Slovenian Istria offers much more than just a heavenly piece of sea. The diversity of Istrian cuisine can be seen and tasted in the rich local dishes, whose flavors narrate stories of seasonal harvest and local hospitality.
Pasta with tomato sauce, Istrian fuži with truffles, fritaja with asparagus, bobiči soup, fritole, and kroštole are only a few of the traditional dishes you should try while exploring Piran and the Slovenian Coast.
Piran is a treasure box of local taverns and high-end restaurants that offer stunning seafood dishes and Istrian specialities. However, none can compare to two of our absolute favourites: Ribič Baja and Rostelin Piran. Situated on Piran’s lively promenade, Ribič Baja will titillate your taste buds with their fresh seafood, all served with a sidedish of stunning sea view. The ever-smiling personnel of Rostelin will serve you gourmet delicacies such as boškarin meat and other authentic treats, spiced up with flavourful herbs. If you are a lover of homemade pasta, you will certainly appreciate their open kitchen, where you can watch the chef make pasta from scratch.
If you value the quality of the food and generous portions, Ribič Baja is the place to go. This charming small restaurant is family-run and the owners own their own fishing boat that you can admire in Piran’s harbour. This means, that they serve exclusively daily fresh catch that will simply melt in your mouth.
However, if you are visiting the Coast for more than just a few days, we definitely recommend wandering outside of Piran. A few kilometres from the coast, between the Sečovlje saltpans and the Croatian border, there is a stunning hinterland waiting to be discovered. The landscape, the flavours, and the scents immediately change and you find yourself pleasantly immersed in the hills sprinkled with small stone villages, gardens, vineyards, and olive groves.
Visit the village of Padna, one of the most beautiful villages of Piran’s hinterland, where in April you can also attend the Festival of olive oil and chard and taste the authentic local Istrian cuisine. Walking along the main street of the town, you will easily come across the friendly locals who will offer you homemade delicacies right on their doorstep: fruit, vegetables, honey, wine, and oil. There is a grave risk you will not be going home empty-handed! Padna’s market will instantly charm you with local varieties of olive oil, healthy produce and traditional Istrian dishes. The olive oil from Padna is regarded among the world’s best, so don’t forget to try the fresh and slightly spicy Istrian white or the autochthonous štorta.
Chard is also an important part of Istrian cuisine. This traditional vegetable is used by locals to prepare tasty dishes such as sausages with chard and rice (known as mulce) or cuttlefish with chard and polenta.
The Dragonja River Valley is another green jewel of the Slovenian Coast. With fairytale landscapes full of abandoned mills, settlements and farms, salt lakes, waterfalls and amazing flora, the valley is a must destination if you are a lover of outdoors activities.
Looking for a special place to enjoy the romantic Istrian atmosphere with traditional food and music? Then head to Kmetija Mahnič in Dragonja. You will be served with savoury cold cuts and cheeses, grilled meat, as well as the typical bobiči soup. All of this is accompanied by divine Muscat, Refošk, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio wines from their cellar.
Istria is also the land of great Slovenian wine, and the town of Marezige offers beautiful views of the sea and the first wine-tasting fountain in Slovenia. The village is known for different local wine events such as the spring Refosco Festival and the traditional Feast of St. Martin – Martinovanje.
There are many other wine cellars that you can visit in Istria. The largest among them is the Vinakoper wine cellar, where you can take a look at the largest barrel in Slovenia and one of the largest in Europe. Besides high-quality varieties of wine, you’ll have the chance to visit their shop and find other Istrian delicacies such as truffle products, cheeses, charcuterie and other gourmet specialities.
While exploring the Dragonja River Valley, visit the Brič Estate. Incredible panoramic views of Istria’s hinterland, the Adriatic Sea with the Piran Bay and Venice are accompanied by unforgettable tastes of their premium wines. The cellar is the architectural project of renowned European architect prof. Boris Podrecca and ranks among the 100 most beautiful wine cellars in the world.
A stay in Old Town Rooms Piran is the perfect opportunity to discover the tiny Slovenian coast and enjoy relaxing moments. A mix of rich history, coastal countryside, and fine tastes, Slovenian Istria will make you fall in love with its Mediterranean charm. Let us inspire you with our insider knowledge and start discovering its hidden treasures and corners.
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