Food in Slovakia: 10+ delicious dishes just like grandma used to make

So, what exactly is Slovakian food?

I asked myself that question before arriving in Slovakia and found out that it packs a punch of cabbage, potatoes, dumplings, and stews.

It reminded me of dinner at my grandma’s, which was high-fat, but very down-to-earth.

In this post, I’ll share some of the Slovak dishes I had in Slovakia (North and East regions). I didn’t specifically look for national dishes when I traveled around, but I simply ordered what I felt like.

So, this is just an introduction to give you a better idea of what you should eat in Slovakia.

🍲 Read next: Czech food: 24 delicious dishes in Czechia you should try

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Food in Slovakia

The food in Slovakia is wholesome and rather heavy.

Potatoes, meat, sheep cheese, and dumplings make the basis of many dishes and are often accompanied by cabbage (sauerkraut), which is sour and salty depending on how it’s been cooked.

The most popular meats in Slovakian cuisine are pork, beef, and chicken. A blood sausage “krvavničky” and spicy smoked sausage “klobása” are also common along with game meats like boar, rabbit, and venison.

What is the national dish of Slovakia?

Bryndzové halušky – potato dumplings with sheep cheese and bacon is considered the national dish of Slovakia.

Prices on food in Slovakia

The food in Slovakia is extremely cheap. More or less everything is cheaper compared to the rest of Europe, but the food in particular.

Depending on the restaurant, a meal costs between 1-6 EUR, and a bowl of soup can cost as little as 1 EUR.

Kosice, Slovakia

Traditional Slovak cuisine

Normally, I shy away from traditional food in my home country Denmark because it’s generally heavy and high-fat.

But I liked the traditional food in Slovakia. They eat a lot of dumplings and sweet desserts, and though it is a bit fat it has an interesting flavor.

Here is some of the most traditional Slovak food:

  • Bryndzové halušky – potato dumplings with sheep cheese and roasted bacon
  • Zemiakové placky – potato pancakes with flour and garlic fried in oil
  • Fried cheese and sheep cheese
  • Lokše – potato pancake
  • Soups – chicken noodle soup, sauerkraut soup and bean soup
  • Parené buchty – steamed dumplings filled with jam, sweetened poppy seeds, cheese, or chocolate
  • Šišky – fried dumplings with marmalade and sugar

Contemporary Slovak food

The contemporary Slovak cuisine takes its inspiration from its neighbors and now most recipes are the same or very similar for Slovaks, Czechs, Hungarians, Austrians, and Poles.

The modern food is not all new dishes, actually many of the dishes are traditional meals that have been adjusted so the taste remains, but the look changes.

Kosice, Slovakia
Chicken breast stuffed with gouda cheese and ham with roasted baby potatoes and creamy baby spinach

Food tour in Slovakia

The best way to be introduced to a new cuisine is by taking a food tour or a cooking class. I always do this when I travel and have time.

On this food tour in Bratislava, you’ll get to taste locally produced wine and craft beer, sweet pastries, and delicious Slovakian dishes.

Here are the best Slovakian food dishes

1. Bryndzové pirohy

My favorite dish in Slovakia was the sheep cheese dumplings (bryndzové pirohy), which is the Slovak national dish.

This heavy meal consists of potato dumplings (similar to gnocchi), filled with sheep cheese and topped with sour cream, spring onion, fried onion, and crispy bacon pieces.

Kosice, Slovakia
Sheep cheese dumplings

2. Zemiakové placky

Zemiakové placky is a traditional Slovak potato pancake with garlic.

A crispy snack or side dish served with Slovak stews and other hearty main courses.

3. Sulance

Behold – delicious potato dumplings bathed in poppy seeds.

I’ve seen it as a side dish and dessert, and you can also have it for breakfast. 

4. Slovak goulash

A traditional Hungarian dish, Goulash or guláš has become one of the most common Slovak meals.

This rustic meat stew is made with beef or game meat in a dark red sauce with heavy doses of paprika.

Traditional guláš is served with the most popular Slovak side dish: Knedle yeast dumplings.

