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Slovak Food – 22 Traditional Dishes You Simply Must Try

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Flavourful, filling, and with plenty of influences and fusions, Slovak food has delights in store for both the hardcore and casual foodie.

Slovakia is a beautiful, intriguing country, with a cuisine that has very much gone under the radar internationally.

If you’re planning to travel to Slovakia, or you’re simply intrigued by its diverse range of rich and hearty dishes, you’ve come to the right place.

Join us on a culinary journey of awe and splendor, as a local writer takes a closer look at 22 traditional Slovakian foods and dishes with us.

All of them are unique in their own little way, and definitely worth trying when you visit Slovakia.

Introduction to Slovak Food

best slovakian food

Slovakia is located in Central Europe, surrounded by Austria, Hungary, Ukraine, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

Due to its location and history, Slovak cuisine is heavily influenced by the dishes of these neighboring countries, especially Austria and Hungary.

Traditional Slovak dishes are largely simple, comforting, filling, and homely.

Common foods include pork, wheat, poultry, wheat, cabbage, potatoes, sheep’s and cow’s cheese, garlic, and onions, among many others. These gorgeous flavors combine in a variety of ways to create the Slovak cuisine.

Slovakian food has largely gone under the radar internationally. This is a shame, as Slovakian cuisine is some of the most wholesome and hearty food in all of Europe.

Culturally, Slovakians eat three main meals a day, with two snacks squeezed in between – desiata, a late morning elevenses, and an afternoon snack known as olovrant.

I think it’s fair to say that, when it comes to food, Slovakians run like a Japanese train timetable!

Now that we have some context, let’s take a closer look at 22 of the most delicious, traditional Slovakian foods that you have to try when you visit this beautiful country.

22 Slovakian Foods You Simply Must Try

1 – Bryndzové Halušky

Bryndzove Halusky - Slovakian food

This hearty meal is the national dish of Slovakia. It is right up there as one of the most important of the country’s foods.

Bryndzové halušky consists of a wholesome combination of potato dumplings with roasted bacon and sheep’s cheese.

Slovaks use a high-quality, soft, and creamy locally-produced sheep’s cheese, bryndza, in this dish. Bryndza is one of Slovakia’s most beloved cheeses, and it is very much a source of national pride.

Once the dumplings are filled with cheese, the dish is topped with sour cream, fried onion, spring onion, and crispy bacon pieces.

The savory notes from the sour cream, combined with the acidity of the onions, make this a dish with a sharp and delicious flavor.

The doughy version of this dish is Bryndzové pirohy. It consists of pierogi-style dumplings made of dough, filled with the traditional Slovak sheep’s cheese.

The latter version pairs delightfully well with a glass of sour sheep’s milk, žinčica, which has a tangy, fermented taste. Strapačky is another version that uses stewed sauerkraut instead of sheep’s cheese.

2 – Kapustnica

Kapustnica - Slovakian food

Kapustnica is a delicious cabbage or sauerkraut soup. It is one of the most warming and soothing Slovakian dishes.

The soup is a hearty mixture of sauerkraut, dried mushrooms, sliced sausage, and onions. It is served with a dollop of sour cream.

This dish is a sumptuous combination of nutmeg, smoked sausage, spices like paprika, garlic, and baked bread. It is sure to get your taste buds tingling.

Amazingly, you can often find the soup served in a bowl made of bread. If you’re ever in the country, you have to try it! The bread bowl absorbs the juicy flavors, while the outside crust remains crunchy.

Kapustnica is one of the most recognizable Slovak foods, and it is an important dish in Slovakian cuisine. It is eaten as an appetizer, but it is also a part of the traditional Christmas dinner.

3 – Fazuľová Polievka

Fazulova Polievka - Slovakian food

Fazuľová Polievka is a rich and creamy sour bean soup. It has a base of fazula beans, a spotted, colorful bean native to Slovakia.

This traditional Slovak soup has a deep, smokey taste. This is due to the combination of softened fazula beans and the use of sliced smoked bacon in the recipe.

Sour cream, milk, flour, potato, and vinegar help form a thick, creamy base, while garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves inject a little spice and sour notes into the taste.

