Luda Restaurant in Ljubljana… Exquisite Slovenian Soul Food
Luda At A Glance
Luda is a unique, family owned restaurant in Ljubljana that is all about passion. Passion for food, passion for life, passion for learning new things to keep on over-delivering on guests’ expectations.
Chefs Luka Nagode and Urška Dvoraček are crafting amazingly innovative dishes and coming up with new menus every couple of weeks. They are offering their culinary creations at affordable prices. At Luda everyone can be a “foodie”.
More on Luda below… or jump to…
Slovenian soul food doesn’t get better for our family than Luda, a fascinating, ever-innovative restaurant in Ljubljana owned by Luka Nagode and Urška Dvoraček.
We love everything about Luda, their food, their service and the ambiance. And we love how the owners treat and value their guests—by giving out their very best and staying true to themselves.
Young Chefs at Luda, Luka Nagode and Urška Dvoraček
Location & Setting
Luda restaurant is tucked away on a quiet and rather plain Poljanska Street (Poljanska ulica in Slovene), only about two or three minutes’ walk from the central food market and 5 from the Preseren Square. Even we, being locals, had to slow down our pace when looking for Luda or we would miss the restaurant’s entrance altogether.
Unfortunately for me I was not in Ljubljana on that sunny Tuesday in July so my Mom and Dad went alone. Upon entering the restaurant, they were struck by the simplicity of the place: the stark, white walls, the dark tables and chairs, the precision.
Simple interiors at Luda
Luda – A Unique Experience
Our “slow food” experience—something that would ultimately last three hours—began with a warm greeting from owner Luka and a bright and attentive 20-something staff. Luda is a lot like a good movie—you lose a sense of time and have no idea where the hours have gone.
Our server, Maja—another high point of our dinner, a young girl with great knowledge and amazing service—explained that we could choose from a 3- or 5-course menu, for 20 euro and 30 euro, respectively, each of which was orchestrated using the 7 dishes listed on the menu.
We also learned that no other dish is available at Luda, not even a soup or a side salad. Chefs’ full attention is focused on making these seven dishes perfect!
Then Maja told us another fascinating thing—Luda’s menu changes every couple of weeks. To satisfy their culinary curiosity and before they would slip into a routine, every month or so Luda Chefs design a completely new menu, full of innovative, gourmet dishes.
The menu may change, but the focus on flavor, on quality ingredients, on the stunning presentation of the plates, remains, along with a list of carefully selected Slovenian wines.
By the time you read this, the menu in Luda will probably change. The dishes my family enjoyed during our first visit to this special Ljubljana restaurant will likely not be available anymore.
But reading through our impressions could help you decide if Luda is a good match for you too. And comparing the new menu with an older one is also a lot of fun. I know I will do just that!
Ok, let’s get started. Our slow food dinner at Luda began with an unexpected bonus…
A Greeting from Luda Chefs
Chef’s Welcome – Amouse Bouche
Our first dish, the “Amuse-Bouche,” really amused our taste buds. It featured chicken pate with anchovy and caper, pigs lardo with sour cherry, buffalo mozzarella with tomato jelly, and smoked butter with mixed peppers and salt.
Already, it’s clear: Luda chefs take pleasure in odd pairings, in stretching your palate’s imagination. After each menu change, they pump their culinary muscles and expound on old ideas, making Luda a truly unique restaurant in Ljubljana.
My Dad went for a 5-course menu and my Mom for a 3-course one. As soon as Maja took their orders she returned with a “greetings from the kitchen”. Amouse Bouche was a delicious surprise. Mom and Dad raved about the distinctive coupling of the pigs lardo and the sour cherry, which offered this strange and pleasing fatty texture, alongside the bright and tangy cherry.
The chicken pate was heavenly, not at all salty, despite the anchovy and caper, and the smoked butter offered a plethora of flavors that paired beautifully with the homemade bread. As they ate slowly, dissecting the intricacy of the plates, the restaurant filled its tables. The place was humming.
First starter: Grilled tomato
Nearly all of the plates are different and antique, like from your grandmother’s cabinet, and the cups are blissfully ordinary—highlighting the coming, inventive attraction: the food.
Refreshing Grilled Tomato with “Zdenka” Cheese
Amouse Bouche was an excellent start to our dinner before the first dish even arrived!
Our first starter, a grilled tomato with soft cheese, red basil, and breadcrumbs with onion, was steaming and inviting—something that ultimately required a spoon, rather than a fork.