Traditional Slovakian food

5. Fried cheese

Smažený sýr or vyprážaný syr is deep-fried breaded cheese made with Edam, Swiss, or Gouda cheese.

It’s common Slovak street food for anyone who loves gooey cheese. Often served with mayonnaise or tartar sauce.

6. Sauerkraut soup

Kapustnica – also known as Slovakian sauerkraut soup – is a wintertime favorite.

Made with smoked pork, sausages, and dried mushrooms, it’s very rich in flavor.

7. Lokše

This savory, thin potato pancake, known as Lokše in Slovakian, is popular around Christmas and Lent.

It’s made from soft potato dough, rolled into a circle, and dry-baked until golden and deliciously crispy.

Food in Slovakia
Duck with honey sauce and braised red cabbage and “lokše” (local fried potato pancake)

Cake and desserts

My sweet tooth wasn’t totally neglected as I had my fair share of Slovak cakes and ice cream, too. Here are some of the most popular Slovakian deserts:

  • Ryžový nákyp – rice pudding
  • Orechovník  – sweet walnut roll
  • Makovník – poppy-seed roll
  • Parené buchty – steamed dumplings filled with jam, sweetened poppy seeds, cheese, or chocolate
  • Šišky – fried dumplings with marmalade and sugar

8. Parené buchty

Parené buchty is steamed yeast dumplings filled with jam, sweetened poppy seeds, cheese or chocolate.

The soft dough and sweet filling make this a popular dessert.

9. Šišky 

Traditional Slovak food deserts also include Šišky – a fried dumpling with marmalade and sugar. These fried dough treats are delicious!

Slovak street food

Slovakian street food is also worth trying when you’re sightseeing. It’s similar to the street food you’ll find in Hungary so expect to find great dishes like langos and chimney cakes (in Slovakia, they’re called Trdelník).

10. Langos

Langoš is a lightly fried flatbread topped with cheese, sour creme, and onion or garlic. The crust is thin and crispy, and you can eat it folded or pull it apart.

best cheap eats in Budapest

11. Chimney cake (Trdelník)

Trdelník is a traditional chimney cake baked on a rotating spit over an open fire. SO yummy. It comes with different toppings like cinnamon, sugar, or nuts. 

Try one, but ALWAYS get it fresh. It needs to be fresh and warm.

Hungarian food, Budapest
Košice, Slovakia
Best homemade waffle & ice cream in Košice

Delish Slovak drinks

In Slovakia, I was quite impressed by the drinks. I’d already tried Urqell beer on a trip to the Czech Republic many moons ago, and it’s still good today not to mention cheap (1 EUR).

Local beer

Slovakia has different beer brands depending on what region you’re in, but I quite liked the Mustaz, which is local for Košice.

City Residence Apartments Hotel, Kosice

Slovak lemonade

Another drink that caught my eye (and taste) was the lemonade.

It’s not something I would order from the menu card – I’d normally go for a smoothie or fresh juice – but I was recommended to try one and they’re really, really good. They reminded me of lemonades in Georgia (YUM!)

The chilled, refreshing fruit drinks come in many different flavors like coconut, elderflower (LOVED it), grape, orange, or raspberry.

If you’re in Slovakia, you have to try one!

Kosice, Slovakia
Lemon and persimmon lemonades
Kosice, Slovakia


The most popular drink in Slovakia though is Kofola, a soft drink that kind of tastes like Coca-Cola with lemon and a bit of coffee.

I know it doesn’t sound super delicious, but I still gave it a go and it wasn’t bad. I just think you need to get used to the taste.

Kosice, Slovakia

Opre cider

Opre cider is a Slovak classic that I really liked (especially the one with Perry). It also comes with blueberry, raspberry, and other great flavors.

Made by fermentation of apple juice in the traditional way, it’s one of the first ciders made in Slovakia. 

Kosice, Slovakia
Opre Cider


Another popular Slovak drink is Tokaj wine – you might remember I mentioned it in one of my food posts from Budapest.

