2020 Year In Review: Favorite Coffee, Snacks, & Restaurants

This year’s food-in-review will be slightly different from 2019–do we even remember dining out during pre-pandemic times–because of course it will. “Hmmm…”, I think as I go through pictures, “I won’t have too many from 2020.”

87+ photos later…

Despite nearly a full year on some sort of lockdown (give or take a few weeks and looser restrictions) 2020 included the greatest meal of my life (Hiša Franko) as well as some personal milestones (I finally became that bread baker that I’d aspired to for most of my adult life).

Me literally feeding carbs to everyone I know.

Let’s gooooooooo!

Hiša Franko, Slovenia:

We’re starting off with the best meal ever in the history of my life–dinner at Hiša Franko. If you haven’t watched Ana’s episode on Chef’s Table (its on Netflix what are you doing with your life if you haven’t seen it?!) you need to ASAP. Everything is sourced within 50 km of the restaurant (!!) and she and her husband have done so much to support local growers and biodiversity in the area around Kobarid. Chris and I went back and forth with whether we should make a reservation and I am so incredibly happy and thankful that we did. A perfect dinner and sendoff to four years in the wild wild east(ern) Europe. Literally had dinner in Slovenia and arrived back to Hungary the day before the borders closed once again.

Here we goooooo!

My (veg) menu– Chris had meat, but no fish.
Best three bites of my life
Mountain yogurt
Buckwheat beignet
Almond soup and peach
Israeli broccoli
Pasta
Ana’s take on a Slovenian taco
Roasted beetroot
Sour milk ice cream
Summer fruit and (very) spicy salt–we love a savory dessert
This breakfast spread the next day!

Favorite Coffee Spots:

An avid cowboy coffee drinker–who has time for cream and sugar especially in a pandemic?!–here are my favorite coffee spots of 2020:

Zakopane, Poland:

STRH Bistro Art Cafe
Their motto: “We cook with passion and act with verve, because it is a waste of time to be mediocre in life”.

Ljubljana, Slovenia:

Cafe Čokl
Located right next to the funicular leading up to Ljubljana Castle (lol not in your wildest dreams would I EVER), Cafe Čokl specializes in unroasted, Fair Trade beans from all over the world.

Zakopane, Poland:

La Mano
Located on a quiet street with excellent coffee options, I believe the barista could tell I was on the verge of an existential crisis as she quietly asked “are you sure you don’t want to try a rhubarb tart? We just made it this morning?” to which I obviously agreed.

Pécs, Hungary:

Pécsi Kávé
Last stop for coffee before heading home. This was our final trip in Hungary.

Pápa, Hungary:

My Kitchen!
Here’s the thing: this mug of black King Bean dark roast (Charleston, SC) coupled with this delicious vegan birthday blondie dropped off on my porch by a dear friend is truly all you can ask for in the world.

Breakfast & Brunch:

Most na Soči, Slovenia:

Sunny Rooms
The tiny town of Most na Soči has only one cafe, which I visited each morning for breakfast croissants and börek for the afternoon (schlepping them back up the hill in my backpack). This apricot pastry was a lovely way to start our Slovenian adventures for the day.

Zakopane, Poland:

Aparthotel Cristina
We don’t normally book hotels when we travel but I’m so glad we stayed at the Aparthotel Cristina while in Zakopane. Their breakfast was consistently good and included a starter and your choice of international full breakfast. So good!

Eger, Hungary:

Macok Bistro
We stan a gorgeous breakfast spread!

Kraków, Poland:

Cheder
This vegetarian Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant is run by the Jewish Culture Festival and offers a number of amazing dishes, including this sweet potato hash on rye toast. The Turkish coffee here though–I’m still dreaming about it.

Ljubljana, Slovenia:

EK Bistro
Located right on the Ljubljanica, EK Bistro offers a number of beautiful brunch options although I of course had to go with my go-to of eggs Florentine. We were able to sit next to the river and enjoy the gorgeous fall Slovenian weather.

Kraków, Poland:

Hummus & Happiness
Truly delivering on their name, this gorgeous spot in the Jewish District boasts a delicious menu and the slogan “make hummus, not war”. My falafel shakshuka was one of the best I’ve had–a hard list to win considering my affection for the dish–and with so many options we of course had to brunch here a second time.

Budapest, Hungary:

Stika Gastropub
This little eggs benedict hidden gem is one of the best breakfast places around! I’m so glad we were able to get in that morning for my last brunch in Budapest.

Kraków, Poland:

Ranny Ptaszek
This feminist vegetarian cafe is one of my favorite spots in the city. Their restaurant is LGBTQIA+ friendly space (important in a country currently fighting for equal rights), has a small outdoor area and a full menu of homemade meals including this veg shakshuka and pickles.

Pécs, Hungary:

Reggeli
Best brunch in Eastern Europe? Yah. Literally obsessed with this place and all of the amazing things they offer.
Breakfast bagel with mushrooms
Eggs and hummus
Savory french toast ❤

Snacks:

Most na Soči, Slovenia:

This is normally how I snack: I hoard all the great grocery finds from a new city and throw them together into a croissant. This locally made chickpea vegan cheese from Kucha (Ljubljana) was soo good.

