What is Slovak Food? 18 Most Popular Food from Slovakia
If I had to describe the food from Slovakia in three words, I’d describe it as humble, hearty and unknown.
Slovak cuisine doesn’t receive the international recognition it deserves. This is home-style cooking at it’s best. The food in Slovakia utilises some fantastic local products such as various cheese, quality potatoes and fruit, pork and plenty of love!
In addition to the tasty food of Slovakia, it’s also a beautiful country. It’s often overlooked by visitors who are drawn to well known neighbouring countries of the Czech Republic and Austria.
The magnificent High Tatras Mountains in the north offers amazing hiking opportunities and there are some wonderful cities, small villages and castles to explore too.
Kapustnica is a delicious sauerkraut soup and one of Slovakia’s most popular foods. It is served as a warming soup and is also part of the Slovak traditional Christmas dinner.
This soup is jam-packed with flavour! Ingredients to prepare this Slovak classic include sauerkraut, sausage, smoked ham hock, dried mushrooms, onions, garlic and essential spices, paprika and caraway.
Kapustnica is one of my favourite Slovak foods, and it’s the ultimate winter food that always tastes better the next day.
2) Bryndzové Halušky (Dumplings with sheep’s cheese & bacon)
Slovakia food favourite – The national dish and famous food from Slovakia – Bryndzové Halušky
This hearty meal is Slovakia’s national dish. Bryndzové halušky is a dish of potato dumplings folded through sheep’s cheese with roasted cubes of bacon or lard on top.
The secret of a good plate of bryndzové halušky is in the quality, creamy and locally-produced sheep’s cheese, bryndza.
This cheese is relatively mild with a subtle salty finish. When it’s eaten with the roasted bacon pieces and soft potato dumplings, it’s pretty special.
I love this dish, and I’d recommend eating this national favourite and other classic Slovak foods on our list in a Koliba (hut of shepherds). These rustic restaurants serve the best traditional food from Slovakia.
3) Zemiakové Placky (Fried Potato cakes)
These fried potato pancakes are a much-loved dish in Slovakia and other European countries like Poland (they feature in our post about the most popular foods in Poland) and Hungary.
The recipe slightly varies in each country, but the key ingredients are always grated potatoes, onions, eggs, flour, fresh garlic and a few herbs and seasonings for flavour.
The potato mixture is spooned into a pan with a generous amount of vegetable oil, flattened and fried on medium heat until golden brown.
Best eaten with tartare sauce or sour cream on top.
Warning: these are so addictive, that you can never stop at just two or three.
4) Cesnaková Polievka (Garlic Soup)
There are two types of this soup, the creamy garlic soup and a clear one. The latter is more common throughout the country.
The core ingredients are fresh garlic, potatoes, dried marjoram, caraway seeds and bread croutons. The creamy version has added cream at the end of the cooking process, and sometimes the clear one has the addition of a par-cooked egg in the soup.
It’s nice when this dish is served piping hot, and you mix the egg to create a creamy-like texture. Either variety of this soup is fantastic.
5) Lokše (Potato flatbread)
Food from Slovakia – Lokše is a great side dish with grilled meats and sauerkraut.
Lokše is round, thin flatbreads made of potato, flour and salt.
These potato pancakes are baked dry in a pan until the edges crisp up. After baking, they require brushing with melted lard, duck fat or butter. This traditional food in Slovakia is usually eaten during the Christmas celebrations and is the perfect side dish for roasted duck and sauerkraut.
There is nothing better than sitting down to a plate of freshly baked lokše painted in melted duck fat, a portion of roasted duck, the sauerkraut to cut through the richness of this feast and let’s not forget about a cold glass of Slovak beer to complete the experience.
Lokše is eaten as a side dish, on its own, or stuffed with minced meat and sauerkraut. This Slovak snack is also a sweet treat filled with homemade jam, fresh poppy seeds, sweetened cheese and melted butter.
6) Langoš (Deep-fried dough)
Langos – Easy and affordable snack food in Slovakia
It’s the ultimate street food snack in Slovakia, and it’s said to have originated in Hungary, where it’s hugely popular too. Langoš is also popular in the Czech Republic, Austria, Serbia, and Romania.
Essentially, langoš is a deep-fried flatbread or dough with toppings of your choice.
Typically, it’s brushed with freshly minced garlic when hot and slathered with either sour cream or tartare sauce and grated cheese. Yum! Another popular condiment is tomato ketchup.
