Have you ever been to Slovakia?
You know the one.
Slovakiaaaaaaaaa. Not Sloveeeeenia!
Most people haven’t or if they have, they’ve sort of breezed through.
On a day trip from either Budapest or Vienna.
Let’s have a look at Slovakian or Slovak food shall we.
Traditional Slovak cuisine, like Polish cuisine or Estonian cuisine, as well as Czech cuisine, is rather rustic in nature and tends towards the stodgy side of things! These include such delights as wheat, potatoes, milk, dairy, pork, cabbage, and onions!
To a lesser degree beef, poultry, lamb and goat, eggs, beans, corn on the cob, lentils, parsley, carrots, wild mushrooms, and other vegetables are often used to create soup, and other dishes. Fruit like apples, plums, apricots, peaches, and cherries, are also traditionally eaten.
It wasn’t too long ago that families had to grow and produce food for themselves, or trade or barter with their neighbours, or in local markets.
As a result, wheat was milled into bread, dumplings and noodles. Potatoes were boiled or made into potato dumplings, and milk was made into products such as butter, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, and various types of local rustic cheese.
Pork is the big thing, and typically made into sausages.
The Slovakians or Slovaks also have their own traditional blood sausage, smoked bacon, and lard.
Beef and chicken, as well as rabbit and venison is widely used, and sometimes goose.
Black bread or rye bread is as a direct influence from Austria, and many Slovakians or Slovaks eat bread for breakfast or for lunch with soup. Very frequently for dinner too!
Traditional drinks tend to be milk or beer!
We went to Bratislava, and this is what we had!
9 TRADITIONAL EAST EUROPEAN THINGS TO EAT IN SLOVAKIA!
We went to this really neat place called the Slovak Pub.
From the outside it looks really touristy but loads of people inside were also Slovak or Czech, so feel free to go there. They also had heavily discounted prices for students and the local population!
- We had the national dish of Slovakia called Bryndzové Halušky
Bryndzové Halušky is a type of local potato dumplings (similar to gnocchi), mixed with traditional bryndza sheep cheese, and grated smoked sheep cheese, sprinkled on top with bacon pieces.
It’s a bit gooey and looks like porridge. I looove porridge but I didn’t like this dish, although “The Tall Young Gentleman” did.
He even had my portion, so that’s alright!
- We also had the Vychodniarsky Rezen
The Vychodniarsky Rezen which is an Eastern Slovak schnitzel made from chicken breast, green beans, ham, and cheese served with potato wedges and a few leaves of rucola!
- A large glass of Frankovka Modra or red wine went down quite well. I had two!
- Son had a large glass of Kofola
Kofola is a traditional Slovak cola drink and is very popular among the local Slovak or Slovakian people.
The next place we tried was in the Old Town.
We went to a restaurant called Venturska Kubovna.
The food was great, the outdoor location was lovely, the prices were fantastic, but the service was rubbish, and I was not impressed in the least!
They seemed to think that because they get a whole barrage of tourists, who don’t know any better, the staff can blatantly cheat them.
I hate people who cheat.
I consider it akin to stealing.
I hate stealing too.
I’ve experienced this numerous times in both Slovakia AND the Czech Republic where prices are so cheap that it’s easy for the staff to change the order around, add “extra” bits that the customer didn’t request, or just simply, serve the most expensive item on the menu, even though the customer ordered something completely different!
In this case, not only did the restaurant get our order wrong, they even had the cheek to charge the complete bill of their local Slovakian mates, from the next table!
My suspicions were raised when the bill started with the butter that I ordered, but never received…..!
I had promised “The Tall Young Gentleman” a feast, so this is what we had:
- A “Klubovňa” hamburger
A huge “Klubovňa” hamburger is a beef burger with homemade BBQ sauce, bacon, cheddar, served with sour pickles, onions, french fries, and a small pot of baked garlic mayonnaise sauce!
Cost: A hefty €10.99
I’m not into burgers. Or beef for that matter!
I prefer lamb.
