After spending couple weeks at home in Finland, it was time to pack my backpack again. Slovenia was the first country on the list. Mountains, clear blue lakes and great burgers. We had it all, plus my very stubborn flu. It didn’t stop us enjoying the time, disregarding couple of feverish nights and the fact it was quite hard to breath most of the times. End of August was not the best time to travel in Slovenia, there were so many people it was already quite crazy. It didn’t take away the fact that the scenery is absolutely stunning.
Ljubljana was really pretty, clean and had a good recycling system (yay!). It was so polished, it almost had too little edge for me. To be a quite tiny city with less than 300 000 inhabitants, there were a lot of food choices. Also in Bled we found a vegan restaurant with burgers on the menu. Here is my official burger ranking of the burgers that crossed my path. And the winner is….
1. Barbarella Arkade
Adamič Lundrovo Nabrežje 3, Ljubljana
Barbarella Arkade’s website
We first went to Barbarella to have some breakfast. It turned out to be so delicious I insisted during the next week we spent in Italy, that we have to go back for their burger when we are back in Slovenia. And we did (it was the only way to shut me up or I would have talked about that burger still back in Finland).
So on our last day of the trip I had Barbarella’s burger for breakfast. There was one option on the menu, bbq vegan cheeseburger that had a fresh sesame bun, black bean and soy shred patty, vegan cheese, bbq sauce, coleslaw and veggies. I especially loved the bread and that there was enough sauce.
Besides the burger, I can recommend everything we ate: the smoothie acai bowl with fresh fruit, avocado toast with hummus, banana bread with peanut butter and cheesecake with fruits. We tried to order both times also the croissants, but they didn’t have them. Hopefully next time. Barbarella is located right in the center of the city and has mainly tables outside.
2. Organic Garden
Ciril-Metodov trg 11, 1000 Ljubljana
Organic Garden’s Facebook page
Sunday evening is not the prime time to eat out in Ljublajana, at least veggie food. We searched also for non-vegan/vegetarian places and found Organic Garden. Glad we did. The menu was all vegan except for one fish burger, which is kind of weird. Also some other products like drinks contained milk but there were definitely a lot of options for vegans too.
Out of the two burger options we went for a red burger with beans and mushrooms. Also this one had coleslaw and bbq sauce. The grilled mushrooms brought a nice smokey flavour. Only con was that the kidney bean and oats patty was quite soft. It was not crumbly but I like when the patty is a bit crispy. I returned to Organic Garden for a hot dog the next day. No complaints!
3. Public Bar & Vegan Kitchen
Ljublanska 4, Bled
Public Bar & Vegan Kitchen’s website
This one was in Bled, a city next to Triglav National Park. We had already visited Zaziv earlier in Ljublajana, which had a quite similar menu. You pick the patty and the bun separately. I went for a summer special patty with polenta, eggplant, vegan cheese, sundried tomatoes, olives and capers and a spelt bun. There was also a sauce mixed with mayo, ketchup, garlic and mustard.
My co-traveller got chickpea fritters and got a bit of a dish envy. The fritters were nice but my burger had more flavour to it. I liked the setting in the pub and was hoping to get a waffle as a dessert since I had read some praising comments about them. Sadly they didn’t have them that day. But they did have potatoes with sesame seeds. Pure genious, why haven’t I thought of this combo myself before?
4. Zaziv Vegan Bistro
Rimska cesta 23, Ljubljana
Zaziv Vegan Bistro’s Facebook page
Zaziv was right next to our flat in Ljubljana. You pick the patty and sauces and if you want your dish as wrap, burger or salad. I chose a spelt bun and a patty with buckwheat, mushroom, onion, sweet onion and cumin. Sauces? All of them, of course! The burger was huge and I did enjoy it. Why it is on the fourth place of the ranking is that I hoped to have even more sauce and maybe a bit more burgery bun. Another day I also tried the wrap and it was worth ordering also. I couldn’t resist the cake either. The place in itself was really comfy and had shelves full of interesting retroish books.
Bonus: Loving Hut Ljubljana Center
Trg Osvobodilne fronte 14, Ljubljana
Loving Hut Ljublajana’s Facebook page
Loving Hut did serve a burger but I am embarrassed to say I didn’t order it! And since we didn’t have a burger it is not included in the ranking. They had a lot of options and the hot dog I ate was honest fast food. To balance it out I had an excellent mango smoothie. They also had a buffet and lots of other dishes.
What about outside these restaurants?
Around Triglav National Park the menus were quite meaty, but almost all restaurants served as side dishes different kind of potatoes and grilled vegetables. In most places this made a nice meal. Would have been a bit boring but we had with us pastes and seitan snacks bought from supermarket near Ljubljana.
What a selection the bigger supermarkets had! I guess some people shop magnets as souveniers, I shop tofu and seitan. We found amazing selection of vegan products in Kalček, an organic supermarket and Mercator Šiška supermarket next to it. On the way to the airport we stopped there once more and filled the empty luggage space with some treats. I have never hoped more that the luggage doesn’t get lost on the way home. It didn’t!
I was also happy to notice many places sold local vegan ice cream named Stork. They sold it even at the tiny Ljubljana airport as well as vegan sandwiches. Fine, the sandwich was like airport sandwiches wrapped in plastic usually are, but that there was even an option was a nice surprise.
Burger countdown: 6 countries, 13 burgers.