3 traditional dishes to try in Serbia - Global Storybook

4 Most Common Serbian Food Specialties

Konstantin Dragas

Konstantin Dragas

Konstantin Dragas is the Local Contributing Writer at Global Storybook (Belgrade, Serbia).
Konstantin Dragas

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Serbian cuisine is a vast delight of taste and smell.  It’s mostly due to the mixture of various influences from different nations and tribes that once lived in our region.  Nowadays, it is not a rarity to have a good meal in Serbia.  Moreover, Serbian recipes also have varied, seasoned and strong flavors which are a combination of Bulgarian, Greek, Hungarian and Turkish cuisines.

Among some of the most famous Serbian specialties are the Karadjordjeva steak, sarma, cloves and stuffed paprika.  However, the absolute number one dishes present on each menu in every tavern, as well as every home, are the gibanica, kajmak, and a piglet.  As to the drinks, the most famous one which commonly follows these delicacies is our homebrewed rakija.


Gibanica is a dish that you must try here because you will not find it anywhere else in the world, except in Serbia.  Gibanica is a pie made primarily with domestic cow cheese.  It is right to say that it is the most beloved dish of the Serbs.  It can also be eaten practically at any time of the day.

For breakfast, we eat it with yogurt.  For lunch, we serve it as a cold appetizer, or as a side dish with the main course.  Gibanica is also a good choice for dinner since it takes no time to prepare at all.  Besides making it at home, we also like to buy gibanica from a local baker or order it from one of our traditional Serbian kafanas.

Gibanica recipe, Serbia - Global StorybookKajmak

Kajmak is another iconic Serbian dish.  It’s a creamy, mildly sour spread with a delightful taste.  Many Serbian households make their own traditional kajmak, although nowadays you can find it at any local store.  You must try this delicious spread since apart from being a symbol of Serbian cuisine, it can virtually replace an entire meal.

Karadjordjeva Steak - Traditional Stuffed Pork Rolls

It is usually eaten for breakfast or dinner.  You can make a sandwich with it or simply spread it on a toasted loaf of bread.  Furthermore, Kajmak is an integral part of various other specialties, such as Karadjordjeva steak, komplet lepinja, and numerous pies.  It also often serves as a cold appetizer at different celebrations.  You will find it on the menu of practically any local Serbian kafana.

Traditional Serbian dairy product, kajmak, served on traditional plate - Global StorybookPiglet

An unquestionable specialty during all ceremonies, festivals, barbecues, and gatherings is a piglet from a spit.  Among various kinds of meat, Serbs prefer piglets more often.  This delicacy has long been a significant part of all the major and minor celebrations in Serbia.  Piglet from a spit is extremely tasty.  In fact, most foreigners always order roasted pork in a Serbian restaurant first.

Piglet from a spit has been a part of Serbian national cuisine since the ancient times.  It is possible to find it on the menu in different regions of Serbia.  In addition to restaurants, you will also find it at the street stalls, and local bazaars.  We regularly enjoy it as a separate dish with a cabbage salad or horseradish on the side.  Though when it comes to bigger celebrations – it is usually served as the main dish.

Finally, wine usually accompanies the pork, although sometimes other drinks as well.  In front of a kafana, you will commonly find spits with roasting piglets, while the guests are waiting inside for them to be served.

Serbian restaurantRakija

Rakija is a Serbian national drink, and it is a frequent companion to the platters mentioned above, as well as numerous other specialties.  Which is a good enough reason to try this strong alcoholic drink.  Rakija is similar to brandy, and it’s usually made from a variety of fruits.  There are numerous variations of rakijas made of quince, apricot, apple, pear, nut, and others.  They are all tasty.

Serbia: The Cultural Mix of The East and The West

The most famous version of rakija is undoubtedly sljivovica, made from the finest plum in Serbia.  Virtually every household in Serbia has some homemade rakija.  We offer it as an aperitif with meat, or after the meal.

Serbs also have a habit of ordering rakija in a kafana along with coffee.  When you order a rakija in a restaurant, remember that sljivovica has a bit stronger taste than the other flavors.  If you want to taste some weaker rakija – apricot or quince is the right choice.

Slivovitsa Rakija Serbian national drink - Global Storybook

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