Bratislava Slovak cuisine

Arkádia- Among Bratislava's most elegant places to take out-of-town guests. The wait staff promptly greets you with fancy hors d'oeuvres, which you can nibble on from tables overlooking St. Martin Cathedral and SNP Bridge. $$$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Zámocké schody. % 335-650. <10:00-22:00 M-Su.

Astor- Ascend the wide, carpeted staircase to the dining room that overlooks the YMCA. Parakeets, fish tanks, and indoor fountains create a unique ambiance. Quality food and service, yet Astor is rarely busy. Beware of the crumbling facade when entering. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: no. Žilinská ul. % 497-751. < 10:00-23:00, M-Sa.

Bakchus- Brick-laid vináreň featuring roomy tables and extensive, Slovak-oriented menu. Side order of fries is listed but must be ordered with an entree. Finding a table at peak hours requires patience. On a cold or rainy day, their hot spiced wine will warm you up. Sample dishes: Turkey Cordon Bleu, fried cheese, bryndzové halušky. They also have Indian food but you have to ask the waiter. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Hlboká ul. 5. % 494-178. < 10:00-20:00 M-Su.

Biela Pani- One of those restaurants that has you convinced all Slovak chefs read from the same cookbook. The menu's lack of variety is uninspiring. If only the wait staff were as eager to give full plates and glasses as it is to take away empties. The house specialty (pork and mushrooms wrapped in a potato pancake) is all that is above average here. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: yes. Jozefská 11. % 335-034. < 10:00-2:00 M-Sa, 11-2 Su.

Bistro Magda- Chicken omelettes and potato pancakes are complemented not by obloha (side dishes), but by the best side salad you'll find at no extra cost. Seats only eight at three tables, but Magda herself serves up the tasty, healthy, inexpensive (40-50 Sk) dishes so fast that lengthy waits are rare. $. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: no. Panenská 24. % 316-110. < 10:00-17:00 M-F.

Bistro Natalka- In the heart of Ružinov lies the closest thing to a Slovak diner. The waitresses are helpful in translating the menu. Watch STV or play video poker as you wait. The quality of the dishes vary from night to night. They have also been known to run out of food late. Easy to get to by trams 8,9, and 12. $. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: no. Ružinovská cesta 10. % 29-56-26. <10:00-22:00 M-Su.

Bystrica- Climb aboard the Starship Enterprise as you beam yourself up a slanted elevator to the top of SNP Bridge (7 Sk). The restaurant once revolved but now sits like a Jetsons memorial. At the top the view of Bratislava is unique and memorable - great picture of the castle. Taste is traditional Slovak for the Vienna price. A nice place for cake and coffee. $$$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: no. Most SNP. < 10:00-20:00 M-Su.

Červený Rak- The ultra-modern decor of color and light is in sharp contrast to 14th century Michael's Gate, the foundation of which serves as one of this subterranean restaurant's walls. Venison filet, stagsteak in red wine and mountain goat sauté are followed on the menu by shark steak and, of course, červený rak or red lobster, one of the city's priciest plates at 895 Sk. The trout is fresh, but the other seafood is frozen. Heightened expectations, however, may lead to disappointment caused by grisly meats, paper napkins, and thumping rock music. $$$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Michalská 26. % 331-375. < 10:00-2:00 M-Su.

Country Club- Walk through the cold,dingy bar to the hidden restaurant in the back with its crackling fireplace, wooden beams and wagon wheels. Take your time with a glass of warm wine and enjoy the atmosphere, because the service isn't speedy. The food, however, is good: try the chef's special turkey breast stuffed with mushrooms, grilled chicken or steak. $$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: no. Res: yes. Vysoká ulica.

Curisu Gril- Cheap eats, no frills and loads of chicken. That's the speciality, that's the menu. Open weekdays for lunch and also Saturday until 13:00. Don't be discouraged by the line; it moves quickly, and there's always space to eat, though standing up may be the only option. Sample dishes: Baked chicken, chicken paprika, halušky. $. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: no. Ventúrska ul. 16. % 330-461, 330-808. < 10:00-14:00, M-Sa.

Divný Janko- If you don't mind lavender, the specialty here is the mixed meat dish, complete with major garnishings (we're talking slaw and carrots here) and fries to boot - all for under 100 Sk. The only choice when it comes to beer is bottled Pilsner Urquell. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: no. Jozefská ul. 16. % 330-418. < 11-23:00, M-Su.

Gastro Express- The name may conjure up images of fat people gobbling up greasy food, but the opposite - repeat: the opposite - is the case here. Stuff yourself on one of the five daily offerings of meat dishes and a malý tanier at the salad bar for under 100 Sk. And there's more fare for vegetarians such as fried tofu and yes - fried cheese. Help yourself to the food and then help yourself to a table in the small room; chances are you'll be sharing your personal space with someone else. $. CC: No. Eng. menu: No. Res: No. Grösslingová ul. < 08:00-20:00, M-Sat.

