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Meals    Main Course    Breads    Drinks    Maditerranean  

Serbian cuisine is derived from mixed traditions, mostly influenced by Mediterranean (especially Greek), Hungarian, Turkish and Austrian couisines, which makes it a heterogeneous one.

These influences, while intruding to the point that there are claims that nothing of original Serbian cuisine remained, enable Serbian cuisine to offer unique mix of various traditions; Serbian


confectioneries are places where koljivo, baklava, strudel and sachertorte live in perfect harmony. In recent times Serbian diaspora has spread the kitchen across the world.

Most people in Serbia will have three meals daily, breakfast, lunch and dinner, with lunch being the largest. A number of meals which are in the West bought, in Serbia are often made at home; this include rakija (fruit brandy), jam, jelly, various pickled food, notably sauerkraut (kiseli kupus - pickled cabbage), ajvar and even sausages. This is only partly for economic reasons, but mostly because preparing these is a family get-together event.

Here, some typical meals of Serbian cuisine will be presented. Note that a number of them might originate, also be typical, or at least known as local meals, in other parts of the world. Also, some links below point to similar meals from other cuisines and/or better known to English speakers; the traditional Serbian recipes may differ in details.



  • Burek
  • Kacamak (also Cicvara) - a type of polenta
  • Popara
  • Proja/Kukuruza (cornbread)
  • Various sandwiches
  • Bread with something:
    • Bread, (often butter) and honey
    • Bread, (often butter) and jam
    • Bread, lard and sugar

Barbecue is very popular in Serbia , and makes the primary offer of main courses in most restaurants. It is often eaten as fast food.

  • Pljeskavica (hamburger)
  • Cevapi (small kebabs)
  • Vešalica
  • Muckalica (mixed meat)
  • Various sausages
  • Mixed meat (mešano meso) is used in restaurants to refer to a portion which has a bit of everything.

Soups are the most frequent first course in Serbian cuisine. The most common are simple pottages made of beef or poultry with added noodles. The one that could be pointed out is fish soup (riblja corba); though not eaten most often, there are popular competitions in preparation.


Main course

  • Punjene paprike
  • Pecenje (roasted meat: pork, lamb, goat or rarely ox)
  • Gulaš
  • Ðuvec
  • Karadjordje's steak (Karadordeva šnicla)
  • Moussaka (musaka)
  • Paprikaš (stew)
  • Pihtije
  • Podvarak
  • Sarma
  • Noodles with poppy (rezanci s makom)
  • Wedding cabbage (svadbarski kupus)
  • Various simple meals (beans, peas, steaks...)
  • Various meals of fish

Meat products

  • Cracklings (cvarci)
  • Bacon (slanina)
  • Various hams:
    • Njeguški pršut
  • Various sausages:
    • Kulen

Dairy Products

  • Kajmak
  • Yoghurt
  • Pavlaka (Sour Cream)
  • Caciocavallo cheese (Kackavalj)


Bread and Porridges
Bread is the basis of Serbian meals and it is often treated almost ritually. A traditional Serbian welcome is to offer the guest with just bread and salt; bread also plays an importrant role in religious rituals. Some people believe that it is sinful to throw away bread regardless of how old it is. Although pasta, rice, potato and similar side dishes did enter the everyday cuisine, many Serbs still eat bread with these meals.

In most bakeries and shops, white wheat bread loafs (typically 600 grams) are sold. In modern times, black bread and various graham bread variations regain popularity as a part of more healthy diets. In many rural households, bread is still baked in ovens, usually in bigger loafs. Also, the following breads and porridges are part of the traditional cuisine:

  • Somun (also lepinja)
  • Soda bread (pogaca)
  • Kacamak (also Cicvara) - a type of polenta
  • Popara
  • Languš


  • Burek
  • Proja
  • Gibanica
  • Savijaca


  • Ajvar
  • Ljutenica
  • Urnebes
  • Russian salad (ruska salata)
  • Serbian salad (srpska salata)
  • Shop salad (šopska salata)
  • Various simple salads (lettuce, cabbage, sauerkraut, beetroot, tomato, cucumber, carrot, potato...)


  • Baklava
  • Compote (kompot)
  • Doughnut (krofne)
  • Jam (pekmez)
  • Jelly (slatko)
  • Kitnikez
  • Makovnjaca
  • Palacinke (crapes)
  • Šnenokle (egg pudding)
  • Strudel (štrudla)
  • Tufahije
  • Tulumbe
  • Vanilice
  • Various cakes


  • Cesnica
  • Koljivo
  • Slavski kolac, prepared for slavas.



High quality and quantity of fruit and abundance of water result in a number of high-quality fruit juices and mineral waters produced in Serbia , and being among its most widely known exports. There are few domestic carbonated soft drinks however. An interesting traditional soft drink, made from corn, now less commonly consumed is boza. Kvas is also being made by some breweries.

Of hot drinks, Turkish coffee is widely used, and traditionally drank in visitations. Tea is far less popular and mostly herbal teas are consumed, drunk on their own or as supplementary medicine.

Of dairies, yoghurt is common, as are kefir and similar varieties.

The famous Serbian Knjaz Milos mineral water is constantly used in meals of all kinds.

Beer is enjoyed in Serbia , which has 14 breweries (see Beer in Serbia and Montenegro ). However, the traditional Serbian drink is wine.

Of distilled beverages, the most popular are various fruit brandies called rakija. Comparatively many people brew their own rakija, which is highly prized by friends and relatives. Various kinds of rakija are named after fruit their are made of; among the most known ones are:

  • Šljivovica (slivovitz, plum brandy), Serbian national drink
  • Lozovaca (grape brandy)
  • Viljamovka / Kruskovaca (peer brandy)
  • Jabukovaca (applejack)
  • Stomaklija

Also Pelinkovac, (a wormwood liqueur milder than Absinthe) gains popularity in recent years.

SacSome specific kitchenware for Serbia are:

  • Ðuvec
  • Sac


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