Coffee and desserts in Ljubljana

//Coffee and desserts in Ljubljana

Coffee and desserts in Ljubljana

Where to find some of the best coffee, pastries and chocolate in Slovenia’s capital, as recommended by locals

Bi-Ko-Fe Ljubljana

A view of the Ljubljana Castle from Bi-Ko-Fe

When planning my travels, I always leave enough time for visiting coffee shops. It’s one of those activities that connect me closer to the city I’m in – I get to walk around different neighborhoods, watch people go about their day, and sometimes strike a conversation with locals and get further recommendations. Ljubljana was no exception.

Besides staying caffeinated, I had another appealing task: researching local sweets. The assignment came from The Travel Mob, a group of bloggers with whom I was exploring Slovenian food as part of our #TasteLjubljana project. With a sweet tooth and appetite for Central European desserts (mom’s creations are second to none), I didn’t need convincing. The only problem was time.

Having made a list of chocolate and pastry shops, I felt that there were too many places to try in one day. I wasn’t sure which ones would be worthwhile and needed someone knowledgeable to point me in the right direction. Enter local foodie and traveler Iva Gruden.

Iva is the founder of Ljubljananjam, a company providing food, wine, and craft beer walks around the city. She focuses on customized experiences in small groups and takes visitors to places she frequents herself.

Within a few minutes of meeting Iva, I had a good feeling about the afternoon and even decided to tuck the list back in my pocket. Not only was my new acquaintance eager to share in-depth information about Ljubljana’s dining scene, but she knows the chefs and shopkeepers. I was in for a treat, so to speak.

Here are some of the places Iva took me to, plus others recommended by JA Café attendees, and my own finds.

COFFEE

Bi-Ko-Fe (Židovska Steza 2, now closed)

This artsy spot, whose name means “Would you like some coffee?” in Slovenian, is popular with musicians, hipsters, and students. The rooms inside are decorated with recycled materials, and there is an outdoor patio in the summer. Besides coffee, you can order light snacks and alcoholic beverages.

Cafe Čokl (Krekov trg 8)

Čokl is a small café near the Ljubljana Castle funicular, serving organic and fair-trade coffee. Beans are roasted in-house, then used within several days to ensure freshness. The shop also serves cold brew coffee (launched in June 2014), hot cocoa, and homemade iced tea. A shaded patio is open in the summer.

Cafe Čokl LjubljanaCafetino (Stari trg 5)

This split-level café serves Italian-style coffee made from freshly-ground beans, plus an assortment of sweets (chocolate croissants, mini donuts, biscuits). Coffee beans are also available to go. In the summer you can enjoy one of Ljubljana’s loveliest streets from the outdoor terrace.

Cafetino Ljubljana

LP Bar (Novi trg 2)

LP (the site of JA Café Ljubljana) is a combination bar/coffee shop. The main hall features arched ceilings, comfy couches and low tables. There are also two bar rooms and a back courtyard. In addition to coffee and drinks, the menu lists tea, sandwiches, desserts, and local wine. Live music and art events are hosted frequently.

JA Café at LP Bar Ljubljana

JA Café at LP Bar Ljubljana with Iva – my dessert guide – in the foreground

PASTRIES

Čopomana (Čopova ulica 14)

Located next to a major fast food restaurant, this small shop is easy to miss, but well worth a visit. Besides natural homemade ice cream (in traditional and inventive flavors such as chili-chocolate, apple pie, and black sesame), they specialize in Torta Ljubljana. The chocolate-covered cake is made with ingredients from around the country: buckwheat flour, chestnuts, dried figs, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and honey. Čopomana’s owner co-created the original recipe.

Domača peka (Igriška ulica 3)

The name of the cake shop means “home baking” and is an accurate representation of what you’ll find inside. A family-run business, Domača peka has been producing traditional cakes and pies since 1991. They also have gluten-free and vegan desserts. My favorite: apricot strudel.

Domača peka & Čopomana, Ljubljana

Güjžina (Mestni trg 19)

This inn-style restaurant offers traditional dishes and products from the Prekmurje region (northeastern Slovenia), including a variety of desserts. Iva took me there to try prekmurska gibanica, a type of layered cake with apples, walnuts, poppy seeds, and cottage cheese.

Güjžina Ljubljana

Lotos (Breg 16)

The pastry and marmalade shop overlooking the Ljubljanica River opened in June 2014. Family-owned and focused on using natural ingredients, Lotos makes gourmet cupcakes (including lactose-free and gluten-free varieties) and a variety of jams with a high fruit content (70%). Also on offer are shortbread cookies, fruit tarts, muffins, and gift items.

