Food in Serbia
Serbian cuisine is a typical Balkan blend of foods from Central Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. Serbs are extremely proud of their cuisine, which consists mostly of grilled meats and sausages, as well as local cheeses and bread. Serbia is mostly a meat-loving country. Many foreign restaurants, such as Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Thai, and Lebanese, can be found in all major cities. Sushi and kosher cuisine are also available in Belgrade.
McDonald’s, KFC, and Pizza Hut are examples of worldwide fast-food chains. In general, costs are low in comparison to Western Europe, with main courses ranging from €5–20 per person.
Typical Serbian foods
Most Serbian restaurants serve rotilj, which is a big dish of different grilled meats or any type of grilled chicken wrapped in bacon and filled with cheese. If you are not a meat eater, you may have fresh salads, platters of grilled veggies, crepes, or omelettes. Serbian cuisine is well-known for its extensive use of fresh and prepared vegetables.
Bakeries, known as pekara, are common in the city center and provide a broad variety of breads, sweet and savory pastries, sandwiches, and pizza. Some are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When strolling around the city center, a snack or light supper of croissant and drinkable yoghurt (similar to kefir but milder) can provide an additional nutritional boost.
Turkish sweets like baklava, tulumba, and other sweet delights are extremely popular.
Vegetarians and meat eaters alike can sample kajmak (similar to cream cheese and butter) and ajvar, a delicious spread prepared from roasted red peppers. It is also worthwhile to visit a pijaca (green market) to get fresh fruits, vegetables, and other groceries.
Pljeskavica (pronounced roughly: PLYES-ka-vitsa) is the Serbian equivalent of a hamburger available in fast food restaurants.
The most well-known dish in Serbia is evapii (pronounced: chay-VAH-pee, chay-VAP-chitchee). They are a typical Balkan dish that is also known as evapi. It is made of several kinds of minced meat (pork and beef) that are combined together and formed into tiny sausages before being grilled. It’s often served with chopped onion and is extremely delicious. A piece of evapii in a somun (pita bread), perhaps with onion, ajvar, or kajmak, costs between €1.5 and €4 depending on size.
Don’t miss out on the Karaoreva nicla. It’s beef that’s been stuffed with kajmak and bacon before being pan-fried. It is another another traditional Serbian dish that pays tribute to the commander of the first Serbian revolt against the Ottomans.
Other typical Serbian meals to try are peenje (roasted pig or lamb), veal soup, and fish soup.
Burek (pronounced BOO-rek) is a traditional Polish dish. It comes with a variety of fillings such as beef, cheese, spinach, apple, or cherry. It is not suitable for dieters due to the high fat content. It is often consumed in the morning and may be depleted by the evening.
- Ćevapi (Ћевапи) -something like a grilled meat mix (one serving contains 5 or 10 pieces)
- Pečenje (печење) -Roasted pork or lamb
- Kiflice (кифлице) (KEE-flitsay) bread buns in the form of a crescent
- Paprikaš (Паприкаш) (PAP-rik-ahsh) – paprika stew, often with chicken
- Gulaš (Гулаш) (GOO-lash)) – stew with paprika with beef
- Sarma (сарма) (SAR-ma) Dolmades-style cabbage rolls made with sauerkraut instead of vine leaves.
- Gibanica (Гибаница) (GHEE-ban-itsa) – phillo pastry filled with spinach and cheese or simply cheese (like spanakopita or tiropita in Greece)
- Lepinja (комплет лепиња или лепиња са све) – Baked egg with cream inside a loaf of bread
- Punjene Paprike] (Пуњене паприке) – stuffed peppers (POON-yennay PAP-rik-ay)
- Pohovane Paprike (Поховане паприке (PO-ho-vah-nay PAP-rik-ay) – For vegans, paprika wrapped in soya oil and wheat flower and cooked in sunflower oil.
- Pasulj (Пасуљ)(PAS-ooy) – beans. This is a national speciality. Cooked for an extended period of time with onion and paprika.
- Riblja čorba (рибља чорба) (RIB-yah CHOR-ba) Soup made with freshwater fish.
- Roštilj (Роштиљ) (ROSH-teel) – barbecued meats.
- Prebranac (пребранац) (pre-BRAH-nats) – is intended for vegans. It consists of boiled and roasted beans with a variety of spices and veggies. Typically, no meat is used.
- Teleća čorba (Телећа чорба) -veal soup
- Proja (Проја) (PRO-ya) – a kind of cornbread topped with white cheese This is a national speciality.
- Ajvar (Ајвар) – common red pepper, freshly crushed and roasted before being turned into chutney
- Kajmak (Кајмак) -something like a cross between cream cheese and butter
Although pure vegetarian restaurants are uncommon, many establishments will provide non-meat cuisine (simply ask for ‘posno,’ a generic word for non-meat dishes). Numerous fast-food outlets (burgers, barbeque, pizza, hot dogs, pancakes, etc.) and bakeries (oriental and European pastry, pitas, etc.) are generally quite excellent and will meet your requirements at a fair price. Pizza, sandwiches, and crepes (pancakes) are also popular. Salads are typically composed of tomato, cucumber, onion, or cabbage. Fresh and organic food is available locally.
Belgrade’s coffee culture is especially developed; strolling around the city’s core districts will reveal vast terraces and cafés offering various kinds of coffee and sweets, notably Viennese style cakes and local specialities. Try Serbian Turkish coffee with chestnut purée with whipped cream, a local speciality, particularly in Republic Square (available mostly during winter).
Drinks in Serbia
- Rakija/Ракија/ (excellent brandy that has many flavours, like plum /Шљивовица/ (pronounced like SHLYEE-va), quince /Дуњевча/(DOO-nyah), apricot/Кајсијевача/ (KAI-see-yah), Pear /Крушковача/, plum-juniper/Клековача/(mix between rakija and Gin)… – Some famous brands of rakija may be very costly, such as uta Osa (ZHOO-tah O-sah), which means Yellow Wasp, and Viljamovka (VEE-lyam-ovka), which is made of william pear, the most expensive and highest grade ones contain a pear fruit in the bottle.
- Loza (grape brandy, grappa, a type of rakija)
- Voda = Water
- Slivovitza /Шљивовица/(plum brandy – Serbia’s national brandy and the most frequent kind of Rakija, a popular, varyingly powerful alcoholic beverage)
- The Wine is delicious and comes from many wine regions :Srem (especially town of Sremski Karlovci, also Irig), Oplenac, Župa, Smederevo, Negotin, Metohija, …
- Beer(Пиво). Jelen (Deer) and Lav (Lion) are the two most popular varieties of Serb beer, although Nikšićko from neighbouring Montenegro also seems very popular.
- Spring mineral water(Вода)-There are many good bottled spring mineral waters available from natural resources and protected places.
- Мineral water(Минерална Вода)- There are many well-known mineral water springs (spa) in Serbia (slightly sour, with a natural carbon)
Tap water is completely safe to drink and, for the most part, of high quality. There are also several springs and fountains with high-quality drinking water, the most famous of which are the fountain on Knez Mihailova in Belgrade and the many fountains in Nis. When it comes to water in Vojvodina, one must be cautious. Some areas (such as Kikinda and Zrenjanin) have highly contaminated water that is only utilized for technical purposes and is not even used for cooking.