Jedáleň: The remnant of socialism that people rightly go back to

The self-service canteen offering affordable meals is one of a few socialist things to rediscover.

Gastro u Jakuba is the jedáleň near the Old Market, but there are more scattered across Bratislava.Gastro u Jakuba is the jedáleň near the Old Market, but there are more scattered across Bratislava. (Source: restu.sk)

Dozens of people cue in a self-canteen, called a jedáleň in Slovak, to get a hearty, mostly meaty, dish at midday.

Comprised of a bowl of soup, a main dish and dessert, the jedáleň menu costs around €4. The concept dates back to socialism, its characteristic kitchen smell, floating across the dining space, transporting customers back to very different times.

In recent years, the jedáleň is enjoying a comeback. Many Slovaks eat lunch there every day, thanks in part to the meal voucher system.

What should you keep in mind upon entering a jedáleň? What meals do they serve? And where can you find some self-service canteens?

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