bratislave street scene with church what to eat in Bratislava
Street scene at Bratislava. It was pretty cold that day so there weren't many people.

What to Eat in Bratislava?

Bratislava is a small city. When I arrived in Bratislava, I was quick to finish seeing all the main sites. That left me with a lot of free time to ponder on what to eat in Bratislava. 

Slovakian cuisine is relatively foreign to me. However, influences from Hungary and the Czech Republic on Slovakian food are clearly discernible. 

In fact, some dishes are called the same. 

I only had a day in Bratislava so my ultimate focus was to hunt down the best restaurants to tackle my precious 3 meals in Bratislava. 

If you are on the same boat in finding what to eat in Bratislava, this post will help you tremendously as you drool through the photos.

Bryndzové halušky what to eat in Bratislava
One of the best things that ever happened to me is to meet Barbora - a Slovak who brought me to this amazing restaurant for Bryndzove Halusky.

Bryndzové Halušky - Must Eat in Bratislava

Halusky is the only Slovak dish that I haven’t seen anywhere else outside of Slovakia (and the Slovak part of the Czech Republic). 

It consists of Slovak soft sheep cheese, grated potato dumplings, caramelised onions, bacon and lardons. Just look at the ingredients – it is divine but also a shortcut to give you a heart attack (literally).

It is one of the time-honoured national dishes that is commonly served in Slovak pubs. I urge you to try it at least once. 

Being a really heavy dish, share it with your fellow travel mates. It goes down smoothly with Slovak beers. 

So if you are wondering what to eat in a Slovakian pub, bryndzové halušky is the way to go!

potato pancake what to eat in bratislava christmas market
The potato pancake is as big (and as round) as my face!

Potato pancake - the Slovak version

I got a potato pancake from the Christmas market of Bratislava. I am not too sure whether normal Slovak restaurants serve them but if you can get your hands on them – PLEASE DO!

The potato pancake I got was only 2.50 euros and it rivals ALL the potato pancakes that I have had in my life. 

It was so big – I shared it with the elderly couple that I met when I looked for a table (they also took this photo for me). 

It was so crispy. The potato is so thinly julienned. On the plus side, it was not oily!

potato pancake with sour cream bratislava
The more sour cream, the better!
trdelnik what to eat in bratislava christmas market
Trdelnik with Nutella. Crime scene - do not enter.

Trdelník - my favourite snack in Bratislava

I don’t know the origin of Trdelnik but I had the same thing in Prague and Budapest. I guess it is a popular pastry in Central Europe

Don’t ask me how to pronounce that. I can describe it though. Trdelnik is a rolled dough that is put on a spit. 

After cooking, it is then topped with desired toppings. The most traditional topping for Trdelnik is just some cinnamon and castor sugar

However, due to popular demands, it is now served in many different ways. 

As the dough is pretty heavy, it will fill you up. Share it because there are other sumptuous things to eat in Bratislava! 

slovak goulash bratislava potato dumplings
I can imagine how juicy those pieces of meat are by looking at the photo. Goulash, I have missed you so deeply.

Goulash - a Slovak favourite

I don’t know how to differentiate the Hungarian goulash and the Slovak goulash! If you do, please comment down below and help a friend out.

One thing I do know though, is they are both insanely good! 

The potato dumplings (Bramborové knedlíky – this is a Czech word I think) that come with the goulash are like a match made in heavens. 

Pieces of melt-in-your-mouth beef with the comforting texture of the potato dumplings – it is just glorious. 

Look out for lunch specials because many restaurants serve this national favourite during lunch hour. That means you get a motherly goulash with a pint for 8-13 euros! I would say that’s a steal!

Kapustnica - cabbage soup

Another national favourite of Slovakia – Kapustnica. This cabbage soup makes an excellent entrée during winter. 

Compared to other Slovak dishes, I would say that this is a lighter dish. 

