljana (Ciril-Metodov trg 18). In here you will not only be able to taste traditional Slovenian food but also have a live show experience as the restaurant is decorated in the style of a traditional rural Slovenian restaurant, has paintings from the 19th century and the guests can listen to Slovenian music while the waiters serve the dishes in national costumes. The house specialities are mushroom soup in a bread bowl (5€), Carniolan sausage (8€) and homemade draft beer (2,70€ to 3,50€). You can sit outside and the opening hours are:

  • Monday to Saturday from 7am until 11pm
  • Sunday and public holidays from 10am until 11pm


Let’s get to desserts. You will definitely find your way to Cacao as they serve one of the best ice creams you will find in the city. A lot of people sit outside as it is located next to the river and you have a beautiful view over the old buildings of the Old Town and the Central Market's colonnade. They offer home-made ice cream, cakes, sweet delights, sandwiches, cocktails, and natural juices. If you have any intolerances you can also ask for lactose-free, vegan or gluten-free sweets.

The opening hours are:

Winter period

  • Monday to Thursday 8am until 10pm
  • Friday and Saturday 8am until 11pm
  • Sunday and public holiday 8am until 10pm

Summer period

  • Daily from 8am until 1am

Kavarna Zvezda

In this café (Wolfova 14) close to Kongresni trg you can try different cakes and other sweets: home-made biscuits, macaroons, ice cream, marmalade, cup cakes, handmade chocolate pralines and different kinds of lollipops. They also serve raw and vegan cakes if you want to try that. The prices are alright for students and the quality of everything is very good. The opening hours are:

  • Monday to Saturday from 7am until 11pm
  • Sunday from 10am until 8pm

Studentski boni places

If you want to eat with the Studentski boni you should do it until 8pm in the evening because otherwise it is not valid anymore. Some restaurants also offer it just until 6pm in the evening, so check that out before going there and being disappointed because you cannot use the bonus system anymore. But if you go after your university classes or before doing something in the evening, it is no problem. You can order just before 8pm at some places as well and even though the time is over you get your food with the student menu as long as you ordered before 6pm or 8pm. The restaurants offer tap water for free as well so if you do not want to order a special drink or something, going along with the tap water is a good option.

Joe Penas and Cantina Mexicana

If you want to eat Mexican food, Joe Penas (Cankarjeva cesta 6) and Cantina Mexicana (Knafljev prehod 2) are the places to go to. At Joe Penas they have different dishes every day of the week. You choose a main course (e. g. Grilled vegetables with fajita marinade. served with flour tortillas, pico de gallo, grated cheese, sour cream and rice) and get a starter (a soup) and a dessert (a fruit) as well. The meal is between 3-4€ and the opening hours are:

  • Monday to Thursday from 10am until 1am
  • Friday and Saturday from 10am until 2.30am
  • Sunday from 12pm until 22pm

Some students prefer Cantina Mexicana over Joe Penas. You can either choose a soup or a salad as starter (e. g. tomato soup or chicken salad) and the main courses are either with meat or vegetarian (e. g. Quesadilla with bacon or vegetarian fajitas). The prices are about the same as Joe Penas for the menu and the opening hours are:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Sunday and holidays from 10am until 1am
  • Wednesday and Thursday from 10am until 2am
  • Friday and Saturday from 10am until 3am

Pizzeria FoculuS

This Pizzeria is a bit hidden in a backstreet (Gregorčičeva ulica 3) and the interior is country-style. They have an old green bicycle at the entrance and you sit down at wooden tables. Inside are round arches and the light is smooth. Again the soup is the starter and the fruit the dessert. As the pizzas are so big you can easily share them with another person so you only pay for one student meal but take it for two. They have all kinds of pizzas, vegetarian and vegan ones as well as with meat and seafood. The quality is good and it is always crowed as a lot of people like to go to that place.

The opening hours are:

  • Daily from 11am until midnight, including public holidays

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is a traditional Indian restaurant right in the center of Ljubljana (Poljanska cesta 14) close to Daktari. The interior is like you would expect it in an Indian restaurant and you have the possibility to sit on the ground with pillows to eat your food. The student menu is 4€, so this restaurant is one the more “expensive” ones from the studentski boni system, but still, 4€ for such a good meal is nothing. You can choose between a soup or fried vegetables as a starter. The main course would be something like beef with green peppers, onion and tomatoes cocked in Punjabi sauce or cauliflower and potatoes prepared with onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and fresh coriander. You either choose rice or Naan bread to it. As a dessert you get a fruit. The opening hours are:

