Story: After a morning of wandering and stopping in a few cafes, we stopped in a local puppet theater (read more about it later) to peruse and ask some questions about the city. When asking about Ljubljana restaurants, the ladies suggested Gostilna Dela which translated means, “bistro of work.” Funny name. But when the story gets told, the silliness gives way to beauty.
Gostilna Dela is a part of the JobFactory Project in Slovenia. A better translation of the name might be the working bistro. The working bistro takes at-risk youth who have dropped out of school or cannot afford education, and puts them to work teaching them life skills. Those cooking are being trained by a chef, which is prompting some to find their way into culinary school. The goal is to help them find a little grace and redemption at an age when life seems bleak. Then, release them to do the same for others. Gostilna Dela helps tell a story that has been embraced by the locals and one that is beginning to catch the attention of travelers.
Vibe: Maybe it’s the espresso I’m drinking right now, but the only word I can think of is BRIGHT. The day we went was extremely foggy, and kind of cold. We took a step in the little bistro, and it was a whole new world. Bright. Lively. Warm. Exciting.
Recommendations: Get there early or you will miss out on the day’s most popular items or not find a seat at all. From 11:30am to 2pm the place is constantly busy. Take an early lunch.
Notes: The menu changes daily. Fresh ingredients, from a local farm that employs handicapped persons, are used. All of this also means the menu is limited which is not a bad thing at all. Fresh ingredients prepared divinely as from a chef, which is due to the mentorship taking place.
All items are 4-8 Euros.
Location: Gostilna dela, družba za gostinstvo, usposabljanje in storitve d.o.o., 7 Poljanska cesta Ljubljana