Fazuľová Polievka is usually served with butter and crusty bread. It can be eaten either as a starter or as a main course. It’s true comfort in a bowl, that’s for sure.

4 – Prívarok

Privarok - Slovakian food

Prívarok is a hearty traditional Slovakian dish. This legume and vegetable stew can have different tastes, depending on the ingredients used.

Commonly, these are cabbage, beans, lentils, cauliflower, spinach, potatoes, peas, or winter squash. The soup thickened with flour and whipping cream.

Seasonings included in the stew are salt, pepper, and dill. It is usually served with a fried egg and diced potatoes, or bread, but you can also combine it with smoked meat and sausage for extra protein.

As a Slovakian food, it has diverse flavors. It is rich, soothing, and very tasty.

5 – Segedin Goulash

Segedin Goulash - Slovakian food

Segedin goulash is the Slovak version of Hungarian goulash. It is the perfect combination of sour and savory, and very much a beloved comfort food in Slovakia.

Segedin goulash consists of pork shoulder chunks stewed with sauerkraut and thickened with heavy cream. This gives the dish makes a thick, creamy texture, and softer, milder taste.

Sometimes sour cream is used for a tangier taste. The sauerkraut used in the goulash is heavily seasoned with paprika.

This dish is traditionally served with dumplings, but you can also find it served with rice.

6 – Mäsové Guľky

Masove Gulky - Slovakian food

This hearty Slovak entrée is a dish of meatballs and potatoes. Mäsové guľky is simple, filling, and inspired by many European meatball dishes.

The meat is rolled in a dough of potatoes, served over steamed cabbage. This Slovak specialty is topped with spring onion and roasted onion. It is a filling and satisfying Slovakian food.

7 – Plnená Paprika

Plnena Paprika - Slovakian food

Plnená Paprika is a traditional Slovakian food consisting of stuffed peppers, originating from Hungary.

It is a popular dish in Slovakia, eaten on a regular basis. The fillings to stuff the peppers with is commonly cooked rice mixed with ground beef in tomato sauce. The peppers are then filled with this mixture and baked.

Locals like to make meatballs with any leftover filling and combine them with the stuffed peppers. Plnená paprika are usually served with potatoes, dumplings, or rice.

8 – Zemiakové Placky

Zemiakove Placky - Slovakian food

Zemiakové placky are pancakes made of potatoes. They typically served as an afternoon snack, especially to school children in Slovakia.

They are excellent for dipping in soup or as a side dish to various main courses.

Potato pancakes are a wildly popular food in Slovakia. They are made with grated potato, flour, and egg, then fried in high-quality oil and garlic.

The pancakes are gooey on the inside but crunchy on the outside. Various spices are used, so expect plenty of heat and kick with each savory bite.

Zemiakové placky are popularly served warm with kefir, sour cream, or soured milk.

They make for excellent Slovakian food, served in kitchens and restaurants across the country.

9 – Langoš

Langos - Slovakian food

Langoš is essentially the Slovak take on pizza. It is a popular street food in Slovakia and other countries such as the Czech Republic, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, and Romania.

Langoš is a flatbread that is lightly fried. The crust is thin and crispy, and it can be folded and eaten like a taco or pulled apart.

The most common toppings for this hearty Slovakian dish are cheese, tomato ketchup, garlic sauce, and tartar sauce.

While that may sound like a lot of condiments, the sauce is in fact a perfect blend of the sweetness of tomato, the strong taste of garlic, and the creamy tang of tartar sauce.

You can also find this popular food with chocolate and sour cream toppings. Langoš is another excellent example of a traditional Slovakian food you’ll have plenty of opportunities to try from street vendors and small kitchens.

10 – Pagáče

Pagace - Slovakian food

These rich Slovak biscuits are different than the popular type of bread in Central Europe called pogača.

These biscuits are made from leavened dough with ground crackling, but you can also find them with cheese, potatoes, or cabbage.

They pair well with sour milk and make for a quick, delicious Slovakian meal that is both great to eat on the go, or at home.

11 – Granadír

Granadir - Slovakian food

This common dish in Slovakia and Central European countries may be simple and inexpensive, but it is incredibly filling and delicious.

