When in Sarajevo, eat & drink as Bosnians do

Ljiljana Krejic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

If you are a street food lover (who is not?), you will surely adore coming to Sarajevo, as it delivers Balkan street food at its finest. In the Bosnian capital, something is grilling, baking, and frying at every corner so you will be completely spoiled for choice. I suggest you surrender at the beginning and let your palates decide. So, when in Sarajevo, eat and drink as Bosnians do!

Ćevapi, an unofficial Bosnian national dish

© iStock/S_A_N

Staying in Sarajevo without trying the unofficial Bosnian national dish, ćevapi would be equal to being in Rome without eating pasta. These grilled minced meat rolls served inside a fresh flatbread somun with onions are undoubtedly the kings of Bosnian fast food. As a final touch, ask that your ćevapi be topped with kajmak (a sour cream). Actually, every restaurant and even every city in Bosnia & Herzegovina has its own secret recipe, so no wonder the taste of ćevapi is different everywhere. In Sarajevo, the best places to try this delight are ćevapdžinica Željo or Petica.

All sorts of pita, the Bosnian pie

© iStock/fotokon

Another must-try speciality in Sarajevo is pita or Bosnian pie. It is a crispy and delicate filo pastry stuffed with cheese, meat, spinach or potatoes. If you have no time to enjoy them all, please do not leave Sarajevo without trying burek, a pride of Sarajevo (version of Bosnian pie with minced meat). To be a true Bosnian pie, it must be baked in a sač (large metal pan) and hung up in a coal-burning oven. If you want to do it as locals would, go to burekdžinica ASDŽ and order your pie with a plain yoghurt drink aside. This is an absolute must when in Sarajevo.

Bosnian coffee & desserts

© iStock/roibu

Sarajevo has a strong coffee culture. Anywhere you go, the sidewalk cafes are packed with locals enjoying their coffee and taking it slowly, no matter the time of the day. Instead of the usual choices (espresso or cappuccino), opt for Bosnian coffee, and you will not regret it. Maybe you do not expect it, but it will be a completely new experience of coffee - thick, rich and strong (but not sour). The way it is served will be another surprise. So, suppose you cannot wait to discover it. In that case, I suggest café Kaffa, café Tito or Ottoman caravanserai Morića Han in the middle of the bazaar, where traditional sweets accompany your coffee.

© iStock/sigerdjan

Insider's tips

As I recommended at the beginning of this story - when in Sarajevo, eat and drink as Bosnians do. Try one of the following options to get the best gastronomic experience in Sarajevo. Embark on this guided walking tour to explore ten unique insider food spots within Sarajevo. Visit the iconic Sarajevo City Market and taste diverse, multicultural dishes that locals love. Another option is a private culinary tour and a cultural journey that takes you further than the food you will eat. You will also discover the city and its highlights as you enjoy authentic local bites ranging from savory to sweet and drinks. Nothing less interesting is another guided walking tour with Bosnian coffee and desserts. Get to know Sarajevo and travel back in time as you walk through the city's historic streets, but also take a break to try delicious Bosnian coffee and desserts.

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