Bratislava is still one of those ever-so-slightly ‘off the beaten track’ city destinations. You know how sometimes when you visit a new place, you can get there already armed with a list of recommendations from friends and family for places to eat and drink?
Well, Bratislava requires a little more exploration – but don’t worry, there are loads of really great places to eat and drink whether you want to try some proper, traditional Slovak cuisine or you fancy gorging on the finest cake and chocolate available to humanity.
And because we’re nice like that, we’ve put together a little list of our recommendations for what and where to eat and drink when you’re there…
First on the list, because coffee is a great way to start almost everything, is a delicious hot beverage from one of the three Coffee Brothers bikes in the city. The brothers are very well known indeed in the city, and have been providing Slovak caffiends with their fix for years now.
They make really good coffee. They make a good hot chocolate and chai latte too – but it’s all about their flat white. Check their Facebook page to see where you can find them when you’re there.
Halusky is about as traditional a Slovakian meal as you can get, and if you want to try some authentic Slovak food in Bratislava, this is the thing to try. It’s a big, hearty dish of potato dumplings, smothered in a creamy sauce made with sheep’s cheese, and topped with crispy bacon.
There are loads of places to try it, and if you ask ten people on the street where you’ll find the best Halusky in the city you could get ten different answers – but we like the Slovak Pub (62 Obchodna), where you can get a lovely plate of the stuff along with a beer and leave with change of a tenner.
We’ve written about Orbis before, and it’s a pretty popular spot in the city.
They do great sandwiches, wraps and other fast food and snacks, but if you’re looking for more specific guidance, we stand by what we said back then – the meat cone with chips is just one of those things you have to try.
If you’re undecided about what you want to slather your fries in, allow us to recommend the pitta sauce.
Zeleny Rodrigez is another great place to go if you want to eat proper local cuisine – they do a very decent plate of Halusky here too – but if we were to order one thing in here, it would be one of their potato pancakes stuffed with beef and paprika stew.
It’s flavourful but not too spicy, and it’s a big old plate of food that’ll have you feeling pleasantly full for the evening.
Koun’s another place we’ve written about before, and its delicious gelato still tops our list of things you absolutely must eat if and when you go to Bratislava.
For €3.60 you can get three scoops of some really, really delicious gelato in flavours like ricotta & fig, lemon cheesecake, and violet (as well as more standard flavours of course). If it’s open, there’ll probably be a queue outside – but it’s really worth waiting for.
This place is called Fabrika, The Beer Pub. In our opinion that’s only half the story, but ‘Fabrika The Beer and Burger Pub’ doesn’t roll of the tongue quite as nicely.
Ok, so it’s primarily a place to go if you like good beer and lots of it – they brew their own, and they do it very well, and you can get half a litre of the stuff from as little as €1.75. Gild the lily with a big, fat, juicy homemade burger – the King Burger here is pretty special.
Here’s another one we’ve written about before, and if it made it onto our ultimate chocolate tour of Europe, of course it’s also going on our foodie guide to Bratislava. Go here hungry and just make a complete pig of yourself.
It’s like they’re Midas, but everything they touch turns to chocolate-y heaven. They have three different kinds of molten chocolate on tap, for goodness sake. If it all gets a bit too much, just get a hot chocolate with raspberries. Best €3.49 you’ll ever spend.
This place is fun, big, and always hopping with people. A microbrewery that brews and serves some pretty tasty beers, the atmosphere is always lively and the whole place has a nice traditional feel to it.
But even if none of that were true and the place was a depressing hovel, you’d still go there just for a taste of their barbecue ribs. For €15.90 you get a frankly intimidating slab of succulent pork ribs slathered in a sticky, sweet BBQ sauce. They are phenomenal.
Did you know that Slovakia does a nice line in fine wines? Well it does, and if you want to get a thorough introduction to what it has to offer head to the Grand Cru Wine Gallery and get talking to the owner.
He’ll take you on a tasting tour of Slovak wine, recommending the best that Slovakia has to offer and serving it by the glass at very reasonable prices. If you like a glass of wine (or several), don’t miss this place.
You can’t have dinner here, but you can get some cheese and olives if you get peckish. You should stay long enough to get peckish.
This is a great place for lunch in Bratislava – but be warned, it’s extremely popular so it’s worth making a reservation if you want to be sure you get a table.
It’s good food that’s served quickly, perfect for when you’re busy sightseeing and don’t want a long lunch. They do really nice, spicy bowls of fresh, flavourful Asian food for €5.90-€6.90.
The rice noodles with chicken and peanut sauce is a winner, and vegetarians will be happy here too. Order one of their lemonades while you’re there, they’re awesome.
- Dee Murray