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This article was developed within the program Venture an Idea funded by the USAID.

 

Domaćin. An old Serbian word for a host who would do anything to make you feel pleasant and comfortable – serve you his best food and choicest drinks, and if there’s a tambura nearby, your experience will be complete. When in Belgrade, Serbia you walk into a restaurant which serves traditional food, you enter a time-capsule. Not because of the interior, because it is not always the case (though it often is) that the interior has some retro-ethnic elements to it, but rather because of the food. Traditional Serbian food is always prepared with love and is full of flavors. The flavors are complex and associative. They evoke the memories that you didn’t even know that you have. Try ajvar – grilled pepper salad – and revisit a far away, long forgotten garden where grandma was growing vegetables. Eat sarma, a stuffed cabbage leaves specialty, and suddenly you are getting yourself warm by the fireplace after a skiing trip. And so on. We won’t talk about grilled meat, ćevapi, or burek, they tell their own story. Tulumba and urmašica are deserts bordering on the surreal. Here are some tips for good restaurants in Belgrade where you can try traditional Serbian food. And fall in love with domaćin – fatally and forever.  

Durmitor

One of the most popular restaurants serving traditional dishes – this is why it is always full and you will need a reservation. Head for New Belgrade to try veal under the baking bell – sač, meatballs Leskovac style and beefsteak in olive oil.  

Zavičaj 

Famous for its pleasant and hospitable staff. Zavičaj serves excellent traditional food, from meats under the sač, to sarma and wedding sauerkraut.  They also offer good quince rakia. Please note that Zavičaj is frequently visited by foreigners.  

Stara Herzegovina

A restaurant in the city center, in the Dorćol neighborhood. Stara Herzegovina is a famous restaurant frequented by the entire Belgrade and people of all generations and lifestyles. Across the restaurant, there is a small park, where you can let your kid play, as you sip homemade rakia and treat yourself to a portion of greasy, but oh so delicious fried sauerkraut dish - podvarak.  

Orašac

One of the last places in Belgrade which preserved its old, authentic look. You go to Orašac for their bean specialties, either bean soup, or baked beans with sausage, as well as for their grilled meat specialties! Orašac is located on King Alexander Boulevard, on the very edge of the city center, and going there may be a pleasant walk for you, wherever you are coming from.  Take this walk, you won’t regret it.

Čubura

Restaurant Čubura is a cult bohemian place that has been frequented by all the greats of the city. Here you can eat a range of traditional Serbian food, but most people come for their grill specialties – ćevapi, smoked pork rump steak, sausages – as well as for their veal soup and sweet tulumbas.  

You can always go once again to Skadarlija and choose any of the restaurants there, since absolutely each and every one of them is serving excellent traditional food. Our recommendations go to Šešir moj if you’re a fan of grilled meat, or Velika Skadarlija for their fantastic ham hock with cabbage. You will hear tambura playing as an extra. 

This article was made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this article are the responsibility of Nova Iskra and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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