23 Best Restaurants in Ljubljana for Food Lovers

Travels On Point Affiliate Disclosure Statement

Ljubljana (loo-blee-AH-nah) is a bit of a foodie mecca; it has high quality, varied and truly wonderful restaurants and is one of the reasons Ljubljana is worth seeing.

I visited for three days during Advent season, a busy time for tourists and locals and experienced the lively restaurant scene easily by walking through the historic center and talking with locals.

It is such a magical city with the castle, medieval architecture, bridges and winding cobblestone streets that eating here is a double pleasure!

👉 Highlights of Ljubljana’s Restaurants:

  • a focus on traditional foods and fresh local ingredients
  • Jota – (traditional stew of potatoes, beans, sauerkraut) found all over the city
  • Italian-influenced Mediterranean, Asian, and International cuisine choices
  • Freshly caught seafood; trout is a regional specialty
  • Many restaurants have vegetarian options
  • Many are housed in historic buildings, including Ljubljana castle and courtyard

Restaurants in Ljubljana – Quick Guide

If you are in a hurry, here is a short list of best restaurants for different tastes:

And here are two excellent Food Tours to get acquainted with the cuisine and local restaurants:

Street with restaurants in Ljubljana

There is pride and passion evident in the quality of food and focus on local ingredients and Slovenian heritage: dumplings, stew, sauerkraut, buckwheat pasta, sausage and traditional flatbread are local foods found in many restaurants

Young chefs have returned from abroad bringing back creativity and excellent fusion cuisine.

23 Best Restaurants in Ljubljana – Full List

I’ve selected these restaurants based on my experience visiting Ljubljana for several days plus careful research for quality, local and regional cuisine, atmosphere and location in or near the historic centre. Enjoy!

1) TaBar: Slovenian Tapas

TaBar is a vibrant tapas restaurant in the historic centre with traditional Slovenian dishes and a modern spin. Try their version of Jota stew or Slovenian-inspired tapas.

They also have tasting menus and an excellent selection of Slovenian wines. Vegetarian/Vegan options.

If the weather is good, the candlelit courtyard is lovely.

  • The prices are reasonable, and it’s located at Stari trg 3. They are open from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM (closed on Sundays). In historic center.

👉 Local Food TIPJota is often called Slovenia’s national dish. There are variations of Jota in the entire Balkan region; the Slovenian version most often has pork, beans, potatoes and sauerkraut.

slovenian jota - traditional stew found in restaurants in Ljubljana
Slovenian jota

2) Gostilna As: Elegant Slovenian Fusion

Gostilna As is an elegant restaurant tucked away in a courtyard It is one of the most well-known restaurants in Ljubljana which has traditional Slovenian food and fusion. And an excellent wine selection with over 300 varieties.

They specialize in handmade pasta and have a good selection of fine Slovenian wines. Don’t miss their Idrija žlikrofi, delicate dumplings stuffed with potato filling.

  • You’ll find it at Čopova ulica 5, and they’re open from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM. High-end dining and prices reflect this.

3) Druga Violin: Special Local Experience

My Airbnb host recommended Druga Violina. What a special place! This is a small local cafe that employs special needs people.

When you arrive, you are given a piece of paper with the daily offerings (simple Slovenian meals).

There are two or three options for lunch that come with a dessert. You check off what you want and find a small cosy table.

traditional stew at Druga Violian restaurant, Ljubjlana
Simple Slovenian stew at Druga Violina

I had a beef stew with homemade bread and a piece of cake for dessert. The food was simple and delicious and the atmosphere cozy and welcoming.

I came back a second time and a young man working there brought out an accordion and played a couple of songs for us in the cozy dining area.

They offer simple Slovenian meals with a vegetarian option. The prices are low, the food is good and the cause is wonderful.

  • Hours: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm Daily. Closed Sunday. Location: Stari trg. 21. In the city centre.

4) Hisa Pod Gradom: Traditional Slovenian

Traditional Slovenian food in a 16th-century building located right under the castle. They get consistently excellent reviews for friendly service, historic atmosphere and excellent traditional Slovenian dishes.

The wild boar and the Gobinica (traditional layered cake with cottage cheese and poppyseed) are two examples of the local dishes. Vegetarian-friendly/Vegan options.

