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Quaint Leberfinger restaurant offers a taste of history

Across the Danube from the Bratislava center is a lovely historic building which has served as a restaurant for more than 300 years. Its current tenant, the restaurant Leberfinger, offers a change of pace from Slovak "koliba" cuisine with its German flavors and allusions to the food of old Prešpork, the German name for Bratislava before World War I.
Leberfinger, named after a former German owner of the restaurant, is located right along the Danube near the leafy Janka Kráľa park between the Old and New bridges. With a children's playground in its backyard, Leberfinger is a great place to come for a family lunch, while its late hours make it a feasible option for an a after-opera meal. Lunching business people and well-heeled families are also frequent sights. With over 100 seats, the restaurant also hosts its share of wedding parties.


At the Leberfinger restaurant in Petržalka, the paintings on the walls mimic the view seen through the historic building's windows.
photo: Soňa Bellušová

Address: Viedenská cesta 257, Sad Janka Kráľa
Telephone: 07-62 31 75 90
Open: Daily 11:00-24:00 (restaurant); daily 9:30:-20:00 (children's garden)
CC: Yes
English Menu:Yes
Reservations: Yes
Recommended: Yes
Prices: $$

Across the Danube from the Bratislava center is a lovely historic building which has served as a restaurant for more than 300 years. Its current tenant, the restaurant Leberfinger, offers a change of pace from Slovak "koliba" cuisine with its German flavors and allusions to the food of old Prešpork, the German name for Bratislava before World War I.

Leberfinger, named after a former German owner of the restaurant, is located right along the Danube near the leafy Janka Kráľa park between the Old and New bridges. With a children's playground in its backyard, Leberfinger is a great place to come for a family lunch, while its late hours make it a feasible option for an a after-opera meal. Lunching business people and well-heeled families are also frequent sights. With over 100 seats, the restaurant also hosts its share of wedding parties.

The dining area with windows overlooking the Danube River welcomes you with pattern-painted walls, a wooden floor, beautiful wooden chairs, and plenty of space. Though strange lighting sometimes places diners either in the dark or in a spotlight, the atmosphere is by and large comfortable. Large tables make dining with five friends an easy option, or a couple can retreat to the privacy of the basement, which is decorated like a ship. There is also outdoor seating, but as it is right along the main road, it may be too loud for some.

A varied menu awaits. To start, you can order some of the restaurant's "small meals" like cheese roulade for 49 Sk or grilled sausages with stewed cabbage for 59 Sk. Home-made flavour can be tasted in the buttered potato pancakes with chicken liver for 49 Sk, which can also be served also as a "non-sweet" dessert. Smoked beef tongue with horseradish for 79 Sk is another unusual starter. One great soup is the garlic soup with melted cheese and bread, which is truly delicious.

If you don't want a large meal but only to sit and chat with friends, have a broccoli soup with garlic bread for 39 Sk or a special Slovak "žemlovka", which is a cake made from sweet cheese, apples and bread. Other Slovak specialities are smoked pig's knuckle in beer with mustard and horseradish for 99 Sk or grilled caramel chicken breasts for 169 Sk. For the main course, order one of several "panvičky," baked meat and vegetable dishes which come in their own steaming hot frying pan. There is also traditional bryndzové halušky and garden pasta for vegetarians. The special menu includes chicken breasts with baked mashed potatoes, chicken liver on apples and rice, Czech style potato balls stuffed with smoked meat and served with stewed cabbage, and Danube goulash with butter halušky.

Deserts are pleasing, including sweet cottage cheese balls with cream and chocolate or plum balls with sugar and chocolate, a favourite of Slovak grandmothers which can also be eaten as a main course There is also a children's menu.

While you wait for your food, you can munch on several kinds of black and white bread or order salty bread sticks to accompany one of the six kinds of beer. The service is generally fine.

Sitting and enjoying your meal, you may not feel the history of this former pub, which was first opened in 1631. But it may add to your dining experience to know that it during its history of 368 years, only once was this building not a happy location for diners. During communism, in the 1950's, the building served as a school for chimney sweepers.

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