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Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is located southwestern Slovakia on the borders with Austria and Hungary. It is the only national capital that borders two independent countries. Known as Pressburg to German-speakers or Pozsony to Hungarian-speakers, Bratislava got its present name only since 1919. But the city has a long and proud history that dates back to pre-Roman times.
The city was the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary, a part of the larger Habsburg Monarchy territories and became a coronation town and the seat of kings and all major organisations and offices. Eleven Hungarian kings and queens were crowned at St. Martin's Cathedral including The Queen Maria Theresa.
For many people still known as a part of former Czechoslovakia, Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia becoming more and more popular city, modern and young so called “Partyslava” or “BARtislava”.
Slovak dishes, drinks and tipping in Bratislava restaurants
Ordering & Tipping
Unlike in many other European destinations table service is still offered in Bratislava at most bars and pubs even if you are only having drinks. Only some pubs charge after every round. In restaurants it is best to point to each menu choice even if the waiter seems to understand, to avoid misunderstandings later.
When paying, it is customary to round up the bill to a total of five to ten percent. Cash tips will be appreciated, even if you are paying for the meal by credit card. A tip for every drink purchased is not necessary but recognize that at some point a little extra is expected.
Almost all restaurants serve “à la carte” and side dishes (rice, potatoes, or fresh salad) must be requested separately. You should be sure to ask separately even for ketchup, salad dressing and bread and expect to pay a few crowns for each of them. Note that fish prices are often given by weight, not by serving, and so will often cost more in the end than the “example” price given in the menu.
You will find restaurants claiming to have traditional ‘Slovak’ dishes all over Bratislava. It is not an officially certified name – there is no quality control about which restaurants are really “Slovak”, so of course the quality and price may vary. But in general any restaurant that displays the Slovak-language “Slovenska restauracia” will offer you a real chance to taste authentic Slovak cooking.
Most popular Slovak restaurants:
The Slovak most typical dish is "bryndzové halušky" - potato dumplings with special sheep cheese and fried bacon.
Another typical Slovak dish is roasted goose with potato pancake and cabagge. It is a speciality of the Slovakia southwest countyside specifficaly in village Slovensky Grob which is famous thanks to Goose Feast.
In the past, Slovak cooking had a lot of dishes without meat, above all based on flour, like for example the already mentioned halusky (small dumplings) - that where prepared by a mixture of flour and potatoes, accompanied with cheese of sheep (bryndza), covered with bacon, or with the combination of sauerkraut, or of cottage cheese, the pirohy - that are a kind of Italian ravioli, that are stuffed with cottage cheese, sheep cheese (bryndza) or, the sweet version, with jam, cover with poppy or with the minced walnuts.
Traditional Slovakia Food
- Bryndzove halushky: potato dumplings with sheep cheese (bryndza) and roasted bacon
- Zemiakové placky: potato pancakes fried in oil with garlic and flour
- Granadír: pasta with potato
- Fried cheese: cheese fried in bread crumbs
- Schnitzel: Vienna schnitzel
- Lokše: potato pancake
Sweet Slovakia Food
- Dolky: smaller size thicker pancakes
- Ryžový nákyp: sweet baked rise
- Žemľovka: white bread baked with fruit and eggs
- Parené buchty: steamed dumplings filled with jam with sweet toping
- Šišky: fried dumplings
- Kapustnica: soup made of sour cabbage and smoked pork sausage, variations also include adding mushrooms or plums
- Bean soup: made of beans and root vegetables such as carrots and parsley
- Garlic soup: usually cooked in chicken broth
- Goulash soup: made of beef, paprika, marjoram and potatoes
- Bryndza: special type of traditional Slovak sheep cheese
- Cheeses: Parenica, oštiepok, korbáčik
- Treska: salad that contains codfish, mayonnaise and various vegetables
- Valašsky Trdelnik: wives hollow cake
- Jaternica: a blood sausage containing parts of a butchered pig and rice
- Klobása: a sausage made of pork meat, salt, garlic and pepper
- Fish dishes: trout fish, carp fish
Slovak alcoholic drinks
The excellent taste and aroma of the Slovak specialities are well accompanied with the excellent quality of Slovak wines, from the zone of Bratislava (Rheinriesling, Welschriesling, Gruner Veltliner, Traminer, Silvaner and Muller-Thurgau) and of eastern Slovakia (Tokai), but also with the great offer of Slovak beers (Zlaty bazant, Kelt, Topvar, etc). Slovak beers are mainly located in two categories: svetle (light) or tmave (dark) with svetle style beers being of the bitter, hoppy variety and the tmave beers being a little sweeter without so much of the biting aftertaste.
The typical Slovak aperitif is slivovica (plum brandy), borovicka (juniper brandy), demanovka (herb liqueur or herb bitter).
Slovak non-alcoholic drinks
Vinea is a traditional soft drink made from grape juice with no aromatic or synthetic colouring additives, stabilized by pasteurization.
Kofola is a traditional Slovak cola drink and is also very popular among Slovak people. In the past kofola was only available draught. Nowadays you can buy both drinks bottled or draught in bars, pubs and some restaurants.