The Slovenia restaurant awards 2019 by Diners Club


7. 5. 2019

Another selection of the best Slovenian restaurants by The Slovenia Restaurant Awards 2019 is in the books. This year’s ceremony for The Slovenia Restaurant  awards was something special. The all-day event encompassing educational lectures, culinary and social events, ended with a 16-course charity dinner. The magnificent location of the golf course and restaurant Evergreen at Smlednik hosted The Slovenia Restaurant Awards, where all of Slovenia’s culinary community was gathered.

With all-day educational and culinary events, this year’s choice for the best Slovenian restaurants was presented. The day was marked with the presentation of delicious dishes prepared by Slovenian caterers, cheerful gatherings and toasts to the recipients of the awards. Awards were given to renowned chefs, and visitors had the opportunity to socialize and network, and the event itself also had a charity note, with all proceeds from the dinner supporting the newly established Young Chefs Foundation. During the morning portion of the event, participants also took part in various culinary workshops, dubbed Gourmet 4.0, at which much of the focus was about the importance of social media.

Niko Slavnić, director of the project THE SLOVENIA RESTAURANT AWARDS, said at the event: “Today is a special day for feelings, I feel Slovenia, I feel that it takes so little that we are happy and satisfied …

A group of chefs prepared dishes all afternoon, and the extraordinary evening meal was prepared by 16 of the best Slovenian chefs including Mojmir Šiftar (Evergreen Restaurant), the ambassador of Slovenian cuisine Ana Roš (House Franko), Tomaž Kavčič (Restaurant at Lojze – Dvorec Zemono), Janez Bratovž (Restaurant JB), Uroš Štefelin (Villa Podvin), Uroš Klinec (Nejka and Uroš Klinec), Boštjan Terstenjak (Cubo Restaurant), Marko Magajne & Luka Gmajner (Galerija Okusa), Igor Jagodic (Strelec Restaurant), Gregor Vračko (Hiša Denk), Leon Pintarič (Rajh), David Vračko (Restaurant Mak), Matej Tomažič (Majerija), Damjan Fink (Gostilna na Gradu), Jure Tomič (Ošterija Debeluh) and Bine Volčič (Monstera Bistro).

Top Slovenian restaurants competed in different categories and four geographic regions. Hiša Franko was declared the best restaurant in the region of Alpine Slovenia, Gostilna pri Lojzetu / Dvorec Zemono was named the best restaurant in the Mediterranean & Karst Slovenia, Hiša Denk was selected for the Thermal
Pannonian Slovenia region, and for Ljubljana and Central Slovenia Restavracija JB claimed the top ranking.

In addition to the main regional awards, this year saw restaurants and others from the industry awarded a whole host of other titles.

The Best Gostilna was received by Gostilna pri Lojzetu / Dvorec Zemono , Restaurant Otočec was chosen as the best hotel restaurant, and Domačija Belica received the title of the best culinary newcomer.

The award for the best social profile of a restaurant was received by Darja Končarevič from The Bazilika Family, and the best social culinary influencer was received by Jernej Zver and Maja Galuf, who created a culinary blog Jernej’s Kitchen.

The best service award by Diners Club Exclusive for best service was received by the Ljubljana’s Cubo Restaurant. Hiša Franko earned the Vox Populi prize, with the most votes from the public. At the end, the three best restaurants in Slovenia were announced. 

The TOP 3 Slovenia Restaurant Awards were received by Gostilna pri Lojzetu at Zemono Mansion, Hiša Franko and Vila Podvin.

Slovenia’s culinary scene is steadily growing, and wine and gastronomic tourism in Slovenia are becoming the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry, which has also earned the country the title of European Gastronomic Region in 2021. This is further proved by numerous international recognitions to renowned Slovenian chefs.

Niko Slavnić, director of the project THE SLOVENIA RESTAURANT AWARDS, said at the event: “Today is a special day for feelings, I feel Slovenia, I feel that it takes so little that we are happy and satisfied. We celebrate joint successes, all the caterers who are here are our pride, increasing the gastronomic power of the country for all of us.”

Mladen Mirko Tepuš, representative for Diners, added: “Our business is closely connected with restaurants. Both through individual clients and through business cooperation with restaurants. That is why our business decision was to support restaurants in a variety of ways for the third consecutive year, and above all we are happy to delve into such events as THE SLOVENIA RESTAURANT AWARDS.”

Among others, Bina Volčič explained that awards themselves are not so important, but just socializing among chefs is a great experience because there is not enough free time or joint projects where they can chat about events in the culinary world as well as about everyday life. 

Luka Jezeršek said that such awards are important for their team and they are putting ourselves in line with their colleagues and comparing this year with previous years.

