Most of the great cafes and bars in Belgrade are filled with smoke, as the pace of conversation is matched only by the speed at which cigarettes are lit and subsequently stubbed out. Believe it or not but there are some vehemently non-smoking spots in town, so those looking to avoid the smell and smoke should head to one of these spots.
We’re somewhat reticent to use the pun so early in the piece, but Dorćol’s RedBread cafe really is a breath of fresh air in the city centre. Colour and health are the name of the game in this wildly popular spot, and smoking is well and truly out of the question. A great selection of juices and salads are enough to bring the crowds in, and you can eat safe from the foreboding waft of suspiciously yellow smoke from nearby tables.
With a name like ‘FitBar’, you’d assume that smoking would be banned here, right? You’d be correct. The health-conscious bar and restaurant has two locations, one near Terazije and another in New Belgrade, meaning those averse to smoke can find salvation on both sides of the river. Delicious food that is high in nutrition, allied with cleaner air than most spots in the city.
Many of the places in the city that have decided to outlaw smoking have done so on the back of the health food revolution, but it takes a brave cafe to decide on the same. Dorćol’s Pržionica backs up its bravery with one of the best espressos in the city, a blast of caffeine that rivals any of the other great coffee spots in Belgrade’s old neighbourhoods.
While Supernatural Bar made its initial reputation off a tight menu of healthy food options and a clean environment, it has backed this up with a vibrant night scene accentuated by excellent live music and the continuation of its decision to ban smoking. Italian finger food rounds off this somewhat unconventional (for Belgrade, at least) pie.
Why oh why would anyone want to smoke around ice cream? Welcome to Belgrade. You’ll be shocked more often than not. Luckily for aficionados of the frozen stuff, the city’s best ice cream joint is also a spot free of smoke. Moritz Eis has managed to become a Belgrade institution in just a few years. It started with one location, and can now be found as far afield as Chile – as in Chile in South America.
The Apropo cafe and bookshop was one of the first spots in Belgrade to ban smoking inside, and it remains one of the finest options in town. Tea dominates over coffee here, a stance unusual enough in caffeine-hungry Serbia, and the colourful interior is accentuated by the total removal of any and all smoke. What more could one want than books, tea and a friendly environment? It is difficult to want for any more than that.
Most upscale restaurants in Belgrade are still on the side of the smokers, but Saporibelli is at the forefront of the fight against nicotine. The Italian restaurant in Vračar would be one of the best in the city with or without a ban on cigarettes and cigars, but the freshness of the atmosphere only adds to the dishes that stride from the kitchen full of pride.