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Gastronomy

Let’s eat! A commonly heard phrase, especially among travelers. Certainly a big part of travelling, especially in foreign lands, is sampling the cuisine while soaking up the culture and maybe a glass of the best local wine.

But what and where?

There is certainly no lack of eating establishments in Bratislava and to the hungry and often overwhelmed traveler, finding that “memorable meal” can be a challenge, especially if you don’t speak the local language. But the rewards of choosing correctly, especially in a sophisticated “foodie” city like Bratislava, can be really rewarding.

Bratislava’s cuisine is difficult to define in one word. This cosmopolitan European capital has been forged from the Hungarian, Austrian, German and Slovak cultures that have, at one time or another, dominated the city. Maybe a little history lesson will help to explain it further.

During the communist era, cultural variations in food took second place to filling hungry bellies. Would-be chefs were given the same recipe book with a standard list of easily-available ingredients and standard food preparation guidelines. Variety was not to be found in the food.

Today, you can still find reminders of this area. With lunch being the main meal of the day, hearty “Daily Menu” meals (denné menu) consisting of a hot soup and a main meal are offered during lunchtime by most restaurants. A “Daily Menu” is used by luxury restaurants to attract diners too, so this might be your chance to fill your belly at bargain price.

With the end of communism and opportunities to travel, the Slovaks put pressure on Bratislava restaurants to go above and beyond what has been “good enough”.

So, what’s available? References to “Pressburg cuisine” generally indicate the spicy Hungarian stews, goulashes, roasted pork, poultry, and fish. Austrian eateries feature deep fried meats – schnitzel – and amazing deserts. Germans influenced our roast – fancy wild boar and deer, sausages, goose or duck?  Slovak traditional food consists of mainly different types of roast and grilled meat, grilled fish, fried cheese including the iconic sheep cheese and fresh vegetables.

Roast goose accompanied by lokše is considered a signature dish here. It’s accompanied by a potato pancake and red or white stewed cabbage and the meal is eaten mainly in autumn. You must not  forget ‘Bryndzové halušky’, potato dumplings meal with sheep cheese and crispy streaky bacon, which can be found at almost every Bratislava restaurant. Actually potato, cabbage, and sheep or cow cheese are ingredients found in many traditional Slovak meals like ‘zemiakové placky’ (potato fried pancakes) or ‘kapustové halušky’ (potato dumplings with cabbage).

Current Bratislava cuisine distinguishes one dining experience from another with references to quality. While many restaurants still seem to adhere to the old communist-era cookbook, others have discovered the rewards of using fresh, local ingredients and the power of seasonal cooking. The menus have shrunk from the old eight-page books to elegant three-page binders. Spring menus will typically feature asparagus and other vegetables  accompanied by light wine-based sauces; summer menus offer light soups and freshly picked garden vegetables;  autumn menus  boast chestnuts, squash, and pumpkin flavored dishes and berry-flavored sauces. Winter menus lean towards hearty bean and lentil soups, dark meats and root vegetables.

Along with fresh, local ingredients, there is also a new breed of chefs trained abroad emerging in the city. Five-star hotels are hiring experienced international chefs to propel their hotel restaurants into competition with independent restaurants and these hotels today offer some of the best eating experiences in the city.

Restaurant districts have also sprung up in the shopping centres. The most trendy one is the Eurovea Gallery along the river Danube (where young professionals go to be seen) and in Hviezdoslavovo Square in Old Town. The area around the university along Obchodná Street and nearby SNP square features student pubs, traditional restaurants popular among visiting and local diners and trendy microbrewery pubs featuring craft beers.

Soupculture Bratislava
Drink soup, eat the cup! No waste, no plastic - Soupculture is a healthy vegetarian streetfood. Every day…

Makery Bratislava
Here, everybody can joyfully create their chosen meal with their partner, family, friends or colleagues.

Fach
We believe that the best things come from within. Our passion for excellence is our key value.

Bocca Buona
Pizza, Pasta e basta. Simplicity of Italian cuisine in Bratislava.