Pécs, Hungary:

Balkán Bisztró
Black hummus and homemade pita

Mohács, Hungary:

Serbian flatbread at Busójárás 

Budapest, Hungary:

Dobrumba
Still my favorite place to order allthesides. I can’t believe this was my final visit 😦

Pécs, Hungary:

Sheep cheese börek from a bakery in Pécs ❤

Lake Balaton, Hungary:

Liliomkert Market
Cider and cookies on the best market day with my friend Klaudia ❤

Bovec, Slovenia:

Bovška Kuhn’ca
This. Take. On. A. Food. Truck. Tho. I ordered Frika–a traditional Soča Valley dish made of local Tolminc cheese, grilled polenta, and chive sauce. SOOOO GOOD.

Ljubljana, Slovenia:

Hiša pod Gradom
Local brushetta plate at an an amazing traditional Slovenian restaurant.

Most na Soči, Slovenia:

Sunny Rooms
I can’t say enough about this sheep cheese backpack börek.

Villany, Hungary:

Sauska 48
A gorgeous winery with beautiful views of the mountains

Best Dinners:

Pécs, Hungary:

Balkán Bisztró
Grilled cheese salad

Pápa, Hungary:

Hotel Villa Classica
Summer asparagus gnocchi

Szigliget, Hungary:

Villa Kabala
This amazing summer salad and local mushrooms was so incredibly fresh and well seasoned.

Budapest, Hungary:

Leila’s
Authentic Lebanese in Budapest! They allowed me to create a combination plate of falafel and rakakat.

Ljubljana, Slovenia:

Hiša pod Gradom
Local mushroom gnocchi

Zakopane, Poland:

Cristina Ristorante
More summer salads

Villany, Hungary:

Sauska 48
Roasted peaches and carrots

Zakopane, Poland:

Restauracja Zakopiańska
Can never go wrong with Russian dumplings at a restaurant where Joseph Conrad (born as Józef Konrad Korzeniowski) used to stay while in Zakopane.

Kraków, Poland:

Marchewka z Groszkiem
My favorite place for pierogi! Not even a fan of blue cheese but this spinach and sheep cheese with blue cheese sauce are what dreams are made of.

Zakopane, Poland:

Zapicek
Brave the busy Krupówki Street for this adorable and traditional Polish restaurant. These pierogi were filled with Oscypek, a smoked sheep cheese only found in the Tatra Mountains.

Pécs, Hungary:

Balkán Bisztró
Summer salad and Balkan gazpacho

Ljubljana, Slovenia:

Namaste
Located right on the river, this meal was incredible

Komarno, Slovakia:

Klapka Restaurant
Local Slovakian dumplings

Favorite Desserts:

Mindszentkálla, Hungary:

Kő Fagyi?
Still my favorite ice cream in Hungary! The perfect combination: mango + pistachio

Eger, Hungary:

Talkin shit with my favorite ice cream comrade

Mohács, Hungary:

No words for this ice cream abomination at Busójárás 

Szigliget, Hungary:

Villa Kabala
This beautiful dessert trio at one of the prettiest spots on Lake Balaton

Pápa, Hungary:

Soft serve ice cream on my street! When Covid times have you down, swirl ice cream is the answer.

Pápa, Hungary:

My very own carrot cake made by lovely friend Meryl ❤

All the Tacos + Nachos:

Budapest, Hungary:

Tereza
No words for how amazing these were! Plus this gorgeous drink–

Ljubljana, Slovenia:

El Patrón – Tacos & Store
We loved this adorable (and tiny) taco spot!

Szigliget, Hungary:

Taco Truck
I literally visited the Taco Truck every Sunday, rain or shine, for tacos and burritos-to go. Their food is SO GOOD and one of the favorite stops for everyone in Pápa. The couple who runs the food truck are so kind (and non-judgmental as you order two meals for takeaway in the middle of a rainstorm)! I miss seeing them every weekend.

Adventures in Homecooking:

Vegan cornbread
Pierogi ❤
My little sourdough starter that could–Zsuzsi, named after the wonderful Hungarian friend who taught me the sourdough way! (And yes, I did bring my starter on the drive to Germany).
Sourdough Rye
Everything bagels + caraway
Recipe: Mississippi Vegan
Sourdough vegan cheese crackers
Thanks Meryl for the recipe!
Paczki ❤ with brown sugar and cardamom topping
Recipe: Michal Korkosz
Local mushroom flatbread
Vegan kielbasa and sauerkraut
Recipe: The Polish Chef
Vegan Hoppin’ John
Recipe: Chef BJ Dennis & Mississippi Vegan
Nothing pierogi and potato pancakes can’t fix

❤ ❤

Ljubljana, Slovenia
Kraków, Poland
Last night at our pub in Pápa
Zakopane, Poland

Currently:
Reading: Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead (Olga Tokarczuk)
Watching: The Americans Season 6 (Netflix)
Listening: Slow Burn Season 5: The Road to the Iraq War (Slate)

One thought on “2020 Year In Review: Favorite Coffee, Snacks, & Restaurants

  1. Drooled over everything!! Your recommendations mean 10x more now that we’ve joined you on the vegetarian journey!! Here’s to a delicious 2021!

    Like

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