  • Monday to Friday from 11am until 10pm
  • Saturday and Sunday from 12pm until 10pm

Abi Falafel

Abi Falafel (Trubarjeva cesta 40) was Slovenia's first Middle Eastern snack bar and is located close to the Dragon Bridge in Ljubljana. It is a famous place for students and the falafel sandwiches are of good quality, you can watch the staff preparing them for you. For starter you can choose between a salad and a soup and get an apple as a dessert. They have a vegeatrian menue, a meat one and a gluten free one for the students and you only pay around 2,50€ for the starter, a big, filling sandwich and an apple. The opening hours are:

  • Monday to Wednesday from 9am until midnight
  • Thursday to Saturday from 9am until 1am
  • Sunday from 1pm until 10pm


At this restaurant (Trubarjeva 56) the student price is 3,37€ with a soup or a salad as a starter and a dessert for finish. The restaurant itself serves authentic food from Africa, Asia and South America and it is very delicious. The people working in the restaurant are migrants so the managers give those people a working future in Slovenia and wants to build a bridge the understanding gap between migrants and locals. Therefore if you eat at Skuhna, it is not only about the food but about the stories of food, the people preparing it, the countries it comes from, the pots that are used etc. Each day of the week you find another menu prepared by the cooks from a different country of the Global South (India, Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Philippines, Argentina, Bangladesh, Morocco, Kenya, Algeria, Cuba, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal, Gambia).


If you feel like having some Indian food (spicy or not spicy) the Tandoori take away is a good option. It is close to the Dragon Bridge as well (Trubarjeva cesta 60) and the staff is really nice they sometimes chat with you if you have to wait for your food. The starter is a soup and the dessert and apple. You can sit down at that place to have your tandoori sandwich but it is quite small, so it might be better to take it with you and enjoy it either at home or at the river. The sandwiches are big as well and freshly made while you are waiting. You can choose between a vegeatrian one or one with meat and they add hummus, salad, chickpeas and a spicy or not spicy sauce to it. It is filling as well, the student menu costs 2,50€ and the opening hours are:

  • Monday to Friday from 11am until midnight
  • Saturday and Sunday from 1pm until 10pm

Radha Govinda

This restaurant is not in the center of Ljubljana but close to the student organisation at the opposite of Tivoli park. It might be best to bike there, walking from the center is possible as well. They have a big buffet and with the student meal you pay for one plate and can take as much as you want to on this plate. This is really dempting so try not to overeat yourself so you might have abdomial pain in the end. Everything they prepare is vegetarian and vegan, they have tofu dishes but also dishes with potatoes, pasta, vegetables etc. You pay 3,20€ for everything and the food is of good quality as they prepare it themselves freshly in the kitchen. The staff is very friendly and on sunny days you can sit in an outside area covered with a canopy. The opening hours are:

  • Monday to Friday from 11am until 7pm
  • Saturday from 11am until 6pm

The little things that come to your stomach

You wouldn’t maybe expect that but in Slovenia you will find burek in bakeries. Originally from Turkey, the Slovenes seem to like it and you can find it with every filling (cheese, meat, spinach, also sweet with jam or apples).

Furthermore they have buns filled with pudding and chocolate that are huge! At a local bakery they might cost 70Cent per bun and the burek is only a bit more than 1€. A lot of international students like to eat it on their way home to a party or as a snack between courses.

Important! If you order a hot chocolate in any café and expect a liquid warm drink with the taste of chocolate you might get a surprise. A hot chocolate in Slovenia is something totally different than a cacao you can order. The cacao is the drink you are expecting. The hot chocolate is like a warm pudding, served in a glass with a spoon. If you like sweet stuff and are happy with a pudding, go for it. But if you feel like having a hot drink that tastes like chocolate, order the cacao.

Ljubljana Food Tour

On this tour (for 39€) you will visit 5 different styles of restaurants in Ljubljana and taste 5 different dishes (5 drinks are included as well). To get to know the different cuisine in Ljubljana/ Slovenia you will visit a street food restaurant, a traditional gostilna, two modern restaurants and a catering shop that offers food. Furthermore you will visit the Central Market to see local food sold on an everyday basis and the vegetable gardens that are located in the Krakovo area. It lasts 3 hours and you start at the Ljubljana Tourist Information Center. The tour is offered Wednesdays and Saturdays at 12am as well as in November on Thursdays at 12am. You will need to book the tour beforehand if you want to participate.

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    Comments (1 comments)

    • flag- Martine Ronsse one year ago

      April 2023 - we looked for Tandoori, it doesn't exist anymore. We went to Taj Mahal and had a delecious meal

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