An Introduction To Serbian Cuisine In 9 Flavorful Dishes

Pršuta and Pogacha
Pršuta and Pogacha | Courtesy of Magdalena Radibratović
Ana Stambolic

Every invader that ever came to Serbia, left their mark on the country’s culture and cuisine, making the latter a luxurious and juicy fusion of Turkish, Austro-Hungarian, and Mediterranean influences. Characterized by very diverse, rich, food, we explore Serbia through its gastronomic treats that are geographically spread throughout the country. Prijatno – Bon appétit!

Zlatiborska pršuta (Zlatibor prosciutto)

Zlatibor prosciutto, the specialty of Western Serbia, has become one of the well-known flagships of the country. The production process started a century ago and hasn’t changed since. Every ingredient of this product is 100% natural, and the dish itself is best paired with Rakija (national drink), Pogacha and Kajmak.




Kajmak (Dairy delight)

Most meals aren’t complete without at least a dollop of this delicious gastronomical pearl. Kajmak, made by mildly fermented and skimmed heavy cream, is a flavor that will stay with your taste buds for years to come. Although one can sample Kajmak throughout most of Serbia, the most famous region is the mountain region known as Zlatibor.


Pasulj (Serbian Bean Soup)

There is enough of this essential plant grown in Serbia to feed an army, which they regularly do with a dish called Vojnički pasulj (soldiers’ beans). Boiled on a stove with smoked meat, Pasulj is a typical winter dish and due to its simplicity is often associated with the Serbian idiom ‘prosto kao pasulj’ or in other words ‘easy as pie.’



Originally of Turkish origin, Sarma is a very common dish in Serbia. The name comes from the Turkish verb sarmak which means ‘to wrap,’ ‘to roll.’ It is made from sour cabbage leaves wrapped around minced meat (beef, pork, lamb or veal) and rice. It also includes spices, onions and local herbs. As soon as winter comes, one can expect to smell the flare of Sarma inmany Serbian kitchens.


Karađorđeva šnicla (George Steak)

Legend has it that back in 1956 chef Milovan Stojanovic had to prepare Chicken Kiev for a distinguished visitor from the Soviet Union, but he was faced with lack of poultry. So, instead of chicken he used veal. He poured tartar sauce over it, and decorated it with a slice of lemon and pieces of tomato. In the end the dish resembled the Order of Karađorđe Star (Serbia’s highest civilian and military medal of honor), and thus the steak was named.

Karađorđeva Šnicla


Pljeskavica, a ground pork/beef patty, could be likened to the Serbian version of a hamburger, and is recognized as a specialty of the southern part of the country. This is the Serbian equivalent of fastfood food and can be found in most places: from fancy restaurants to hole in the wall takeaways. Served in fresh, crispy bread, called Lepinja, it is a popular choice after a night out.
The Leskovac Grill Festival – Roštiljijada, also known as barbecue week is a yearly festival organized in the city Leskovac at the end of August.


Gomboce (Plum dumplings)

Gomboce, or Knedle, is a distinctive dessert of Vojvodina, an autonomous province in Northern Serbia. This is a sweet dish of boiled potato-dough dumplings filled with plums, and although they can be filled with other types of fruit, the most traditional ones stick to the plums.



Besides Gomboce, the sweet part of the Sunday lunch in many homes in the northern part of Serbia is Štrudla. Originally of Austro-Hungarian origin, it is a type of layered pastry with a filling that is usually sweet. The most famous one is with poppy, but nonetheless popular are the variations with plum jam, apricot jam and walnuts. The oldest recipes are from 1696, in a handwritten cookbook at the Vienna City Library.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article