Eating habits in Slovakia

Most Slovaks eat breakfast very early and tuck into different types of Slovakian bread with butter, ham, cheese, boiled or fried eggs, salami, vegetables, sausages and either jam or honey to round the meal off. Some people prefer cereals of various choices or yoghurt. 

The main meal of the day is lunch, eaten at about mid-day. Many restaurants in Slovakia offer a daily menu where there is a choice between dishes served between 11 a.m. to 2,30 in the afternoon. A typical Slovakian lunch consists of soup and the main course. The main course is usually meat, pasta or a sweet dish.


Bryndzové halušky (Gnocchi with sheep cheese )

This is Slovakia’s national dish – so if you can only try one Slovak food, make it this one! Bryndzové refers to the high-quality, creamy, soft, locally produced sheep cheese that is unique to Slovakia. Although this type of cheese is also produced in neighboring countries, each country has its own special recipe, and Slovaks are especially proud of theirs. The cheese is served on top of halušky, or potato dumplings, very similar to Italian gnocchi. Finally, to create the best possible combination, pieces of smoked bacon and sausage are typically sprinkled on top.

Cabbage soup (Kapustnica)

Cabbage soup makes an appearance at every traditional Christmas dinner, but is also enjoyed year round as an appetizer before the main meal. Sauerkraut is mixed into a creamy base with boiled potatoes, mushrooms, chopped ham, paprika, black pepper, and garlic. The soup is served warm, and together with freshly baked bread it is very filling on its own.

Pork with dumplings and cabbage (Vepřo knedlo zelo)

Stewed cabbage accompanies soft pieces of pork covered in garlic next to knedle, or bread dumplings, for this Slovak classic. Knedle is a different type of dumpling – it looks similar to a loaf of bread. You are often served four or five pieces with your pork. The dumpling is very soft and delicate, and it absorbs the juicy flavors from the meat and garlic, making it irresistible!

Goulash Soup (Gulášová polievka)

Even though Goulash is originally a Hungarian meal, it is very popular in Slovakia. Slovaks often cook it on picnics and family meetings, in a big cauldron on open fire, while drinking beers and enjoying the time together. But it can be cooked at home as well, of course. Mostly it is served with bread, in some restaurants with dumplings (depends on how it is prepared).

Fried Cheese with French Fries

Very popular Slovak dish is fried cheese mostly served with french fries and tartare sauce. You can sometimes get the fried cheese in a sandwich too, especially at street food vendors (it looks similar to hamburger, but there is a fried cheese instead of meat).


Smoked or fresh sheep cheese products are sold in different forms and shapes and Slovaks love them. They are sold at all food shops all over Slovakia. Their taste is unbeatable when fresh and some say that the best of best can one buy in the sub Tatra region of Liptov.

Oštiepok Cheese

Oštiepok is a traditional Slovak Walachian product from sheep cheese. Originally it is produced from fresh sweet cheese, which is pushed into a wooden, hand-carved and round form, which has to stand for a while. Subsequently it is removed and immersed in warm salt water, left there, while the salt penetrates the cheese completely. Then it is necessary to leave it slightly to shrivel. Salt water gives Oštiepok its traditional durability.

Parenica Cheese

Parenica is a traditional Slovak semi soft, unripe, steamed sheep cheese with a very delicate taste. It is characterized by its shape, a twisted ribbon. It has cream or cheese color. After smoking the surface has a golden colour.

Korbáčik cheese

Korbáčik is a type of semi-hard or medium hard string cheese. It originates from the Orava region of northern Slovakia. It is made from smoked cheese interwoven into fine braids. The name roughly translates to "little whip" which refers to the pattern woven onto the strings.


Bryndza cheese is creamy white in appearance, known for its characteristic strong smell and taste. The cheese is white, tangy, crumbly and slightly moist. It has characteristic odor and flavor with a notable taste of butyric acid. The overall flavor sensation begins slightly mild, then goes strong and finally fades to a salty finish. Recipes differ slightly across countries.

Specific Slovak distillate is borovička (for instance Spišská borovička), the local variety of gin, distilled of the fruit of Juniperus comunis. Popular distillate is the plum brandy (above all Bošácka slivovica) and hriatô (a mixture of fried bacon, spirit and honey). High-mountain hotels and cottages serve distillate called Horec- a stimulating drink after strenuous hiking. The Demänovka liqueur, which contains an extract of medicinal herbs, is a good choice, for instance.

Apart from distillates, beer is very popular. Slovak beers are of good quality and the brands like Zlatý bažant, Smädný mních or Topvar are comparable to the excellent Czech beers. You can try the authentic taste of various brands of unfiltered beers in minibreweries. 

High quality wines are also produced in Slovakia where vine is grown since the Roman era. The Frankovka of Rača is one of the typical west-Slovakian red wines while in the east it is advisable to taste Tokaji.