In Slovenia people are very fond of their beverages.
Coffee- Kavo. There are many kinds of coffee that can be ordered at a kavarna, the elegant coffee/pastry shops which are very popular. My favorite coffee place is located on Slovenska cesta, the major avenue in Ljubljana. It’s called “Zvezda” and located at the Hotel Slon. Slon means elephant. It seems that at one point in history an elephant, part of a circus, was camped on this site. My favorite coffee is “belo kavo, ” which is a “cafe au lait” coffee with milk. It is served with a glass of water and a small chocolate. Travelers commenting on Trip Advisor overwhelmingly recommended Zveda as a good place to get excellent coffee and service.
Wine. vino. There are many excellent wines in Slovenia and these are available at a multitude of places. To find a bigger selection you can visit the “Vinoteke” wine shops which are located around the city–there are many in the Old Town. Wines
are also available at Maximarket complex near the Slovenian Parliament. My favorites are too many to tell but definitely “Brajda” from the Goriska Brda wineyard, Stekar, is high on the list. (shown here). Brajda are the three-sided wooden frames which resemble the walls of a house. Grapes grow on this frame year after year and it provides shelter from the sun in summer months.
Mineral waters- mineralno vodo– are served with lunch and dinner and are a favorite on the Slovenian table. Three hearts – Radenska is a favorite, also available in the U.S. at Wegmans stores on the East Coast.
Donat is a high magnesium mineral water considered important for health. It is also the remedy for constipation and sleepless nights. It works. The physicians prescribe bottles of it for patients undergoing a colonoscopy.
Slovenia has 15 natural mineral spas and the water from each location contains various blends of minerals. in the 19th century, immersion in mineral water was an effective treatment for high blood pressure. Mineral spas are affordable and part of many Slovenians health regimen. On our Taste of Slovenia tour we will spend several luxurious hours at the Dolenjska toplica spa, not far from the Castle Otocec, which I wrote about earlier.
The tap water is Slovenia is generally good. It is not fluoridated and has a good taste. It is referred to as water from the pipe, “pipa.”
Raw Milk on tap. At the “mlekomats,” the automatic raw milk machines in the market places, shopping centers and in the center of towns, fresh milk can be dispensed in different quantities into glass or plastic bottles. One liter (similar to a quart) costs about 1 Euro= $1.39 cents. All from local farms.
Cherry, apple, even elderberry are popular. Also from the fruits come vinegars, liqueurs and brandies.
That’s the beauty of Slovenia… it’s small so you can travel from here to there in a short time and the country is a veritable masterpiece of culinary and cultural experiences, from the Alps in the North to the seaside in the West, to the plains in the East, and the caves in the South, all offering a distinct and unique terroir. Bordering on Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, Slovenian as a home base offer multilingual opportunities at its borders to include some other countries in your travels. Yet, Slovenia gives the most value for money and prices are still very reasonable for the traveler in the country “at the Heart of Europe.”