First of all, Serbs are very very proud of their food and they should be, having a rich cuisine and a large diversity of alcohol beverages that accompany these amazing dishes.
The whole cuisine is derived from a mixture of influences coming from Mediterranean, especially Greek influences, Hungary, Turkish and Austrian cuisines.
Serbia has a lot to offer to hedonists so eating out, to catch local flavors, is an unforgettable experience and a highlight for many visitors and expats.
Serbians love their food and although meat takes the majority of the Serbian table there is still room for a passion about fish and seafood.
There are plenty of restaurants on every corner, offering delicious food of national and international cuisine, but the best meal you’ll have is on the domestic estates and in kafanas. A kafana is some kind of bistro, tavern an authentic Belgrade restaurant.
The first ever kafana in Belgrade (and Europe) was opened by the Turks at the end of the 16th century. Today, the oldest traditional tavern "?" is situated in Kralja Petra 6 Street in Belgrade where the building is nearly 200 years old.
There are many restaurants with national traditional food but also a wide range of international cuisine restaurants such as French, Italian, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Lebanese etc. located in the larger cities.
The food served in restaurants is in the most cases completely organic – with no genetically modified products or artificial flavorings, and the portions tend to be large for the average consumer.
There are many restaurants with national traditional food (you can find recopies in Serbian Traditional Dishes section) but also a wide range of international cuisine restaurants such as French, Italian, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Lebanese etc. located in the larger cities.
Depending on the country region, you can find different methods to cook a traditional classic meal. The Serbian cuisine is rich in fat meals, and almost every dish contains meat or its derivates.
The most popular national dishes include Pljeskavica (similar to the hamburger), Ćevapčići (grilled minced meat usually eaten with plain onions and bread), Sarma (cabbage filled with minced meat), Stuffed peppers, Serbian beans, Musaka (baked minced pork with eggs and potatoes), Karadjordje's steak, gibanica (pastry), proja (corn bread) etc. Grilling is very popular in Serbia. Makes the primary offer of main courses in most restaurants and it’s often eaten as fast food.
The one certain thing about the Serbian cuisine is the fact that all people in this country will usually serve three meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast in Serbia is an early but hearty meal. Don’t forget to taste Burek-Balkan’s specialty, pastry made of a thin flaky dough and filled with cheese, meet, mushrooms or just plain.
Lunch is the most important one and has three courses: soup, the main course, and a dessert. If someone invites you to have homemade meal, don’t reject, it’s insulting.
Dinner is not that important meal so sandwiches are usually eaten for it.
The most popular alcoholic drinks are brandy; plum brandy (šljivovica) and grape brandy (Lozova rakija), wine and beer.
Rakia (“rakija”) is a strong, alcoholic beverage made from distilled fermented fruit juice, it tastes similar to brandy. Common flavours are slivovica, produced from plums, Kajsijevaca, produced from apricots and lozovaca, made from grapes.
Fruits less commonly used are peaches, apples, pears, cherry, figs, and quinces. Plum and grape rakia are sometimes mixed with other ingredients, such as herbs, honey, sour cherries and walnuts, after distillation.
Thru Belgrade town you can find specialized bars “RAKIA bar” offering many options to choose from.
Serbia’s wine (“vino”) has centuries of tradition behind them. Locally produced wines are popular and they are highly regarded and you should try them.