Located at Streliska ulica 10. Hours: Monday-Friday: 10 AM-11 PM. Saturday-Sunday: 11 AM-11 PM.

👉 Hiso Pod Grodom also offers excellent lodging

5) Restavracija Strelec: Dining in the Castle/One Michelen Star

Located in Ljubljana Castle, Restavracija Strelec offers the unique experience of medieval-inspired cuisine in a castle!

Archer's Tower, Ljubljana Castle, home to Strelec Restaurant
Ljubljana Castle and Archer’s Tower

Strelec is located in the Archer’s Tower portion of the castle, so the views are excellent of the city and mountains.

The chef has deconstructed traditional Slovenian recipes with the help of an ethnographer and then inserted creative twists.

Several tasting menus are offered. Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten Free options.

  • Located in the Archer’s Tower of Ljubljana Castle. Grajska planta 1. They’re open from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Prices reflect the Michelin Star.

6) Gujžina: Vegetarian Regional Specialties

Gujžina’s menu is quite interesting; it’s a vegetarian restaurant specializing in regional cuisines, especially from Prekmurge, a lowland area in northeast Slovenia.

Two of the unique offerings are as a soup made with cabbage and fermented turnips and gnochhi dish with pumpkin seed pesto. Many dishes feature vegan “meats” and “ham”.

  • Prices are moderate, and it’s located at Gornji trg 24. They’re open from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM (closed on Sundays).

7) Klobasarna: Carniolan Sausage

If you’re looking for a quick and authentic snack or meal, Klobasarna is the place. The only thing on the menu is the high quality heritage Carniolan sausage, served with a Kaiser roll, mustard and and fresh horseradish.

  • Budget-friendly option and can be found at Ciril-Metodov trg 15. They’re open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

👉 Local Food TIP – Carniolan sausage has a geographical heritage protection and can only be made by a limited number of certified producers. Find out more about it here.

8) Julija: Mediterranean/Slovenian

A small, romantic place in the medieval center, with a bright French and Austrian inspired interior. Julija has Mediterranean-inspired dishes with a Slovenian twist. Vegetarian friendly.

This is one of the most popular restaurants in Ljubljana and reservations are recommended.

  • Mid-range prices. You’ll find it at Stari trg 9. They’re open from 11:30 to 10:00 PM Mon-Fri and 12:00 to 10:00 Sat and Sun.

9) Shambala – Asian Fusion and Vegetarian

Shambala is an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans with a variety of Asian-inspired dishes: Thai, Indonesian and Japanese. The menu includes soups, tempura, curries and more.

The interior is adorned with unique artwork, creating a serene atmosphere. This is a slow food restaurant; they take time in preparation.

  • Mid-range prices. Located at Kersnikova ulica 1. Opening Hours: Mon-Sun, 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM.

10) Valvas’or: Gourmet/Slovenian

Valvas’or is where you’ll discover gourmet dishes inspired by Slovenian

You can try handmade Istrian pasta here. Also many fresh seafood choices, beefsteak and excellent cold and warm starters.

In a historic building with exposed brick walls and vaulted ceiling. Excellent reviews and the prices reflect the gourmet cuisine. Vegetarian friendly

  • Find it at Stari trg 7. They’re open from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

11) Vino and Ribe: Hidden Gem – Seafood

Excellent fish and chips and fresh seafood for an inexpensive price. Don’t be fooled by the “Fish and Chips” sign, there is more here such as grilled octopus, seabass, prawns. Regional house wine. A hidden gem in the historic center.

  • Budget friendly. Stari trg 28. They’re open from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

12) Gostilna Sokol: Authentic Slovenian

Housed in a charming old townhouse, Gostilna Sokol specializes in authentic
Slovenian cuisine.

From their website: beef soup with noodles, Ljubljana goulash, kranjska klobasa (pork and bacon sausage), štruklji (with cottage cheese, walnut filling with buckwheat), Ljubljana cottage cheese pancakes with tarragon.

Vegetarian friendly/gluten free options.

  • Mid-range prices. The address is: Ciril-Metodov trg 18, 1000 Ljubljana; Hours: Mon-Sat, 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM; Sun, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM.

13) Restavracija Cubo: Seafood/Mediterranean

Locals go here and it gets consistently good reviews for staff, food and ambience. The seafood, especially octopus, and the pasta are favorites.

