Modrá Hviezda not only has a cozy location under Bratislava Castle, it also offers a solid range of Slovak dishes, and even shares a bit about their history on the menu. The brick-lined, candlelit cellars are a mix of rustic and romantic, while the brighter front room is pure Slovak country style, with garlic and chili peppers hanging from the ceiling. A summertime bonus is the lovely terrace with views down to the Danube. While the menu features many delicacies, the baked duck with red cabbage and potato pancakes or the roasted rabbit with mushrooms are especially worth recommending.
Modrá Hviezda, Beblavého 14, Bratislava, Slovakia, +421 948 703 070
Located right next to Bratislava castle, Restaurant Hrad’s best assets are its terrace offering unparalleled views over the whole city and the opportunity to escape the summertime crush of castle visitors. Hrad is perfect for an afternoon break in the summer, to enjoy a cold beer, fresh Slovak wine or freshly squeezed lemonade. If you want to eat then Slovak specialties such as duck or beef stew are the usual choices, but the menu extends to more international options, including hamburgers and pasta.
Reštaurácia Hrad, Námestie A. Dubčeka 1, Bratislava, Slovakia, +421911132929
1st Slovak Pub is somewhat touristy, but it’s a fun place to go for a few Slovak beers, a small snack, and a loud, jolly atmosphere. The restaurant’s 14 rooms each represent a different period of history with original decorations and furniture, making 1st Slovak Pub a kind of time-capsule. Most weeknights there’s traditional, live accordion music too, and the Slovak cuisine prepared here is basic, but fresh, with ingredients sourced from a local farm. Try the bryndzové halušky or čiernohorský bravčový rezeň, a pork schnitzel with cheese.
1st Slovak Pub, Obchodná 62, Bratislava, Slovakia, +421 2 5292 6367
The atmospheric city brewery is one of the best places to try a Slovak beer, with an interior of dark tables, brewing vats and arched ceilings to go with a menu of home-brewed specialties: lagers and wheat beers. Chase down with other Slovak drinks such as slivovica, a spirit most often made from plums, although apricot, juniper and other flavorings can be sampled too. The brewery also serves up cold and warm appetizers; traditional favorites include pivný syr (beer cheese), utopenec s feferónkami, cibuľkou a s cesnakom (pickled sausage with peppers, onion and garlic) as well as tatársky biftek (steak tartar).
Bratislavský Meštiansky Pivovar, Drevená 8, Bratislava, Slovakia, +421 944 512 265
Slovaks love their soup, so it is hardly surprising to find a restaurant dedicated to this warm and filling delicacy. A perfect lunch stop, Soupa Bistro cooks up generous bowls of steaming soup and buzzing ambience in the charming, country-themed dining room. Four different soups are offered daily, both traditional and inventive, international ones from chefs who truly love their tasty liquid lunches and a bit of kitchen experimentation.
Kozia 11, Bratislava, Slovakia, +421 905 188 228