When in Slovenia: 10 culinary experiences to have in Bela Krajina

It’s not hard to fall in love with Slovenia – lush green scenery, hospitable people and extraordinary cuisine. Spending almost three months in the beautiful region of Bela Krajina, I had the chance to live with locals and learn more about Slovenian culture, traditions and lifestyle. And one thing I can say for sure – people love to spoil themselves with delicious food and exquisite wines.

Based on my summer this year, I’ve come up with these 10 proofs that visiting Bela Krajina in Slovenia should be on your culinary bucket list.

#1. Making Belokranjska Pogača

pogaca workshop bela krajina slovenia

pogaca in bela krajina slovenia
pogaca bela krajina slovenia
pogaca bela krajina slovenia

Pogača is a traditional Slovenian round bread that can go with every meal… or, in my case, simply be the meal. It is the queen of Bela Krajina’s cuisine. And the next best thing after eating it is preparing it by yourself.

The recipe is not that complicated but locals have a particular way of preparing the real Belokranjska pogača. If you’re up for a challenge, go for it. A great place for pogača workshop in Bela Krajina is Gostišče Veselič – a restaurant in Podzemelj. Book your workshop in advance and learn the “secret” techniques from Andreja – one of the best in the region.

Where: Gostišče Veselič | Podzemelj 17 | Facebook

#2. Lavender Chocolate and Liqueur Tasting

chocolate tasting bela krajina

When it comes to dessert, chocolate is always a good idea (Well, two chocolates are even better, Maria!). And Bela Krajina is a great place for chocolate lovers.

Have you ever tried lavender chocolate? There is one special place where you can see the process of chocolate making and have delicious chocolate and liqueur tasting afterwards just for 5 Euros! Yes, Berryshka is definitely a must visit in Bela Krajina. Everyone leaves with full hands of chocolate after that tour.

Where: Berryshka Distillery and Chocolatier | Obrh pri Dolenjskih Toplicah 17a | Facebook

#3. Ice cream with pumpkin seed oil 

This irresistible combination of vanilla ice cream and pumpkin seed oil won’t let you forget your culinary adventure in Slovenia. It’s simple, yet extremely clever dessert idea that quickly became one of my favourite desserts from Bela Krajina. You can ask in almost every restaurant in the area for that specialty.

Where: I recommend the ones in Gostišče Veselič in Podzemelj 17 and Gostilna Muller on Ločka cesta 6, Črnomelj.

#4. Fresh trout dinner prepared right in front of you

zupancic fish dinner bela krajina

Trout is a common fish prepared in various restaurants in Bela Krajina. But one specific culinary experience stands up among all of them. At Homestead Zupancic you can have a fresh trout caught a moments before and prepared on a BBQ right in front of you. The eco apple juice from apples grown in his farm is also a great pick.

Moreover, Rihard will take care of you and treat you like part of the family. If that’s not a full local experience, I don’t know what is.

Where: Homestead Zupancic | Jelševnik 8b, Crnomelj 8340 | Facebook

#5. The delightful Slovenian mushroom soup

mushroom soup bela krajina slovenia

If you ask me what is the first thing I would do when I get back to Slovenia, I won’t hesitate. Warm and creamy, Gostisce Veselic’s mushroom soup is like someone is giving you a hug from inside. For me, it is a good enough reason to go back to Bela Krajina.

Where: Gostišče Veselič | Podzemelj 17 | Facebook

#6. Seed oils for every taste and ache

oljarna pecaric bela krajinaPhoto: BIG BERRY

If you like cooking with olive oil, you’ll most definitely love other varieties of oils you can spice up your meals with. There’s a place in Bela Krajina where you can try more than 20 seed oils with different taste and even healing effects.

Stop by Oil Mill Pečarič for a tasting and tour of the place and choose your favourite ones to take back home.

Where: Oil Mill Pečarič | Drašiči 33, 8330 Metlika | Facebook

#7. Herbs or chilli rakija for good health

kuzma bela krajina

kuzma bela krajina
kuzma bela krajina
kuzma bela krajina

Photos: BIG BERRY

Balkan countries may be divided by borders but one thing connects them more than everything – the great rakija. When you visit Bela Krajina, you can stop by Kuzma family and try their special herbs or chilli flavoured rakija.

Besides the tasting, you will get a tour of the old flour mill and learn more about the process of flour making during the years. The place is also good for swimming or canoeing in Kolpa river – the border between Slovenia and Croatia.

Where: Homestead Kuzma | Pobrežje 4, Adlešiči | Facebook 

#8. Local white, red and sparkling wines

semiska penina semic bela krajina wine tasting

If you are a wine lover, you are at the right place. Bela Krajina is a strong wine region which is daily proofed by the fact that people here drink more wine than water.

In fact, every year in May there is a festival celebrating the drink of the Gods – Vinska Vigred. During the festival a Wine’s Queen is chosen to represent Bela Krajina wine region in various events all over the country.

Where: Wineries in Bela Krajina that offer wine tasting tours are –  Malnarič, KZ Metlika and Semiška Penina (sparkling wine), Kmetija Pavlovič (raspberry wine).

#9. Craft beer tasting in Bela Krajina

Trying local beers everywhere you go is a good way to get closer to the local taste and lifestyle. For even better experience, head over to Vizir Brewery for a beer tasting and tour of the producer where you will try different kinds of local pivo and get behind the scenes look at the brewing process.

Where: Vizir Brewery | Lokve 10 b, Crnomelj | Facebook 

#10. Cookies and home made lunch

If you know some local in Bela Krajina, you will definitely be invited in their home for a lunch or dinner right away. But if you’re just arriving, there are certain places where you can “order” being treated like family and sit on the table to have delicious home made traditional lunch in cozy atmosphere.

Where: Bakery Šraif (Črešnjevec 21b, 8333 Semič/www.srajf.com ) or Homestead Župnca (Cerovec pri Črešnjevcu 17, 8333 Semič/Facebook )

Where to stay in Bela Krajina: BIG BERRY

Photo: BIG BERRY

BIG BERRY Kolpa river is a luxury resort nestled in Primostek, Slovenia.  It offers all of the mentioned tours above to its guests. The main concept is to propose not only accommodation option but to get visitors closer to the local lifestyle, and thus – to support the local producers and community. There’s no other place I’ve seen that has such strong connections with the area.

Where: BIG BERRY | Facebook | Instagram


All the experiences mentioned above were possible due to my stay at BIG BERRY  last summer and the hospitality of the locals.

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Written by

Travel blogger, freelancer and tourism graduate from Bulgaria. When I'm not writing about my experiences, I'm most likely chasing adventures all over Europe. From skydiving up in the sky to kayaking in deep waters, I love challenging myself during every trip. I also love travelling and writing about my home country - Bulgaria.

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