Nothing tells you more about a place than its food, and I recently took a walking food tour in Slovenia with my knowledgeable new friend and local guide, Jazmina. She toured me through the streets of Ljubljana and shared her favorite food venues. Each stop on our tour showcased traditional Slovenian food and the wines that pair. “Walking food tours are one of the best ways to dive into local Slovenian culture,” Jazmina explained, and after 6 stops at local favorites, I thoroughly agree.

Ribca – The first stop on our walking food tour in Slovenia was a small cafe near the fish market on the Ljubljana River. I tasted a “little plate” of fresh calamari stuffed with prosciutto and cheese. This was accompanied by grilled baby sardines lightly bathed in a perfectly garlicky Trieste sauce with olive oil and parsley. It was more than enough for dinner. But I knew 5 more stops were coming, so I begrudgingly didn’t clean my plate. The dinner was paired with their house Malvazija white wine, this was a heavenly pairing. I knew I was in for a great evening.

Slovenska Hiša – Slovenia House. I was greeted for the meal with a goblet of medicine! Not really, but they say that Teran, the renowned black wine, isn’t wine at all–it’s medicine. There is actually some truth to this. The Teran grape is grown in red soil, which imparts some iron into the wine, presumably helpful in the treatment of anemia! And if that didn’t perk up my red cells, then the homemade prosciutto and cheese did the trick.

Güjžina. The third stop on our food tour was a little cafe for a soup and wine course. Grown in the Maribor region in northeastern Slovenia, it is a red wine produced from vines that are over 400 years old, the oldest in the world. Accompanied by a turnip soup called bujta repa, this stop was very filling and perfect for a cold night.

Klòbasarna is the most famous sausage shop in Ljubljana. This unassuming shop is simply a place to order at the counter and eat on the go or at one of the wrought-iron tables and chairs outside. One taste of this wurst, called kranjska klobasa, with a dab of the hot mustard or horseradish sauce and you will have a newfound love of wurst.

By definition, sausage is fatty, so you need a wine to cut through all that grease. The perfect choice is Cviček wine. This is a purposely sour wine from Novo Mesto in the south. Basically a kitchen sink wine, the only requirement is that it’s a blend of red and white and that it’s low in alcohol, only 8-10%. It did cut the fat!

Hiša pod Pradom which means “house under the castle,” Our fifth restaurant on the walking food tour was located under the Ljubljana castle. This stop showcased the best of home-cooked Slovenian cuisine. Dumplings stuffed with potato and bacon in a blanket of mushroom cream and chardonnay sauce. Mashed potatoes were served with the dumplings and were one of the best Slovenian meals I had tasted.

Matevž is another Slovenian national dish of potatoes mashed with beans, often served with sausage, and is offered to local tourists who enjoy food! (That means all of us!)

Cafe Nebotičnik is at the top of Ljubljana’s first skyscraper, called affectionately The Skyscraper and offers an incredible view of the city from the top of its 13 stories. It was the tallest building in the Balkans and the 9th tallest in Europe when it was completed in 1933.

Nebotičnik shines like a beacon with its colorful exterior lights. Jazmina encouraged me to try kremšnita. It is the national cake which is a confection of pastry and custard cream. Jazmina also insisted I try another typical specialty, potica. This is a strudel-type pastry rolled with either walnuts or poppy seeds. One bite, accompanied by some strong Turkish coffee, and I was delighted.

After a walking food tour of Ljubljana and sampling the unique Slovenian wines I was so ready to walk back to my hotel to allow all that food and wine to settle. Diet starts when I return home, right?!

All of the Slovenian trips I coordinate include similar food and wine walking tours. Nothing bonds people like travel, and nothing bonds travelers like shared food and wine. Looking forward to having you join us when Wine Lovers Travel visits Slovenia next.