Preparing granadír is a great way to use leftover potatoes or pasta, but you can always make it from scratch. It can be both a side dish or a vegetarian main dish.

Along with pasta and potatoes, granadír consists of paprika, oil, onion, salt, pepper, and parsley or chives for garnish.

The onions are chopped and sautéed, and cooked potatoes are added to the mixture with some paprika.

The cooked pasta is then added to the sautéed mixture, along with the spices.

Granadír is often served as a side dish to grilled, baked, or roasted meats like sausages, pork chops, and chicken.

12 – Hemendex

Hemendex - Slovakian food

Hemendex is a popular Slovakian breakfast. It is a simple Slovakian dish of ham and eggs.

What makes this dish unique is the cooking process, which involves layering the deli ham in the pan so that it overlaps. Once the ham is layered, the egg yolk is cracked over the top of it. It is then seasoned with salt and paprika.

The dish is cooked until the whites set, while the egg yolks are left a little runny. Hemendex is a simple but delicious breakfast to enjoy in Slovakia.

13 – Cigánska Pečienka

Ciganska Pecienka - Slovakian food

This popular Slovakian food is a sandwich known as the Slovak burger or its nickname ‘gypsy roast’.

The preparation includes a heavily seasoned chicken breast or pork cutlet marinated and grilled or fried. The cooked meat is served on a bun with mustard, caramelized onions, and sometimes hot peppers.

Cigánska pečienka roast is enjoyed at many Christmas markets in Slovakia. It is also a very popular street food.

14 – Vyprážaný Sýr

Vyprazany Syr - Slovakian food

This hugely popular Slovakian food may have been sent from above. Vyprážaný sýr is deep-fried cheese, served in restaurants, cafeterias, and canteens around the country. It is also sold by street vendors, and it is a hugely popular street food.

A thick slab of Emmenthal or Edam cheese is breaded with breadcrumbs, flour, and egg, and then deep-fried.

It is usually served with French fries, potatoes, sliced vegetables, or a dab of tartar sauce. This dish is a perfect example of how simple yet delicious Slovakian food so often is.

15 – Demikát

Demikat - Slovakian food

Demikát is a rich and beloved traditional Slovakian soup. It has a base made of the country’s favorite sheep’s cheese: bryndza.

In addition to bryndza, the soup is made of garlic, onion, stock, potatoes, and sour cream. Seasonings like cumin, black pepper, and ground red pepper help intensify the taste.

The characteristic flavor of bryndza cheese means this is a Slovak soup that has an unique flavor that packs quite the punch.

Demikát is often served with dumplings or chunks of baked bread, sprinkled with chives.

16 – Palacinka Hortobágyi

Palacinka Hortobagyi - Slovakian food

Palacinka hortobágyi is a beloved pancake dish. Its origins date back to Ottomon-ruled Hungary, and today is one of the most popular Slovakian foods.

Palacinka hortobágyi is a rolled pancake, stuffed with shredded chicken. It is then covered with a considerable amount of dense, creamy sauce.

The pancakes are topped with a dollop of sour cream, adding a little extra to the flavor.

The dish is typically served with bread for dipping in the delicious sauce. It is a hearty Slovak meal, simple to prepare, and commonly eaten as a main course.

17 – Cesnaková Polievka

Cesnakova Polievka - Slovakian food

Soups, as we can see from our list, form an integral part of Slovakian cuisine. Therefore the popularity of cesnaková polievka, a rich garlic soup, should come as no surprise.

The preparation of cesnaková polievka includes frying plenty of garlic chops and then boiling them with paprika, caraway, salt, and potato cubes.

Cesnaková polievka can be either thinner and clearer, or thick and creamy, depending on preference.

While the soup is cooking, Slovakians lined a bowl with slices of thick, fresh bread.

Once ready, the soup is poured over the bread, garnished with parsley and grated cheese. As Slovakian food goes, this is very much one of the country’s must-try soups.

18 – Ryžový Nákyp

Ryzovy Nakyp - Slovakian food

We have spent plenty of time looking at starters and mains, so now let’s turn our attention to dessert.

