Photography by Dennis Cieri / Written by Lorena Caro
Serbian cuisine is a melting pot of flavors and smells that draws influence from Byzantine – Greek, Bulgarian, Turkish and Hungarian cuisine. Its colorful and boisterous character is as unique as its people.
The city of Belgrade is no exception to this myriad of flavor. The city boasts countless bakeries, kiosks, markets, eateries, and restaurants throughout its historical yet modern streets. Every year, locals and tourists alike enjoy eating at a restaurant on Skadarlija street or tasting street food from the local vendors. The food here is so good, that even the pickiest of eaters are sure to find something regardless of their attuned palette.
We spent a good portion of our trip trying out foods from local markets and magnificent restaurants that caught our eye! Here is a list of some of the places that you can go try for yourself on your next trip to Belgrade.
Serbia prides itself on its effort to keep its agriculture free from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). As such, it is the perfect place for those who love fruits and vegetables. The produce is sold in supermarkets but also farmed and sold locally. If you’re in a hurry and need a quick snack, the farmer’s market is where you will find some locally sourced fruits, spreads, nuts and vegetables.
If you make it to Knez Mihailova Street, otherwise known by the locals as Kneza Mihaila, you will come across various shops, bars, restaurants, and art galleries. We decided to eat at a local cafe, where we were served a delicious veal soup and a cold cut place topped with tons of kajmak. According to a local, Kajmak is “a cream cheese-like spread which we put everywhere! We love it, especially on hot bread and on a salad. For us, it goes with everything”.
Other Small Cafes Around Knez Mihailova
Also in this neighborhood were dozens of small dessert places and locales. The coffee scene in particular is booming in Belgrade, bringing along with it a fascinating Instagram – worthy foodie scene. The Serbian people take the art of coffee very seriously! Tourists can enjoy freshly made ice cream, waffle crepes inspired by Al Pacino, and thick mousse cakes. The cafes in Belgrade are often bustling with young and old people alike. Each cafe has a unique style that you will definitely not find anywhere else.
DVA Jelena, otherwise known to English speakers as Two Deer Restaurant, is a 180 year old restaurant located in the center of Skadarlija, in Belgrade. Countless famous poets and writers such as Janko Veselinović, Laza Kostić, Đura Jakšić, Milovan Glišić, and Tin Ujević have visited this iconic restaurant. Visitors can have some wine and eat their food in one of the available halls, where a live Serbian musical performance takes place until 8:30pm. We had a mixed meat platter, warm fresh bread and local Serbian wine which was recommended to us by our waitress.
Hush Hush Social Club
Hush Hush Social Club is a must go if you crave a little bit of Belgrade’s nightlife scene! This lounge bar is situated in the heart of Belgrade and overlooks the Sava river, which makes for tranquil scenery. During the day, however, this restaurant serves delicious traditional Serbian food. We had the pljeskavica, which is a notorious Serbian dish akin to a burger. According to the chef himself, the meat is made out of lean beef which is prepared almost 72 hours in advance before it is baked. It is then topped with kajmak, which is a traditional creamy dairy product. Yum! To top all off, we had a slice of cake for dessert made from 3 different types of milk and covered in caramel.
All in all, we would definitely recommend taking the time to explore Belgrade through all of its exquisite cuisine. Belgrade is not only rich in history, but also rich in spices and culture. Lose yourself in the midst of this magical ever changing city!