Planning on visiting the capital city of Slovakia? If so, you need to know what are the best places to eat, drink and enjoy gastronomy at.
Avoid tourist traps and mass-hysteria opinions - we bring you only the most interesting places you can get the most value from.
List of Contents
Hradná Hviezda ("Castle Star")
You have to visit this Slovak cuisine restaurant for two reasons:
1) Great food
Hradná Hviezda offers traditional Slovak cuisine with a modern twist - their specialty is the deer steak.
Except for that, there is plenty of great food to eat here - classic "bryndzové halušky" (potato dumplings with sheep cheese), beef steaks with Slovak sauces, tasty salads and much more
Their desserts deserve a mention as well: their chocolate - almond cake is gluten-free and since beginning it's the only item on the seasonal menu that has never been changed. Why? Because it's legendary and people would riot if they couldn't get it.
Try also the one you see on the left - a traditional slovak dumpling dessert with poppy seeds and fruity jam.
And have a cool drink afterwards - Bentianna is a Slovak exclusive, made from honey and herbs, with very low alcohol count and harmonic taste. Try it.
Location is the other reason to try Hradná Hviezda. The restaurant is situated DIRECTLY in Bratislava Castle (left wing courtyard), so why not visiting that and have a lunch or dinner afterwards?
One of the first burgers that came into Bratislava (we Slovaks are about 5 years late into everything) a year ago. Well it was here before, but it has never been so popular.
Don't expect high-level culinary experience as in home-baked bun, or top level meat from organic sources, raised by angelic hosts and killed by Mozart's symphonies without torment.
Expect the best price:performance ratio ever, expect slovak style meat, with chili, slovak bacon and great taste. It's made right before you, right then and there. Expect a very good slovak burger for a very low price.
Why would you want to visit a Thai restaurant while in Slovakia? Easy answer: because it's damn good.
When Thai customers review a Thai restaurant as "better than home" you know something is right in this place.
Their food is really awesome, try green curry, yellow fish curry, or their legendary (spicy as fuck) red curry + ginger n' mint lemonade.
Here in Slovakia it's simply almost impossible to get good service, but Green Buddha does its best - better than other restaurants.
They also have a nice selection of wines and drinks and recently hired one damn skilled barman / manager, so we guess it gets even better.
As a dessert, try pandan creme brulee!
Take a break from all those schnitzels in tourist traps and indulge yourself in one hell of a Thai ride.
Reštaurácia pod Hradom ("Restaurant Under the Castle")
This little family-owned restaurant is right on your way from Bratislava Castle down to downtown and there is no reason not to stop there, at least not if you're a wine enthusiast.
During the day, it's a restaurant that offers dishes from family recipes with high - quality ingredients. For example, you have to try bryndzové halušky, their family recipe roastbeef carpaccio or a roastbeef burger.
After 6pm though, RPH turns into a wine bar with a unique atmosphere. Thanks to its small size and movable furniture RPH feels very cozy and the family service is just delightful and english speaking.
They offer a unique selection of rare slovak wines - rare for the fact they come from Danube terroire, which is not very available in Bratislava. They aren't expensive at all (about 14 € / bottle) too.
Oh and we must not forget the most delicious cakes his wife makes - they're like a materialized sweetness of some kind of a sugar deity sprinkled on your favorite birthday cake.
This small russian bistro is a bit out of hand, but it's well worth a visit. The owner is an honest russian man (well he's actually from Ukraine) who can cook really damn well.
Must tries are pelmeni, vareniki, borscht and, of course - vodka.
He has a full stock of the best vodka available in these parts and he's not afraid to use it on you.
He's really very nice, effective, thoughtful and you'll have a very good time if you decide to pop in here - especially if you like heavier types of food and good vodka.
Don't go there on Mondays though, he's closed.
Other than that, he'll be more than happy to see you and to get you drunk.
We continue the tradition of endorsing restaurants that aren't in the downtown, because Lamas restaurant is so fucking good we don't care.
Lamas Restaurant is a small, family - owned restaurant on the outskirts of Bratislava which serves modern european dishes. Their head chef is really damn talented and can cook delightful food from almost any ingredient - though he uses only the best.
The biggest surprise are prices - for the price of one meal here you wouldn't be able to afford half of the meal almost anywhere. You see that duck up there? On blackberries with sweet potatoes?
If that isn't cheap, we don't know what is.
And how about a cherry cheesecake with poppyseed ice-cream? Check.
It's ran by a family of Vietnamese origin and they don't speak much Slovak, much less English, so your only choice is pointing at the picture of your choice on the wall (DO NOT CHOOSE THE YELLOW ONES AT THE COUNTER).
We recommend you to try just about anything and everything they cook - their Pho Bo is awesome, as is Bun Bo Nam Bo or Bun Cha Mieng!
We don't think you'd find this bistro if we didn't point it out to you. Hell, the most people that go there found it by accident or because a friend told them.
It's located on the biggest Bratislava market - Miletičova in a small wooden "cottage" you wouldn't set foot in otherwise. And that would be a big mistake!
Zylinder Café & Restaurant
Looking for a real tradition? Look no more. Zylinder Café & Restaurant offers a glimpse to the past - the old Pressburg cuisine.
You definitely need to try tafelspitz - a 3 course menu built from one big slab of meat: soup, marrowbone specialty and main course, meat with everything that has to be there - a shitload of side dishes.
Don't forget to try bryndzové halušky or one of their awesome cakes. Or perhaps kaiserschmann, which is kind of a pancake, ripped, flambéed with Grand Marnier, served with blueberry and raspberry chutney? It'd definitely be a one-kind of experience.
Good lunch too - definitely try saffron non-pasta or one of their tasty soups!
There's really no reason NOT to go here when you're near. This small restaurant is located in Petržalka, so it's no in the downtown, but the travel would take you like 15 minutes by bus.
They are very free-spirited and they make mean Caesar salad, spinach bombs and such.
We definitely recommend this place for breakfast - ommelettes, scrambled eggs and other breakfast stuff they make here is really awesome. Coffee's good too.
Mille Baci is on of the best Italian restaurants in Bratislava. It's very small and very popular, so if it's full, don't act surprised - we've warned you!
The owner is a slovak lady that was raised in Italy and inherited the behaviour of an Italian woman - in a good way. She's very extraverted and a bit too talktative, but she cooks like your momma (if she cooks well).
Their menu is always a-changin', so we can't recommend anything in particular, but as a rule of thumb everything should be awesome. Everything in here tastes like Italy, thanks to the fact the owner adheres to every rule of Italian cuisine.
The only Peruvian restaurant far and wide. Wanna take a break from all traditional slovak, italian and who knows what cuisines? Try a Peruvian one.
The owner is directly from Peru and he's been living in Slovakia for some years now - so the food is perfectly Peruvian (he's even got Peruvian chefs) and prices Slovak (in a good way).
You just have to try the Quinoa Course (quinoa salad, quinoa soup and quinoa salmon) or one of the other Peruvian specialites like anticuchos.
This is also one of the very rare places where you can get REAL tequila, not the fakes.
Richtár Jakub Brewery ("Mayor Jacob")
If you like beer, YOU JUST CAN'T MISS THIS ONE!!!
This is a small, local brewery offering beer from Slovakia and Czech Republic, small local breweries and top picks from around the countries!
There's not much more to say other than that this is a must - visit for anyone who loves beer.
Really - don't buy that crap like Zlaty Bazant, Corgon and others, that's a commercial bullshit made by Heineken.
Go here and drink something that's more close to a good beer and farther from water.
Making a reservation is highly recommended.