Ljubljana, Slovenia’s Finest Open Kitchen Food Market (Odprta Kuhna)

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One of the pleasures of my trip in Slovenia was attending Open Kitchen (Odprta Kuhna). In fact, it’s one of the top things I suggest, and I’ve already recommended it to numerous individuals.

What exactly is an Open Kitchen? The greatest high-end food market I’ve ever been to, and I go to food markets in practically every place I visit.

When in Ljubljana, don’t miss out on the following activities that will let you immerse yourself in the city (get them while they’re hot!):

  • From Ljubljana: Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj Day Trip
  • Ljubljana: Guided Walk & Funicular Ride to Ljubljana Castle
  • Wine Tasting Ljubljana
  • Ljubljana: 3–Hour Bike Cruise

Lior, the proprietor, founded Open Kitchen in 2013 with the goal of bringing the finest of Slovenian cuisine together in one location.

But he didn’t want just Slovenian meal; he wanted the greatest Slovenian food. To apply for participation, you must satisfy three criteria:

  1. Quality- You must be ranked among the best 100 restaurants in the country.
  2. Creativity– You must bring your concept to a high end street food event. No matter how gourmet or fine dining your restaurant, you must be able to create a dish that works well as street food.
  3. Uniqueness– no two stands can sell the same dish, a move Lior made to remove competition between restaurants.

The end product is a gourmet street food market with some of the tastiest meals I’ve tasted in Slovenia. Open Kitchen is comparable to Thai street food stalls, however this is gourmet cuisine.

Lior was kind enough to give us a tour of Open Kitchen. Despite the fact that I’m sure he’d done this tour dozens of times before, he was cheerful and truly thrilled to guide us up and down the aisles.

Searching for a good place to eat in Ljubljana? Check out my guide to the top restaurants in Ljubljana here!

First and foremost, Lior got a drink for everyone of us. Open Kitchen serves not just meals but also artisan brews, local wines, and drinks.

He pointed out and discussed each item as we strolled from vendor to market, pushing us to sample whatever that looked nice. He took bits, samples, and tastes from almost every vendor.

What truly struck me was the huge selection of foods. We discovered not just traditional Slovenian cuisine, but also fresh adaptations or interpretations of classics, as well as foreign dishes.

I was especially pleased by Lior’s knowledge of each of the stalls and the specifics of each meal provided. He is clearly engaged in the selection process.

All of the vendors were eager to engage with us, explain their delicacies, and provide samples.

Thankfully, we arrived just after the lunch rush and were able to see some of the meals being prepared fresh while we conversed with the cooks and learnt about the process.

We couldn’t sample everything we wanted since there were over forty vendors present that day. We observed as dishes of freshly made meals were given to clients who were waiting.

It’s tough for me to recommend a meal since I can’t promise a stall will be open when you come. However I would add that if you encounter a stall producing entire roasted pigs with herbed potatoes

or perhaps the horse burger

Go ahead and join the queue. Yes, you read it right: horse burger. Believe me, it’s delicious.

The bacon was even prepared with horse flesh! I had simply intended to have a taste to prove that I had tried it. Despite all of the other samples, I devoured this massive burger!

If you don’t eat meat, don’t worry; there are plenty of alternatives. There are not just vegetarian options, but some stalls also offer vegan and raw foods.

I like food markets and, as previously said, have visited numerous over the globe. Thus, when I say Open Kitchen is the greatest high-end food market I’ve ever seen, I don’t say it lightly. This is a must-do during your visit to Ljubljana!

Have I persuaded you yet? Would you go to Open Kitchen (Odprta Kuhna) while in Slovenia? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below.

Practical Information: From mid-March to October, Open Kitchen is open every Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., or 10 p.m. during the summer months at Pogarjev Square, weather permitting.

Whenever possible, avoid visiting during the lunch and supper surges. Crowds and lengthy lines are common when residents and tourists alike come at these times.

Click here to visit the Open Kitchens website for more information.

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