When I arrived in Slovenia, I admittedly knew very little about the country’s history. I was even less familiar with Slovenian food. Fortunately, Ljubljana Food Tour invited me to take part in their tour my last day in the country!
There are several food tours to choose from in Ljubljana, but our guide Danijel managed to make the tour both fun and informative. He studied history at the University of Ljubljana and was effortlessly able to incorporate Slovenian history and facts about Ljubljana into the experience.
To start off, we explored the fish market, and the neighboring indoor/outdoor markets. The markets were bustling with people over the weekend, but all was quiet that Monday afternoon. A few vendors were still out, and it was nice to walk through without fighting crowds. We sampled štruklji pastry from one of the stalls.
Our first meal experience was at a small restaurant near the Butcher’s Bridge where hundreds of couples have left love locks. Danijel shared tidbits about the bridge’s interesting history as we walked by.
The first course was venison carpaccio, fish pâté, and a Slovenian wine known as “Young Wine.” The food was delicious, and the restaurant offered outdoor seating along the river.
Afterward, we headed over to a traditional Slovenian restaurant closer to the city center. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name! Carniolan sausage (Kranjska Klobasa) and home-made Slovenian beer were ready for us when we arrived. Clearly, I enjoyed the local brew.
After finishing our sausage samples, Danijel led us to a nearby restaurant serving food from the Prekmurje region, near Hungary. Here we tried Bujta Repa, which is a thick soup with turnips, onions, and pork.
It tasted like sauerkraut but less dense. I’m not a huge fan of sauerkraut or cabbage, but I actually really enjoyed the soup. I was thankful to be with the tour, as I would have never considered ordering this on my own!
After some more soup and wine, we checked out Honey House across the street. To be honest, I do not like honey, except in my tea – something about the sticky texture never appealed to me. But the others in the group seemed pleased with the wide selection of natural and infused honey.
Honey House neighbors Piranske Soline – a gourmet salt store featuring products from the seaside town of Piran. Here we sampled salted dark chocolate, which is one of my favorite combinations. I’ve tried hard to lay off sweets on my travels, but I couldn’t resist buying a small candy bar.
Our last stop before dessert was Druga Violina, which means second violin. The name comes from the eatery’s proximity to the local music academy. This restaurant is unique because it serves as a social project as well. Most of the food is from a nearby farm, and Druga Violina hires people with special needs to complete simple tasks on the farm or in the restaurant.
The restaurant only serves traditional Slovenian dishes. We sampled Žlikrofi, a dish similar to ravioli. The kind we tried was filled with meat and covered in a tasty mushroom sauce. Sticking to our history lesson, Danijel explained to us that this was a common dish for miners near the coast.
After all the wine and food, the group was pretty tired. Thankfully our last stop for dessert and coffee provided a much-needed boost! Everyone tried a slice of Prekmurska gibanica – a layered cake, which is a favorite among Slovenians. The name roughly translates to “folded cake.” It’s name is well-deserved given that the cake consists of layers of walnuts, apples, raisins, poppy seeds, and ricotta.
The tour was a fun and delicious way to get better acquainted with Ljubljana and Slovenia. After all, food is one of the most important elements of a country’s culture! The tour runs most days starting at 12:00, and generally lasts 3-4 hours. All food, drinks, and samples are included for 42 EUR. For more information on Ljubljana Food Tour, visit Slovenia Guide’s website.