The basil and tomatoes, which were both grilled and fresh, provided a really beautiful combination, and the soft cheese, an old and quite special Zdenka brand from the days of the former Yugoslavia, paired excellently with the breadcrumbs made of biscuits and onions.
Second starter: Carpaccio
Next, the second starter.
Beef Carpaccio with dry, grilled and pickled porcini mushrooms, Parmesan cheese and parsley, along with porcini sauce, erupted Mom and Dad’s palates into culinary heaven. They shared this dish and agreed that it was one of the highlights of their dinner at Luda.
Beef Carpaccio with Porcini, A Delicacy
First main: Gnudi
My Mom, who appreciates a chance to move away from traditional flour foods chose Gnudi as her main dish. It included dumplings with ricotta, Parmesan, lemon, sour cream, goat cheese, and grilled chanterelles.
She was very pleased with her choice as she loves any kind of cheese, the more special the better.
Ricotta Gnudi with Grilled Chantarelles
First main: Pork
After another pleasant chat with our server Maja about things that make Luda special our next dish was ready.
My Dad’s first main dish was pork on a bed of raspberries and blackberries with celery puree, raw yellow celery, celery foam, grilled beetroot, and lavender.
Pork on a Bed of Berries with Celery and Beetroot
Meat and berries are rarely found together on our plates—but Luka and Urška have done it again with this inventive, palate-pleasing dish. Alongside, the grilled beetroot, which wasn’t too tough or too soft, blended well with the celery flavors—making this a main dish worth fighting for.
Angus Beef with Shallot Mayonnaise
Second main: Grass-fed Angus
The grass-fed Angus beef, alongside bread pudding with parsley and shallot mayonnaise, was the highlight—but did not overshadow the rest of the courses.
Grass-fed Angus beef shows Luda’s focus on quality ingredients and inventive flavors, like shallot mayonnaise.
Dad, usually the one to skip dessert, passed blueberries to my Mom as she didn’t choose dessert in her 3-course menu. He couldn’t help but admire though the sheer beauty of the violet-and-blueberry soup, cream-colored basil ice cream, crusty almond meringue, and yogurt parfait, joined together in a very-temporary art piece.
It was a delicious blend of flavors. Not too sweet to the taste, just perfect. Next time we go to Luda we are ordering two desserts, whatever they serve!
Basil Ice-Cream and Yogurt Parfait in a Blueberry Soup
There really is no restaurant in Ljubljana like Luda. It stands out from the rest, offering a truly unique experience. From innovative cuisine, to impeccable service, and a simple, relaxed setting. Dinner at Luda is about sitting back and enjoying the moment.
At the end of the dinner my Dad, being my Dad, asked to see the owners to thank them and have a little chat with them. How did they come up with this idea? Luka and Urška explained that the whole concept of Luda arose from limitations—small kitchen, little space, and few employees. They wanted to keep the quality high by limiting the food choices.
They also make sure to include at least one dish to satisfy every taste—always something fresh and something acidic. And, despite the fact that they don’t include salt and pepper shakers on their tables, they’ll bring some out if asked. But Luka quickly added that in almost two years of Luda and thousands of guests, they had fewer than five cases when someone requested extra salt.
Inside Luda in Ljubljana
Luda is a place where two passionate chefs handpick ingredients and formulate inventive dishes that, ultimately, promote health of body and mind. With each menu change, Urška Dvoraček and Luka Narobe grow into better, more innovative chefs.
But—perhaps most surprising of all—Luda is termed a short-term project, meaning that its owners will not follow this path forever. (They are always on a lookout for new challenges.)
“We are satisfied here,” Luka says. “But Urška and I have set Luda as a short-term project. It will end relatively soon with a book of Luda’s recipes.”
We will be back again and again, until this beautiful movement ends. I hope to see you there.
Map, Hours & Contact
Luda is located at Poljanska cesta 11 in Ljubljana. There is no parking available on that street, but if you’re driving you can park your car in one of the neighboring streets or in a garage just a few minutes walk from Luda (garage address: Poljanski nasip 4, Ljubljana).
Restaurant Luda (officially called Okrepčevalnica Luda) is open from 6pm to 10:30pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Sundays, Mondays and national holidays the restaurant is closed.
Enjoy the experience and please let me know your impressions about restaurant Luda in Ljubljana in the comments below…