Diverse as the city itself
We are not even going to try to list all Belgrade restaurants. Instead, we will give you a brief guide through the cuisine and a selection of our favorite restaurants in Belgrade. Most Serbian restaurants serve the national cuisine, but there are more than plenty with international food and a wide variety of different cuisines is available.
What to expect
While many foreigners arrive to Belgrade lured by the prospects of trying world-renown Serbian food, Belgrade’s residents are keen to explore both their own and foreign gourmet legacies. This combination makes restaurants in Belgrade a perfect mix of Serbian national restaurants, international cuisine from around the world and places that cherish fusion trends.
Be it traditional kafana with the ubiquitous grilled meat specialties and live music, splavovi – restaurants on barges, a fine Italian or French restaurant, or an eatery catering for vegetarians and vegans, dining in Belgrade is an experience as varied as the city itself.
One thing you can count on for sure, food in Serbia is mmmm… delicious! Actually, every cuisine in Serbia tastes better, reason might be because we are still organic food country.
Serbian traditional cuisine
Generally, Serbian traditional food involves a lot of grilled meat, beans and many cabbage-based meals. Even beans (pasulj in Serbian) or cabbage are most often prepared with meat – so if you are vegetarian, don’t try too hard with the Serbian restaurants and go for international cuisine. If you do eat meat Serbian cuisine is very tasty and it is a great preparation for a night of partying or drinking with your friends. As with most good things, it’s not so great for losing weight.
The Serbian cuisine (and not only cuisine) was formed under the influence of all the cultures that lived in Belgrade throughout history and Belgrade restaurants will give you flavors of Mediterranean, Oriental, and central European (particularly Hungarian) dishes. Food is no exception to the general rule in the Balkans: we all do it the same way, and we all love to argue over who had it first: šljivovica, pljeskavica, ćevapčići, ajvar, sarma, baklava… you name it, we’ll fight over it.
Skadarlija – The Old Bohemian Quarter of Belgrade
The old bohemian quarter of Belgrade dates back to late 19th and early 20th century. It was back then when its kafane (taverns and restaurants) were a meeting place for many of the greatest figures of the cultural scene of the period. It is often compared with the Montmartre in Paris, both for its appearance and the cheerful, vigorous artists’ atmosphere.
This neighbourhood was made popular and attractive because it was in the immediate vicinity of the National Theatre and former operetta, as well as musical halls housed in today’s Balkan Cinema. By tearing down the café Dardaneli in 1901, which was on the site of today’s National Museum, artists, writers, poets and ordinary visitors moved to the small cafe-restaurants of Skadarlija, bringing along the bohemian lifestyle and spirit.
Belgrade river and boat restaurants
No trip to Belgrade would be complete without exploring the riverside for a taste of life in Serbia’s capital. The Sava, the longest river in the Balkans, is untamed and capricious. The large and mighty Danube is known to most. The second longest river in Europe, the Danube connects Belgrade with world seas – the North Sea, at Rotterdam, through the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal and the Black Sea, into which it flows. Nestled at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers, Belgrade is ranked third among the world cities with the most beautiful location (only after Rio de Janeiro and Istanbul).
The Belgraders make the most of their rivers – in summertime over 100,000 bathers come daily to the beaches of Lake Ada Ciganlija and there will be thousands more enjoying themselves in floating cabins and boats on the Danube and Sava.
International restaurants – modern and extravagant
Cosmopolitan spirit of one city can also be reflected through a wide selection of international cuisines and a large number of restaurants. Despite our fondness towards meat, Belgradians are very open to new things and always ready to taste new specialties, which are completely opposite to our everyday cuisine.
International, Asian, fusion, Mexican, Italian, French, vegetarian… you name it. All that and many more you can find in Belgrade.