So many things have changed in Bratislava since we moved out of the city. Every time I come for a visit, there’s something new or different, a new restaurant, nice café or new shop. I tend to notice (and appreciate) more things now than when I’ve lived there. And I’m always happy to find a new place to visit and even happier to get back to my favorite places.
I also noticed that the quality of services got up a lot. And Bratislava finally grew out of a phase when it was trying to mimic the Western countries. The city rediscovered the love for and pride in the local traditions and heritage. Many cafés, street food spots and restaurants have an authentic story, unique vision and noble goal of serving high quality food for reasonable prices.
We work in a relatively small group here in Brussels and almost everyone is from a different country. Naturally, we talk a lot about traveling, places worth a visit and restaurant worth a try. Of course we are talking nicely about Slovakia. So nicely, actually, that our colleague visited Slovakia this past summer. Before he went we prepared a list of places one must see, things one should do and our favorite restaurants and cafés.
We prepared rather exhaustive list for him, knowing it’s impossible to do everything but we wanted him to have lots of options. And then I thought I would share some of the things from the list also here on the blog. Since cuisine and eating traditions are one of the most distinguishing parts of a culture and country, I’ll start with the list of our favorite restaurants and cafés in Bratislava. Most of the places are in the city center and within walking distance from the main sights.
Some time ago a shared a few pictures from our visit in Bratislava this past summer. If you would like to take a look how the city looks like you can find the photos here. And now, the list of our 5 favorite restaurants and 5 cafés in Bratislava. These are all places we have been to and liked. Some of them are rather new and we had a chance to visit them just once or twice, but others have been our favorites for years.
My top 5 restaurants in Bratislava
I heard about the Pulitzer restaurant only recently and was intrigued by the pictures and reviews on the Internet. And then, one Sunday, we decided to go there for a lunch. Restaurant is really nice, it’s right on the edge of the historic city center, in front of a church. The food was really delicious, service good and the location is just perfect when you’re exploring the city.
There’s more than one Primi restaurant in Bratislava. And my favorite is the one in Eurovea shopping center the most because it has a beautiful river front seating. There is another in city center and one more in another shopping center. They serve Mediterranean cuisine and their tomato soup is something to speak about. The risotto Primi is very good too.
The goal at Mercado is to serve healthy dishes from local and fresh ingredients (often organic). And you can find many interesting options in their menu. I love their risotto with chicken, zucchini and asparagus, as well as falafel served with hummus (this one’s an appetizer).
I have actually been to this restaurant for the first time just this past summer, but my friends eat there regularly. And I know I’ll come back because I loved the food and atmosphere. Dunajský pivovar is a brewery and restaurant on a boat on the Danube River. I really liked pancakes with curd and blueberries. They also make great thick noodles with poppy seeds or stewed beef with creamy vegetable sauce and home-made dumpling.
Meštianský pivovar is another brewery with a restaurant in typical tavern style. This place has an authentic atmosphere and they serve almost exclusively typical Slovak dishes. I would recommend to try the dumplings with sheep cheese filling or duck legs with stewed red cabbage served with a Slovak potato pancake.
My top 5 cafés in Bratislava
It was a love at first sight with Enjoy coffee (at least for me ;)). This café is in the heart of the city, in one of the most iconic streets of Bratislava. In summer months they have table outside. They make great coffee, have a wide selection of homemade cakes and you can also buy some of their products, like teas, cups and kitchen utensils. Next time I plan to try something from their breakfast menu.
There are three Greentree caffés in Bratislava. I go to the one in the city center most often. The place is full of books which I liked. They have a wide selection of cakes, with very good cheese cake and they also sell ice-cream. If you’ll go to Greentree caffé go sit downstairs. It’s a beautiful space underground in old cellars with arched ceilings.
We’ve recently been also to Mondieu café. The one that is closest to the main square. We were sitting outside because it was beautiful and I love people watching. But I also love their interior, the design, colors, furniture, and smell of roasted coffee that’s lingering in the air. We were curious and tried their coffee drink called Two-tone chocolate coffee. It’s basically espresso with dark and white chocolate. We were pleasantly surprised, it was very delicious and nicely presented.
Coffee 4U is a tiny place and you need to know where it is, otherwise you’ll miss it. It’s hidden in a small yard between houses. What might help you to find it, is to follow the smell of roasted coffee that lingers from this place. It’s firstly a coffee roaster and secondly a café. You can choose specific beans for your espresso and you can buy a bag of coffee beans to enjoy great coffee at home. We tried espresso and café latte along with a sponge cake, called ‘bábovka’ in Slovak. When I was a child it was my favorite cake and to this day it is high on top of my list.
Café Diaz is part of a bookstore and it is in every big store they have. You can take a book you are considering to buy and flip through the pages while enjoying some coffee and cake.
What are your favorite spots in Bratislava? And if you’ve been to these what do you think? Share in the comments section!