Coffee shops, restaurants, fast food – they are all easy to find around Ljubljana. However, like every other place, the capital of Slovenia has its hidden treasures and I believe I can consider myself lucky as I know at least few of them. So let me tell you about the ones I discovered.
1. Slovenskaj hisa – best traditional Slovenian coffee ever!
This one is not hard to find at all. It is located just by the river, right next to Prešernov square and Three Bridge. As a matter of fact most perhaps almost every tourist, who has visited Ljubljana in the past couple of years (the place is brand new), had coffee there at least once.
The place is beautiful and the view you get when you sit there – simply stunning. The reason I’m adding it to my list, however, is this very special coffee of theirs. I was lucky enough to go to Slovenska Hisa with a local person, so my friend ordered it for us. But if I was to go there by myself I would have never ordered anything different than a normal Latte. So if you are addicted to coffee just like I am – my advice to you would be to start your visit with this very special treat. The cost of it for two people was €3, 80. Cheers!
2. Cjainica Gallus – best tea ever!
If you are a tea lover or simply looking for good afternoon tea – this is your place. Located by Ljubljanica River with an amazing view, this place offers a large selection of completely natural teas, served in a special manner which makes you feel as if you are the Queen. Most of the teas come in heavy metal teapots accomplished by this very thin and luxurious looking cups.
As there are many other coffee shops and restaurants by the river near Cajnica Gallus, your chances of not spotting it are quite high unless you look for it in particular. Again a local showed it to me and even advised me on the tea to go for – Caramel tea for €2, 40 (Karamelino in Slovenian, but even if you say it in English they will understand what you want). I liked it so much, that I never tried anything else from their menu.
Working hours: Mon – Sun: 08:00 – 24:00
Location: GPS: 46.047147, 14.506130 | Google Maps Link
3. Caffetino – the most aromatic coffee I have ever had!
Back to the coffee addiction – this place offers an amazing collection of organic flavored coffee. The place itself is very simple, yet it is perfectly located in the center of Ljubljana. For the month, I was there I’ve been passing by this place at least once a day, some days even more times and I never noticed it myself. Until one day, a friend of mine took me there.
Looking at the menu, I noticed all the Hazelnut coffees, Vanilla coffees, etc. At first, I thought those are some sort of coffees with added flavored syrups to them, but man, was I wrong. It turned out that the coffee itself was flavored. I ordered a Hazelnut Latte – and the taste was so perfect, that thinking of it now makes me drool a little.
What’s even better about Caffetino – it is not simply a coffee shop where you can sit and enjoy a good cup of coffee, but they also sell coffee beans/ground coffee, so if you fall in love with any of the flavors, you can buy some and have the very same magic when you go back home.
Working hours: Mon – Fri: 07:30 – 22:00 | Sat: 08:00 – 22:00 | Sun: 09:00 – 16:000
Location: GPS: 46.02568 14.30215 | Google Maps Link
4. Pivoteka – for all of you, beer lovers
I’m not much of a beer fan myself, but my breath was taken away the minute I walked in this shop. They must have had at least couple of hundreds different kinds of beer. Truly impressive – you walk in and all you see are beer bottles, from the floor to the ceiling of the room. They even had a coconut beer?!?
This specialized beer shop is simply one of those places that cannot be described with words, you should just pay it a visit and see for yourself. Here comes the tricky part. Even though the shop is located in the heart of Ljubljana, it is almost impossible to spot it. Right next door to “Caffetino“, as seen from the street Pivoteka is literally just a large door of an old house with a relatively small sign on the top corner. Once you enter this door you will find yourself at a rather dark hallway leading you towards another door. Don’t give up at this point, you haven’t mistaken the place, just keep going and you will reach the heaven for every beer lover around the would.
Working hours: Mon – Fri: 07:30 – 22:0 | Sat: 08:00 – 22:00 | Sun: 09:00 – 16:000
Location: GPS: 46.02559 14.30228 | Google Maps Link
5. Nebotičnik Skyscraper – see Ljubljana from above
When you get to Ljubljana one of the first things to notice is that there are almost no high buildings around. They all seem to be about 4-5 floors high and I have to tell you that for a European capital this is very unusual.
Nonetheless, there are few buildings that stand higher than the rest, like lonely trees in a desert. One of the very few high buildings there has a coffee shop/restaurant/club on its top floor. And even though it’s just on the 11th floor the view you get from there is breathtaking. You can see the whole town and the Castle standing proudly on the hill above Ljubljana.
Unfortunately, the place opens at 9 a.m. so there’s no way for you to see the sunrise from it, however, you can enjoy the stunningly beautiful sunset. This is why I recommend you go an hour before the sunset. This way you will get to see Ljubljana during daylight, enjoy all those amazing colors of the sunset and in just half an hour after it, you will also get to see night Ljubljana.
6. Twenty Caffe – Kristalni palači or translated Crystal palace
As we are talking about high buildings and seeing the beautiful Ljubljana from above I should mention the second place where you can treat yourself with a tasty drink while enjoying the town view from the sky. It is located in a business building called Crystal palace near the only mall in Ljubljana – BTC Center.
Crystal palace also has a coffee shop on one of its top floors. The main difference from Nebotičnik is that there is no balcony. Nonetheless, this cafe is on the 20th floor and the entire building is made of glass. So there is no need for you to worry about any walls blocking the view.
Another benefit of the place is the external glass elevator that allows you to see exactly how high you are going.
Working hours: Mon – Fri: 08:00 – 20:00 | Sat: 09:00 – 23:00
GPS: 46.04025 14.32294 | Google Maps Link
7. Cat Caffe – what an awesome idea for all of us, pet lovers
While I was in Ljubljana I was having the time of my life enjoying the beautiful town and the lovely people. As a pet owner and animal lover, however, towards the end of my stay I felt a little down, because I was missing my two dogs and a cat too much. So one evening while I was mumbling about how much I miss them, my friend decided to cheer me up by taking me to this coffee shop named Cat Caffe.
The place is located in one of the side street in Ljubljana, so finding it by chance is almost impossible. I don’t even remember the exact way we got there.
It turned out this is a cafe, where everything is all about the 5 cats living in this place, so everyone who goes there to grab a cup of coffee or tea can enjoy their company and play with these graceful creatures.
There are cat toys spread all around the place and even a list on every table, where you can read the history of each cat. At Cat Caffe they also have very strict rules so they can ensure all cats are feeling comfortable and none of the visitors are torturing them.
8. Čevabdžinice Sarajevo 84 – the taste of Balkans.
Is there a better ending of the day, but a delicious Balkan grill? The best place we discovered is also in the very center of Ljubljana, yet well-hidden the the “untrained eye”.
Across from Nebotičnik, you can see one of the very fancy hotels (we dream to stay at) in Ljubljana – Slon. If you are standing in front of the hotel facing it, on the left-hand side you will see some brown signs with Balkan grill on them and stairs leading underneath the street.
At first, it looks like one of those street window food shops, where you can buy a quick burger from, so if you are looking for a good restaurant you would probably ignore it. And this will be your biggest mistake. Once you go down the stairs you will find yourself in a very cozy, sweet, typically Balkan style restaurant.
Their menu is not huge, but it contains everything one might wish for. Of course, there are few types of local beers available as well, to compliment anything you order. And last but not least, the prices are a very nice surprise. For something like 10 euros one can get stuffed as an American turkey on Independence Day.