A multi-restaurant tasting menu all in one place.
The Odprta Kuhna or “open kitchen” is something you should try to visit if you happen to be in Ljubljana on a Friday afternoon during summer. While the city has a host of excellent restaurants, fast food is a relatively recent trend. It perhaps began with the now legendary “Hot Horse” take-aways and while burek or kebab were commonplace, burgers were certainly not. More recently however, there’s been a huge rise in their popularity but the Slovene’s don’t adopt the UK or US model where giant corporations dominate. Instead, there are numerous small or independent companies proving a great choice.
The challenge is often which one to choose and here, the weekly odprta kuhna is invaluable. During the summer months, more than 50 vendors gather in the central marketplace to serve cut-down versions of their restaurant menus. Burgers feature prominently with beautifully made options from Hood Burger and Pop’s Place. But there are local delicacies too in the form or wines, grilled meat, more traditional Balkan good and local beers that you can either take away or eat on the large benches next to the church. It feels almost like a Bavarian beer garden but with a vastly bigger choice of menu.
Currently in it’s 10th year, the open kitchen season begins in the middle of March and extends through to the autumn. My recommendation is to try a handmade burger and locally brewed beer or a grilled steak with Slovene wine. And make notes so that you can check out the full menu in each stand’s restaurant another night. In the winter, the open kitchen is replaced by Christmas stalls selling mulled wine and sausages.