While pooches have never exactly been unpopular, there is something truly fashionable about hounds in the modern age. More and more dogs seem to have their own Instagram profiles, despite a lack of thumbs, which is truly remarkable. Belgrade is a surprisingly dog-friendly city, and these are the finest pro-tyke places.
Savamala’s KC Grad is generally a leading light when it comes to modern issues, and the subject of bringing a dog to a café is no different. While we don’t recommend bringing Rusty or Ruža to a gig or the late-night parties, you’ll have no bother bringing your dog down here during the day. The outdoor area is perfect for a little bit of roaming, and your pup will find no shortage of water and attention here.
One of the many boat cafés that fill up the Zemun Quay, Savana is our favourite for a number of reasons. A good selection of drinks, an unusual interior, friendly service and delightful views are one thing, and the house hounds add an extra layer of homeliness to the whole thing.
When we were writing the international bestseller An Illustrated History of Slavic Misery, we camped in Dorćol’s Meduza for the majority of the time. Every morning was like clockwork – the postmen would arrive for their post-shift beer at 9.30am, just before what we generally referred to as ‘Dog Club’. The ratio is never going to be 1:1, but if you are more likely to see a dog at Meduza than not.
Named after the original owner of the house, Blaznavac has one of the most unique aesthetics you could wish to encounter. Vibrant splashes of colour abound through a variety of unorthodox figures and paintings, giving the impression of a particularly heavy cheese dream, albeit one that comes with convivial service and a fine run of cocktails. Your dog will have a great time here, but they might be a little bit preoccupied with trying to attack the multicoloured elephant that hangs above the entrance.
The subject of bringing your pet to lunch is difficult, as they might not prove a particular appetising option in a social setting. We’re kidding (honestly, seriously, we 100% are), but there is clearly a difference between taking a dog to the pub and bringing one to a restaurant full of diners. Zemun’s Toro Latin Gastrobar somehow manages to straddle the uncomfortable divide, creating a pet-friendly environment alongside some of the best carnivore-friendly dishes in the city.
Most of the most down-to-earth boats on the Sava and the Danube are fine places to take your dog during the day (unless your pooch has an issue with seasickness, of course), but the easy-going charm and youthful cool of Brodić puts it at the front of the prospective queue. Some of the best pizza in the city can be found here, but do keep an eye on the dog to make sure he or she doesn’t get a bit too ambitious with their swimming.
Ada Ciganlija is as dog-friendly as Belgrade gets, and the city seaside is accentuated in summer with its most excellent beer garden. The only true beer garden in the city, this vast expanse of benches and booze is perfect for bringing the whelp along and letting him or her run free, leaving the canines to socialise with each other as the humans engage in that most personable of social norms – summer sipping.
Cetinjska’s finest spot ticks pretty much every box waiting to be ticked, including its attitude towards dogs. The onset of the warmer weather brings plenty of outdoor seating, but those mutts and pups will be just as happy dozing in the warmth of the interior. Salto’s latest craft concoction can also be found here, although it might not be to the liking of the bitzer.
It is a decidedly British pastime, but is there anything more relaxing than enjoying a delicious pint of beer and reading the newspaper, while your faithful mongrel sleeps lazily at your feet? The Black Turtle is a Belgrade institution on the beer front, with three locations dotted around the centre of the city. Puppies and pooches alike are welcome too, especially if they will be napping next to where the imbibing owner sits.
We’ll finish off with the obvious, but it is an obvious that bears repeating. Belgrade has a reputation of being a somewhat grey city, a stereotype completely at odds with the vast amount of green spaces within it. Bring your doggy to Kalemegdan, Topčider, Tašmajdan, Zvezdara and the rest and a good time is guaranteed for all. Just be sure to bring refreshment!