Flavours of Central Slovenia
Food has always been a synonym for hospitality and Slovenians like to host and treat their guests with the best and most typical food that a household or a region has to offer. On your trip to the Central Slovenian region, you can enjoy Slovene cuisine in its authentic environment – in traditional village pubs and on homesteads.
You’ll find the greatest masterpieces created by modern restaurants chefs and traditional gostilnas, as well as a variety of different foods, food produce and a choice of house specials offered by tourist farms.
Central Slovenia woodlands offer an abundance of mushrooms and different forest fruits, family run orchards produce healthy fruits, from which they extract the most delicious juices, while tasty cheese is made from free range cow’s and goat’s milk. Central Slovenia offer beekeepers a healthy environment for bees to produce quality honey, which is the essence for their apiary products and honey based beverages.
Central Slovenia may not have vineyards, but wine lovers are still well catered for as it offers a full choice of wines from the three Slovenian wine regions. You can quench your thirst not only with wine, but also with excellent spring waters, several varieties of beer, and tasty herbal teas.
Where can you encounter the traditional Slovene cuisine and go for the local flavours? For centuries, Slovenian pubs (the so-called gostilnas) have been a central point for the social life and the indulgence in good food and wine. Traditionally they are family run businesses and the hosts will not just cater to your needs, but welcome and treat you as their home guest. The dishes are inspired by domestic cuisine and are often prepared on the basis of old family recipes, handed down from one generation to the next with a reputation that goes beyond local boundaries.
One of the well-known and praised gostilnas in Central Slovenia is Gostilna Repnik, situated near medieval town Kamnik (just 25 km from Ljubljana). It has been popular ever since its grand opening in 1964. They live and create tradition. Through the years they upgraded their past down ancestral knowledge and upgraded it with modern techniques and aesthetic, fusing all of these elements to create a meal that you will remember fondly for the rest of your life. And if you happen to decide and accompany your meal with some superior quality wine from their wine cellar, they can guarantee your experience will be even more memorable. The restaurant also serves horse meat dishes and freshwater fish, and bakes its own bread.
“With us you will be able to experience true hospitality, along classic and traditional dishes, we can also offer you exquisite local meals under the mark Taste Kamnik.” Primož Repnik, owner
Gostilna Grič, Horjul
Another great tip to explore the local flavours is Gostilna Grič, located in the village of Šentjošt, about 20 Km out of Ljubljana. Their cuisine is influenced by Slovenian cultural and historical heritage spiced with a modern twist, utilizing all the ingredients such as vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat, and dry-cured meat products from local farms, with only a handful of rare exceptions. All of the spirits and liqueurs offered at the restaurant are homemade and they also serve duck from their own ecological duck farm, while all the meat and sweet water fish are farmed and wild-caught by local small farmers. With time in season, the dishes on the menu are constantly changing, so the guests have the best experience in the palate of the given moment.
“No need for long stories. It’s simple, the season, the weather, the surrounding nature is what you see on your plate”. Luka Košir, chef
Craft Breweries in the Region
Slovenia has two main and very popular breweries, Laško and Union; the latter is even situated in Ljubljana. But the Central Slovenia region is where about 10 craft breweries brew best and unique beers. The most acclaimed are HumanFish and Mali grad.
HumanFish brewery is a pioneer of the Slovenian and European craft beer movement, situated in Vrhnika which is easily accessible for visitors with just a short drive or bicycle ride to the southwest of Ljubljana. Founded back in 2008 the brewery is located in the former premises of a 120-year-old dairy farm. They handcraft fine ales from English, Belgium and German malts and combine them with Slovenian hops, famous for its quality. You can order a glass of HumanFish beer in many bars and pubs around the country, but for the best tasting experience, you should visit the Brewery, take a tour, see how they produce the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drink in the world and savour in a wide variety of their beers.
»Our beers are known for their drinkability and we also make a range of true-to-style, session and speciality beers«. Matthew Charlesworth
Mali Grad Brewery
Mali Gard brewery is located in a beautiful medieval town Kamnik in northern Slovenia, below the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. Established in 2014 by a young couple, Anja and Urban Florjančič, created from their love of good beer and the desire to realize their own ideas and creativity. With the name of the brewery they honoured their home town, calling it Mali grad (“The Small Castle”) which is the town’s most evocative and identifiable symbol. In their pursuit of quality, the Brewery’s ales are brewed using only the best ingredients and recipes. With their own unique touch they recreate traditional English style ales and modern American styles brews. All of their ales are bottle conditioned for extra depth of flavour and aroma. Recently they even opened their own pub in Kamnik, where you can taste their brews first hand and even chat with the owners.
“Our vision is to satisfy the taste buds of experienced beer lovers and offer them a vast variety of styles. Cheers!” – Anja in Urban Florjančič