Tokaj is a famous Hungarian and Slovakian white wine, and the wine region is only 1 hour’s drive from Košice. I particularly loved the Tokaj Muscat, which is sweet and fruity.

Seasonal fruits and berries

I love fruit & berries and I had the most delicious selection in Slovakia!

Like in any other country, production is seasonal, and during late spring and summer, the fruit is simply outstanding. I had amazing fruit bowls for breakfast or snacks, and really good smoothies.

A+ to Slovakia!

Food in Slovakia
Best breakfast ever
City Residence Apartments Hotel, Kosice

Best restaurants in Slovakia

These are the best restaurants in Bratislava and Kosice:

Best restaurant in Bratislava

I recommend visiting these restaurants in Bratislava for a great Slovak food experience:

  • GLOBO Restaurant & Wine Bar – Excellent fine dining in the centre of Bratislava. The food is very tasty and the price range is between €70-€140.
  • Koliba Kamzík – Large portions and delicious Slovak food. I highly recommend it!

Best cafes and restaurants in Kosice

Kosice has several unique restaurants with delicious food and lots of charm and character. I’ve written about them in my Kosice post, which you can read here. Here are the best ones:

  • Villa Regia – Traditional Slovak restaurant with a nice atmosphere and hearty dishes. Try their Bryndzové halušky.
  • Tabačka Kulturfabrik – Cool hangout with an industrial feel and laid-back vibe. Great place for a drink.
  • Republika Východu – A must-visit cafe with tasty food and HUMOUR – they have their own laws, manifesto, and constitution. 
  • Hostinec – Local brewery and the oldest restaurant in Kosice (several hundred years old). Amazing Slovak food and beer!
Košice, Slovakia
The hipster Tabačka Kulturfabrik in Kosice

Food festivals in Slovakia

The food in Slovakia intrigued me and I wouldn’t mind going back for more. There are also several food festivals or events during the year in Bratislava (capital) and Košice (second largest city) that are worth checking out:

Kosice, Slovakia

FAQ – Traditional Slovakian food

What is Slovakia’s famous food?

Slovakia is famous for its traditional dishes, which tend to be simple and cheap, consisting of ingredients such as milk, potatoes, carrots, onions, and cabbage.

Some traditional Slovak dishes that are popular include bryndzové halušky, a type of dumpling made with grated raw potatoes and flour, and oštiepok, a type of sheep cheese.

Other popular Slovak dishes include goulash, kapustnica (cabbage soup), and potato pancakes

What is the national food of Slovakia?

The national dish of Slovakia is bryndzové halušky, which is a type of dumpling made with grated raw potatoes and flour, mixed with a special type of sheep cheese called bryndza.

The Slovakia national dish is often served with bacon or sausage and is a staple of Slovak cuisine.

What is the most popular Slovak dish?

There are several popular Slovak dishes, but one of the most popular is bryndzové halušky, a type of dumpling made with grated raw potatoes and flour, mixed with a special type of sheep cheese called bryndza.

The dish is often served with bacon or sausage and is a staple of Slovak cuisine.

What do people in Slovakia eat for breakfast?

Most people in Slovakia eat a simple breakfast consisting of different types of Slovak bread with butter, ham, cheese, boiled or fried eggs, salami, vegetables, sausages, and either jam or honey to round the meal off.

Some people prefer cereals of various choices or yogurt. In the past, Slovak breakfasts were made up of what people grew themselves in the fields and from domestic animals.

The most common meal for breakfast was various porridges, such as oatmeal or milk.

Another traditional breakfast dish was bread with ointment, butter, vegetables, eggs, or bacon

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  1. Slovakian food is definitely similar to other Eastern European cultures. My paternal side of the family originated from Poland, so I grew up with pierogies (i.e. potato dumplings), cabbage rolls, and borscht soup. The Slovakian dumplings look interesting, especially when mixed with goat cheese. I haven’t had goat cheese since my visit to Greece years ago, so I would be curious to try that. Your description of Kofola also sounds intriguing. I can’t imagine what a soft drink that tastes like a combination of Coca Cola, lemon and coffee must be like, but I would certainly try it out just to see.

