When visiting Belgrade for the first time, the question ‘what is food in Belgrade’ will be an important part of your travel experience. Discover why food is and always has been an important part of culture.
Although, all our travels will start with planning how to explore all the main historic and cultural sights of the city, sooner or later you’ll realize ‘it’s time to eat something’.
However, you’ll become conscious that eating is just as much important part of the travel experience as visiting museums or remarkable landmarks. Actually, exploring the food customs of Belgrade and Serbia, it’s one of the best things about your visit!
Many tourists when visiting Belgrade and Serbia are keen to experience another type of culture. It’s a culture of nutrition or food which becomes a kind of reflection of socio-political values of one nation.
For many people, food is important in preserving cultural identity. As a tourist, exploring the local food in Belgrade you can can learn about this city at the more profound level. Sometimes, it will be more interesting than simply visiting only city’s landmarks.
Vegetarian food in Belgrade
No, it is not a mistake. If you are meat lover Belgrade is a manna from heaven. One of the main feature of Serbian cuisine is that there is meat in all dishes. Meat of all kinds, pork, beef, chicken, veal , turkey or even game meat.
For instance, when you open the menu in any of local restaurants, you’ll notice a rather long list of meat dishes. Consequently, for meat lovers without a waiter help, it will be difficult to decide what to order.
If you want my advice, than order mixed grilled meat. It’s something that many people like. It has a special taste and the portions are huge. It isn’t surprising that Serbia is called a land of giant meat platters.
What’s a grilled meat platter consists of’? Although, this platter is based on various kind of meat, it may vary in different restaurants. Mainly in a good restaurant, mixed grilled meat platter for two persons contains:
Cevapcici, meat fritters, chicken kebab in bacon, filet mignon (medallion shaped), sausages, pork ribs, grilled bacon and Kajmak (kaymak).
Served with grilled vegetables, particularly with peppers and with Ajvar pepper spread, mild or hot. As a drink, you can order wine or beer. Beer goes better with barbecue.
Food for which you would like to return to Belgrade!
If you want to expand your cooking repertoire and try your hand at traditional Serbian cuisine, then one of these books are for you!
Vegetarian food in belgrade
I’ll be honest with you as Belgrade isn’t the friendliest city for vegetarians. For vegans is even more complicated. It’s quite comprehensible since meat occupies the most important place in majority of the national dishes.
Despite the excessive use of meat in majority of Serbia’s national dishes, it’s easy to be vegetarian on your own. Just, make most of Belgrade open markets. Fruits and vegetables will be your main objects.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised with freshest of products you’ll find here. Belgrade markets can be a great place to supply with fresh ingredients and to get a mouth watering meal of your own. If you consider, very low prices than open markets are the best places to save.
Fish Food in Belgrade
In spite of the fact that meat in Serbia holds the first place in consumption, fish food also has an important role in Serbian cuisine. Serbia has no sea but still you can find sea fish on Belgrade markets.
At popular Kalenic market you can find fresh sea fish. For example, fresh sea fish arrives mostly on Fridays on this market. Here you can find the best choice in the city. In addition to fish, here you can find also fresh prawns and shellfish.
When you decide to have fresh sea fish on your menu, keep in mind that they twice as expensive as those farmed in the artificial ponds. Even though, prices are very high, if you have no experience with sea fish, be careful as it isn’t granted that you’ll get fresh and not defrosted.
As you all already know, Belgrade is situated on two rivers, Sava and Danube. Therefore, river fish is very popular in Belgrade. Unfortunately, river fish are mostly from artificial ponds. The most of freshwater fish comes from Ecka fishery farm, located in the Zrenjanin municipality.(4o km from Belgrade)
Most fish are carp but you can find also some nobler fish like catfish, perch and eel. For fresh river fish from the Sava and Danube it is best to go to Zemun market. There you can buy river fish directly from fishermen, known as Zemun’s alasi (fishermen)
Zemun district is the best place to taste whether river or sea fish. The best restaurant I recommend is Saran (Carp). The Saran restaurant overlooks the Danube river.
Its interior is characterized by its unique traditional ambient made of woods and warm colors. Saran’s specialties are traditional and particular dishes made of fish. The menu offers a wide variety of river and sea fish, which you may look in person before you decide to order.
Some recommended river fish dishes
There are many people who don’t like river fish. But, I think they make a big mistake. If you don’t try you you won’t know what you’re missing. Bellow are some fish dishes you can try only in Belgrade:
Riblja čorba (fish broth) is an excellent way to start a meal. It’s is prepared using a number of different species of high quality fish, plus various herbs and spices.
Pržena somovina (fried catfish) –boneless fish dish. Catfish steaks are fried in oil and served with boiled potatoes and lemon. White wine goes well.
Šaran sa srpskim pilavom (carp with Serbian pilaf) – carp, rice, onion, tomato, white wine, paprika, salt, pepper and lemon. White wine fits perfectly.
Smuđ na smederevski način (Smederevo style perch) – fillet of perch prepared with onion, tomato, peppers, parsley, a dash of white wine, lemon, salt and pepper.