Sarajevo was a city (blog) that really caught us by surprise during our detour into Bosnia from our Croatian coastline road trip (blog). The city is not only filled with history, culture and beautiful views, but also some incredibly delicious food and restaurants. Here are our top picks of must try restaurants and dishes while at the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This is a small building sitting on the banks of the river with an interesting history. After the Austrian-Hungarians occupied Sarajevo, the monarchy wanted to create buildings such as post offices, museums and the city hall. They wanted to build on the right side of the river, but the land belonged to an old man who refused to give up. The final outcome was that the old man was given a bag of gold coins and his house was moved brick by brick to the other side of the river (where it is now). The building has since been known as the House of Spite and is now a cosy restaurant serving some fantastic local Bosnia dishes. The menu ranges from kebabs to stews, meats and soups.
Near the National Theater you will find a little booth selling some of the most delicious French pastries in town. All freshly made and tasting incredible, it can be quite a shock to find a cafe in Sarajevo with such fine French croissants! A perfect way to start the morning.
Coffee @Pigeon Square
After grabbing your pastries to go, head over to the pigeon square and order a fresh cup of Turkish coffee at Bosanska Kafana “Tunnel“. You will find locals relaxing here and sitting outside on the square and enjoying strong but delicious coffees. It is normal to bring food from other restaurants to enjoy with your morning caffeine. Sit back and sip the coffee with your croissant while starring across the beautiful square and towards the old market!
Perfect Lunch Spot
The perfect lunch spot is at Ascinica Hadzibarjric F. Namika. This is a local canteen where you head to the counter and point at what you want to eat. With no English being spoken here at all, it is all hand signals before sitting down to find out what you have ordered. The food is all local and you really get to experience what people normally have for lunch in Sarajevo. The surprise elements are all delicious and gives off that warm home-cooked feeling.
Probably the most common Balkan dish – grilled meat in sausage sizes and often in a little bit of pita bread. We actually tried this during a pit stop while driving from Zadar to Sarajevo. Its definitely flavourful and very meaty! Pretty much every restaurant will serve this in Bosnia.
Although strictly not from Bosnia, bureks are a very common dish here. Essentially it is a meat-filled pastry very similar to a susage-roll. Some come in spirals others in straights. Buregdžinica Bosna offers meat filled pastries or spinach filled ones. Both are delicious, crispy and really tasty! It goes well with a glass of yogurt too!
Baklava ducan Sarajevo is a baklava specialist in the old town. The fancy looking shop makes some delicious pastries, offering all types of combinations from walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts. Grab a seat outside and devour the little sweet snacks on the side street.
When I walked past this place, I knew I had to try it. Since trying an incredible kunafeh in Jerusalem (blog) and running round looking for anything as good in London (Arabica), this has been one of my favourite desserts. Mr. Kunafe offers a selection of different types and the flavours are fantastic! Cant think of a better way to end an incredible day of local Bosnian dishes!
Also published on Medium.