One of my favorite things about travelling is trying all the local and cultural food of the areas I’m visiting. Some of the more common examples are mussels in Brussels, wine in Paris, and chocolate in Germany. However when you visit Belgrade there’s one thing I learned about that I knew I needed to try.
The Serbian fast food specialty is called a “Ćevapi” or a Serbian style of a kebab. A Ćevapi isn’t at all similar to a kebab. It’s full of these little beef (or sometimes beef and lamb) sausages called ćevapčići. The little ćevapčići are grilled and served in a flatbread pita with onions and occasionally a sauce.
The Ćevapi is a traditional Balkan food and extremely popular in Bosnia.
Well, the popularity jumped borders and now you can get a Ćevapi on every street corner in Belgrade.
While asking around about where I could find the best Ćevapi in Belgrade the name “Walter Sarajevski” kept coming up and I knew it was going to be one of the first places I tried on my search.
Last night I made my way to Walter Sarajevski. It’s only a few blocks from my place here in Belgrade and I was surprised to learn it was an actual sit-down restaurant. Many of the places that serve Ćevapi are street stands or fast-food style locations but this place was nicely decorated and the waiter met us at the door in a white shirt.
Unfortunately it was a bit smoky inside but that’s just how it is here in Belgrade. If you’re not a fan of people smoking then you might want to call ahead and get your food to go.
Now for the review:
I was here for one thing and one thing only – a Ćevapi . The waiter sat us down and left us to take a look at the menu. There aren’t many options but you can get a decent variety of various Serbian grilled/fried fast foods. There were hamburgers, sausages, fried chicken and steak, and a few other different options. Drinks and appetizers are also available.
Of course I ordered the 400g Ćevapi, which comes with 10 little ćevapčići. My girlfriend ordered the smaller 200g one and we got a cabbage salad to share. To drink we ordered 2 large Jelen beers. While taking our order our waiter asked me if I wanted onions. Can you even call it a Ćevapi without onions? Of course I wanted onions!
Within a few minutes the waiter brought our drinks and told us the meal would be out shortly. It wasn’t very busy so I didn’t expect it to take long and in less than 10 minutes of sitting down our food was served.
Right away I was blown away by the size of the Ćevapi. I had eaten a street one before and it was miniscule compared to this one. While the menu claimed it was only 400g of meat I could tell it was easily a lot more. Not only that but the entire pita was jam packed full of onions. And it smelled incredible. I took a sip of beer and a few bites of cabbage salad to cleanse my palate for this Serbian monstrosity.
It was obvious off the bat that I would have to use a fork and knife. As much as I like using my hands like an animal this Ćevapi was simply too big and unwieldy.
I cut off a piece of the bread, cut a ćevapčići in half, added some onion to the fork and took a bite.
Every piece had so much flavor. The bread was extremely tasty and seemed to be grilled in the Ćevapi grease a bit. The ćevapčići were incredible. Perfectly cooked, not too greasy, and they had a very smoky taste. The onion was fresh and sharp on the tongue. All I was thinking was how this was the perfect Ćevapi and it’s only the 2nd one I ever had in Belgrade.
Each bite I took made the Ćevapi taste better and better. I was thirsty but I didn’t want to take a drink to wash away the great taste. Typically when you get grilled meat and bread the bread becomes soggy and falls apart but this pita was homemade, high quality, and stayed in one piece during the entire meal.
The waiter came once to check on us but didn’t hover or bother us about anything.
I had a perfect meal. The Ćevapi was incredible and is the best I’ve had in Belgrade so far. I’m here for the next few weeks and I’ll be checking out a whole bunch of places that claim to serve the best Ćevapi.
All in all it was a great experience. The waiter spoke great English and the prices were unbelievable.
Two Ćevapi, a large salad and two beers came to $11. If you’re visiting Belgrade on a budget this is one of the easiest ways to keep your expenses down and stomach full.
Be sure to check back to find out more about my hunt for the best Ćevapi in Belgrade.