Slasticarnica Egipat: Sweets for My Sweet
The legendary patisserie in the Old Sarajevo, popular among native Sarajlije; existing already more than 65 years in the town.
The recognizable logo of the pastry is a blackman with an ice cream in a hand that represents Aladdin and his magic lamp.
The recipe for the legendary "Egyptian Cream" is a family secret. It consists of eggs, milk and natural ingredients that give flavor and it is prepared only by hand .
The brown colour of their "Egyptian vanilla" icecream represents the color of pyramid and the Sahara's sand.
Favorite Dish: All kinds of cakes and ice-creams: šampita, krempita, torte-boem & Havana, and many others.
Cakes costs from 1,5 to 2 KM( almost 1euro).
Restaurant Kolobara Han: From the first han to the oriental cafe
It was the first han in Sarajevo when it was built in 1462 . Since 1935 there are only walls left, after many fires.
Later it was transformed into an Oriental restaurant, where they serve delicious traditional food from the menu. In a beautiful summer garden ambience they organize live music. In the month of Ramazan they also offer iftar for believers.
Favorite Dish: all cooked, how we use to say: čorbali, eaten with a spoon
Buregdzinica Sac: Bosnian fast-food
Sometimes it is the best in Sarajevo, sometimes not, obviously they don't have the quality standard.
I choose such kind of place because in our modern flats we cannot make pita under sač( baking lid). The taste of this pita is like from our grandmother's time, much better than we usually get in our electric oven.
Favorite Dish: all kinds of pita:
1kg of sjeckani burek( meat)= 14KM
1kg of burek= 12KM
1kg of zeljanica( spinach) or sirnica( cheese) = 10KM
BTW-any pita outside of Bašćaršija tastes better
Park Princeva: Restaurant with The Best View of Sarajevo
-great general view of the town, specially beautiful by night,
- fresh tasty food,
- well visited, quick service, friendly staff
The restaurant was opened in 2001, suitable for business entertainment and festive events in the indoor restaurant space, as well as in a summer garden.
Favorite Dish: Bey's broth, Veal made in sač and Tufahija
Banja Luka: The 3 Bs of cevapi
You'll find cevapi all over the Balkans, introduced by the Ottomans and a firm favourite ever since. One thing pretty well everyone agrees on though is that you'll find the best ones in Sarajevo and if you like your cevapi with an added zing, the best place in the city with the best cevapi is Banja Luka down on Bravadjiluk in Bascarsija.
A sunny day in mid-October was perfect for sitting out al fresco for lunch, watching the passing parade as we tucked in to our lunch. Service was quick and cheerful - when there's really only one thing on the menu, it's easy to be efficient. The cevapi are cooking here all day long, and going out to appreciative diners as fast as they come off the grill so they're always freshly cooked and deliciously succulent.
Banja Luka's menu isn't limited to just Banja Luka-style cevapi (Banja Luka's a city in northern Bosnia). You can order your cevapi Sarajevo-style here as well as a small range of other yummy grill-based meals. We opted for a plate of both types to share and enjoyed every mouthful, as it was apparent, the folk around us were also doing.
If time permits (it didn't for us) you really should check out Zeljo, anotherl institution among Sarajevo's cevapi restaurants... to quote the guide book "Most locals will say you haven't visitd Sarajevo until you've tried Zeljo's famous cevapi". I have to say we were tempted by the thought of a late afternoon snack there as we walked down through the old town, the air cloudy with a drift of cevapi-scented woodsmoke, but the promise of begova corba (Beg's soup) and other traditional Bosnian dishes for dinner kept us walking on.
Favorite Dish: Cevapi are small (finger-length) rolls of minced meat, well-seasoned and cooked over a charcoal grill. You'll find them all over the Balkans, in some places they may have pork in them but here in Sarajevo, with its mainly Muslim population, they are made from lamb and veal. A full plate is 10 pieces, it's fine to order a half serve.
What's the difference between Banja Luka cevapi and Sarajevo-style? They like them spicy in Banja Luka so add some chopped fresh chilli. You might see them called Sis cevapi on a menu.
Traditionally, cevapi are served with chopped sweet white onion and a decent sized pocket of pita bread. Banja Luka's bread was great - crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside - very moreish. A tomato salad and some finely shredded cabbage for a crunch, it was as good a meal as you could ever wish for - delicious, rustic food at its best.
