Belgrade is a convivial city. You’ll never be far from a hot cup of coffee, a sparkling mineral water, a craft beer, or a tasty stiff drink. There is something indigenous to drink in Belgrade for every hour. We enjoyed trying them all.
What to drink in Belgrade by day
Belgrade’s tap water is good. But there are delicious mineral waters- still and sparkling (газирана) both- available cheaply everywhere.
Jogurt here is a drink, not a snack. They have it at every bakery in plastic cups with a foil top. It’s like a super thick aryan- tangy, rich and refreshing. The prices start at 20 dinar for a small one.
All the international style coffees are available here. But if you don’t specify, a “coffee” in Belgrade is probably a Serbian coffee. This is the coffee we drink in Greece and in Turkey- in fact, they sometimes call it a Turkish coffee. It’s finely ground, simmered until it has a frothy head, and sipped slowly with the fine grounds settling into the bottom of the cup like a delicious, fragrant mud. In Serbia, they serve it in a slightly larger cup.
On the west end of the Kralija Petra, right across from the Archangel Michael cathedral, is a small cafe with exposed brick walls and good music (actually, it was hard to hear bad music in Belgrade). The Serbian coffee is perfect (and so are the drinks).
Аутсајдер / Autsajder (phonetically, that’s “Outsider”), Kralije Petra 4. 9 am – midnight every day (Fridays and Saturdays until 1 am)
What to Drink in Belgrade by Night
Dark as coffee, herbal, bitter, bracing and delicious. This is like a slightly less medicinal version of Jaegermeister.
The delicious herbal bitter Pelinkovac
There is a great variety of beers (“пиво / pivo”) The big local beer is Jelen- look for the antlers- and there are lots of others, including wheat beers.
For a sweeter treat, go to the Black Turtle Pub. This craft brewery makes some tasty, refreshing fruit beers, like grapefruit, strawberry, and- favorite of all- blueberry. Try all of them at once in a beer flight- the smallest size is 80 dinar.
Black Turtle. 56 Gospodar Jovanova.
Here is where the Serbs truly excel. This distilled spirit is like grappa, but it’s not necessarily from grapes. It comes in a great variety- distilled from various fruits, and sometimes sweetened and tinted with natural syrups, sometimes not. Slivovica, of plum, is probably the best known and often the cheapest. But there are also Rakija distilled from apricots (кајсија/kajsije), pears (крушке/kruške), walnuts (ораси/orasi), blueberries (боровнице/borovnice), quince (дуње/dunje). When they have color and some body- like the walnut and the blueberry- they are generally sweet like a liqueur. Apricot though is almost pale, as are quince and pear- like brandy and grappa, they are not sweet. They have a pure, strong fragrance of the fruit.
Skardalia is a Bohemian cobblestone street lined with restaurants and bars that you’ll surely find yourself on during your visit. One of those bars- toward the uphill end of the street- has a huge variety of Rakija poured out in ready and generous shots. They are 100 dinar apiece, so you can sample several for the price of a cocktail. Find your favorite. It makes a nice cap to a Belgrade night.