Having my life compressed to a string of weekend getaways (many of them back home to Belgrade), I have become more convinced of the worth of the most august of all writerly forms – the listicle. When an indecisive
tourist traveller needs to know where to find the best coffee/ice cream/quick bite in an unfamilliar town nothing saves more time than an authoritative voice to guide him to the Olympian heights of “authenticity” from which the said traveller can scoff at the inellegant masses drinking and eating in tourist pens and not “getting the most out of (wherever)”.
Thus if you are in Belgrade, worry not – here is your salvation if you are seeking best places to affirm your conossieur consumer status and maybe have some fun in the process.
Best cafe: Centrala
(Corner of Simina and Knjeginje Ljubice)
For the past few years, Centrala has been reigning supreme as the best cafe in Belgrade – usually inviting the most cultured clientele in Belgarde but not descending to snobbery or exclusivity. Given my love of the place, I would venture to say that it encapsulates what many an old Belgrader would (inaccuratelly but idelaistically) define as “the true spirit of Belgrade” – a mixture of easy elegance, humourous warmth and unfussy cultural savvy – all in a leafy Dorćol setting.
Best drinks: Meduza
Ensconced on another leafy street close to the Bajrakli mosque, Meduza has a similar feel to Centrala (even hosting photography exhibitions) but is much less busy and offers a variety of delicious G&Ts. Founded by an expat from Barcelona, it has a cosmopolitain feel, super friendly staff and hosts budding djs and quiz nights. What more can you want?
Best coffee: Pržionica
Following the European craze for artisan coffee, Pržionica delivers very solid coffee in a well designed (although tad pretentious) setting of a converted warehouse. On a sunny day it is amazing for people watching: while sitting on delapidated steps you can savour both the Ethiopian brew of the week and überhipness of the patrons.
Best afternoon hangout: Comunale
(Karađorđeva 2/Beton hala)
A very decent italian restaurant/cafe, Comunale attarcts a slight less botoxed crowd than its neigbours and is a perfect spot for enjoying the sunset and the flow of joggers and strollers along Sava, all with well made Aperol spritz.
Best ice cream: Moritz Eis
Before Moritz Eis, Belgrade was sorely lacking in consistenlty good gelato. Founded by a very stylish Austrian, Moritz not only offers scoops of joy to cool warm summer days (raspberry and dark chocolate are a must), but is also a trove of modernist furniture. To topo it off, the coffee is excellent.