It’s walkable from the center and the only restaurant on our list a bit away from the historic center.

  • Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluiten free options. Prices on the higher end.Smartinska Cesta 55. Open 12:00- 10:00 pm Monday-Sat. Closed Sunday

14) Restavracija Most: Local Slovenian/Great Patio

Set by the Ljubljanica River, Restavracija Most is a cozy spot for fresh and local Slovenian cuisine. They favor seasonal dishes, like their popular truffle pasta, beetroot soup, and seafood dishes.

Both the indoor and outdoor seating feels inviting. The patio is ideal for a sunny afternoon lunch in Ljubljana. There are several vegetarian options as well. Mid-range prices.

  • Located at Petkovškovo nabrežje 21, 1000.
  • Hours: 11 AM – 11 PM daily, closed on Sundays

15) Pop’s Place: Excellent Burgers

For a casual spot with American-style comfort food, Pop’s Place takes a simple burger and makes it gourmet.

There’s over 4,000 Google reviews of this place, making it hands-down the best burger place in probably all of Slovenia.

They have everything from a BBQ pulled pork sandwich to classic beef burgers with pickles.

Vegetarians will also find options like their veggie burger made from roasted mushrooms, chickpeas, and black beans.

Plus, they have a full bar and popular cocktails – all at fair prices.

  • Located at Cankarjevo nabrežje 3, 1000.
  • Hours: 12 PM – 12 AM, closes at 11 PM on Sundays

16) Abi Falafel: Middle Eastern Budget Friendly

This one is a gem for vegetarian and vegan enthusiasts. Abi Falafel serves mouthwatering falafels and Middle Eastern cuisine.

It’s the perfect spot for a quick, flavorful meal. Just order at the counter and take your seat. Budget-friendly.

  • Located at Trubarjeva cesta 40, 1000.
  • Hours: M-Thurs 10 AM – 10 PM, Friday & Saturday 10 AM – 11 PM, Sunday 11 AM – 10 PM

17) El Patrón Tacos & Bar: Mexican

If you’re looking for a taste of Mexico in Ljubljana, you can find it at El Patrón.

They serve authentic Mexican street food. Enjoy their tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. Enjoy them with a margarita or Mexican lager for the complete experience.

And there are nearly 1,000 Google reviews to back up that this is one of the best places for international food in the city. Budget-friendly.

  • Located at Gornji trg 23, 1000.
  • Hours: Thurs. – Sat. 12 PM – 10 PM, Sun. – Wed. 12 PM – 9 PM

18) Restaurant Manna: Euorpean/Slovenian Upscale

Manna has been open since 1854, so they must be doing something right. It’s tucked away from the main tourist hub, serving wholesome dishes with locally sourced ingredients in a warm ambiance.

The menu is mostly European and Slovenian cuisine, with more seafood options than anything else. 

  • Portions are a bit on the small side, so keep that in mind. Upscale prices.
  • Located at Eipprova ulica 1a, Ljubljana 1000.

Hours: 12 PM – 10 PM daily, closes at 9 PM on Sundays

19) Landerik: Fusion Upscale

People can’t seem to stop raving about Landerik. This upscale restaurant in Ljubljana offers a fusion of flavors with a focus on locally sourced ingredients and Slovenian cuisine.

Their potato dishes are some of the most popular on the menu. They also do daily set course menus from 3 to 7 courses. Few vegetarian options. Mid-range prices.

  • Located at Stari trg 11, 1000 Ljubljana.
  • Hours: Daily 12 PM – 4 PM, 6 PM – 10 PM except Mondays only 6 PM – 10 PM, closed on Sundays

20) Restavracija Vodnikov Hram: Traditional and Grilled Meats

A traditional Slovenian restaurant with a cozy atmosphere right in the city center,  Vodnikov Hram specializes in Slovenian classics and grilled meats.

Its homely vibe adds to the experience. I’m also a big fan of how they serve soup in a bread bowl. Some vegetarian options.

  • Located at Vodnikov trg 2, Ljubljana 1000.
  • Hours: 8 AM – 12 PM daily

21) Kodila Gourmet Meat Market: Lunch Spot

Famous for its butchery, Kodila Gourmet is a popular lunch spot. They serve cold cuts, cheese platters, bograč (a meat stew), sandwiches, and other popular lunch bites.

