Maribor is the second biggest city of Slovenia, with amazing architecture and a vibrant culture. It is also a place offering some surprising culinary experiences, cultivating not only local and regional food heritage, but also traditions of other ethnicities and nationalities. Here’s a list of the top dining establishments to visit in this Central-Eastern European city.
Restaurant, Romanian, European, Slovenian
Romani Kafenava is the first Romani restaurant in the EU that aims to cultivate the culture of this ethnic group, upholding and spreading Roma art, language and cuisine. Its aim is also to integrate the Roma people into the work environment of Maribor, inculcating the spirit of entrepreneurship, and welcoming them into the city’s society. The menu of the restaurant offers traditional home-made Romani dishes, like goulash or special bread, while the interior is arranged in a rustic style and decorated with unique Romani art, colorful tablecloths and vases.
Located in the center of Maribor, MAL’CA is a perfect place for lunch or a light meal – there are no grilled or fried things on the menu, and all food is prepared from fresh and seasonal ingredients. The restaurant is a haven for fans of all kinds of pasta, noodles and spaghetti, with a special pasta dish changing every week. Those willing to try some real Slovenian fare will not be disappointed either because of the delicious žlikrofi, dumplings originating from Idrija.
Located next to Maribor’s Old Bridge, Pri Starem Mostu is a restaurant offering a classy lunch menu with gorgeous views over the Drava River and a lively, local atmosphere. Meals look and taste delicious, and are presented exquisitely, while the the interior is very elegant, the red and black colors creating a romantic setting. Pri Starem Mostu offers outdoor seating as well, with wonderful views and a green environment that perfectly reflects the ethos of the restaurant.
Apart from the restaurants serving national Slovenian cuisine, Maribor has a lot of great food spots offering cuisine from all around the world. “Miyabi” in Japanese refers to one of the aesthetic ideals, standing for elegance, sophistication and refinement; a fitting moniker for this, the first Japanese restaurant in Maribor. The kitchen offers the flavors of the Far East, with a wide range of vegetarian options to boot. For fans of sushi and Japanese culture and design, Miyabi will be a real treat.
Restavracija Villa Rustica is located on the edge of the city center in the immediate vicinity of the archaeological site of Roman ruins from the third century. Villa opens to a stunning view of the Pohorje Mountains and offers Italian cuisine that will satisfy a wide variety of tastes. The restaurant’s interior is arranged in a elegant style with accents of folklore and rustic decorations, such as jars filled with seeds, grain, and flowers. It has a big terrace and a wide green area outside, which makes it a perfect choice on a warm, sunny day.
Čevapčarnica Hadžija offers Bosnian cuisine, with its most popular dishes like čevapčiči and pleskavica, or true Bosnian somun or lepinja some of the best-loved options on the menu. A great Balkan meal here is perfectly complemented by the real Turkish coffee that is served in original pots and cups. Walking into the restaurant, the Bosnian spirit is immediately felt, with the amazing interior decorated with folk motifs on the chairs, benches, and walls, and Sarajevo radio playing in the background.
Restaurant with Rooms, Hotel Restaurant, European, Slovenian, $$$
With a tradition of more than 100 years, Pri Lešniku is a motel and restaurant offering a menu full of home-made treats such as sausages, fresh pork and fish meals. Pri Lešniku gives special attention to the local and natural kitchen; it has its own garden with vegetables and fruits, and uses the ingredients such as milk from neighboring farms. Four different rooms are arranged in an elegant way with different color settings, whereas two gardens welcome visitors during the summertime.
The building of Pri Florjanu has a rich and interesting history, while the menu offers a fusion of Slovenian and Mediterranean cuisines with Styrian influences. The restaurant has a wide wine selection with a big choice of Slovenian and Austrian brands. The inside is elegant and modern at the same time, with brown and purple-colored furniture to accommodate up to 90 guests.
Restavracija MaK is no ordinary restaurant. Guests will not find a menu, nor a wine list, but they will definitely find great cuisine. The chef of MaK traveled the whole world, from Europe to Africa, cooking at the best restaurants, and now uses all his knowledge and creativity to prepare the most imaginative and extraordinary meals for visitors. Fans of cooking, both beginners and more experienced cooks, can also take part in the classes and prep their own dishes.
Gostilna Pri treh Ribnikih is located in the City Park, with the green scenery of the wine growing hills of Mestni vrh and Piramido in the background. The restaurant, with its 300 years of history, is the oldest restaurant in Maribor, having been operating continuously since 1825. It offers traditional Slovenian and regional cuisine, with modern perspectives on cooking and serving the dishes, using seasonal and local products. The restaurant has a wine cellar with a great selection of local labels that can be tasted and purchased.