I was so thrilled to visit Belgrade for the first time. As much as I love exploring new places, I love trying local foods. I can confirm that the Serbian food is rich and delicious. You will find many trendy restaurants with international cuisine, but in this post I will focus only on traditional Serbian cuisine. This post includes my favourite Belgrade food, the best Belgrade restaurants, great cafés & bars worth checking out and more.
I hope you will enjoy in Belgrade food scene as much as I did!
What is the best way to start your day? For me, a good day starts with the coffee. Drinking coffee is a big part of Balkan culture and you should not miss the oportunity to enjoy in this fragrant potion. Belgrade is full of great cafés and you will find one wherever you are located. Do as the locals do and get your dose of caffeine.
After you have had your coffee, give a visit to pekara (bakery) and pamper yourself with delicious pastry products, sandwich or delicious burek, a type of filled pastry made of phyllo dough. There are many bakeries in Belgrade and you will not have a hard time finding one.
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BELGRADE LOCAL MARKETS
You should not leave Belgrade without visiting one of the local market in the city. If you are looking for a homemade fruits and vegetables, a local market (called pijaca in Serbian language) is the right place to visit. I guarantee you that you can’t find better products in store. I have tried all the fruits that I could and the taste was so full and delicious.
The best three local markets in Belgrade are Kalenić Green Market, Farmer’s Market “Zeleni Venac” and Pijaca Blok 44. They are located in different areas of Belgrade, so you can visit at least one of them.
And now let’s get to the most important part of this post and the reason why are you reading this post, the delicious Belgrade food.
I have had some delicious meals in Belgrade. To be honest, I haven’t had a bad meal in Belgrade. The typical Serbian food is tasty and delicious, but also heavy. There is not a big choice for vegetarians or vegans in a traditional Serbian cuisine, but there are many great restaurants offering delicious vegetarian foods in Belgrade too. They eat a lot of pork in Serbia.
I will introduce you the traditional Belgrade foods and I will also give you the recommendations on Belgrade restaurants.
When you visit Belgrade for the first time, there are 5 must-try in my opinion.
Burek is a popular breakfast food but you can eat it anytime you want to. There are many varieties – meat, cheese and spinach and I can not decide which one is my favourite. In Bosnia they say that only the meat varitey can be called burek – if you have visited Bosnia before, you probably know what I’m talking about.
Burek is phyllo dough stuffed with meat/cheese/spinach, round in shape and then cut into quarters. You can find it in any bakery and it’s a great food for take-away.
After breakfast and city sightseeing you will slowly become hungry again. And what is the best way to solve this problem when you’re wandering the streets of Belgrade? Ćevapi, ofcourse. Ćevapi are grilled minced meat (in a meatfinger shape) served with somun (bread) and onions.
You can go for a sarajevski ćevap or banjalučki ćevap option. The difference is in the meat that is used – sarajevski ćevap isn’t made of pork.
One of the best ćevapi can be found in the Belgrade city centre. The are many places serving delicious ćevapi and one of them if Ćevabdžinica Cica, right off the Knez Mihailova street.
The ćevapi cost between 310 RSD – 620 RSD (depends on the portion size – you can take 5 or 10 pieces of ćevapi).
Another dish you should try are sudžukice – sausages. Ćevapi pair good with kajmak (a unique cheese-like cream, well known in the Balkan cuisine) or ajvar (sauce/spread made from roasted red bell peppers). Both side dishes are tasty, so you should try that too.
Karađorđe’s schnitzel (Serbian Karađorđeva šnicla) is a Serbian breaded cutlet dish named after the Serbian revolutionary Karađorđe. It is made of veal or pork and stuffed with kajmak and ham, then the dish is breaded and fried.
It is delicious and served with tartar sauce. It is served in any restaurant with traditional Serbian cuisine, but I’ve had it in the restaurant Dva Jelena on the traditional Skadarlija street, which is a home to traditional Serbian restaurants with musicians. Our meal in this restaurant was around 40€, but it was a feast with lots of food and drink.
Prebranac is one of the staple dishes of Serbian cuisine. It is one of the classic comfort foods of Balkans – white beans in a sauce flavored with sweet Hungarian paprika. Originally, it was made by farmers in long, cold winters, because it is nutritious and one of the cheapest dishes ever made. Typically it is served with warm crusty bread.
In the Balkans, every family has their own way of making Prebranac, it is the kind of recipe passed down through generations.
After all this heavy food, I recommend you to try the Serbian national drink, rakija. The best bar serving this national drink is the Rakia Bar.
I’ve tried different varieties of this drink – plum, quince, apricot, honey,… The best of them for my taste is quince (called dunjevača in Serbian language), although the most traditional in Serbia is the plum rakija.
You should sip the rakija, not drink like a shot. Ofcourse I had to buy one for home too 🙂
For anyone interested in Belgrade coffee & pastry shops culture, there’s also a ton of great cafés to choose from. Absolutely THE best in my opinion was the Fini French-style pastry shop with the most amazing sweets I’ve ever had!
Belgrade food scene was definitely amazing for me and I can’t wait to visit Belgrade again. How about you? Have you ever been to Belgrade? What is your favourite Serbian dish?