Elite club 31: Avaz Twist Tower
Avaz Twist Tower(with antenna 175 m) is the highest office building in the region and one of the most spectacular buildings in Europe(on the 2nd place in the Balkans with forty floors).
It is one the ten most beautiful buildings in the world, according to Schuco.
There are the fastest elevators in Europe, at a speed of up to 5 meters per second!
A special attraction is a lookout at the 36th floor with a powerful telescope, that gives the magnificent view of the capital.
"Caffe 35" is at the 35 th floor.
Resturant " Elite club 31" is situated at 31st floor of the Tower. It is a beautiful rotating restaurant with magically breath-taking views.
The main feature of the restaurant:
-one of the most prestigious restaurants in Sarajevo
-its offer is adapted to suit everyone: for coffee & cake or a lunch/ romantic dinner
Favorite Dish: Imperial salmon with mushrooms and leek, Petit Gateau
Restaurant Labud (Ilidza)
On our sidetrip to Ilidza and Vrelo Bosne (see my off the beaten path tips for more details) we took a late lunch break at the Restaurant Labud which is part of the Hotel Ilidza.
The traditional Bosnian restaurant has a large outdoor terrace which is especially popular at weekends. The menu offers many local specialities but also a selection of international dishes.
I ordered the veal on brochette (Teleci Raznjici) for 12 KM. It was a relatively small portion but very yummy and probably just the right amount of food for this time of the day. To drink I opted for the popular natural lemonade (Limunada prirodna) for 3 KM.
If you are planning a sidetrip from Sarajevo to the suburb of Ilidza then a visit of the Restaurant Labud shouldn't be missed.
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Another fabulous Cevabdzinica which is often recommended in all guide books is Cevabdzinica Hodzic. We once had dinner here. It is a modern family run restaurant with a small wooden outdoor terrace facing the pedestrainised street.
We were lucky enough to get a table outside. The menu is limited to traditional Bosnian meat dishes, with Cevapi being the main speciality. Other options include Pljeskavica or Raznjici, which should be well known to most travellers who have been to any of the Balkan countries.
All meat dishes at Cevabdzinica Hodzic come as a good 200 grams portion. I opted for Raznjici (10 KM), as I had already eaten Cevapi before. To drink I ordered a Joghurt drink for 2 KM.
The two meat skewers were more than excellent, so I was quite happy with my choice.
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To Be (or not) To Be: Memorable veges
How could you resist this place with its name crocheted into the white lace curtain on the front door? It's really tiny, just room for 3 tables along one wall downstairs, a charming clutter of table necessities, wine bottles, pots of fresh herbs and pictures along the other wall and a few more tables up a narrow lttle staircase. The kitchen's in full view behind a high bar where a big basket of fresh vegetables looking as if they've just come from the garden fills the end - it all looks homely and welcoming, a cross between a farmhouse kitchen and a cute little bistro.
The restaurant's been here for a while. It was open all through the siege and thereby hangs a tale. Back then, it was called To Be Or Not To Be. Look at photo 2 and you'll see the words "OR NOT" are crossed out. At the height of the siege, the owner slashed the words through with red - "not to be " was not an option.
Favorite Dish: Those vegetables on the bar were part of our dinner - a wonderful melange of grilled aubergines, zucchini, peppers, potatoes, onions and tomatoes - packed with flavour, presented like a still life, a huge serve - they were absolutely delicious, a meal in themselves, though the grilled fish (me) and veal steak (MrL) we ordered to go with them were pretty good too.
The bottle of Hercegovinan red recommended to go with it all was pretty good too.
Burekdžnica Bosna: What's for lunch?
When it comes to lunchtime, you really have just two choices of what to eat if you want to do it Bosnian-style.
Burek or cevapi, Bosnia's favourite fast foods, which is it to be? This is a case of the whole scene - a street down in Bascarsija lined with places selling them, none of them fancy, all packed with locals, the air full of the most delicious smells of baking and grilling - providing the atmosphere. Where you eat can be more a matter of finding somewhere with a table than anything. If you're with another person and you want to eat together, there'll have to be consensus, you can't order burek in a cevadžnica nor a cevapi in aburekdžnica
So, what is it going to be? Burek today? We ate ours at Burekdžnica Bosna, sharing two varieties - meat and cheese. Absolutely delicious. MrL chose the local yoghurt drink to go with his, water did for me.