Lotos Ljubljana

Zvezda (Wolfova 14 and other locations)

One of Ljubljana’s most popular sweet shops, Zvezda offers a range of quality pastries, pies and cakes (including vegan). The deli on premises also sells ice cream, handmade chocolate, marmalade, and lollipops.

CHOCOLATE

Čokoladni atelje Dobnik (Trg Republike 1)

Despite its location inside an unappealing, concrete shopping mall, the chocolate café is cozy and not to be missed. Dobnik makes high-quality products (classic chocolates, pralines, cakes, and desserts) without the use of preservatives. I recommend trying their dark chocolate-covered prune with a walnut inside.

Dobnik

Rustika (Trubarjeva 44 and other locations)

The local chocolatier and gift shop offers a wide selection of truffles, pralines, cookies, cakes, and chocolate-covered fruit. My pick: pralines with Teranov liker, a type of Slovenian liqueur made from spiced Teran wine.

Rustika

Which of these treats would you like to try? Let me know in the comments box!

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I traveled to Slovenia as part of the #TasteLjubljana project, organized by The Travel Mob blogging team and Visit Ljubljana. Thank you to Fine Ljubljana Apartments for providing accomodation in the city center. All thoughts and opinions expressed on Jetting Around are mine. 

By | 2015-01-26T13:24:17+00:00 August 9th, 2014|CITIES|41 Comments

About the Author:

avatar
Pola Henderson is a travel writer, city explorer, expat, and event host. Traveling has been a part of her life since she was three. Pola grew up in Krakow, lived in Chicago for many years and is currently based in Paris, where she teaches Business English.

41 Comments

  1. avatar
    Donnie August 10, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Would love to try the chocolate covered prune.

  2. avatar
    Noah charney August 11, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Good article and well-written. You found some off the beaten path locales but did you miss some of the best and most famous? Everyone’s favorite is Zvezda, the best cake shop I’ve ever been to, worldwide. Hope you get to go and try it.

    • avatar
      Jetting Around August 11, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      Thanks for the feedback, Noah! I figured every guidebook would cover Zvezda, and wanted to focus on lesser-known spots. But I’ve added a sentence, in case anyone is looking at this post as more of a comprehensive guide.

  3. avatar
    Francesca (@WorkMomTravels) August 11, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    What are those cookie-fruit-cream-lookin’ things from Lotos? They look cute and delicious! I’d like to try those as well as ALL of the chocolate :-)
    Francesca (@WorkMomTravels) recently posted..New Glarus, Wisconsin: Little Switzerland & the Brewing CompanyMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around August 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Shortbread cookies! They’re just as delicious as they are pretty. I attacked them right away…

  4. avatar
    Erin at The World Wanderer August 12, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I love visiting coffee shops while traveling too. Good food, great coffee, and a local vibe that you don’t usually get in other spots. I think I need to head to Ljubljana just for some of these desserts!!!
    Erin at The World Wanderer recently posted..15 Inspiring Quotes About Nature.My Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around August 12, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      I’d go back for gibanica alone! Tweetup? ;)

  5. avatar
    Lance | Trips By Lance August 12, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Don’t tell anyone, but I don’t like sweets. I know, I know. I do think I’d enjoy some of these awesome flavors. Coffee shops are a lot of fun when exploring a new city. This is an impressive list.
    Lance | Trips By Lance recently posted..Scheduling Family Travel Around SchoolMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around August 13, 2014 at 1:17 am

      I’m glad you like the list – thanks, Lance! And your secret is safe. ;)

  6. avatar
    2 tickets to Wonderland August 12, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Nice post. Good idea to write about something else…
    Although we are locals, we have never been to some of these places. So thanks for the ideas. :)
    2 tickets to Wonderland recently posted..Discovering Slovenia: The mountains are calling and I must goMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around August 13, 2014 at 1:19 am

      Hi there, it’s nice to hear from Ljubljana residents. :) I can’t believe I found some places you haven’t been to – hope you check them out soon!

  7. avatar
    Gerard ~ GQ trippin August 15, 2014 at 2:16 am

    I’d run straight for the prekmurska gibanica first! or maybe the apricot strudel… ahhh decisions decisions…
    Gerard ~ GQ trippin recently posted..Zanzibar diving with Spanish Dancer DiversMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around August 15, 2014 at 3:07 am

      I like the way you think, G!

