We had two priorities for our road trip around Slovenia – beautiful nature and amazing food. The country outdid itself on both counts and this post is all about the vegetarian Slovenia. We’d heard that Slovenia was good for vegetarians, but we didn’t expect it to be quite as good as it was. It’s definitely has some of the best vegetarian restaurants we’ve been to and is one of the best places we’ve been to for vegetarian food in Europe, especially the gourmet variety.
The best vegetarian restaurants in Slovenia
Slovenia borders Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia and takes influences from all of them with its own special twist. Every restaurant we went to was more than happy to accommodate vegetarians, and we were continually surprised by the inventive dishes they came up with. This post isn’t for those looking for the cheapest eats they can find (although Slovenia has that to offer too). It’s about the food you eat as a treat – the destination restaurants that are a reason to travel by themselves. They are the meals you linger over, marvel at and dream of for years to come. Our mouths are watering at the memory. These aren’t strictly vegetarian restaurants in Slovenia, but they all had amazing vegetarian options.
Majerija – one of the best vegetarian meals in Slovenia
We had heard about Majerija from Erin and Simon at Never Ending Voyage and knew we had to visit. Set in the rolling hills of the Vipava wine valley, the 300-year-old house has been turned into a homely but high-end restaurant run by a chef and his schoolteacher wife. The cuisine is traditional with a modern twist, and the price is very reasonable for the quality of the food. They had lots of great vegetarian options and we’re sure it must be one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Slovenia. It costs €24 for three courses, and then an extra €4 for each course on top of that (you can have up to 8!). The owners have also recently built a guesthouse on site, and we can only imagine how great the breakfast will be!
This is one of the best meals we have ever eaten and we look forward to the day we return. Here is what we ate, and all of it was delicious…
A beautiful take on a bread roll. We loved these little wraps of cheese.
Homemade ricotta with tarragon, melon and fresh tomato.
Three stuffed vegetables: zucchini with egg cream; tomato with pistachio; aubergine with cream cheese and pepper.
Vegetable cream soup with herb oil and stump mushrooms.
Mlinci, Vipava style, served with bolletus muchrooms and peas sauce.
Aubergine gnocchi with tomatoes, oregano and lemon basil sauce.
Crispy baked pancake with creamy red beet stuffing, pine nuts and lemon thyme sauce.
And, of course, being in the wine valley, the whole meal was paired with beautiful wines. Steve and I particularly enjoyed the orange-coloured Ana Cuvée by Mlecnik. Much of Slovenia wine isn’t exported so it was a real treat to try it there. Other favourites were the Nafa rosé and the Špela and Pinela by Štokelj (named after the grape (pinela) and the current wine queen of Slovenia!).
One of our dishes was Mlinci, a Slovenian / Croatian creation of extremely thin flatbread that is prepared by pouring boiling water over it, a little like pasta. This is Majerija’s homemade raw Mlinci.
Hiša Franko – a gourmet vegetarian meal in Slovenia
Like Majerija, Hiša Franko is a destination restaurant that attracts food lovers from far and wide. The quality of the food is so good that we think it may be on its way to a Michelin Star. Situated at the entrance to the Soča Valley, just an hour from Vipava, it’s the perfect decadent lunch stop for a road trip through the mountains. It also doubles as a guesthouse with beautiful views across the gardens and out towards the mountains. It’s definitely one for special occasions at €42 for three course and €60 for five. It’s certainly worth it for the taste!
We knew we were somewhere special when the first thing to arrive was a lollipop made of cheese!
A little appetizer of cottage cheese in a crispy polenta wrap.
Gazpacho foam with melon and cucumber.
Ravioli of lovage with black truffle oil.
Barley risotto with chanterelles, sweet potato and herb cream.
Mille feuille with biscuit, apricot, cream, coffee and salted caramel.
And a final surprise of little cakes and a creamy berry dessert topped with apricot jam.
Špajza – vegetarian food in Ljubljana
Ljubljana also has a wealth of good restaurants including the charming Špajza, tucked away in the city’s old town with a lovely sun-filled courtyard to enjoy your lunch. We wiled away almost three hours, just enjoying the food and wine – a perfect way to spend a holiday.
An appetizer of tomato, cheese and olive oil with tasty homemade bread.
Wild mushrooms and garlic on a bed of rocket.
Stuffed courgette and mushrooms gnocchi.
And, as with every meal in Slovenia, it was served with delicious local wine.
Vegetarian food in Ljubljana
Some other notable treats in Ljubljana include the brilliant Open Kitchen market, which takes place on Fridays and is a hipster street food heaven.
Finally, the gelato is divine and, in our opinion, as good as Italy’s. Our favourites were the newly opened Vigo,
… and Fetiche beside the river.
This post is part of the Must Love Festivals project. We were invited to Slovenia as guests of Spirit Slovenia, Visit Ljubljana and Expedia. All opinions are, as always, our own. With food like this, you definitely don’t need persuading!