Favorite Dish: Burek are a sort of pie, cooked in long rolls packed together on a tray, served as a porcija (a set portion) by weight - one porcija. Made from light filo pastry wrapped around a filling, they really are at their best, freshly cooked and served at a table at a burekdžnica with a good dollop of pavlaka - a very light and fresh cream cheese - spread over them. They come in four varieties -
burek filled with meat, in Sarajevo this will most likely be a mix of lamb or veal
zeljanica filled with spinach and cheese
sirnica are filled with fresh soft cheese and taste a little sour
krompirusa are potato filled and slightly salty
You'll see them in bakeries, but be warned - cold and/or not really fresh, they become hard and far less tasty so they're not the best thing to buy to eat later. Order them in a busy burekdžnica and you'll be presented with a portion cut from a large tray straight from the oven, fresh and absolutely delicious.
Morica Han: Han-ging out for a coffee
Morica Han is much more than just a coffee stop - it's an historic part of old Sarjevo. Han is the local word for a caravanserai and Sarajevo, like all Ottoman cities, once had several. Morica Han is the best preserved. Like so many of the city's buildings, it was built in the mid-16th century with funds provided by Gazi Huzrev Beg but is known by the name of Mustafa Moric, who managed the han at one time.
Once the large courtyard would have been a bustling place, full of travellers and their animals, the ground floor around the court set up for trading, the upper floor providing rooms for the night for traders and travellers. The carpet and textile shop in the corner gives a hint of the trading that was carried out here but the donkeys and camels and bales of goods that would have filled the central space have long since been replaced with the chairs and tables of modern cafes and the noise (and the smells) of the past have given way to the sounds of friends talking and laughing, the aroma of coffee and the scent of apple smoke from the odd nargileh.
Cevabdzinica Zeljo 2
On our first evening in the Sarajevo's historic old town (Bascarsija) we found Cevabdzinica Zeljo 2 more by chance than on purpose. Later we realised that it is one of the most recommended Cevapi places in the city.
It is named after the local football club FK Zeljeznicar Sarajevo, which was established by railway workers.
Both inside and outside they have dark wooden tables and benches. The question is not what to eat, but only how much you eat.
The only dish on offer is Cevapi; so you can order 5, 10 or 15 pieces of the small grilled minced beef rolls.
You won't find any alcoholic drinks on the menu. People usually drink joghurt with the Cevapi. I really enjoyed my 10 pieces Cevapi (6 KM) and my Joghurt drink (1 KM). So it was a fantastic first evening for us in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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Inat Kuca (Spite House) is probably mentioned in every guidebook about Sarajevo, due to its story which goes like this:
The Ottoman building of Inat Kuca, which nowadays stands on the left side of the river Miljacka, could once be found on the right bank of the river.
At that time local authorities wanted to build a massive representative building on exactly this site.
The owner of the building was stubborn enough, so that he demanded a bag of golden coins as well as the relocation of his complete house to the other side of the river. All this took place in 1895.
Since 1997 the building is home to a traditional Bosnian restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating, which offer panoramic views of the river and the National Library.
The menu offers a wide range of local Bosnian dishes. I decided for a small Kebab stew (14 KM) and a bottle of Sarajevsko Premium beer (6 KM). My meal was yummy, but couldn't keep up with the very high expectations.
Nevertheless, Inat Kuca is definitely well worth a visit, if only due to its fantastic location at the river bank.
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Pivnica HS (Sarajevska Pivara): Sausages and Beer
We had read and heard about this restaurant at Sarajevo Brewery so when we approached it during lunchtime we decided to try their dark beer and sausages, just as the brochure "Walking tour through Sarajevo" suggested. When coming in this huge beer hall you feel like having travelled in time and location.
The place looked so much like a big English pub. The food, however, was very much Bosnian. So was the beer, there's a dark and a light version available.
Apparently this restaurant was only opened in 2004. A shocker! I thought that I sat in a traditional old beer hall from Austro-Hungarian times...
Favorite Dish: We had the house specialty, sausages. They were beef sausages which were available in three different flavours, spicy, mild and with garlic. We tried the spicy and the garlic sausages and preferred the spicy ones which were really good. Along with it we had mustard, lovely Pretzels and a huge portion of chips for both of us.
Buregdzinica Ahmo: For vegetarians too!
Bosnians it meat all the time, it is hard to find vegetarian food. But if you see "Buregdzinica" on a sign, you can get bureg or other pastries with spinach, cheese or mushrooms. This particular one is right on the Bascarsija square. The plate on pic. 2, spinach pita, cost 2 KM.
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