Serbia has a lot to offer to hedonists, and eating out to catch local flavors is an unforgettable experience and a highlight for many visitors. When spending time in Belgrade, make sure you try the local dishes. The coffee, hamburgers, pizzas are not the same as you're used to at home, but they are amazing. Be prepared for the difference and enjoy it.
Serbian cuisine is a reflection of historical influences in this area, strong mix of oriental, central European and local Balkan cuisines, offering an overwhelming variety of meals.
GIBANICA, BUREK AND PROJA
Gibanica is a cheese pie typical for Serbia. It’s one of the most recognizable types of Serbian pastry. It is made of layers of thin dough with cheese, and usually an egg poured over. Burek is a family of baked or fried filled pastries of Ottoman origin made of a thin flaky dough known as yufka (or phyllo). It can be filled with cheese, minced meat, or mushrooms. There are also some modern variations without any fill, and filled with cherry. Proja is a Serbian dish made of cornbread.
PIHTIJE AND ČVARCI
Best Serbian Pihtije have a smoked meat. Made from low grade pork meat, such as the head, made into a semi-consistent gelatinous cake-like form. Čvarci are kind of a pork ‘crisps’, with fat thermally extracted from the lard.
ĆEVAPČIĆI AND PLJESKAVICA
Ćevapi (or ćevapčići) are meat finger grilled portions of minced meat. Serbian ćevapčići are made of either beef, lamb or pork or mixed. Leskovačka pljeskavica is one of the most famous types in Serbia and is usually made of beef or pork, very spicy and served with onions.
Pečenje basically means roasted meat (whole roasted pork, lamb and goat), and it’s one of the most popular dishes in Serbia, specially during all types of celebrations such as weddings or other celebrations.
Karadjordje’s steak is a dish named after the Serbian Prince Karadjordje. It is a rolled veal or pork steak, stuffed with kajmak, breaded and baked (or fried). It is served with roasted potatoes and tartar sauce.
Sarma is basically ground beef and rice rolled into cabbage, greens or grapevine. In Serbia, the most popular is the cabbage sarma. Some people prefer it with sour cream (pavlaka), while others like garlic with it.
Sides and Salads
AJVAR AND URNEBES
Ajvar can be consumed as a bread spread, a side dish, or as a salad. It is made principally from red bell peppers, with eggplant, garlic and chili pepper and it can be sweet, piquant or very hot. Urnebes (translation: chaos, disorder) is a type of salad made of cheese and hot chili peppers, with salt and other spices.
Кајмак is a creamy dairy product, similar to clotted cream.
KROFNE AND UŠTIPCI
Krofne are doughnuts filled with jelly, marmalade, jam or chocolate. They can also be filled with custard, or cream, but that is usually less common. Uštipci, also called Mekike, are doughnut-like balls similar to krofne but with more of a soft, bread-like feel to them, but not necessarily have to be sweet.
RAKIJA AND VINJAK
The best known Serbian drink is Rakija a strong brandy (most common are from plum – Šljivovica, Kajsijevača – from apricot, Dunjevača – from quince, and Vilijamovka – from pear). There are also other variations, such as cherry, healing herbs (Stomaklija), and honey -Medovača. The alcohol content varies between 30% and 40% normally, but some private distillers get up to 50%. Vinjak is a brand of brandy produced in Serbia, similar to cognac. The drink itself is light brown, and contains 40% alcohol.
Yogurt is a dairy product, but in Serbia it’s fluid. You can drink it while eating meat, proja, gibanica and burek.
We hope that through tasting our food you’ll get to know the real soul of Serbia - playful, open, hospitable and beautiful. Serbia - a place where the food is prepared with soul, waiting you to visit us and start your journey through the tastes.
by Zagorka Marić