A Gastronomic Journey Through Slovenia: Our Handpicked Selection of Must-Try Dishes

Explore Slovenia's culinary wonders with HourAway's CEO as he shares personal tales and must-try dishes, from savory Jota to delicate Štruklji. Join us on a biking or hiking adventure to savor these flavors firsthand!


In today's world of social media and the internet, we're often bombarded with recommendations for the "best" this or "must-try" that. It can be tough to find something truly authentic when exploring a new country, and oftentimes, we end up experiencing only the most touristy things.

Having spent ten winter seasons in Davos, Switzerland, I used to think Slovenia was nothing special compared to the likes of Switzerland. However, my perspective shifted when my business partner, Klemen, and I realized just how unique Slovenia truly is. Despite its small size, Slovenia boasts a rich history influenced by four distinct countries and cultures. And one of the most remarkable aspects of Slovenia? It's a culinary scene.

Slovenian cuisine isn't just about food—it's a reflection of the country's diverse heritage and traditions. And what better way to experience it than while cyclinghiking, or engaging in other outdoor activities? 

Imagine pedaling through the countryside, surrounded by breathtaking scenery, and stumbling upon a local farm at the end of a long day. There, you're greeted with a warm smile and treated to a feast of traditional dishes passed down through generations. It's moments like these that truly capture the essence of Slovenia.

As someone who guides guests through Slovenia's hidden gems every week, I've had the pleasure of witnessing firsthand the joy and satisfaction that comes from experiencing our country's culinary delights. 

So, let me share with you some of the must-try dishes that my guests and I swear by. These aren't just recommendations—they're personal favorites that have left a lasting impression on all who've had the pleasure of trying them.

Jota (Sauerkraut stew with beans and potatoes)

As a guide, I'm practically a regular at the local mountain restaurants, and one dish you'll find almost everywhere in Slovenia is Jota

Now, when guests first hear about sauerkraut stew with potatoes and beans, they often raise their eyebrows. But let me tell you, Jota is a real crowd-pleaser. Cooked slowly in a big pot with all-natural ingredients, its taste after a long day of biking or hiking is simply unbeatable. 

Just last year, I had a group from Colorado, and one of my guests, Mark, was vegan. Finding something for him every day was a challenge until he tried Jota. He loved it so much that he got the recipe and now prepares it at home regularly. 

That's the magic of Jota—it's a dish that brings people together and leaves a lasting impression.

Jota (Sauerkraut stew with beans and potatoes) - traditional Slovenian dish

Štruklji (Dumplings)

Dumplings often make it onto lists of "10 best dishes you should try when visiting Slovenia," and for good reason. 

But here's a tip: don't try them in Ljubljana, Lake Bled, or other touristy spots. Head to Tržič town instead, nestled at the base of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and the Karavanks. 

From there, go on a bike ride or hike to Kofce, where you'll find two mountain huts/restaurants serving the best Štruklji in Slovenia. While both are excellent, locals swear by the one on the right, known as "the one for thirsty visitors." 

And here's another piece of advice: one portion of Štruklji is usually enough for 2-3 people—they're that hearty!

Štruklji (Dumplings), one of the most traditional Slovenian dish.

Filana paprika (Filled paprika/peppers with mashed potatoes)

One of my favorite dishes since childhood, filled paprika/peppers with mashed potatoes is a hidden gem that's often overlooked. While it may not be mentioned in tourist guides, I believe it's a must-try.

Finding it can be a challenge since it's mostly served within families for lunch or dinner. However, you can experience it firsthand by connecting with locals or joining one of our biking/hiking trips

Alternatively, we always visit Mateja's amazing garden experience, "The Garden of Tastes," in Bled with my guests. There, we pick the ingredients from the garden and cook it ourselves—an unforgettable dining experience that showcases the best of Slovenian hospitality.

A group of bikers tasting the traditional Slovenian dish at the Garden of Tastes.

Kraški pršut (Karst prosciutto)

While everyone is familiar with prosciutto, you owe it to yourself to try it in Slovenia, especially in the Karst region. Thanks to its dry and slightly windy climate, the Karst region is perfect for curing prosciutto. 

When you visit Štanjel in the Karst region, don't miss out on trying it at a cozy restaurant/snack bar in the old town. And don't forget to pair it with Teran wine—the official Slovenian red wine. Trust me, it's a match made in culinary heaven, especially on hot days.

Karst prosciutto, the Slovenian dish

Idrijski žlikrofi (Idrija dumplings)

Žlikrofi are mentioned everywhere, and you'll find them on menus all over Slovenia. 

But let me share a secret with you: the best ones are homemade by my girlfriend's grandmother in Idrija. Handmade one by one over a two-day process, they're truly something special. 

While I used to order them in restaurants, I've since stopped because nothing compares to the ones made by my girlfriend's grandmother. In fact, she often makes them for our guests, and it's always a highlight of their trip—and mine too.

Idrija dumplings, on of the most traditional Slovenian dish.

As I reflect on the culinary treasures of Slovenia, I'm reminded of the countless moments of joy and connection shared over plates filled with tradition and flavor. From the rugged mountains to the tranquil valleys, each bite tells a story of resilience, passion, and pride. 

So, dear reader, I invite you to go on your own gastronomic adventure through Slovenia. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, let these dishes be your guide to the heart and soul of our beloved country. 

And if you ever find yourself craving a taste of Slovenia's culinary delights, consider joining us on one of our biking or hiking trips. Together, we'll pedal through picturesque landscapes, explore hidden gems, and indulge in the flavors that make Slovenia truly unforgettable. Trust me, it'll be a journey you won't soon forget.