Befitting a ‘city within a city’, Zemun is home to its own pace of life and social atmosphere. The cafe culture of the region isn’t lost, however, and the former Habsburg border town has its fair share of excellent caffeine haunts ready to entertain you until the sun goes down.
Actually, remove the ‘sun goes down’ portion of that introduction. One of the many boats on the Zemun riverside, Savana is every bit as popular throughout the day as it is in the evening. This is the most homely of all the boats, and it isn’t a surprise to see every seat taken with coffee drinkers taking in the mass of the Danube all day long. It is also pet-friendly which is always a win in our book.
Gardoš is the undoubted jewel in the crown of Zemun, and the hill is subsequently the first port of call for many visitors to the area. Those visitors are matched in number by the locals, many of whom are quick to make a beeline for Cafeteria Gardoš, lest the best outdoor seats be taken before that first cup of coffee can be acquired. The interior is delightful, but it is difficult to go against an early morning summer cuppa outside Cafeteria Gardoš.
The name translates as ‘View’, so it doesn’t take a wordsmith to work out what the major selling point of Pogled is. The outdoor terrace looks out over the mighty Danube, creating an atmosphere defined by contradiction, the intimidating presence of Europe’s second-largest river instilling as much awe as it does tranquility. The drinks aren’t half bad either.
Located deep in Zemun’s beating heart, Semlin Art offers much of the aesthetic promised by its name. A cafe restaurant within an art gallery, Semlin is a beautiful place to while the day away with a hot cup of coffee or a delicious glass of wine, with plenty of the latter available at all hours of the day. The staff are some of the best in Zemun, too.
Gospodska is the central nerve system of Zemun, so it’s little surprise to see a number of cafes lining this pedestrian street leading down to the Danube. Codex is one of the better stops, overcoming its fairly sterile atmosphere with a good mixture of tasty drinks and a relaxing interior. Codex is very popular with the young students of Zemun, but there are plenty of older folk plonking down for a coffee or four here throughout the day.
Kafeterija Mlin offers takeaway coffee for those on the go, but we wholeheartedly recommend stopping for a brew or two in this lovely cafe on Bežanijska. There are plenty of pastries and baked goods to go along with your hot beverage of choice, with the rich espresso deserving a little extra praise. Don’t be alarmed by the bicycle on the wall either – it is very, very stable.
An enraptured crowd of sports watchers at Jarbol | @ Jarbol Caffe Bar / Facebook
Situated a little walk from the centre of Zemun, Jarbol is located in a residential street and thus offers something a little bit different to the rest of the district’s pubs and clubs. You are more likely to catch locals here for a start, nipping in for a beer after work or settling in to a long night of imbibing ahead of a day off. This is also the best place to come in the summer to watch sport on television, although the terrace does get packed very quickly.