The cooking process of an authentic Kapustnica is very interesting. First, it involves A LOT of sauerkraut. Secondly, to thicken the soup a little more, they actually create a runny roux with paprika and vegeta before adding it to the soup. 

With the sausages, you cannot resist this soup. It opens up your appetite due to the acidity of the sauerkraut but not too tangy to make you pucker.

Restaurants in Bratislava

So you asked what to eat in Bratislava? This is the top 5 food in Bratislava that you should try!

However, sometimes it’s uncommon to find them in restaurants. 

These are the restaurants in Bratislava that you can try out:

  1. Mestiansky Pivovar – There are two branches and both are amazing. 
  2. Koliba Kamzik – I had an amazing Bryndzové Halušky here. It’s pretty heavy so share it!
  3. Starosloviensky pivovar – unpretentious and authentic Slovak dining experience. You can have almost all kinds of Slovak delights here.

Beers in Bratislava

Slovak beers are amazing. To fully taste them all, go on a cheap beer tour!

Other important things about Bratislava

Transport

Sim Card

AirBnB

Insurance

Transport:

  1. The official website for public transport in Bratislava is https://imhd.sk/ba/public-transport. However, I find it hard to use.
  2. When I travel in Europe, I just use Moovit when I have to use the public transport. Moovit is available in Bratislava. An alternative is City Mapper, which was named as the best map app in Europe.
  3. There are a few websites to check out if you are travelling to another city from Bratislava:
    • Student Agency: This is a Czech bus company that is not only for students despite the name. In fact, they have really cheap tickets as the price is fixed.
    • FlixBus: A German bus company that operates in 29 countries in Europe. Now has Flixtrain too!
    • Rome2Rio: A website that allows you to see potential routes between cities.
    • BlaBlaCar: If you are on a budget, try out this carsharing platform which gets you to many places!

Sim Card:

From 2017 onwards, the European Union finally came up with an incredible idea – abolishing roaming charges across its member countries. That means you can use a sim card that you bought in Greece when you are travelling in Germany.

However, the prepaid deals differ SO MUCH in different countries.

For example, the data plan that comes with a Polish sim card is often not usable in other countries (written in the fine print). Slovak data plan is expensive and slow. Italian telecommunication companies have different rules and they are not present everywhere. French data plan is hard to terminate.

If you want to save the hassle, just get a sim card before leaving for Europe. I always use SimOptions because they deliver fast and the telecommunication companies offered are actually based in major European countries.

I recommend the company “3” because it is present in many European countries and data plans are great:

  1. If you are in Europe for less than 30 days – Smart Gold plan by 3 
  2. If you are in Europe for a few months – Smart Platinum plan by 3

Pocket wifi:
Alternatively, you could opt for a pocket wifi which allows you to connect to multiple devices. This is perfect if you travel in a group or if you have a few devices that needs internet connection concurrently.

I always opt for TEP wireless because they are fast and reliable. Superb customer service too!

AirBnB:

If you are not on AirBnB yet, you need to be! AirBnB is a great alternative to conventional accommodation. Often, you get more bangs for your bucks too!

I always found amazing condominiums and apartments on AirBnB. It’s like a cherry on top of my trip most of the time!

Sign up to AirBnB with this link and get $25 instantly

Travel Insurance:

I swear by travel insurance these days. So many things could go wrong and the trip of your lifetime can end up horribly wrong.

When it comes to travel insurance, I just go with World Nomads. It’s quick and claims are processed pretty quickly. 

Please buy it if you can. Hopefully you don’t have to use it. However, in the unfortunate circumstances that you have to use it, you will thank me for a long time. 

You are welcome.

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Wondering what to eat in Bratislava? This post has got you covered! Introducing most of the national Slovak favourites including Halusky, Kapustnica, Trdelnik, potato pancake and other Slovak goodness!
Wondering what to eat in Bratislava? This post has got you covered! Introducing most of the national Slovak favourites including Halusky, Kapustnica, Trdelnik, potato pancake and other Slovak goodness!

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Categories: FoodSlovakia