Gremium- Above its namesake café, and just a few steps from the Opera House the Gremium kitchen turns out a great venison guláš. The garlic soup is loaded with garlic, croutons, parsley and an egg. Stuff yourself with the "Gremium Plate" of turkey, pork, beef, rice and French fries. $$ CC: yes. Eng. Menu: no. Res.: yes. Gorkého ul 11. % 321-818. < 11:30-24:00 M-Su.

Korzo- Well-known for its downstairs restaurant featuring a salad bar, traditional Slovak fare, and live folk music. For meat-eaters, the venison and steak are recommended. Also plan to visit the café on the street level which opens for breakfast at 9:00 and is an excellent place for a drink after the opera. Open until 23:00. $$$. CC: no. Eng. menu: yes. Res: no. Hviezdoslavovo námestie 11. % 334-974. < 8-24:00.

Lacinka- Flat crepes rolled with a smorgasbord menu of deliciously different fillings tacked on the wall. "The palacinky palace" is a popular student hangout. A 30 minute wait is not out of the ordinary but don't be surprised if it takes that long to make a final selection. Sample dishes: Banana-chocolate, nougat or "geodetická" crepes. $. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: no. Šancová ul. 18. % 497-414. < 10:00-21:00 M-F, Su.

Mária Terézia- Want to spurge? Order a whole goat for 4,000 Sk at one of the city's most expensive restaurants. Burgandy carpets, wood paneling and soft lighting greet you as you descend the stairway to the sounds of harp music. The nouvelle cuisine includes tender grilled salmon and brisket of lamb. A businessman's lunch is available weekdays for 1,200 Sk (without drinks). $$$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: no. Res: no. Palisády 50. % 325-590. < 11:30-15:00 M-F, 18:00-23:00 M-Sa.

MS Danubius- Located in an attractive area right on the Danube and next to the Museum of Natural History, this place offers a solid selection of steaks, pork and poultry dishes prepared in the tradition of the Danube basin area. Sip a cocktail in their newly-renovated air-conditioned interior. It will bring back memories of, or introduce you to, an old-fashioned steam riverboat. $$. CC: Yes. Eng. menu: Yes. Res: Yes. Fajnorovo nábr. % 366-664. < 10.00-22.00 M-Su.

Miva- Take bus 50 or 43 to the very end of Petržalka - look for the cube-like building placed on the edge of the concrete jungle. After walking up the green stairs, enter the mirror-lined restaurant where the huge calzone and cheese soup are recommended. If you're lucky, you can catch the dreamy tunes of a white-suited pianist tickling the keys of a white piano. $$$. CC: no. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Brovicka 38. <10:00-24:00 M-Su.

Modrá Guľa- A quiet place for a business lunch and a well-stocked bar for a happy hour drink. The penthouse terrace has views of the Castle and Hotel Forum. Service is slow. Try the pork cutlet on dumplings with cheese sauce or the halušky stuffed in ham and cheese. $$$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Suché Mýto 6. % 335-546, ext. 4006. < 11:00-24:30, M-Sa.

Modrá Hviezda- A delightful haven just below the castle for creatively cooked Slovak cuisine, served up in hearty portions. Try "Mummie's Specialty" of beef with cream and cranberry sauce and potato croquettes, or the sauerkraut goulash, or the veal in plum sauce. Head for the brick-walled wine cellar with heavy wooden tables; the other room, while attractive enough, lacks the cellar's character. The small sunken room on the way in is available for large parties. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Beblavého 14. % 332-747 < 11:00-23:00 M-Sa.

Pekná Brána- Slovak and Balkan cuisine is complemented by a friendly and well-trained staff. Prices range from the 40 Sk spaghetti to the 290 Sk house specialty - a plate of various meats. Must try the Solonya dezert,a Hungarian-style dessert consisting of chocolate and vanilla cake with pudding, chocolate sauce and whipped cream. $$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: no. Vysoká 39. % 323-008. < 11:00-24:00.

Pod Baštou- When walking up Michalská ul. towards Michael's Gate, turn left down Bratislava's thinnest street. Then descend from the cobblestoned alley into this classic wine cellar where sipping on one of the about 20 white, red, cask, and dessert wines is a must. Talk about ambience: soak in the vaulted brick ceiling, low lighting, and soft live music. Top off your meal with the great palacinky. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: yes. Baštova 3. % 331-765. < 11:00-23:00.

