National Dish of Serbia: A look into Serbian Cuisine!

Do you love food and are wondering about the national dish of Serbia?

Serbia is a relatively small country in the middle of Southeast Europe. However, it has a big heart and an even bigger appetite. So, how the national dish of Serbia?

Get ready, because I’ll take you on a culinary trip to one of my favorite countries in the Balkans to explore its tasty food.

As mentioned, Serbia is a relatively small country in Europe, but it has a lot to offer in terms of food!

I love Serbian food, with tasty meats, fresh veggies, sweet pastries, and some great traditional drinks. What is the magic ingredient? I believe it’s taht they put a lot of love and tradition into each dish.

So, let’s start this exciting food journey!

What is the national dish of Serbia?

When you talk about Serbian food, Ćevapčići is often the first thing that comes to mind. Ćevapčići is Serbia’s national dish, and it’s a tasty treat that has won praise around the world. You can wake me up in the night anytime for this dish!

Traditionally, these small, finger-shaped sausages are made from a mix of minced beef, lamb, and pork.

The unique flavor of Ćevapčići comes from a special blend of spices like garlic, salt, and pepper, and each cook adds their own hidden ingredient. After the sausages are made, they are grilled until they are just right. This gives them the specific smoky, lovely smell.

Ćevapčići in the national dish of Serbia

Usually, they are served with warm flatbread, fresh onions, and a scoop of creamy kajmak, a Serbian dairy product that is similar to some sort of whipped cream.

When you eat Ćevapčići, you don’t just get to enjoy the flavors; you also get to experience Serbian culture and customs.

What is a traditional Serbian menu?

Do you want to get the best out of your culinary experience when you visit some great cities in Serbia like Belgrade, Novi Sad or Nis?

When you go to a traditional Serbian home or a local bar called a Kafana, you can expect a healthy and delicious meal.

The menu usually starts with a soup called čorba that is served very hot. This most famous Serbian soup is like a goulash, a rich stew with a lot of beef. Serbian soups are really tasty mixtures of different vegetables and nice chunks of meat.

The main dish in Serbia can be different, but sarma and pljeskavica are often served with Ćevapčići. A wonderful food, sarma is a roll of sour cabbage filled with ground meat and rice. It is both tangy and tasty.

Sarma dish
Sarma dish

On the other hand, pljeskavica, a large, spiced meat patty that is often compared to a hamburger, shows how much Serbians love hearty, meaty meals. Pickled vegetables, called turšija, are often served with these meals. They are a nice change to the savory main dishes.

A sweet treat comes at the end of a Serbian meal. Serbians love sweet treats like palačinke, which are thin crepes often filled with jam, chocolate, or chopped nuts.

Another very popular Serbian dessert is called baklava, which is a sweet pastry made with layers of filo dough and chopped nuts. This is definitely a dessert for people with a sweet tooth!

National Dish of Serbia: FAQs

Let’s explore a bit more about Serbian cuisine through the questions and answers below.

Why is Serbian food so good?

I know this can be very subjective and a matter of personal preference. However, the taste of Serbian food is what makes it so appealing. You can see Serbia’s agricultural wealth reflected in its food, which is full of meat, dairy, and veggies grown in the country.

Traditional ways of making that have been passed down from generation to generation are still used, which gives each dish an authentic feel.

The people of Serbia are warm and friendly, which adds to the charm of their food. I love that they (and other countries in the Balkans) have tables full of food, sharing meals, telling stories, and making new friends.

All in all, the friendliness, hospitability and tasty food make Serbian cuisine a great experience.

Do Serbians eat spicy food?

Serbian food is really known for having strong, rich flavors. It uses a lot of spices, but it’s not usually spicy in the way that Mexican or Thai food is. Still, Serbian food is far from boring.

A lot of classic Serbian dishes have garlic, paprika, and pepper in them. Ajvar, a famous condiment made from roasted red peppers, is another tasty addition that is often served with meals. Depending on the peppers used, this tasty seasoning can be sweet or a little spicy.

So, Serbian food isn’t usually very hot or spicy, but it does have a wide range of spices and flavors that make you’ll enjoy every meal.

Vegeterian food in Serbia

Yes, how about vegetarian food in Serbia?

Even though Serbian food is known for its many dishes with meat, luckily there are also many choices if you don’t eat meat.

Because the country has a long history of farming and a lot of farmland, there are a lot of fresh fruits, veggies, and grains that can be used to make great vegetarian dishes.

