WARNING: If you have not eaten in Bled before, pack a larger belt with extra notches – you’ll need it.
In the guide to Bled in this blog, you will find here, is out of date but much of what it contains is generally correct. Since I was last here, there have been several changes. In addition to the traditional restaurants “gostilna”, “oštarija“, and “restavracija” a new word has appeared: “Steakhouse”. The main Chinese restaurant once on the corner of Ljubljanska cesta and Ulica naradonih herojev has been replaced by a Restavracija Central Bled http://restavracija-central.si/ . They list “Burgers, Grill plate [cevapcici, spicy sausage, chicken fillet], pork ribs, and Pad Thai” on their menu. There is both a new Chinese and Thai restaurant in and near the shopping centre. A Burger Bar can now be found near the bus station.
This is an update from here the Bled category and here, the guide to Bled category
Inevitably there have been closures over the last two years; like the Okarina festival, the Okarina restaurant is gone. It has been replaced by an expansion of the Sova restaurant from nearby Mlino which had been one of my favourites. Sova is currently still there but this new “Tale of Us” has a similar menu and style. I was there on the third night of opening and while there was an incompleteness in the décor, the food and service were excellent. We were still “pre-season”, so it was very quiet. Expect it to get busy as the year goes on. It was the most expensive dinner, though. And I can’t think of a reason why.
The Art Café is there (best hot chocolate in Bled’s winter) and still excellent. It is best for coffee near the lake.
Apropos in the shopping centre with its creatively cluttered style of home/living room/den and very good music in the background is still the best place in and around Trgovski Center Bled.
Pizza at Pri Planincu
Predictable as the ducks in Mlino fly into the water with a pad, pad splash and immediately look to the shore too see if any of those humans are distributing bread on the surface of the water, our first stop for dinner is upstairs in Pri Planincu for what is in my opinion and experience, the best pizza in Bled. Pizza and Union beer. Several places serve pizza and there is a degree of competition between them. Perhaps reflecting two years’ of almost collapse in the tourism industry here and around the world, the menu in Pri Planincu has been simplified, shortened but does not disappoint. We are the only diners. It is the beginning of the week and the week before the seasons starts. By Friday in an unusually wet day, the bar and restaurant were packed downstairs with people having nowhere better to go.
It may be sunny (one wet day in 7) but now in April the temperature drops fast once the sun dips behind the mountains of Triglav National Park. While the terrace at Oštarija Peglez’n is the summer choice, we head indoors. If there is a theme here among the higgly-piggley collection ranging from antique sewing machines on the window ledge to the stuffed animals that share your seat, it is “at home with tvoja najljubša slovenska babica (your favourite Slovenian grandmother)”. A “Gostilna” is an inn – a bar that serves food. An “oštarija“, tilts the emphasis the other way, an inn that serves food and drinks to accompany. This is where that other belt – the one with more notches – comes into play. The portions are enormous. The cooking is excellent and the service polished, and very relaxed. You’ll be in no rush to leave. Wine by the glass and bottle – there’s beer, schnapps and spirits, too. We returned on the last evening. I honestly can’t remember the number of times we’ve been here. We have never beed disappointed.
We were there for dinner twice within a few days.
The Restaurant at Bled Castle
For high living, in more than one sense, above the lake in the terrace of the Castle, views from a great height and haute cuisine. Lunch in the castle is more than just (outstanding) food and (excellent) service. A glass of Slovenian bubbly to start, a lunch sized main course and the option of an impressive desert. But with the bubbly came a Slovenian amuse bouche (same in Slovenian, same in English, same in French). A very light local style pastry with a pork stuffing.
Treat yourself – if only once, but you’ll want to go back for more. Dining is more than the food. You know as well as anyone, it’s where you are, who you are with as well as what you eat and how its presented.
Mid-week we were in Vila Prešeren. And returned for lunch on the last day. Mid week I had the most excellent and tasty John Dorey. But even as I ate, I was suffering from dinner envy when Dawn and our friend Alenka had Caesar Salad. Sounds uninteresting. But it was the Caesar Salad that got us back for a second time.
Eating and walking in Bled are all you need to do. There are many other weight losing and health inspiring activities. But a good lunch and a short stroll are all you need to enjoy he place.