Serbian cuisine: a hedonistic guide

Serbian cuisine
Serbian cuisine

Serbian cuisine: Serbs are solid guys, and therefore they will never miss breakfast, lunch, or dinner, happily combining them with a coffee break, which they drink here instead of water and tea. Dinner in Serbia is always the most hearty, and therefore those who like to slam the refrigerator door at night will quickly find brothers in spirit here.

Serbian cuisine is the meaty stuffiness of Central Europe combined with the freshness of vegetables and the spice of the Mediterranean. We have compiled our own subjective top of Serbian delicacies, which may motivate you to google tickets for the nearest plane to Belgrade.

Meat with meat

80% of Serbian food is meat, from which dozens of types of sausages, cutlets, and chops are made. For example, the most important dish is cevapcici ћevapchiћi ) – juicy pork sausages (sometimes wrapped in bacon), which can be sharpened directly from the grill on every large street in any city. It is customary to stuff such a sausage into a loaf similar to a cheburek, sprinkle generously with herbs, onions, and paprika, greedily eat it in 10 seconds, and then walk for half a day with a burnt mouth.

The main Belgrade specialty is the Karadjordjeva schnitzel ( Kara? Or? Eva šnicla ). Schnitzler – thick pork sausage stuffed with kaymak (fermented salted milk froths), fried in breadcrumbs. In any self-respecting Serbian kaftan (this is the name of a traditional local tavern), French fries and tartar are served with it. The main thing to remember when ordering is that the Serbian portion is two or even three times larger than the standard Belarusian one.

The Serbian answer to hamburger is pleskavica ( peskavica ), a large chopped pork cutlet fried over charcoal. Eat it with Serbian bread, or just like that, wash it down with tasteless Serbian yogurt – the best friend of a tourist who wants to taste all the meat nishtyaks and not crack.

Be sure to try the cookies – if only because in Serbian this is the name for a huge piece of spicy pork fried on a spit. With such a variety of meat, our favorite kebabs on skewers are perceived by the locals as fast food that does not deserve special attention.

Eating Jamon in Barcelona? So you will appreciate and prosciutto – cured meat, which is cut straight from the impressive hams hanging from the ceiling. Prices, as well as for everything in Serbia, make you wonder – have you been cheated in your favor?

Cabbage lovers will appreciate their Balkan counterpart – Sarma ( sarma ), which did not stir up fresh and sauerkraut. Fat, salty, heavy sarma is simply created in order to heal hangover, and in Serbia, you have to get to know him closely (but more on that below).

Serbian zakuson

Serbs have a great variety of salads: warm, moderately humid – the vegetables are spinning like crazy. We advise you to try the classics – shopska salad ( shopska salad ), chopped with giant pieces of a mix of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and grated cheese with lemon. By the way, if you want to drive to Serbia for the New Year – they also have Olivier and is called “Ruska salad”.

Connoisseurs of grandmother’s seams will be able to come off in Serbia by purchasing an aivar ( aјvar). This is fried and baked red paprika, twisted with tomatoes. In fact, it is the most delicate lecho, it is spread on bread, meat, or simply eaten with spoons in the morning. Every Serb is firmly convinced that the most correct ayvar in the country is prepared by his mother.

Another great invention of the Serbs is the idea of ​​baking peppers, salt, pickle, roll up in a jar and serve under the name “ baked paprika ”. Due to the fact that it is smoked on an open fire, in appearance, you might think that the paprika is rotten, but do not panic – everything is as intended! 

Baking and sweets

Baking in Serbia is not festive food, but everyday food. From 7 am in any bakery (baker) you can take pita – a strip of puff pastry with different fillings. The most important, of course, is meat, but there are a million options – from cherries to spinach. A portion is enough to fill you up all day, so be careful – you still have a lot to try.

A good breakfast option is a burek, a puff pie with different fillings, a portion of which looks like a quarter of a large frying pan, and the fatness just goes off the scale.

Desserts in Serbia are almost like in Turkey: honey, nuts, dried fruits, dense dough.

If you still think that tarragon is a green soda from childhood, then you definitely need to go to Serbia. One of the main desserts here is potica, a roll of tarragon, scientifically called tarragon.

Be sure to eat a slice of the complex Giannitsa pie with walnuts, sour cream, cottage cheese and apples, raisins, and poppy seeds. Traditional advice to everyone who travels to the Balkans: don’t be greedy and take one for two!

Do not pass the pancakes with walnuts and pshonkoy – palachinke . Even if you can’t stand porridge since kindergarten, this sweet happiness will come with a bang. 


Serbs have a special relationship with alcohol – they drink a lot here and with pleasure. The visiting card of Serbia is the fruit moonshine rakia, which is distilled from everything that grows in the garden. The strongest plum, but other varieties (honey, quince, cherry, raspberry, pear) are planted in a sleigh very quickly. Although raki is drunk slowly, thoughtfully, and with relish, just a couple of hours after the beginning of the evening in the kafan, the number of people dancing on the tables is overwhelming.

In order to dance and at the same time not be afraid to spill brandy, the Serbs invented a special dish – chocancici – glass bubbles with a thick bottom, which can be taken in the hand and annealed without fear of pouring water on a neighbor. By the way, a good brandy costs at least € 6-7 per a half liter.

Beer in Serbia is unremarkable, locals prefer thin Jelen lager, Lav pilsner, or some kind of craft beer.

The main Serbian treat is blackberry wine ( kupinovo vino ). It has only 4 degrees, not an ounce of chemistry, and the taste of blueberry Fruittella. By the way, Serbs usually do not speak toasts, limiting themselves to the capacious “lived” – an analog of our “budzma”.

Considering that the working day usually starts very early, by 4 pm most people are already free and ready to hang out in establishments that are incredibly democratic in Serbia. Often the store owner simply puts an umbrella and a couple of plastic chairs on the street – this is already an option to drink lemonade or a cup of real coffee and chat about life.

And in kafans and restaurants, it is very good – the price tag causes a “wow effect”, people slowly enjoy huge portions, the waiters behave like your best friends. A waiter in Serbia is not a garcon and not a service staff, but a hospitable host who will do everything to provide a tasty meal. So remember: hedonists don’t lose weight. Especially in Serbia. 

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