Ryžový nákyp is a sweet rice cake, and one of Slovakia’s favorite desserts. It is renowned for its taste, quick preparation, and low cost.

To make ryžový nákyp, rice is first boiled in milk. It is then baked with eggs, cream, compote, or canned fruit (cherries, plums, apples), and raisins or another dried fruit.

Finally, the cake is covered with egg-white foam. It is traditionally cut into square pieces and served with fresh fruit on the side.

Ryžový nákyp is one of the darling dishes of Slovakian cuisine. It is a sweet, tasty, and wholesome Slovakian food.

19 – Skalický Trdelník

Skalicky Trdelnik - Slovakian food

Skalický trdelník is a sweet pastry, and it is classified as a European spit cake. It is another of the protected Slokian EU foods, and it is one of the country’s most decadent and celebrated desserts.

Skalický trdelník is a cylindrical hollow pastry, formed by wrapping soft dough around a roller.

The rolled dough is then grilled or baked. Finally, it is topped with sugar, walnuts, apricots, or almonds.

Traditionally, it is produced in the north-western part of the country. Modern versions of trdelnik are filled with ice cream and make for quite the delicious Slovakian dessert.

20 – Laskonky

Laskonky - Slovakian food

Laskonky are traditional Slovak cookies. Each delicious cookie consists of two meringues and a buttercream filling in between.

Coconut and ground walnuts are often added to the meringue mixture. The meringue is then baked into thin, oval cookie bases.

The most traditional filling used for the preparation of these sweet, crispy treats is caramel buttercream. However, modern varieties can be tried with chocolate or coffee flavoring.

Laskonky are usually enjoyed with a cup of hot tea or coffee. As Slovakian food goes, this is right up as one of the sweetest and most delicious.

21 – Žemlovka

Zemlovka - Slovakian food

Žemlovka is a wholesome bread pudding. It is a wildly popular dessert in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Žemlovka is made by layering bread slices and covering them with different fruits. Soft, white bread rolls like veka or rohlik are most commonly used.

Once the slices are assembled, they are soaked in sweet milk with vanilla flavoring. Between the rich bread layers, you will find a thick layer of sharp and sweet forest and seasonal fruits.

The most common fruit used for Žemlovka is apples, dusted with cinnamon. Pears, peaches, and plums are also used.

You can also find this delightful Slovak dish made with quark cheese, raisins, or topped with a creamy meringue. This popular Slovakian food is best served warm.

22 – Višňová štrúdľa

Visnova strudla - Slovakian food

This delicious Slovakian dessert is a sour cherry strudel. It includes three of the most commonly used foods in Central European cuisine – poppy seeds, sour cherries, and strudel pastry.

A mixture of sour cherry compote, poppy seeds, butter, and brown sugar is used as a filling that’s spread over a very thin pastry. The pastry is then rolled up to form a strudel.

Višňová štrúdľa is usually served with a generous dollop of whipped cream. It is best enjoyed warm, and it is a Slovakian food you’d be crazy not to try when you visit.

Slovakian Food Summary

We’ve come to the end of our mouth-watering array of Slovakian foods you simply must try when you visit this breathtaking country.

Whether your palette caters to rich, creamy soups, baked delights, or rich desserts, there is something for everyone to get excited about in Slovakian cooking.

Slovakia is a country with proud food history. The dishes are timeless and prepared with plenty of love and passion.

So, one final time, here’s the full list of all foods covered in the article. Be sure to have this list of Slovakian food handy when you visit, so that you can try one or more of these delicious foods from a street vendor, at a restaurant, or from a bakery.

1 – Bryndzové Halušky
2 – Kapustnica
3 – Fazuľová Polievka
4 – Prívarok
5 – Segedin Goulash
6 – Mäsové Guľky
7 – Plnená Paprika
8 – Zemiakové Placky
9 – Langoš
10 – Pagáče
11 – Granadír
12 – Hemendex
13 – Cigánska Pečienka
14 – VyprážanýSýr
15 – Demikát
16 – Palacinka Hortobágyi
17 – Cesnaková Polievka
18 – Ryžový Nákyp
19 – Skalický Trdelník
20 – Laskonky
21 – Žemlovka
22 – Višňová štrúdľa

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