Serbian Cuisine: Traditional Dishes You Simply Need to Try

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Meat on an open flame.
Serbian Barbecue

Serbian cuisine is an exciting mix of native, Bulgarian, Central European, Mediterranean, and Turkish cuisine. This cultural fusion has helped develop unique and delicious flavors that only exist in Serbia. Serbian cuisine incorporates diverse, strong, and often spicy dishes. Furthermore, Serbs are well-known for their healthy diets and their fresh and organic produce. 

 If you’re a Foodie looking for a new experience that will satisfy your urge, Serbia is an excellent place to do so.  So, let’s take a closer look at some of the tastiest dishes Serbia has to offer, and why you will love them. 



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This dish is traditionally eaten during the winter and is often served at celebratory events such as “Slava” and other holidays. “Sarma” is similar to the Turkish “Dolma”. However, the ingredients are wrapped with sauerkraut instead of hollowed-out vegetables. 

Although recipes vary from household to household, the ingredients usually consist of minced pork meat, onion, a couple of dried pork ribs or sausages, and spicy paprika powder. These sauerkraut rolls combine sweet, spicy, savory, and sour flavors, that taste like a real Balkan family hug. So, if you decide to embark on your Serbia private tour, remember that “Sarma” is the true queen dish of Serbian cuisine. 

“Roštilj” (Serbian Barbecue)

If you’re a carnivore at heart and love meat dishes, then you must try the famous “Roštilj”. This barbecue style doesn’t refer to a single dish, but to a range of different types of meat grilled over an open flame. If you visit Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, you will be offered Roštilj almost everywhere.

 Just as anywhere in the world, not every restaurant in Belgrade will provide you with the real thing. So if you’re looking to experience Belgrade’s finest, then you should maybe find a Belgrade private tour and let a local guide take you on a journey through the world of the famous Serbian “Roštilj”.

“Pljeskavica” (Serbian Burger)

We translated this meat dish as a burger because it is the most similar to “Pljeskavica”. However, burgers are nowhere near as good as this traditional Balkan delicacy. Of course, we’re not talking about the fast-food version but about the restaurant sit-down version. 

Your Pljeskavica will arrive on a plate with traditional Serbian condiments such as “Kajmak”, “Urnebes” or “Ajvar”, fresh onions, and “Lepinja” bread.  We suggest that you also order a cabbage salad or a roasted and garlic-marinated paprika. 

When it comes to this meat dish, it all comes down to the patty. It may be a simple mix of pork and beef seasoned with salt and pepper. However, the quality of the meat is exceptional and every Pljeskavica you order will be grilled when you order it, making it as fresh as it can be. 

“ Vešalica” ( Pork Loin)

“Bela Vešalica”  is one the simplest, and on the other hand, most popular meat dishes in Serbia. Every restaurant in Belgrade serves it. It is a boneless pork loin, cut lengthwise, and it comes in options such as “Bela” (plain), “Dimljena” (Smoked), and “Punjena” (stuffed with cheese, ham, and bacon).

Vegetarian Food In Serbia

We’re going to have to be honest,  Serbia isn’t exactly heaven for vegetarians and many national dishes involve meat. Nevertheless, times are changing and there was never a better time for vegetarians in Belgrade. 

Nowadays, you can find many vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Belgrade. For instance, “Radost Fina Kuhinjica” is a vegetarian restaurant hidden away in an apartment building near Kalemegdan. The restaurant has a beautiful garden and its menu is filled with top-notch modern vegetarian recipes. 

There are also plenty of other options too. For instance, “Jazzayoga” offers a different menu every day. Also, “Oliva” restaurant in New Belgrade caters to herbivores’ needs, while “Zdravo Živo” is the only restaurant that serves raw food in the Serbian capital. ,

Fruits and vegetables aren’t exactly foreign objects in Serbia and some of the freshest produce can be found in the many markets of Belgrade. These markets are bursting with organic vegetables and fruit and are inexpensive. 

Serbian Dairy Products

Just like the French, Serbs take a lot of pride in their dairy products. Let’s take a closer look at some of the finest dairy products Serbia has to offer.

“Pirotski Kačkavalj” 

This famous spun cheese is one of the trademarks of the Pirot region. It is a delightfully piquant cheese characterized by its vivid-yellow crust and smooth surface. Traditionally, this cheese is made from sheep milk because the area was famous for two indigenous breeds of sheep‒ ” Pirotska Plamenka”, and “Pirotska Plamenka Oplemenena” 

However, due to the changes in sheep breeding, the original recipe for the cheese has been altered. Nowadays, the Pirotski Kačlavalj is made from unpasteurized sheep or cow’s milk or a mixture of both. Nevertheless, this cheese is still a great Serbian delicacy and is absolutely a must-try on your Serbia tour. 


Another popular dairy product is the famous Serbian “Kajmak”.  It is a spread made by heating and simmering cow’s milk for several hours. The cream that appears on the surface is then collected and cooled down.

The duration of the cooling depends on the type of kajmak you want to create. If it cools down for just a couple of hours you get a lighter and fresher version, which is called young Kajmak. On the other hand, if the product is left to mature for several days, its taste and smell intensify and that’s why it is called old kajmak

The spread has a thick and creamy structure, and  It s high in fat with a deep and rich taste.  The best way to eat it is to spread it on thick slices of bread and wait for the magic to happen.

Roast Lamb from Stara Planina

 Last but not least on our list is the succulent roast lamb from the National Park Stara Planina (Old Mountain).

If you decide to head east on your Serbia tour and explore the spacious meadows, river gorges, and caves of “Stara Planina” don’t forget to indulge yourself with this famous Serbian delicacy.

This roast lamb will blow you away, whether it’s made in an oven, roasted on an open flame, or fired on a stone panel. Also, if you decide to go with the lamb then you also must try “Senokoški sir”(cheese from the village of Senokos). It is a specialty of Serbian cuisine that was on the menu in the White House during the time of former Yugoslavia.


We hope we managed to bring you a little closer to the realm of  Serbian cuisine  Still, It is almost impossible to pinpoint all the great delicacies this land has to offer. But remember, Serbian cuisine is a unique blend of tastes, smells, and influences from both the east and west, making it an amazing experience for both foodies and gourmands.