Bratislava Region Brussels Office

Culinary

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The Bratislava’s old town and the surrounding area is full of cafes and restaurants, from international fast-food chains such as McDonald's and KFC, to Viennese-style coffee shops, Slovak pubs, and upmarket fine dining establishments.

Slovak food is filling and tasty, if sometimes a little heavy.

Soups are a speciality, and always worth trying. They are often offered along with a main course as an all-inclusive lunchtime deal in restaurants, where they are labelled 'denné menu'. Pork, beef, cabbage and potatoes feature frequently in main courses, but perhaps the most typical Slovak dish is bryndzové halušky. This includes bryndza, a type of soft sheep's cheese, served on halušky, a kind of potato pasta, and normally topped with chunks of fried bacon fat. For dessert, Slovakia offers its own take on that Austrian staple, the crepe-style pancake, known here as palacinky.

Beer is popular and almost every bar and restaurant in the city has Slovak or Czech pilsner-style beer on tap. The most popular Slovak brew is Zlatý Bažant, but Stein is Bratislava's own brand.

Most places also serve Slovak wines, from aromatic Rieslings to fruity red varietals like Alibernet and Svätovavrinecké (St Laurent), much of it grown in the neighbouring Small Carpathians region.

As well as all the usual soft drink brands, Slovakia has a strong local competitor to Coke and Pepsi called Kofola, which is often available on tap. Vinea is a locally made, grape-based fizzy drink which is also widely available, in white and red varieties.

Where to eat

Slovak cuisine
A local culinary speciality unique to the region around Bratislava is the goose feast, or husacina. In its traditional form this consists of a starter of creamy goose liver with fresh bread, followed by a main course of roast goose served with potato pancakes (lokše) and red cabbage. The villages north-east of Bratislava – in particular Slovenský Grob, but also Limbach and Vajnory – are the traditional venues to experience the goose feast, and the wines made in the surrounding area are an essential accompaniment.

For good local food try also the Bratislavský Meštiansky Pivovar (Bratislava City Brewery; it also includes a mini-brewery) on Drevená, the Bratislava Flag Ship Restaurant – a huge converted wood-panelled former theatre with a deceptively small entrance – on SNP Square, or Prašná Bašta – housed in a former bastion of the mediaeval city fortifications – hidden away in a courtyard off Zámočnícka in the old town.

Fine dining
Many of the city's top restaurants, aside from those in the hotels, are in or near Hviezdoslavovo Square, including Le Monde, opposite the Slovak National Theatre, and the Flowers and Camouflage restaurants in the Erdödy Palace at the bottom of Ventúrska.

A recent addition to the fine-dining scene near to Bratislava is the Elesko Wine Park restaurant and gallery just north of Modra. In the heart of the Small Carpathians winemaking region, it combines a state-of-the-art winery, which offers a walk-through tour for visitors, with a modern open-plan restaurant and wine bar specialising in Slovak and Czech cuisine. Also incorporated in the starkly modern complex is, fittingly enough, a contemporary-art space, the Zoya Museum, which has a permanent exhibition of more than 100 works by Andy Warhol (whose family originated in Slovakia).

Photo: Bratislava Region


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