    1. Hi Ray, thanks for pitching in. I haven’t tried the Polish version, but I sure recommend the dumplings with goat cheese. The sour creme was a nice addition!

    2. We don’t make pirohy with goat’s cheese … it’s bryndza… only… and halusky too; )))

        1. No, that’s not it. The restaurant is not mentioned here, but I do remember that I had to walk up some stairs to get to it. So it’s on the first floor.

          1. hi! actually there are a lot restaurants in kosice you can get them. for example MED MALINA quit in the middle of the centre 🙂
            btw, trdelnik is a slovak invention 😉

          1. the way i know we do is the dough different. in pirohy it s normal dough with flour, where halusky is made with flour and potatos 🙂

  2. I love our Slovak food although it’s not sooo healthy and of course bryndzove halusky is the best
    Not many people will enjoy it ….but I love it
    Every time I come back home that’s the first meal my mummy makes me and of course bean soup that’s my favourite soup
    My husband loves langose and korbace, when we started to date he couldn’t understand what’s that about korbace now it’s his favourite food and he can’t get enough of it

    1. Sounds like he found his perfect match in you 🙂

      I really liked Slovak food as well. There are so many great dishes, although you’re right – it isn’t the healthiest 😉

  3. Slovak food is not the same as polish food.My mother, Slovak to her core, said that when she went to Poland she did not like the food there.It might just be an opinion but I don’t like it much either. Maybe is a Slovak thing also you should try šlivovica it’s the vodka of Slovakia.

  4. I love this article! I am half Slovak and love the food. So refreshing to see someone do a review of a cuisine besides French or Italian. I recognized so many of the foods you mentioned. Great job!

  5. A favorite dish of mine is Iternicka. Pronounced iternichka. I can’t seem to find out what the exact ingredients are. Also would like to know where I could buy already ground mak. Thank you

    1. Hi,
      Jaternicka (jaternica) is made of minced pork meat and other pork parts(organ meet), pork blood, rice onion and seasoning.
      Very rich sausage.

  6. Nice list and quite accurate i live in Slovakia now and as a Scotsman you have it pretty spot on but you really need to visit Tatra and try the food there especially the fazulova polievka and chocoladove buchy s’makom!
    Best food in the world and the best beer Saris Tmave najlepsie pivo na sveta!

    1. Thanks, Gary! I was in the High Tatras but didn’t come across the chocolove buchty s’makom – I will definitely try them with some pivo next time.

  7. I enjoyed the article, having been to western Slovakia 4 times and just north of Martin, once. I love the food and the people are wonderful. My only question is how could you leave off garlic soup from soups and hruska (Slovak) or Becherovka (Czech) from drinks? Especially hruska!

  8. I have noticed 2 things in your article I’d like to write about.
    Tokaj wine is only Hungarian because Tokaj historical wine region is in Hungary.
    The reason you found “lángos” and “kürtőskalács”/chimney cake in Košice (Kassa) is that Košice is an old Hungarian city.

    1. Hi KaDa, yeah, it’s funny how many foods or drinks can be found in several countries. I think I’ve seen chimney cakes in four countries already, and they were each kind of different.

  9. Actually @KaDa, Tokaj region spans the two countries Hungary and Slovakia. Trdelnik is mostly Bratislava’s thing, when I live down in Kosice, that was something we brought back from Bratislava to share with friends. My langos memories are firmly associated with visits to open air swimming areas in Hungary.

    Miriam, lovely article about Slovak food and I also enjoyed the one about High Tatras. .Great photos!

  10. while this is a good list of national foods, there are huge holes in the drink and restaurant sections:)

    1. Hi, I’m not sure what else you’d like to know about 😀

      Try Tripadvisor if you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of restaurants. These are just my personal favourites.

  11. I read your article with interest as my brother in law is from Bratislava and is planning on visiting in the spring of 2023 and I was wondering if you could recommend a hotel where they might stay. Thank you in advance

  12. We called it Jadernice. It was cooked pork (ground) mixed with barley (or rice) & seasonings, then stuffed into casings & baked.

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