This kind of Slovak food is cheap, tasty and filling, and I’m a massive fan of this delicious Slovakian snack.
7) Cigánska Pecienka (Pork steak in Bun)
Cigánska Pecienka – Yummy food from Slovakia. Credit: https://www.kaufland.sk
This kind of food from Slovakia reminds me a little of Italian food, like the classic dishes you will find in Rome. Not in terms of flavour, but the fact that you can take a few quality ingredients and make a delicious dish.
Cigánska Pecienka is a quality piece of boneless pork that has been bashed with a mallet to tenderise, covered in fresh garlic and BBQ spices, and grilled. The pork steak is placed into a bun, topped with fried onions (also from the grill), a slathering of mustard , and that’s it!
Bratislavský rožok is a traditional Slovakian pastry that comes in two varieties.
The C-shaped variety filled with ground walnuts, and the crescent-shaped pastry filled with poppy seeds.
Each individual rožok is manually rolled, and have an equal amount of filling to pastry. The typical glossy surface with a golden marble pattern on top is the sign of a good rožok . Bratislavský rožok dates back to 1785 when it was introduced at a bakery in Bratislava.
9) Guláš (Goulash)
If you visit Slovakia, and you really should put it on top of your travel bucket-list, you will likely enjoy a hot plate of goulash at least once.
Slovakian goulash is a meat and vegetable stew or soup made with beef, onion, tomatoes, tomato paste, peppers, potatoes and sweet paprika.
A cylindrical-shaped pastry or cake made from rolled dough wrapped around a stick, then grilled and rolled in a sugar and walnut mix.
Modern versions of trdelnik are filled with whipped cream, Nutella, berries and ice cream, but I’m a fan of the traditional, uncomplicated trdelnik. Of course, you can make that choice yourself, either way; I recommend you try it.
Tip: Buy this sweet snack from a shop or street vendor that has just removed it from the grill when it’s still warm.
If you’re planning to travel to the Czech Republic and do these 7 Best Things to do in Prague, you can also try Trdelnik there. It’s super popular in the capital city of Prague, but we recommend you search for one outside of the Old Town to get a better quality chimney cake at a much better price.
11) Granadír (Potato pasta)
Popular Food from Slovakia is Granadir – an easy dish to make with leftover potatoes, pasta and ingredients on hand.
This typical food in Slovakia and Central European countries may be straightforward and cheap to prepare, but it’s tasty.
This dish usually uses leftover pasta or potatoes on hand and can be either a side dish or an easy and filling vegetarian dish.
Other core ingredients to prepare Granadír are onion, paprika, oil, salt, pepper, and chives. Ingredients are fried in a pan with oil, seasonings added, and of course, the potatoes or pasta. It’s simple yet oh so delicious.
Granadír is usually served as a dish on its own for a quick, hot meal or as a side dish to roasted, grilled, or baked meats like chicken, sausages, or pork.
12) Vyprážaný Sýr (Fried cheese)
Popular Food from Slovakia – Vyprážaný Sýr or deep-fried cheese
Vyprážaný Sýr, or deep-fried cheese, is up there with THE most favoured food from Slovakia.
You can find this dish served in cafeterias, restaurants, and old-style canteens around the nation, and it’s a popular street food too.
A thick portion of cheese (usually Edam or similar) is breaded, then deep-fried. It’s the hero of the dish and is usually served with boiled potatoes, and vegetables, or pickled salad. It wouldn’t be complete without a big spoonful of the deliciously creamy Slovak tartare sauce.
This fried cheese dish is usually available everywhere in Slovakia during lunchtime, as this is when Slovaks eat a hot lunch, which is also they’re biggest meal of the day.
If there is one thing that Slovakians do exceptionally well, it’s baking cakes, strudels and the most amazing sweets.
This scrumptious Slovakian dessert is a cherry strudel. It comprises three commonly used ingredients in Central European cuisine – sour cherries, strudel pastry, and poppy seeds.
A combination of poppy seeds, sour cherry compote, butter, and sugar is the filling that is spread evenly over a thin pastry. The delicate pastry is rolled to form a strudel, painted with eggwash and placed in the oven to bake to perfection.
Višňová štrúdľa is often served with whipped cream, and of course, it’s best when eaten warm alongside a hot tea or coffee.
14) Oškvarkové Pagáče (Pork crackling cakes)
Delicious Food from Slovakia
Oškvarkové pagáče are traditional Slovakian savoury biscuits made with layers of blended lard cracklings.