Tomaž Kavčič from Gostilna pri Lojzetu considers that the main principles must be followed for a successful restaurant. First of all you need to believe in the guest because the guest is the most important, followed by the basic ingredient, if the chef adheres to the rules, then all the rest follows easier and that is the way of life.

Ana Roš from Hiša Franko explained that high gastronomy can only happen when food originates from tradition, history and is also available to everyday eating.

Uroš Štefelin from Villa Podvin, thinks that his work is most appreciated for
its consistency and that is the essence is the integration of caterers and the region.

Ago Špacapan from Hiša Špacapan believes that a high culinary trends are slowly returning back to the nature and tradition of our grandfathers and grandmothers.


Video TSRA 2019 … 

young tsra

How was the selection made?

This year’s selection under the project THE SLOVENIA RESTAURANT AWARDS, sponsored by Diners Club, was done by a professional commission composed of prof. dr. Janez Bogataj, doc. Dr. Aleš Gačnik, mag. Helena Cvikl and Yuri Baron, who proposed 201 restaurants. The first phase of the vote for the professional public started on January 30, 2019 (Gastronomic Academy, accounting for 75% of the total), followed by a vote for the general public, which began on March 1, 2019 (accounting for 25% of the total) and closed on 31 March 2019. The final  results were confirmed on April 19, 2019 by the audit firm Deloitte Slovenia, which, according to a predetermined voting system, performed an independent review of the received votes of the Gastronomic Academy and the public.

The audit of the so-called “voting system” includes a systematic expert overview of the technical and organizational aspects and ensures credibility in the process itself. How did the commission prepare a selection of 201 restaurants:

According to professional criteria and personal experience, the expert commission has prepared an extensive list of restaurants, which it considers to offer a superior culinary experience with their offer and the quality of food and services. Slovenia was divided into four regions; Alpine Slovenia, Mediterranean and Karst Slovenia, Thermal – Pannonian Slovenia and Ljubljana with central Slovenia.

Members of the commission selected on the basis of the following criteria:
The restaurant must be open for at least one year. The restaurants opened in 2018 will only be able to run for the year 2020. Food and beverages (diversity, ingredients quality, presentation of dishes, taste conformity, innovation and proper food and drink combination).

Service (greetings, service, food and drink recommendation, and knowledge of the staff). List of the best restaurants The Slovenia Restaurant Awards by Diners Club. 

The list of the best restaurants is published on the official website of the selection, and in the book THE SLOVENIA RESTAURANTS. Regional winners and finalists will be presented more extensively, and all other restaurants, which the expert commission submitted to the Academy and the general public, will be labeled as “recommended”.

Partners and sponsors of the election Acknowledgment goes to many project partners, members of the commission, media partners who have found a sense of choice and recognized the uniqueness of the project. 

General sponsor ERSTE CARD – DINERS CLUB SLOVENIA, Römerquelle, official audit by Delloitte, event sponsors Winterhalter, Underberg – natural herbal bitter, host Golf course and restaurant Evergreen at Smlednik (Kaval Grup). Sommelier Master, Slow Food Ljubljana, Slow Food Primorska, Slow Food Styria, Slo Vino and all Sommeliers’ Association (Association of wine advisers Sommelier Slovenia), JRE.

Sponsors of the Slovenian breakfast: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food. Partners and local providers who enabled Slovenian breakfast: Šunkarna Kodila, Lušt, Anita Šumer Drožomanija, Kocbek, LojzLojz – Galerija Okusov, Pri Kuklju, STOW kava, Kmetija Pustotnik, Evrosad, Dobrote Metka.

Sponsor HOMELAND SLOVENIA POP UP: OZS. Partners: Company Belmond with Rum Diplomatico, Koželj, BMW Slovenia, Kodila, Green Gold beer, Jeruzalem Oil Mill, P&F Wines, Goriška Brda wines, Istenič Penina, Pustotnik Cheese, Vina Koper, Metka juices.

Sponsors of dinner The Slovenia Dinner by Römerquelle: RomeQuelle, Partners who have made an unforgettable experience: Underberg, Mabat International and Taittinger champagne, Duke Group, Ducal Wine Cellar, Burja Estate, Malnaric Wine, Kobal, Movia, Sutor, Marof, Steyer, Bartol, Venika Jelenič, Domačija Kabaj
Morel, Batič, Fedora and Diplomatico.

Acknowledgment also goes to all present guests for the excellent company, and to all the restaurants that have provided excellent culinary delights. Congratulations to all winners!

Jana Studen, Public Relations, The Slovenia Restaurant Awards by Diners Club
More info : Jana Studen, The Slovenia Restaurant Awards, m: 041 538 791, E: [email protected]

To find out other unique places in Slovenia and features the very best in Slovenian dining, chefs and restaurants all over Slovenia, check out our THE SLOVENIA RESTAURANTS BOOK