Europe’s hottest new foodie destination is Ljubljana, Slovenia! Really? Absolutely! Located between the traditional Greek and Italian empires, Slovenia bounced back and forth between various conquerers for centuries before declaring its Independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.
But all those years of foreign rule were not wasted on this small central European nation-Slovenia benefited from its position on the crossroads by incorporating the diverse cuisines it encountered with their own farm fresh gastronomy to create something entirely unique. Slovenian cuisine offers a refreshing break from its meat obsessed neighbors, so much so that vegans and glutonphobes will have plenty of options to chose from. And while the rest of the world is still catching on to the farmer’s market phenomenon, Ljubljana has taken cuisine to the next level with its Open Kitchen. Open Kitchen allows Slovenia’s top chefs, bakers and brewers to demonstrate their chops in open air stalls by a nearby park transformed into a massive dining area.
Slovenian fried chicken is a national delicacy that shames poor Colonel Sanders (locals insist on eating it with their hands so have a napkin handy), and the region is renowned for their meat stews and fritajas. Grab a few small dishes to experience Slovenian cuisine in all its diversity, but be sure to save room for dessert. Slovenia is also famous for its delicious strudels, waffles and pastries. At many Open Kitchen dessert stalls massive cast iron skillets are used to cook perfect pancakes, accompanied by various cheeses, fruits and creamy sauces.
Open Market takes place on Friday, spring-fall, in the city’s Central Market.