What to eat in Belgrade Belgrade Guide

What to eat in Belgrade

Serbian food is characterized not only of elements from Serbia, but of elements from the former Yugoslavia as a whole. Peasantry greatly influenced the cooking process, and food available. During the centuries under Ottoman rule, what to eat in Belgrade and the Balkans general was heavily influenced by the rich oriental cuisine and some of the most traditional Serbian dishes have common roots with those of Greece and Turkey. Centuries of Austrian and Austro-Hungarian rule richly influenced Serbian cuisine, especially Serbian desserts.

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Here are a few must-read food tips you should keep in mind when planning what to eat in Belgrade.

As you may know, Belgrade is an exciting city and interesting every time of the year. History spreads all over the city giving it a peculiar charm with a bold twist when the sun sets down – the city is famous for its pulsating nightlife and parties! Belgrade also offers a great variety of gastronomy influenced by its Balkan neighbours.

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Traditional food includes soups, stews,smoked meats, minced meat (cevapcici and meatballs), stuffed vegetables (such as peppers) and kebabs. A dish of mixed grilled meat is a speciality. Fish is used in chowders and is grilled and fried. Bread and side salads are eaten with starters and main courses. Salads are made from a variety of fresh and pickled vegetables such as beans, cucumbers, onions, peppers tomatoes and sauerkraut. Fruit and nuts are used in desserts, for example, strudels, pancakes and pastries.

Local favorites are cevapcici (small rolls of mixed minced meat), which are eaten with plain onions and warm bread. Pljeskavica, another extremely popular and tasty dish, is the actual ancestor of the hamburger, minced meat sprinkled with spices and grilled like beef steak.

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You will come across all kinds of grilled meat, sarma (stuffed cabbage, minced beef and pork with rice enveloped in pickled cabbage or vine leaves), stuffed peppers, Serbian beans, podvarak (roast meat in sauerkraut), musaka (minced pork or beef mixed with eggs and potatoes and then baked), gibanica (pastry leaves mixed with eggs, cheese and then baked), proja (corn bread), etc.

And don’t forget the booze….

Accept those invitations!

Should you be lucky enough to be invited to a dinner with a Serbian family, do not hesitate to accept!

Such an invitation is always sincere, and eating home-cooking meals always opens a whole new spectrum of tastes and flavors.

šljivovica, plum brandy, offered to the guest in a Serbian home is often homemade, always strong and absolutely natural!

Alcoholic drinks are wine, beer and brandy; plum brandy (šljivovica) and grape brandy (Lozova rakija)are popular. Coffee is usually Turkish or espresso. Fruit juices are produced locally.

Beer in Serbia (pivo) is rarely mentioned outside of the country, regardless of its quality. Beer is mostly sold in half litre bottles; cans are less common though canned beer can be of slightly better quality. Recently, most breweries began selling beer in plastic bottles of 1.5 or even two litres. This beer is cheaper though equal in quality. However, it must be drunk fast! Most beer produced lager,  stouts are rare (almost every larger brewery produces dark beer but in such small quantities that it is hard to find). The most popular local beers are “Jelen” and “Lav”, and are a must try for any tourist in Belgrade.

Find out more about Belgrade by reading our Belgrade Guide

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