Tulip Café & Restaurant
From your first morning coffee and premium quality lunch to a well-deserved dessert and satisfying dinner with a…

Mondieu
Visit Mondieu bistro and relax having a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate or having a glass of…

BeAbout
BeAbout is place for all ‘outcasts of the outcasts’, or simply anyone who feels awkward in any kind…

Kozia brána
Kozia Brána restaurant offers your favorite traditional Czech cuisine, beer and good quality coffee. The interior of the restaurant…

Beer Palace
Enter the true Beer Palace! Right in the historical heart of Bratislava, a few steps from Hviezdoslav Square,…

Savoy Restaurant
For decades, Savoy Café in a legendary Carlton building used to form an atmosphere of Bratislava. Nowadays, new…

Al Faro
Al Faro is one of the most successful restaurants on the waterfront of Bratislava’s Eurovea center, and it…

Traja Mušketieri
We are the oldest historical-style restaurant in Bratislava with a very long tradition. Prestigious location of Palisády, a…

Hotel Matyšák ***
This modern hotel built over historical wine cellars was commissioned by a well-known family of wine producers. The…

Zylinder
The new star among quality restaurants not far from the Opera provides a unique combination of the very…

Slovak Pub
This typical old Slovak pub is a real maze where you can learn a great deal about the…

Pod Kamenným stromom
Started by a former advertisement industry pro, this underground bar and eatery successfully proves you don‘t need to…

SOUPA
Slovak people love their soup. There‘s probably no pub or restaurant that wouldn‘t be serving hot chicken broth…

Veggie Healthy Food
Open on work days only, this is a deservedly popular spot for its fresh, inventive vegetarian and vegan…

St. Germain
After their recent move to much larger premises, St. Germain has lost some of its personality, but there‘s…

Regal Burger
Some say these guys whip up the best burgers in town. They proudly use natural ingredients: top-notch juicy…

Foxford
Books, specialty coffee, delicious cakes and cool snacks – that´s Foxford! If you want to lean into a…

Urban House
Urban House puts an end to local cries about the lack of interesting café/bistros in town. The only…

AuCafe
The Danube embankment is a great place, especially during hot summer days. There is a nice view, pleasant…

San Marten Bar & Restaurant
SAN MARTEN BAR & RESTAURANT is located in one of Bratislava´s historical buildings in the city center, next…

UFO watch.taste.groove.
“Floating” on the pillar of the SNP Bridge (Slovak National Uprising Bridge), this restaurant offers a pretty unconventional…

Buchtáreň
Any list of the most popular “sweet” street food stands in the centre of Bratislava would certainly include…

Petite Crêperie
You would be very much mistaken if you were expecting the crepes in this shop to be rolled…

BARsKDE
BARsKDE can be found “anywhere”, which happens to be the English translation of its name, too.

Orbis Street Food
Orbis Street Food offers food from around the world in the centre of Bratislava, and it is the…

Leberfinger Restaurant
Good old Pressburg cuisine can be found on the right bank of the Danube in the Janko Kral´s…

Botel Gracia
Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, closing an important business deal or meeting with family, friends or colleagues,…

VEŽA Restaurant
Enjoy the perfect 360° view from a unique revolving restaurant that overlooks Bratislava and its surrounding greenery. Visit…

Sľuk Restaurant
Taking a new approach to traditional cuisine. With an exceptional atmosphere and taking a modern approach toward traditional…

Modrá hviezda Restaurant
10% discount with Bratislava City Card Treat yourself with a unique experience under the walls of Bratislava Castle.…

Korzo Restaurant
The pleasant restaurant with the atmosphere of old Pressburg can be found right in the heart of the…

SKY Restaurant & Bar
The light Mediterranean cuisine is available directly in the restaurant on the roof of one of the Old…

Dunajský pivovar restaurant
Your senses will be fed here with a unique concert of adventurous dining with the participation of the beautiful…

Malt House
Good things in life are worth it. And for a person to enjoy them, they should do them…