Serbia isn’t a very well-known or touristic country. Since we always want to go somewhere new and we’ve been to most of the European countries already; we ended up in Serbia. We went to the capital city, Belgrade, without knowing much about it. There are no travel guides about Serbia so we went to explore it by ourselves (and a little bit of help from Google).
To be honest, Belgrade isn’t a very beautiful, romantic city. Although it has some wonderful churches and a waterfront in development, many buildings are in bad shape. If you love raw, unpretentious cities however; this might be a great destination for you.
If you’ve never been to Europe I would recommend Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, Lisbon, Madrid or Stockholm. But if you’ve been there already, and you want to explore something new (like us) it’s a fine destination for a weekend get-away.
I’ll tell you what we’ve done and, as always, where you can get nice (vegetarian) food. You can also have a look at my video showing you our weekend in Belgrade in only 1 minute.
We stayed in Hotel Bohemian Garni and I really recommend it! This nicely designed hotel has got a great industrial look.The location is also great; in the old city center in a nice street with many ‘tavernas’ serving traditional Serbian food. Unfortunately all the traditional food contains meat. I found one restaurant that made me a vegetarian dish with rice, mushrooms and cheese. There are some nice bars in this street as well. Red Bar is nice for a drink and Kaldrma Bar (Калдрма бар) is great if you want to dance.
Although they don’t have any vegetarian sandwiches, restaurant Boutique has many vegetarian salads and healthy freshly squeezed juices. I had this salad with cherry tomatoes, parmesan, pine nuts, almonds, hazelnuts and passion fruit balsamic. They have three restaurants in Belgrade. I went to ‘Boutique 1′ on the Republic square, it has a big outdoor terrace where we enjoyed our lunch in the sunshine.
Speaking of enjoying your meal outside, at Manufaktura you can enjoy your breakfast, lunch or dinner underneath these red umbrella’s. Manufaktura serves traditional Balkan food in a bit of a modern version. And, as always with Balkan food, there’s a lot of meat on the menu. But Manufaktura also has a reasonable amount of vegetarian dishes. They serve several ‘meze’ that are vegetarian like stuffed peppers and eggplant rolls.
If you want to have nice vegetarian food in Belgrade, your best option is to go to an International restaurant. I had this vegan dish with all kinds of vegetables at Comunale. Comunale is an Italian restaurant with many vegetarian options, but also great pasta’s for meat and fish lovers. The location is also wonderful, right at the boulevard (Karađorđeva) from the old town. This boulevard still shows its past, but many buildings are beautiful restorated.
One of the other great restaurants at the boulevard is cafe Lavash. Their menu contains dishes from the Balkan and the Middle East. I recommend you order your favorite mezze and create a shared dinner with all your favorites. Lavash has many vegetarian options, including the three dishes pictured above: garlic naan bread, avocado labeneh (arabic yogurt) and falafel with tahini.
Garden food is probably my most favorite restaurant in Belgrade. Not because of it’s great location (their small terrace is located at a small and dark street) but because of the many vegetarian options on their menu. They’re the only restaurant I went to that had a vegetarian sandwich on their menu for example. But they also have delicious egg dishes, like these eggs in toast. They also have several vegetarian salads and pastas.
So it might be a bit more difficult to eat healthy or vegetarian in Belgrade but certainly not impossible!
Watch the video below to see some shots of our weekend in Belgrade in just one minute:
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