Anyway, I wasn’t very hungry so I had:
- A Gril. bravcova klobasa
The Gril. bravcova klobasa is a Slovakian grilled pork sausage served with a small bowl of mustard, a small bowl of spicy horseradish sauce, a small basket of bread, with a spicy hot pepper stuck on top of the sausage!
I was so impressed with the sausage that here is a closer look!
After that, we decided to have dessert.
- We had a Smotanova torta jahodova
A smotanova torta jahodova is a sponge biscuit cake filled with cream, vanilla, a strawberry purée topping, vanilla, and served with kiwi fruit and castor sugar!
It was quite delicious!
- We washed it all down with a huge glass of Zlanty bazant tank beer and Kofola – the traditional Slovak cola drink!
Cost for the beer: €2.78
Cost for the Kofola: €1.69
On our last night we went to a local restaurant just one (1) minute away from our hostel.
The restaurant was called Reštaurácia Štefánka.
The only person who spoke English was a teenage boy, but the food and service was so top-notch that if I ever went back to Bratislava, I might actually stay there instead!
I liked what I saw.
It’s a bit old school reminding me of the Hotel Neptun Castle on the Polish Baltic Sea, but the restaurant also has a hotel that was opened in 1904, is authentic, local, historical, and a family business.
So why not?
They also had proper Slovak or Slovakian prices so we had the set menu, as the menu was in Slovak and we didn’t really know what we were going to get lol!
- Our first course was a dish of Slovak or Slovakian pierogi dumplings and Bryndzové Halušky.
I love pierogi of course, so that was a no-brainer, but I only nibbled at the Bryndzové Halušky, as I didn’t like it!
I discreetly swopped my half-full dish with my son’s empty one, as the hotel owner was hovering, proud of her food.
- The second course for “The Tall Young Gentleman” was Viennese veal cutlet or Wiener Schnitzel.
Viennese veal cutlet or Wiener Schnitzel is very thin, breaded and pan-fried cutlet made from veal slices, butterfly cut, lightly pounded flat, and rolled in flour, whipped eggs, and bread crumbs.
It’s the national dish of Austria and due to the regional and historical closeness, found it’s way to Slovakia.
It was served with slices of lemon, and a side salad of tomatoes, lettuce, and spring onions.
The schnitzel was so huge that even “The Tall Young Gentleman” couldn’t manage it!
- My second course was grilled salmon with green beans served with slices of lemon, a side salad, and a small plate of potato wedges!
Here’s another look at the whole picture. Including the wedges!
- For dessert, we had a lovely scoop of ice-cream, melon chunks, and grapes.
What a delight!
Cost for all three (3) servings: A marvellous €8.99
Cost for a glass of wine: €1.50
Cost for a glass of Kofola: €1.50
I don’t think you could do any better. And on a Sunday night too!
That’s it for now.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be writing about art and films in Berlin, travels to the German Baltic Sea, as well as a comprehensive post on how to use the train in Europe!
In November, I’ll be travelling to Austria.
9 TRADITIONAL EAST EUROPEAN THINGS TO EAT IN SLOVAKIA!
This article is not sponsored, and all opinions and the tasty sausage, cheese and ice-cream that we licked our chops for, are my very own!
I’ll be at the official photocall for THE ONE Grand Show before the World Premiere at the Friedrichstadt-Palast on October 6th. With more than 100 artists on the world’s biggest theatre stage, a budget of over €11 million, and extravagant costumes designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, you know it’s going to be epic!
I’ll be attending a special By Invitation Only Berlin – Alternative Fashion Week (BAFW) press evening on September 28th.
I’ll also be going to the fashion shows at Berlin Alternative Fashion Week from September 28th – October 1st.
Save the Date!
September is going to be Wow!
I’ll be there. Will you?
If you’re not in Berlin in September, I can’t image where else you would be!
Watch this space!
Have you ever had traditional East European food? Can you think of other Slovak or Slovakian food? Can you guess the Chinese-speaking country that I’ll be going to? Have your say!
See you in Berlin.