These much-loved snacks are a little challenging to make, but they’re super delicious when you find some quality ones. The secret is the quality and cut of the bacon used in this recipe.
15) Kuracia Polievka (Chicken Soup)
This chicken soup would have to be Slovakia’s most common (and probably the most loved) soup recipe. Kuracia Polievka (chicken soup) is quite simple to prepare, with ingredients always available in the supermarkets and fresh markets.
The ingredients include chicken pieces (legs and wing pieces are ideal for this dish), carrots, onions, parsnip, kohlrabi, parsley, peppercorn, bay leaves, salt and pepper.
Kuracia Polievka can be served with the addition of delicate noodles (either homemade or store-bought). This soup is often enjoyed as an appetiser before the main meal at lunchtime and if you ask the Slovaks, they will tell you that Sunday lunch isn’t complete without a good chicken soup.
Breaded and fried carp with potato salad is the traditional Slovak Christmas dish.
Did you know that grilled Carp (lake fish) is traditional Slovak Christmas food in Slovakia? This tradition is similar in neighbouring the Czech Republic too.
The Carp is usually breaded and fried along with other dishes like potato salad and Kapustnica (sauerkraut soup).
17) Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut
Pork is of high quality in Slovakia and other Central European countries, so it’s common to find many dishes prepared using this meat.
If you get a chance to enjoy slow cooked pork ribs with sauerkraut in Slovakia, take it. It’s usually a generous meal that is packed with flavour.
This dish is wonderful and you will often have the choice to have it served with either rice or boiled potatoes.
18) Chlebicky (open faced sandwiches)
If you visit a Slovak household, it’s very likely that ‘chlebicky’ or open face sandwiches will be offered to you. Alternatively, depending on the time of the day, it could also be a fully cooked meal of chicken schnitzels or roasted chicken with rice from that day’s hot lunch.
The best thing about chlebicky is that they’re easy to prepare and ingredients are often on hand. Good bread is always available in Slovakia, and you can always buy it fresh too. The toppings for these small open faced sandwiches can be almost anything.
It may be ham, cheese, egg and pickle, an egg/mayonnaise mixture, a creamy pepper spread or even pate, tomatoes and peppers.
Chlebicky are also made up and sold in small shops, so it’s the perfect food to pick-up when you’re out. They’re very affordable too, so I highly recommend you try some during your visit to Slovakia.
So there you have it, our list of the most popular Slovak foods to try when you visit. Have you tried any of these traditional foods in Slovakia? What was your favourite food in Slovakia? Let us know in the comments below.
The stunning Zelene Pleso (Green Lake) in the High Tatra Mountains of Slovakia
Make sure you get travel insurance before hitting the road. Trust us, it’s one of those things you don’t want to leave home without. We recommend either World Nomads or SafetyWing, depending on the type of traveller you are.
Get Connected in Slovakia with eSIM!
Get connected the easy way when you’re travelling in Slovakia – and buy an eSIM.
An eSIM works like an app: Buy it, download it, and get connected within minutes!
It’s easy, affordable, and convenient. Keep your original mobile phone number too!
Read more about how an eSIMs works or click below to view which eSIM data plan you need for your adventures in Slovakia. Use our referral code: RACHEL5045 to get $3 off your first purchase!
🚌 Transportation: To book trains,Trainline is the best and cheapest website. To book transport in Europe, USA & Canada, we useOmio & FlixbusUS. For travel in Asia, we use 12Go.For all other countries, we use BookaWay to compare and book Bus, Ferry, or train tickets to get around.
💰 Send Money Anywhere: WISE is the best online account that lets you send money, get paid, and spend money internationally. It’s so easy to use and way cheaper than any bank transfer.
📶 Stay Connected: Airalo eSIM allows you to get connected the moment you land at your destination and you can avoid those expensive data roaming charges. We LOVE this product! Use promo code VHN20 for a 20% discounton ALL eSIMs (new Airalo users only – Read Terms & Conditions) OR use promo code VHN15 for a 15% discount on ALL eSIMs (for existing Airalo account users – Read Terms & Conditions)
Rach is a self-confessed travelling foodie. Her passion for food and culture has seen her eat her way through 190 countries. She's currently on a big food adventure to visit EVERY country in the world!
When Rach isn't travelling, you can find her at the beach, drinking coffee or wine with friends or chowing down on the best eats around her home city of Melbourne, Australia.