Here are some meals that are vegetarian and that I would recommend when you’re in Serbia:

  • Prebranac is a classic dish made with baked beans and onions, paprika, and other spices. It’s filling and hearty, and it’s great for cold winter days.
  • Ajvar is a Serbian condiment made from roasted red peppers that is very popular. People usually put it on bread or serve it as a side dish.
  • Pita sa sirom is a type of cheese-filled bread that is also called Burek sa sirom. It is often eaten for breakfast or as a snack because the crust is thin and the filling is really tasty.
  • Shopska Salata is a tasty salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and peppers. It is usually topped with a lot of white cheese from Serbia. Great dish during the warm summer days.
  • Sataras is a tasty stew made from peppers, onions, tomatoes, and spices. It’s often given as a side dish, but you can also eat it with a piece of bread as a light meal.
  • Pasulj is a soup made of beans that is often made without meat. This is a classic Serbian dish that is especially popular in the winter.
  • Djuvec is a baked veggie dish made with rice and a mix of peppers, carrots, peas, and tomatoes. It is usually a side dish, but it is filling enough to be your main dish.
  • Turšija is a mix of veggies that have been pickled, such as cabbage, peppers, cucumbers, and carrots. It’s often added to meals to give them a spicy crunch.

But when eating in Serbia or in a Serbian restaurant, it’s always a good idea to ask what’s in the food if you’re not sure. Sometimes meals are made with meat stock or small amounts of meat to add flavor.

What is the most popular snack in Serbia?

The most famous snack in Serbia is plazma keks, which are loved cookies. Both kids and adults love this sweet and crunchy treat.

It’s often eaten right out of the box, but it’s also often broken up and used in desserts. In fact, it is often crushed and mixed with milk as a quick and filling breakfast.

The plazma keks has a special place in the hearts of Serbs, and any food explorer who wants to try Serbian food must try it.

What is the most popular breakfast in Serbia?

Breakfast in Serbia is usually a filling meal with a lot of food. Burek, a savory pastry with a golden, crispy crust and a rich filling, is the star of a Serbian breakfast.

The filling can be anything from cheese and meat to potatoes or veggies, and it’s always a delicious way to start the day.

As part of a traditional Serbian breakfast, a glass of thick, tangy yogurt called kiselo mleko is often served with burek.

Is Serbian food similar to Greek food?

Even though Serbian and Greek foods are close to each other in terms of geography, they still have their own distinct tastes.

Both cuisines use a lot of fresh veggies, olive oil, and meats that have been grilled. Serbian food, on the other hand, tends to be heartier and loves pickled veggies, smoked meats, and dairy products.

Shopska Salata in national dish of Serbia
Shopska Salata

Greek food, on the other hand, is more likely to include seafood, feta cheese, and meals like moussaka and souvlaki.

What are Serbian meal times?

It’s good to know that meal times aren’t really set in stone in Serbia, but breakfast is usually eaten early in the morning.

Lunch is the most important meal of the day, and families usually get together around 2 pm to eat it.

In the late evening, around 8 p.m., a lighter dinner is served. In Serbia, meals are more than just times to eat. They are also times for family and friends to get together and enjoy good food and talk.

What is Serbian favorite drink?

Imagine yourself having one of the great Serbian dishes listed above. What will you drink while eating? When it comes to drinks, rakija is without a doubt the most popular in Serbia.

This strong fruit brandy, which is often made at home, is a source of national pride and a sign of Serbia’s long history of distilling.

Different types of Rakija
Different types of Rakija

Rakija comes in many different flavors, like plum (šljivovica) and apple (jabukovača) as well as honey and quince, which are slightly less common. Even though it’s pretty strong, it’s a drink that warms your whole body and shows how friendly Serbians are.

The Wrap-Up: National Dish of Serbia

Serbia’s food scene is a wonderful place to explore some bold flavors, comforting textures, and long-standing traditions.

From the smoky Ćevapčići (the national dish of Serbia) to the hearty pljeskavica, the tangy sarma to the strong rakija, each dish and drink is a part of Serbia’s rich cultural story.

There is a lot of variety and a lot to choose from, but the one thing that stays the same is that every Serbian meal makes you feel warm and welcome. You have to do it yourself to really understand and enjoy it.

So here’s an invitation to step into the delicious world of Serbian food, where every meal is a celebration of life and tradition!

Thinking of a visit to Serbia’s capital city? Check out my post on the best time to visit Belgrade.

Your restless voyager,


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