Where to go for ice cream and gelato in Ljubljana?
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Basking in the sun - Ljubljana's best terraces and gardens

On sunny days it’s hard to imagine a nicer way to spend a free afternoon (or just a lunch break) than sitting on the terrace of one of Ljubljana’s restaurants, cafés or bars. With that in mind, we’ve put together a selection of our favourite outdoor spots – some well known, others more out of the way – where you can enjoy everything from a morning coffee or breakfast to lunch or an evening snack over a beer, while soaking up the sun and the view.

Cafe Čokl
A good coffee after Saturday shopping at the market
This pocket-sized café close to the market offers a wide selection of coffees from various parts of the world. Fair-trade coffee is roasted on the premises and prepared in numerous different ways. From the terrace on Krekov Trg (Krek Square) you can hear the pleasant bustle of the market, while every hour on the hour Martin Krpan and his mare make their appearance on the Puppet Theatre’s clock turret to a musical accompaniment.

EK Bistro
Breakfast and lunch for gourmets
Particularly on fine weekends, EK’s terrace by the Grain Bridge is thronged with brunch aficionados. Eggs Benedict and variations thereon (Royale, Florentine, etc.) and other neo-bistro style dishes, accompanied by a good coffee or glass of fine wine, are in such demand in sunny weather that it’s a smart idea to book your table in advance.

Gostilna Čad
Lunch under the chestnuts
A classic of the Ljubljana food scene for many years, Čad serves great Serbian food – and boasts a delightful garden in the shade of ancient chestnut trees. It isn’t only diners who move outdoors in the summer, either: Čad’s entire kitchen staff also transfer their operations to the restaurant’s open-air kitchen. Just far enough away from the rush and bustle of the city, you can sit in the garden and enjoy the fresh breeze from Rožnik Hill and Čad’s masterpieces from the grill.

Nebotičnik Café
Ljubljana at your feet
Immortalised by pop band Bele Vrane’s 1969 hit song and thoroughly renovated just under a decade ago, the terrace at the top of Ljubljana’s Nebotičnik skyscraper has once again become a favourite spot for both tourists and locals to soak up the sun in company as they gaze at the city spread out below them. A chat over a coffee as the breeze ruffles your hair at the top of Nebotičnik is unquestionably a Ljubljana classic.

Makalonca
Terrace above the river
Makalonca’s enchanting terrace is part of the legacy of Ljubljana’s great architect Jože Plečnik. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a view of Ljubljana from slightly different perspective as you lazily sip your drink and nibble a snack while watching the pleasure boats, rowers and other river users go past.

Park Žibert
A tree-shaded glade
The Gostilna Žibert on the Šentvid side of Celovška Cesta has been a fixture of Ljubljana life for well over a century. Recently modernised and with a young team in charge, it is also popular with younger generations. Traditional inn fare has been joined by some pub food classics, but the biggest attraction is behind the house itself: a wooded glade where you can sit in the green shade of tall trees.

Lajbah
Beer on the sunniest terrace 
As the days get sunnier, the crowd gets bigger on the terrace of this pub in Ljubljana’s Prule district. Opened last year, Lajbah specialises in craft beers, with 23 of the finest on tap at any one time. Passers-by are also attracted by the large terrace – the perfect place to soak up the rays until sunset. Meanwhile, Lajbah’s varied food menu offers a wide choice of dishes to help stop the sunshine in your glass from going to your head.

Shambala Restaurant
The garden of a mythical kingdom
This Asian restaurant on Križevniška Ulica takes its name from a mythical kingdom in Tibetan Buddhism and is particularly popular with lovers of exotic flavours. In the warmer half of the year, a meal at Shambala is an even more special experience in the restaurant garden, away from the noise of the city, where your thoughts are drawn to far-off places.

Slovenska Hiša Figovec
Tradition in the city
Take a seat on Figovec’s terrace, where the urban and the traditional meet, and order classic Slovene dishes in a modern guise, treat yourself to a coffee or a glass of wine, or enjoy an evening cocktail. You are in the centre of the city, yet at the same time slightly removed from it. Even more hidden away is Figovec’s secret garden, where in the warmer months of the year you can listen to live music in the evenings. 


Do you have any more suggestions for this list? Share them with us on Instagram using the hashtag #GourmetLJ!

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