Bratislava is a small city in Central Europe with surprisingly tasty desserts!
I spent a few days in Bratislava this summer, mostly working, but as usual, I found some time and went out to explore some delicious Slovakian traditional desserts which I believe you should try if you will be traveling through this small yet beautiful city.
Although you can buy all the desserts I am going to mention during the whole week, to get the most out of your visit, I would recommend visiting Bratislava during the weekend. Especially on Saturday as there are some excellent street food markets which are mostly opened only during weekends.
As usual, there is a map of all these places at the end of the article. Also, if you prefer to watch the video:
The first place we visited is called Buchtáreň, which make some delicious steam buns. This sweet dessert dish is ubiquitous in Slovakia, and every mum in Slovakia has some steam buns in her freezer.
They are usually filled with some jam, mostly plum jam, and are eaten with sweet toppings like poppy seeds, walnuts or cacao with some icing sugar and melted butter.
It’s super simple food, but a well done, homemade, steam-bun is not that easy to find anymore. That’s why Buchtáreň is doing very well.
You can find Buchtáreň in the city center in their freshly opened restaurant below Michal’s gate or every Saturday at the street food market in Old Market Hall.
One steam bun (buchta) cost €2.9 and then every other one is for €2.5.
I think the best what you can do is ask them to make you half poppy seed and half crushed walnuts topping. This way you can experience, in my opinion, two of the best toppings.
Then we moved on for some krémeš. I would describe krémeš as a Slovak mille-feuille. Vanilla pudding and fresh cream sandwiched together between two layers of puff pastry with some chocolate icing.
I haven’t even managed to take my Instagram photo, and my mum already finished one. Seriously.
I find the great place where to try your krémeš, at Pasteleria, right in the heart of Bratislava. They specialize in the homemade desserts made from the best ingredients, using traditional Slovak recipes.
While krémeš is the best, I wouldn’t shy away from trying other cakes in this small yet cozy place.
One krémeš cost €2.9.
Another ubiquitous traditional Slovakian dessert dish is ‘šúlance.’ Šúlance are a potato dough dumplings, very similar to Italian gnocchi and are traditionally eaten with poppy seeds, crushed walnuts or fried breadcrumbs with icing sugar and melted butter.
It’s a straightforward dish, made from potatoes, flour, and eggs. My mum used to make them every now and then as it was an easy way how to feed us and which kid wouldn’t love it?!
One of the best places where to get šúlance is at someone’s home, but if you don’t know any locals, you can always go to the Slovak Pub restaurant.
I always struggle to recommend Slovak Pub restaurant to people because they are not well-known for their hospitality. I think they are the victim of their own popularity. Waiters do their absolute minimum to accommodate you because they know that people will always come for the fantastic kitchen and neat interior.
Šúlance goes really well with Kofola, which is a traditional Czechoslovakian Coca-Cola since the era of socialism.
Slovakia has surprisingly many sweet dishes. We also had Christmas yeast dumplings, and there are a few more you can try in this restaurant.
So, go wild. You will walk it off during the sightseeing.
Šúlance cost €6.9 and 1.5l of draught KOFOLA €1.5
Another great Slovak pastry classic is veterník. Statistics show that when Slovaks go to patisserie, they buy krémeš, or veterník, or both, more often than any other desserts. Especially veterník is perceived as an excellent value for money because for its price it’s usually pretty huge.
Veterník is made of choux pastry with vanilla and caramel cream filling and dipped in a shiny caramel icing. You can find veterník in many different sizes, and in this case, the bigger really is better.
You can buy veterník in every serious patisserie and even in supermarkets, but I went for mine to the MAD DROP Espresso & Brew Bar.
One veterník cost €3.5
Slovakia has surprisingly many sweet dishes. People actually eat delicious dishes like Šúlance or Steam Buns as a main dish for lunch, which I haven’t seen in many countries.
The quality of local street markets and shops which focus on traditional desserts is definitely going up. And it’s incredible to see these simple yet delicious desserts to get some extra love.
There is much more to try in Bratislava, and I will definitely make a part two of this blog post in the future.