Prašná Bašta- Modern stained glass, cozy nooks for tables, and gothic, high-backed chairs give this restaurant and vináreą in old town an out-of-the ordinary feel. The food is tasty and cheap, mostly the basic Slovak menu with some twists, such as smoked trout and Armenian salad. The turkey curry is surprisingly good. Be prepared for a long evening - the service is friendly but slow; if you want to be left alone for a long conversation or even a game of cards, this is the place. $$.CC: no. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Zámočnícka 11. % 334-957. < 11:00-23:00, M-Su.

Prešporská Kúria- A complex of outdoor and indoor seating, including a cafeteria-style eatery, a nice restaurant and a pizzeria. Waiters in the restaurant wear traditional costume and serve dishes like an aromatic mushroom soup, pirogi stuffed with sheep's cheese, and carp with butter and walnuts. Load up on appetizers and your main course, because desserts are less inspiring. $$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Dunajská 21. % 367-981, 367-277. < 11:00-23:00, M-Su.

Reduta- Ambassadors seated under ornate chandeliers wave from their tables to each other in this exclusive restaurant. Built between 1908 and 1910, Reduta housed a music school and part of the stock exchange. The restaurant is in the old wine cellar downstairs, below the continental café and the Casino. $$$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Medená 3. % 335-242 or 335-257. < 11:00-24:00.

Riviéra- Large portions and a varied menu of fish, pork, poultry and beef - even vegetarian selections - on the road to Devín. Two rooms upstairs, a wine cellar and a patio; folk music at six every evening except Monday and Tuesday. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Karloveská 1. % 727-408 or 727-163. < 10:00-22:00.

Rybárský Cech- Built in 1759, this fine example of Rococo architecture was recently renovated with modern amenities such as air conditioning. The variety of seafood includes Dover sole, catfish, octopus, and snails bourgignonne, but the menu has plenty for non seafood-lovers as well. The large fresh salads and garlic soup are excellent ways to start your meal. $$$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Žižkova 1. % 311-873. < 11:00-24:00, M-Su.

Slovenská Pivnica- Descend the stairs from street-level into an old-world Slovak ambiance with Modra pottery, paintings on glass, burgundy tablecloths, and Gypsy music performed live. Prompt, efficient wait staff serves up veal, pork, venison and 10 beef dishes, including smažené býčie žľazy or "fried beef balls," as the menu translates it. Be forewarned of the 5 Sk cover charge. $$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Dunajská 18. % 325-465. < 11:00-23:00, M-Sa; 11:30-16:00 Su.

Slovenská Reštaurácia- Any place that calls itself "Slovak Restaurant" has got to carry the ambience as well. Well, it's true; you get here quality Slovak food, Slovak folk music, Slovak suds and wait, Western service. There's even a replica of a maitre d' here who opens the swinging doors for you. They also have prime locaton across from the U.S. Embassy. $$. Eng. menu: no. Res: yes. Hviezdoslavovo nám. 20. % 334-883. < 11:00-24:00, M-Su.

U Adama- You may be served and charged for side dishes you don't order. $$ CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: no. Štefánikova 29. < 10:00 - 22:00.

U Dežmára- Charming through and through, U Dežmára is situated across from Klariská Church on a cobblestoned street and has Renaissance sgraffito decorations on its exterior walls. Reliably good food at reasonable prices help this place fill up, so reservations are recommended. Highlights of the menu include pork steaj with roquefort and the platter of various meats with pineapple and bacon. $$ CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Klariská 1. < 11:00 - 23:00, M-Su.

U Konzula- Fish has been found. They have got grilled fish, fried fish, broiled fish, fish on a platter, fish and chips. It's not exactly English, but still delicious. The inside is full of traditional Slovak decor, and outside you find yourself in a backyard garden setting. The other specialty is a wide selection of turkey dishes. The palacinky are stupendously fresh, hot and with the right amount of wlanuts and chocolate sauce. $$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: no. Res: yes. Palisády 40. % 533-4301. < 11:00-23:00, M-Su.

U Liszta- Large portions with substantial garnishing. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: no. Klariská 1. % 334-343. < 10:00-23:00.

U Sokola- Traditional Slovak atmosphere and food, with a special touch. The soups are excellent, as are the steak sandwich smothered in onions and the turkey with green beans and bacon. The back room has four tables for large parties. $. CC: no. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Sokolská ul. < 10:00-24:00.

U Svätého Floriana- Located across the street from its namesake Gothic church, this modest restaurant features friendly service and low prices. The traditional eastern European fare includes Furmanské halušky, Segedínský gulaš, and bean soup. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: no. Radlinského 27. % 324-163. < 10:00-21:00.

Veľkí Františkáni- Traditional wine cellar with a live musical trio. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: on request. Res: no. Františkánské nám. 10. % 33-073. < 10:00-20:30.

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