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Slovakia Cuisine


Pork, beef and poultry are the main meats consumed in Slovakia, with pork being the most popular by a substantial margin. Among poultry, chicken is most common, although duck, goose, and turkey are also well established. A blood sausage called jaternice also has a following, containing any and all parts of a butchered pig. Game meats, especially boar, rabbit and venison, are also widely available around the year. Lamb and goat are also available, but for the most part are not very popular. The consumption of horse meat is generally frowned upon.

Traditionally the main meal of the day is lunch, eaten around noon. However, changing working habits have forced this to be changed in recent decades; today, it is not uncommon for many Slovaks to eat their main meal in the evening.

It is a habit in Slovakia to bring a bottle of wine or spirits if you are invited over somebody's place.

Traditional Dishes

Meals in Slovakia are hearty and well-seasoned. The national dish is bryndzove halusky (potato dumplings with sheep cheese and bacon). Roast pork, sauerkraut and dumplings are widely available. One nice dish is lokse (roast goose with pasta). Slovaks also love noodles with cheese, ham, potatoes, beef, rice, pastries and various vegetables. Other favorites are vyprazany syr (fried cheese with tartar sauce - tough on your arteries, but good), vyprazany rezen (schnitzel) and zemiakove placky (pork-stuffed potato pancakes).

For a local treat, try tatranska hrianka (Tatra toast): goose livers sauteed with sweet red peppers and cayenne and served with the cooking juices on a thick slice of fresh country bread. A popular street snack is langos (fried dough brushed with garlic or sprinkled with sugar). Smoked or plain string cheese is cheap and tasty.

Because Slovak cuisine is mainly meat-based, vegetarians won't find many choices outside of Bratislava. Traditional restaurant options might include smoked cheese, omelettes or halusky served without the bacon.

Sweets include pastries (bought in a cukraren, or pastry shop), palacinky (crepes with jam, chocolate or ice cream) and zmrzlina (ice cream) in summer.


Wine is common throughout all parts of Slovakia. Slovak wine comes predominantly from the southern areas along the Danube and its tributaries; the northern half of the country is too cold and mountainous to grow grapevines. Traditionally, white wine was more popular than red or rosé (except in some regions), and sweet wine more popular than dry, but both these tastes seem to be changing. Wines from Modra and Pezinok are especially nice.

Beer (Pivo) is also popular throughout the country, such as the locally brewed Martiner or Zlaty Bazant. Other brands to look for are Corgon, Topvar and Smadny Mnich (Thirsty Monk). Slivovica (a powerful plum brandy) and Becherovka (a Czech herbal liqueur) are often offered to dinner guests.

Coffee may be served Turkish style, with the grounds at the bottom (at a buffet or food stand, a vendor will pour hot water into a small plastic cup and then dump a tablespoon-sized scoop of coffee grounds on top). Slovaks say that this is the healthiest way to drink coffee. Espresso is presso, and coffee with cream is Videnska kava (Viennese coffee).





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