Ana Roš is the international gastronomic trade mark. Foto: Reuters
Ana Roš is the international gastronomic trade mark. Foto: Reuters

In this year's selection of the project The Slovenia Restaurant Awards the expert commission members Janez Bogataj, Aleš Gačnik, Noah Charney, Helena Cvikl and Iva Gruden made a list of 165 restaurants. A nearly two-month vote by the Chefs & Foodies Academy and voting by the public at followed. More than a thousand members of the Chefs & Foodies Academy were invited to vote and the Slovene public was included through voting on the official website of the project. Altogether more than 7,000 votes contributed and were audited by Deloitte Slovenija.
Niko Slavnić, director of the project said at the event:
"We were very pleased by the excellent response of choosing the best Slovenian restaurants for the first time in 2017. We were also surprised by the positive response to the book, which was the result of this project. We started this year’s project which is already very well known at home and abroad with even more enthusiasm, effort and strength. This year's selection was even harder for the commission. Due to high quality and service, international recognition of Slovenia as a gastronomic tourist destination is rising."
Maja Pak, director of the Slovenian Tourist Board, said: "Gastronomy is one of the key pillars of the Slovenian
touristic offer. With new restaurant openings, new menus and, above all, new innovative dishes prepared from local
ingredients. The gastronomic offer is the growing motive for the arrival of tourists, which is promising but at the same time full of challenges. The results of the Slovenian gastronomic offer reflect the daily hard work and effort of many restaurant managers and their teams, winemakers, brewers and also organizers of culinary events, including The Slovenia Restaurant Awards. Due to the effort and development of all these, Slovenia has become a candidate for the European gastronomic region for 2021. It shows that the Slovenian gastronomic story is only emerging, with many development opportunities, and above with a lot of potential."
Mladen Mirko Tepuš, representative of Diners Club, added: "Our business is closely connected to 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 and we are happy to take part into such events as The Slovenia Restaurant Awards."
Top 50 regional restaurants (sorted alphabetically):
Ljubljana and Central Slovenia (Gostilna As, Gostilna Čubr, Gostilna Mihovec, Gostilna na Gradu, Gostilna Skaručna, Gostišče Grič, JB restavracija, Restavracija Cubo, Restavracija Strelec in Sushimama)
Northern Slovenia (Ančka, Danilo - gostilna&vinoteka, Dvor Jezeršek, Gostilna Krištof, Gostišče Milka, Hiša Raduha, Pr Matičku, Restavracija 1906 Bled, Skipass, Kranjska Gora, Vila Podvin),
Southern Slovenia (Domačija Novak, Gostilna Rakar, Gostilna Repovž, Gostilna Šekoranja, Gostilna Vovko, Ošterija Debeluh, Pod skednjem – Posestvo Pule, Restavracija Grad Otočec, Restavracija Oštarija, Restavracija Tri lučke),
Eastern Slovenia (Galerija Okusov, Gostilna Francl, Gostilna Rajh, Gostilna Šiker, Hiša Denk, Kungota, Pavus Grad Tabor, Restavracija Mak, Restavracija Sedem, Rožmarin, Vila Herberstein),
Western Slovenija (Domačija Majerija, Gostilna Mahorčič, Gostilna pri Lojzetu, Hiša Franko, Hiša Torkla, Nejka in Uroš Klinec, Ošterija Klinec, Restavracija Dam, Restavracija Kendov dvorec, Restavracija Pikol).
The regional winners 2018 are Restavracija Strelec - Ljubljana and Central Slovenia, Gostilna Krištof - Northern Slovenia, Ošterija Debeluh - Southern Slovenia, Hiša Denk - Eastern Slovenia and Hiša Franko - Western Slovenia. The other regional finalists earned the title of the best regional restaurants.
Three overall winners of the national selection for the best Slovenian restaurants 2018 in alphabetical order are the Hiša Franko, Ošterija Debeluh and Pri Lojzetu.
The restaurant with the largest number of votes from the public through online voting is Galerija okusov.

The Slovenia Restaurant Awards Project
The guideline and core project are the international recognition of Slovenia as a gastronomic tourist destination, ensuring high quality of food and services, increasing visits to restaurants and the development of a healthy "foodie" culture of Slovenes.
Slovenia is becoming an important and valued green destination, with many possibilities of culinary experiences. Visitors value what Slovenia has to offer and love to return, not only because of the exceptional diversity and natural beauty, but also because of the rich selection of food and beverages. Various and innovative dishes, quality ingredients, premium wines and friendly service are a distinctive feature of Slovenian restaurants.
With many years experience in the field of international tourism literature, the organiser wants to contribute to an independent and expert overview of the best restaurants in Slovenia, which is multifaceted and intended for the general public, domestic and foreign visitors. They decided on the project because of the needs and wishes of the market, and were aware that one-of-a-kind tourism is becoming the fastest-growing tourist industry in the world.