A dish from Hisa Franko a restaurant in Kobarid, Slovenia
Suzan Gabrijan

Hiša Franko

Kobarid, Slovenia

Back in 2000, Ana Roš turned down a job as a diplomat in Brussels so she and her husband Valter Kramar could take over his family’s restaurant and inn in Slovenia’s Soca Valley. She hadn’t been to culinary school, but no matter—in the mountains, not far from the Italian border, she set about revolutionizing the local cuisine. Those efforts paid off: this year, Hiša Franko cracked the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, confirming Slovenia’s place on the map as a culinary destination. Historically, says Roš, Slovenia “has never had fine dining in its tradition.” Its cuisine—a mix of Mediterranean and alpine influences—is geared toward people who “need food that is actually their energy for life,” she explains. Her kitchen, by contrast, is “very seasonal, very territorial and very personal.” Among its offerings: roasted pumpkin and duck with elderberries, and wild boar with hibiscus flowers and plums. —Merrill Fabry

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