Pizza at Pr Košnik has become a firm favourite when we come to Bohinj. Two of our family are coeliac, which means that we can’t eat any foods containing gluten; wheat, barley or rye. This can make it hard to find a suitable place to dine anywhere, and even more so if you have a craving for pizza, which is traditionally made with a wheat-flour base. But Pr Košnik has a range of gluten-free options, so it fits the bill perfectly for all of us, especially after an active day hiking in the Julian Alps or swimming in the lake.
The restaurant is in the village of Polje, less than 5 minutes’ drive from Lake Bohinj, and is a guest house as well. The owner Simona and her staff speak excellent English and offer a very warm, friendly Slovene welcome. In summer, you can sit outside under the veranda to enjoy the lovely mountain views, or in winter cosy up inside near the fire. The restaurant offers an impressive choice of different pizzas, salads and pasta and sauces, all at very affordable prices.
Both the pasta and pizza come with a gluten-free option for a small additional cost. Simona is always happy to explain the menu and discuss dietary requirements, which we find very reassuring. Having walked for 10 hours one day, our coeliac son fancied some chips. Now, in many places the same fryer is used for cooking chips and breaded (gluten-containing) items, so all fried foods are off-limits for us. However, Simona was happy to ask the chef to cook some chips in a pan with new, uncontaminated oil so we could have some. Fantastic service!
Now to the pizzas themselves… There are lots of house pizzas to choose from, including some cheese-free and tomato-free options. You can also design your own from the wide range of available toppings. Everything that we have tried (which must by now be most of the menu) has been delicious, and if you opt for a large (‘veliki’), they are truly huge. There is only a euro difference in price between regular and large, so it is definitely worth the upgrade.
You can always tell if it’s someone’s first time in the restaurant by the look of delight on their face when they see the pizzas coming from the kitchen! If we can’t finish everything off, we get a takeaway box so that we can have the leftovers for lunch the next day.
The gluten-free pizzas come in the regular size, as the bases are bought-in to ensure that they are not contaminated in the kitchen. Being that bit smaller, they get eaten in one sitting so there are no left overs unfortunately!
Room for Dessert?
I love to have dessert, and more often than not the gluten-free diner is limited to fruit or sorbet. Thankfully, Pr Košnik serve the most delicious chocolate mousse (ask for them to leave off the biscuit topping.) It is so yummy that you want to use your fingers to get the last tiny bits out of the glass jar! Even after an enormous pizza, there is a little bit of space for ones of these.
For those who fancy something more traditionally Slovene, try the delicious Grmada (not gluten-free). This dessert, a bit like a Slovene-style trifle, was originally made as a way of using up old cake, layered with rum, milk, custard and raisins, finally topped with cream and chocolate sauce.
There is a good selection of beers to accompany your meal, our favourite being the local Laško Zlatorog, named after the legendary golden-horned Bohinj Chamois.
For those of us who are gluten-free, there are local and international wines to choose from, as well as the normal assortment of hot & cold soft drinks.
Pr Košnik is open every day as both restaurant and takeaway. You can’t help noticing how many local people stop by to pick up a pizza, which says a lot about a place. There is ample parking and you can pay by cash or credit card. In summer, it is best to book a table, either by telephone or by dropping in as you drive past.
So why not go and see for yourself next time you are in Bohinj. If you do, let us know how you get on!