Slovenia caters for demanding gourmets. Here are Slovenia’s most popular restaurants for 2020 as voted for by locals.
Once a year, Slovenia chooses its best restaurants by means of The Slovenia Restaurant Awards. This year’s awards ceremony due for May at Evergreen Restaurant in Smlednik near Kranj had to be altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Nevertheless, The Slovenia held a virtual version of both the award ceremony and closing ceremony.
The categories are: National Top 3, Regional Winners, Vox Populi/People’s Choices, Best Restaurant Inn, Best Hotel Restaurant, Best Newcomer, and Best Tourist Farm.
Here are the winners of The Slovenia Restaurant Awards 2020. I’ll begin with Slovenia’s Top 3 Restaurants, the NATIONAL TOP 3.
Slovenia’s Top 3 Restaurants in 2020
The three Slovenian restaurants to get the title in the NATIONAL TOP 3 category at The Slovenia Restaurant Awards are Gostilna pri Lojzetu – Dvorec Zemono, Hiša Franko, and Vila Podvin.
Next are Slovenia’s FOUR BEST RESTAURANTS from each of its regions:
- Alpine Slovenia
- Pannonian and Thermal Slovenia
- Ljubljana and Central Slovenia
- Mediterranean and Karst Slovenia
Best Restaurant in the Alpine Slovenia region: Hiša Franko
Ana Roš of the highly acclaimed Hiša Franko restauraunt in Kobarid, Soča Valley, has enjoyed her status one of the World’s 50 Best Chefs for years and has consolidated the reputation of Slovenian cuisine on an international level.
Best Restaurant in Pannonian & Thermal Slovenia: Hiša Denk
Hiša Denk, headed by chef Gregor Vračko, offers dishes built on family culinary tradition featuring the finest produce of Slovenia’s Styria region.
Best Restaurant in Ljubljana & Central Slovenia: JB Restaurant
This one’s a must-do when you’re in Ljubljana! Janez Bratovž and his family-run team are known for their original creations comprising a delicious combination of Mediterranean, French, and classic Slovene cuisine.
JB Restaurant dishes are brimming with the freshest ingredients. As you eat away, you can clearly picture head chef Janez carefully selecting items for his cooking from the famed open-air Ljubljana farmers market on Vodnikov trg.
Best Restaurant in Mediterranean & Karst Slovenia: Gostilna pri Lojzetu – Dvorec Zemono
According to head chef Tomaž Kavčič at Gostilna pri Lojzetu – Dvorec Zemono, “It is a search, knowledge of ingredients, and careful preparation, all of which enable the original flavours to remain unchanged in all their beauty and harmony. It is a dish served in a specific way, allowing the guest to see and feel the loving hand which prepared the food.”
Kavčič never lets go of his roots, yet looks beyond the Vipava Valley for inspiration. “Our home is the whole world. We travel with dishes: from the guest’s childhood to infinite spreads of enchanting tastes and aromas.”
Most Popular Slovenian Restaurant Among Locals: Stari Pisker
Stari Pisker Inn & Pub in Celje won the title of the BEST CULINARY NEWCOMER and VOX POPULI (PEOPLE’S CHOICE). They specialise in gourmet burgers and flaming grills. I quite like the name of their Holy Cow Burger! 😀 (pictured above, right.)
Best Restaurant Inn: Gostilna pri Lojzetu – Dvorec Zemono
Apart from the title ‘Best Restaurant in Mediterranean & Karst Slovenia’ (as shown further up in this article), Gostilna pri Lojzetu – Dvorec Zemono also won the award for BEST RESTAURANT INN.
Best Hotel Restaurant in Slovenia: City Terasa
City Terasa restaurant in Maribor offers a menu inspired by a mix of modern and traditional Mediterranean flavours. Plus relaxing views over the Drava River and Pohorje Mountains.
Best Tourist Farm in Slovenia: Domačija Majerija
The Majerija House is the perfect answer for those wishing to dine in a peaceful environment away from the hustle and bustle of life. Situated in the quiet village of Slap in the Vipava Valley, Majerija offers exquisite food and the best Vipava wines in a cosy, homey atmosphere.
What’s Next for The Slovenia Restaurant Awards?
These are the words of Niko Slavnič, founder and director of The Slovenia Restaurant Awards: “The future of great food is always bright. The short-term future, however, depends on the development of cuisine by both restaurants and consumers, all affected by the pandemic.”
Nevertheless, we will still be carrying out a dinner of surpluses, The Slovenia Dinner with top chefs. This is expected in the autumn of this year at a very special location in Ljubljana. We will also adapt the selection to the needs and possibilities of the market, as the state has still not found an ear for foreign restaurant selections.”