This article was developed within the program Venture an Idea funded by the USAID.
Photo: Booka store Instagram

Hands up if you're the kind of person who takes 12345 minutes to decide what to read next!

If not, then lucky you. But as far as the rest of us, every bookstore needs must sport a cafe where we can sit down and leaf through several prints before we part with our money. So, not wasting any more of our precious time, here's a rundown of Belgrade and Novi Sad bookstores that keep a nifty cafe in-house.

A quick disclaimer. They're not just any offhand bookstores. They're what you'd call alternative, and each has a special something that separates it from the crowd. Oh, and all will have a section of books in English and/or other languages.


Apart from the beautiful glass panel on the facade (no one?), Booka is the epitome of the we-print-what-we-like publishing philosophy. Seeming unphased by the numbers game (books are a business, are they not?), Booka will only print and sell the most engaging contemporary fiction.

It's a pet peeve of ours, but we also like seeing bookshelves soaring all the way to the ceiling. Comfy seats, too.


Inside the Shtrik bookstore, you'll find one of the most beautiful and atmospheric book-filled spaces on this side of regular libraries. Celebrating female authors happens to be its thing, and here you'll find contemporary female fiction and non-fiction of the highest order. Aaaand the best espresso in any bookstore anywhere in Belgrade.

Bulevar Books

We proceed to one of the largest and the most Instagrammable bookstore slash cafe on the list. Bulevar Books stretches across three book full floors in one of Novi Sad's most picturesque Boulevards. It boasts of the most illustrious sofas in town and, on occasion, space for the alternative music dance-to.

But back to the books. The store cherry-picks publications from the cherry-picked selection of publishers, and chances are that whichever book catches your eye it’s gonna be good. It also has a comic book section, just so you know.

Urban Reads

Don't let the black-and-white floors and floral wallpapers fool you; Urban Reads is a bookstore with café capabilities and not the other way around.

It is a bookstore and a publisher that features prints by other small-time publishers, and as the name suggests, Urban Reads' niche are teenage titles. But what vouches for its place on this list is a focused, best-in-business selection of contemporary fiction.

That, and the unmistakable smell of freshly baked books.


With Zenit, we're entering the art space category of bookstores.

Yes, primarily a place to grab a book and down a cup of latte, Zenit is also one of Novi Sad's most welcoming cultural spaces for art exhibitions, jazz concerts, film screenings, DJ showdowns, and whatnot. The bookstore also sports a souvenir section fashioned by artists from all over the country.

But really, every bookstore on the list has a gift section with unique, often handmade products. So, if you are in need of such something, you know where to go.

P.S.And who to thank.


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

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