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05 Jan 18

Belgrade's Festive Dining Out

Gunnar Somby and Siri Sollie

Some of the city’s gourmands have put their heads together to produce a list of great places to enjoy a meal out during the holidays and throughout 2018.

The vegan dishes at Restaurant Mandala are created by the influential vegan chef Chad Sarno. Photo: Facebook/Mandala Restoran

During 2017 the dining out scene in Belgrade witnessed a number of changes – including the return of a number of young Serbian chefs who, having been trained abroad, have brought back international flavours and dishes to local restaurants.

Some restaurants appeared and others disappeared, like the gourmand’s favourite Oxalis, which some suggest was one of the most creative restaurants in the city last year. However, fortunately, there are still many restaurants worth seeking out over the festive period and throughout the year to come.

Trattoria Campania

To put it simply, you will have a great time at Trattoria Campania. It serves simple, high-quality food made with authentic regional ingredients.

Belgrade has some miles to go in terms of international cuisine, however, this Italian Trattoria does not disappoint.

We loved everything – the concept, atmosphere and food - and we will certainly be back for more as the a la carte menu promised as yet unexplored but eye-catching options.

The restaurant serves breakfasts, snacks and home cooking, along with other authentic dishes from the Campania region, which could perhaps be enjoyed with a long spritz drink. The restaurant is closed on January 7.

Address: Kneza Sime Markovica 10

Phone: +381 11 311 5531

Price Guide: 1500-1900 dinars (12-16 euros) per person for three courses without drinks

Endorfin Gastropub

The Endorfin Bar was a newcomer to the Belgrade restaurant scene in 2017.

Located in the Dorcol district at the corner of Brace Jugovica and Kneginje Ljubice, it is closely connected to the Kabinet Brewery as they serve many of Kabinet’s excellent craft beers on tap, and a lot more international beers from bottles.

Being also a gastropub, their excellent chef serves breakfast, lunch and evening dishes, all created with a distinctly international taste and style.

Attend one of their jazz nights at weekends and order a tasty meal from their menu and drink Olga, an imperial porter from Kabinet: pure bliss!

Endorfin is open every day during the holidays. 

Address: Brace Jugovica 3

Phone: +381 11 328 1701

Price Guide: 1300-1800 dinars (11 – 14 euros) per person for three courses without drinks

Restaurant Enso

Enso is not new but established itself in 2017 as the master of gourmet set menus paired with excellent wines and craft beers.

Their recent five-course menu dégustation paired with five excellent craft beers from Kabinet was an explosion in flavours from the combination of food and drink. We suggest trying one of the upcoming Wine Makers dinners at Enso.

Address: Mitropolita Petra 8

Phone: +381 63 594 924

Price Guide: 2500- 4000 dinars (20– 35 euros) per person for three courses without drinks

Restaurant Credo

Nenad Jovanovic is one example of a returning Serbian chef. After several years at the three-star Michelin restaurant Geranium in Copenhagen, and some years in Switzerland, he is now at Restaurant Credo.

The restaurant is located at the new Marriot Courtyard, next to the National Theatre.

Together with Hotel Manager Robert Gasser, they have turned a rather dull hotel restaurant into a gourmet heaven. Jovanovic only uses local products and has created some new twists to local dishes.

Credo will maintain regular working hours during the holidays.

Address: Trg Republike, Vasina 2

Telephone: +381 11 400 3003

Price Guide: 3000 - 4000 dinars (27 – 37 euros) per person for three courses without drinks

Atelje kod Smilje

Another safe bet for a pleasant evening is the cosy and friendly family-run restaurant Atelje kod Smilje, meaning Studio at Smilja’s or Atelier chez Smilja.

The restaurant does a bit of everything – serving as a guest house, a restaurant with home-made food, and hosting occasional art exhibitions and evenings with live music.

It is hidden in Smiljaniceva street in the heart of Vracar district.

We left with full bellies and content hearts and will surely return, as we found Atelje kod Smilje a fantastic option for a casual meal. The restaurant is closed on January 7.

Address: Smiljaniceva 40

Phone: +381 11 344 0106

Price Guide: 1300-1600 dinars (12 – 14 euros) per person for three courses without drinks

Cvece Zla 

Cvece Zla – or The Flowers of Evil – is a favourite. The restaurant is an alternative-experimental bistro and the food is of high quality. The bottom line is that this is a restaurant not to be missed.

Boasting a good wine selection too, it was recently elected by website Before After as one of the top 10 bars in Belgrade.

The restaurant itself recommends bubbles - from an average prosecco to the Billecart-Salmon champagne. Rose wine is only served in magnums because, according to the restaurant team, it “has to flow and it flows a lot”. They recommend the Rosé Château d'Esclans, the Whispering Angel or Rock Angel.

The bistro also offers live music evenings and, alongside the bubbles, it can be very pleasant indeed. The restaurant is closed on January 7.

Address: Nevesinjska 12

Telephone:  +381 600 162 856

Price guide: 1300-1600 dinars (12 – 14 euros) per person for three courses without drinks

Kafana Cedic

If you feel like eating some traditional Serbian food in the proper domaci (home) atmosphere, you should check out Kafana Cedic.

The restaurant is a hidden gem and it seems, by and large, only locals know about it. Located in the Cukarica district at Bele Vode, it is easiest to get to by taxi or car but, if you are looking to spend a nice evening with friends or family, the trip is worthwhile.

First of all, the atmosphere is just incredibly pleasant. The glass covered walls give you a feeling of being outdoors while sitting indoors, the service is excellent, the menu traditional and the food is of high quality.

We recommend their speciality teletina ispod saca (veal steak prepared in a ceramic dish with baked potatoes). A Serbian classic that will fill your stomach and complete your evening. The restaurant is closed on January 6 and 7.

Address: Vodovodska 119

Telephone: + 381 11 250 3509 or +381 631 025 500

Price guide:  1300-1800 dinars (11 – 16 euros) per person for three courses without drinks

Restaurant Mandala

Now, if you are vegan or vegetarian, Belgrade has a new casual dining and brassiere style vegetarian restaurant located in the heart of the centre at Kosancicev Venac 9.

The restaurant opened in March 2017 and has already managed to secure admirers. All the ingredients are organic and the menu is fully vegetarian, with as much as 70 per cent of the menu offering strictly vegan dishes.

In terms of the wine selection, you have organic wines to choose from, and the restaurant also seeks to collaborate with local wineries such as the Winery Chichateau from Sremska Mitrovica. Try their mushroom cheese burger or their avocado tartin with roasted sea weed.

The restaurant is closed on January 7.

Address:Kosancicev Venac 9

Telephone: +381 11 404 2222

Price guide: 2500-3000 dinars (23– 27 euros) per person for three courses without drinks

This article was published in BIRN's bi-weekly newspaper Belgrade Insight. Here is where to find a copy.


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