  8. avatar
    Lucy August 15, 2014 at 4:14 am

    Looks delicious! And I love that you can get gluten free cakes too – I’ve had to go gluten free and so miss sweets that it’s great to see that I wouldn’t have to miss out.
    Lucy recently posted..My top five destinations to return toMy Profile

  9. avatar
    Traveling Ted August 15, 2014 at 4:53 am

    Looks like tons of great sweets could be found in Ljubjana. I sure would like to taste Ljubljana because I sure could not pronounce it. At least I would get something right. If I ever visit this city I will for sure visit these places because I do not want to defy the Travel Mob.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..Cades Cove Great Smoky Mountains scenic loopMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around September 29, 2014 at 3:16 am

      Haha, good thinking. ;)

  10. avatar
    Leah August 18, 2014 at 11:29 am

    This tour is right up my alley–coffee and desserts!?! I can’t decide which one looks best. I now have type 2 diabetes. Thanks a lot, Pola.
    Leah recently posted..40 Lessons Learned through 40 Years of TravelingMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around August 19, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      See, you just need to go to Ljubljana for at least a week and try it all. ;)

  11. avatar
    KarolinaPatryk August 19, 2014 at 2:13 am

    Mmm this all looks delicious! I would like to taste this brown praline with something red on the top :)
    Thanks for addresses, we would definately go to some of these coffeshops when we will be in Ljubljana :)
    KarolinaPatryk recently posted..How to choose a good hotel?My Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around August 19, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Yeah, that praline was one one of my favorites. Let me know where you find your favorite coffee in Ljubljana!

  12. avatar
    Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 4, 2014 at 7:49 am

    I booked the normal food and drinks tour with Iva but reading this has seriously got me wondering why I didn’t book the coffee and dessert one!! That Torta Ljubljana was hands down one of the best cakes I’ve ever had!
    Shikha (whywasteannualleave) recently posted..An Alpine Fairytale in Lake Bled, Slovenia: A Cream Cake with A ViewMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around September 4, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      Yeah, the torta was great! If I visit Ljubljana again, I’ll have to go back for some more. Overall, lots of great food in the city – hope you enjoyed your walk with Iva.

  13. avatar
    City Guide: Ljubljana, Slovenia - Jetting Around September 22, 2014 at 1:55 am

    […] See also: Coffee and desserts in Ljubljana. […]

  14. avatar
    Iva September 29, 2014 at 1:01 am

    Always a pleasure to show anyone – including locals – the yummy side of my hometown. There’s much going on and it’s great to go on a foodwalk with me to stay in touch with latest gourmet happenings in town ;) Next time you’re in town, Pola, I got a few more venues scouted out for you!!

    • avatar
      Jetting Around September 29, 2014 at 1:11 am

      If I go back to Ljubljana (or rather when…), you know I’ll give you a call, Iva! :)

  15. avatar
    Christian September 29, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Nice articel, but my favourite is Le Petit Café!

    • avatar
      Jetting Around September 29, 2014 at 3:13 am

      Hi Christian. Maybe I’ll go there next time. ;)

  16. avatar
    Tam Gamble October 10, 2014 at 7:45 am

    I don’t think I would know where to start with everything on this list. The pictures all look fantastic – the only question would be whether I started with a slice of cake or a tour of the chocolate shops.
    Tam Gamble recently posted..Glamping – Is it for you?My Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around October 10, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Hi Tam. It’s a fantastic problem to have in Ljubljana! :) I’d attack the gibanica first…

  17. avatar
    Brenda October 10, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I’ve been wanting to go to Slovenia, we will definitely make it next year and would have to try the coffee, I love it.
    Brenda recently posted..Duck Duck GooseMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around October 10, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Hi Brenda. Glad to hear you’re headed that way! The coffee is really good, enjoy.

  18. avatar
    balkanyrudej October 18, 2014 at 4:26 am

    I have never been in Lubljana, bu it’s on my travel must seen list ;) Thanks for your photos and story!
    balkanyrudej recently posted..Bałkany 2014. Góry AlbaniiMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around October 18, 2014 at 11:47 am

      My pleasure! Its a neat little-big city.

  19. avatar
    Karol Werner October 18, 2014 at 4:28 am

    need to go there one time!
    Karol Werner recently posted..Canon i jego tandetny obiektyw.My Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around October 18, 2014 at 11:46 am

      Hi Karol. I highly recommend even a brief visit!

  20. avatar
    zof October 18, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Wherever we go, there is always time for coffee.
    zof recently posted..Why Armenia?My Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around October 18, 2014 at 11:46 am

      I couldn’t agree more. :-)

  21. avatar
    Danielle October 22, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    YUM! All those desserts look delicious!
    Danielle recently posted..Learning How to Dance in the Rain, and on Barstools in The BahamasMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around October 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      They were great! I need to find some recipes…

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