Best of Belgrade Food Scene 2023: A value for money guide

It has been a while since I did this type of list.

Firstly, COVID threw a spanner into a lot of great businesses which did not survive the pandemic or have changed how they work entirely (lots of them, like Proleće and most of Skadarlija becoming basically crap overpriced tourist haunts) .

Secondly, when I started writing this blog, Belgrade’s food scene was significantly less diverse, less dispersed and less exciting. These days, there are all kinds of restaurants popping up, with very varied concepts: from delivery-only places to market restaurants, from Altina to Železnik. While the prices have also gone significantly up, I decided to lead a somewhat healthier life with more cooking at home, making my way of reviewing places (I pay, try as much as I can, they don’t know me) less feasible.

Thirdly, reviews have become omni-present. There are now star tik-tokers and instagrammers with following I can only dream of, as well as big-wigs like Michelin and Gault&Millau that have taken the mantle from us enthusiasts who started doing this more than a decade ago.

With all of this, why should you trust this list more than any other? Well, there is my longer track record and frankly, because I have become more cynical.

You want to sell me a sub-par egg breakfast for 1200rsd at a place with a rude service or try to convince me pay big bucks to try your “poetic concept” while seated on uncomfy chairs and waiting for food for ages? You think we should pay through the nose for flashy instagrammable dishes and fancy interiors, but with poor service and actually rather average food? Hell, no, I’ll go to the trad kafana instead (they are, on average, the best options so I made Karafindl – the Good Kafana guide).

Thus this will be a much shorter list of places that are truly amazing and where I spend my hard earned (Patreon!) bucks fairly regularly. I will not include places that are just okay or where you should go only for specific things (e.g. Stara Hercegovina is passable if it is a nice day, you get a seat in garden and just take ćevapi – otherwise it is a pass). So yes here are The Nutshell Times certifed places to visit. There are plenty of other decent ones, or even great ones, but these ones stand a cut above all else. And yeah, make sure you reserve you table a few days in advance, as Belgrade has become one of the cities where you have to book everything.

Best of the best

Ognjište / Orašac / Iva

These three very different establishments are singled out because they constantly excel at what they do, take obvious pride at that and make anyone who visits them feel more than welcome.

Ognjište offers amazing food to go (although you can have your meal there in the small-ish eating area) cooked in the traditional “sač” way and served by an increadibly polite team.

Orašac is Belgrade’s best traditional kafana. It has kept much what makes kafanas great (cozy rustic interiors, spacious gardens, experienced staff, offal dishes) and added things to keep up with the times (non-smoking room, rotating menus, music).

Iva is the best place to try traditional local food (i.e. things that Oračac does well), but with a slight twist, made by Vanja Puškar. It is also a beautiful little bistro with a large menu that will make anyone happy, especially when they are paying (it is remarkably well priced). Its quality has been justly recognised by Michelin and Gault&Millau guides, so it gets filled very quickly.

Want to go somewhere fancy?


But ok, like a full Skadarlija kafana experience?

Dva Jelena

Ah ok, Iva is busy?


And you couldn’t get a seat in Orasac, but you still want a great kafana?




You like sea food?

Tata Mata

Oh just sweet water fish?


But on a splav in Zemun?


Just a normal restaurant in Zemun?


Or in Novi Beograd?

Bela Reka

But you are vegan?


You would much rather have pork roast?


Or just ćevapi?

Kod Pribojca

To je to


But where you can sit outside?




You like game and horse meat?

Klub Košutnjak


You just want something casual and asian fusion-y?



But you actually want tacos and burritos?

Cypress Tacos

Cool international food with some Russian influence?

TT Eatery

Just pizza?

Majstor i Margarita

Oh – a curry?


Want a pint with a great view?

Gardoš pub

Fancy a craft beer bar?

Samo pivo

But you would rather go to an actual brewery?


But you want burgers?

Ž burger

Oh… you want smash burgers?

Smash burger

Ok, some coffee?


But kind of stylish and with croissants?

Hotel Beograd

Maybe a burek?


Oh, you want a sourdough bakery?


A bit more varied bakery?

Pekarska radionica

You just want to get smashed in a kafana with music?


Or drown your sorrows with some cocktails?

Belgrade Cocktail club

In a hip bar?


Or just drink a few quick beers in a kafana?


But on a leafy street?


Ah okay, you just want a chill cafe?


But like on the river?


Oh you want the full turkish coffee thing?

Znak Pitanja

Or a grand European cafe with cakes?

Hotel Moskva

But socialist and cheap?


You can find the whole list (in Google maps) here

The Nutshell Times is an independent project and a work of love – but it still requires money to run. If you like the content you can support it on Paypal or Patreon.

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