Their coffee also looks delicious, but there’s also wine and other drinks.

  • Located at Adamic Lundrovo Nabrezje 5.
  • Hours: Mon. – Wed. 7 AM – 3 PM, Thursdays until 6 PM, Fri. & Sat. until 9 PM, closed on Sundays

22) JB Restaurant: Michelen Starred Fine Dining

Led by one of Slovenia’s top masterchefs, JB Restaurant is a Michelin-starred fine-dining experience surrounded by curated modern art.

The menu is ever-changing but prioritizes local cuisine and ingredients. You’ll find octopus, truffle, smoked goose breast, and plenty of unique pairings when you dine at JB Restaurant.

Vegetarian friendly options. Upscale prices.

  • Located at Mikloshicheva cesta 17.
  • Hours: 12 PM – 11 PM daily, Saturdays from 5 PM – 11 PM

23) Lajbah – Craft Beer Bar in Ljubljana

If you’re into artisan beers, you should check out Lajbah near the Three Bridges area. They are all about exceptional beers (with 23 taps to choose from) paired with quality international food.

From the menu: inventive fish and chips, ribs, Japanese street food, homemade curries, and more.

There is also an outdoor beer garden, and the surrounding area is lovely.

Vegetarian/vegan options. Budget-friendly prices.

  • Located at Grudnovo nabrezhje 15.
  • Hours: 11 AM – 12 PM daily, closed on Sundays

Ljubljana Restaurants Map

Where to Stay in Ljubljana

View of Ljubljana from inside the Ljubljana castle window.
View of Ljubljana from inside the Ljubljana castle.

I have hand picked these hotels with a focus on quality, character and location, All are located in the historic center.

📍Luxury Option: Zlata Ladjica Boutique Hotel. Five star newly renovated boutique hotel on the river in the historic center. 15 uniquely designed rooms linked to history of the region. Full concierge service, restaurant on site.

📍Mid-Range Option:  Hotel Heritage. Four star boutique hotel in a 400 year old historic building. Excellent location in medieval center on a quiet unique street. Minutes walk to major sites in the center.

📍Mid-Range Option: B&B Hotel Ljubljana Park. Eco friendly, urban hotel committed to sustainability. Bar and restaurant with Slovenian and international dishes from local produce. They offer a 15% discount for people arriving by train if you book directly from their website. Also they raise bees on the roof as part of the national Bee Path initiative.

📍Budget Option:  Rooms Kosarje. Guest house with a balcony, mountain views, a seating area, satellite flat-screen TV, a fully equipped kitchen, shared bathroom with bidet and slippers.

👉 Go here for more info on hotels and the best areas of Ljubljana for tastes and budget.

Best Restaurants Ljubljana – FAQs

What is the best restaurant in Ljubljana?

This is difficult to answer because of the many excellent choices! My vote goes to Strelec because of the inspired Slovenian cuisine and the location in the Archer’s Tower of Ljubljana castle.

What is the traditional dish of Ljubljana Slovenia?

Carnolian sausage and jota (bean/pork/sauerkraut stew) are two traditional Slovenian dishes in Ljubljana.

Why is Ljubljana famous?

It is the capital of Slovenia. Ljubljana is also known for being the “Dragon City” with the dragon bridge and dragon lore in its history and is one of the reasons Ljubljana is worth visiting.

Do they speak English in Slovenia?

Slovene is the national language but many people speak some English as a second language.

Final Thoughts – Ljubljana’s Restaurants

ljubljana dragon

The “Dragon City” offers up excellent restaurant choices for every budget. Local foods, traditional cuisine and creative innovation are all here.

Note that the traditional foods are rich and meaty in general, often with pork and potatoes. Fresh fish is also a local focus and many restaurants offer a vegetarian option.

Most people working in the service industry speak English.

You have the joy of eating against the backdrop of the magical and beautiful historic center and many dining options in historic buildings and even a castle!

Bon Appetit!

👉 More posts about travel to Ljubljana:

Where To Stay In Ljubljana: 8 Best Areas For Every Traveler (Map Included)

Is Ljubljana Worth Visiting? 13 Reasons to Visit the Dragon City in 2024