Die besten traditionellen Restaurants in Sarajevo

by Kathi Daniela

Eating bad food in Sarajevo
is near to impossible!

Thank you, but I am really full!

I don't know how many times I've said that sentence in Bosnia. It is probably one of the most frequent, because if there is a saying that applies to Bosnia, then it is The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. And I really developed my love for Bosnia through food - or through the pleasure with which the Bosnians prepare food, talk about food, sit and eat together...  

Eating bad food in Sarajevo is next to impossible. So far, I have only eaten very well - be it a burger, Italian or Bosnian food. The city offers many small, stylish bars, restaurants and cafés. 

In many restaurants in Sarajevo you find only one or two dishes - there are restaurants for pitas, restaurants for the famous cevapcici or restaurants for stews. So it's no wonder that what you eat there tastes really amazing - because everyone just prepares their signature dish.

I can't do justice to all restaurants and bars that I have visited yet. But here are some of my favorite restaurants and cafés, which you should definitely visit in Sarajevo!

pita heaven

Sač

The restaurant Sač is named after the pot in which the pita is prepared over an open fire, similar to a tajine. This keeps it nice and juicy inside and the crust is crispy from above and below! My favorite is and will always be the cheese pita, in Bosnian it's called Sirnica.

Bravadžiluk mali 2, Sarajevo

Bosanski Burek

If you take a walk through the Grbavica quarter which was heavily destroyed in the war then you should take a small snack break at this small inconspicuous shop directly at the football stadium of FK Željezničar.

This is where you will eat real Bosnian pita at an unbeatable price.

Zvornička 27, Sarajevo

Nagib

The pita here is hot and greasy and always fresh. When it's sold out, there's nothing left for the day. The place is a bit farther away from the city center, but for me it's a must on every visit to Sarajevo! 

The fact that Nagib has been around since 1978 and the shop even survived the war is another sign of how good the food is!

Envera Šehovića 11, Sarajevo

The Bosnian national dish: Ćevapčići

Hodžić

If you want Ćevapčići, or Ćevapi for short, in Sarajevo you should visit one of these three shops. The first of these is Hodžić. 

Here you can get the small minced meat sausages in the classic way with bread and kajmak, a kind of sour cream, fresh from the grill. The atmosphere is a bit quieter and more relaxed than at the second, well-known Ćevabdžinica of the city that is named after a football club. 

Bravadžiluk 34, Sarajevo

Željo

Can a Google rating of 4.6 and almost 2,000 reviews lie? I don't think so! Zeljo is without doubt the city's most famous Ćevabdžinica. They serve only two dishes: five Ćevapčići and ten Ćevapčići with fresh bread and kajmak (sour cream). 

You can't make a reservation as the restaurant is always full anyway. But nobody sits for long, normally people leave right after eating. So you are always seated at the table with someone else and you can quickly get into a conversation over fresh bread and hot minced meat sausages!

Kundurdžiluk 19, Sarajevo

Ferhatović

Can't find a table at Hodžić or Željo? Don't you worry: The Ćevabdžinica Ferhatović is only a few houses away! Besides the traditional minced meat sausages, they serve burgers, which are called Pljeskavica in Bosnia, and steaks.

After eating, enjoy sight seeing in the old town, Baščaršija.

Bravadžiluk 21, Sarajevo

Living the stew life

The Aščinica:

Aščinice are traditional Bosnian dishes. Roughly translated it means "spoon dishes". An Aščinica only serves dishes that are traditionally eaten with a spoon like stews, soups, or vegetables filled with minced meat. Cooked lamb and beef and Bosnian ravioli are on the menu here as well. Bosnians come to the Aščinica for a quick lunch. Normally lunchtime is also the best time of the day to go as the food is cooked freshly every day and sells out quickly.

Hadžibajrić

This Aščinica is the oldest in Sarajevo's old town Baščaršija. All dishes here are still cooked according to old, traditional recipes. The food tastes like at grandmas house.

As in many traditional Bosnian restaurants, no alcohol is served here, but they sell freshly squeezed juices that go perfectly with hearty stuffed paprika.

 

Ćurčiluk veliki 59, Sarajevo

Moščanica

A bit off the main roads and tourist spots of the city, but still worth a visit!

Here in the Malta district, hearty soups, hot stews, and fresh bread are waiting for you. If you want to try authentic Bosnian cuisine, this is the place for you - and since it's off the beaten track, the food is also unbeatably cheap!

Paromlinska 37a, Sarajevo

ASDŽ

Back in the city center: In this more modern Aščinica you best meet up with friends for lunch. Sit around one of the big tables and order lots of little tapas-like plates to share. And then: baklava for dessert.

ASDŽ is definitely a hotspot for tourists and locals alike.

Ćurčiluk mali 3, Sarajevo

coffee, coffee, coffee

What’s so special about Bosnian coffee?

In Bosnia, drinking coffee is not just sitting down for a moment, gulping down your hot drink and getting a caffeine kick. The whole Bosnian culture is about drinking coffee, and the term is much more the equivalent of sitting together, dating, exchanging news.

The kava is enjoyed sip by sip from small cups, a discovery of slowness and pleasure. Add something sweet to it and the bitterness of the outside world disappears and dissolves in the sweet, black drink. I love the Bosnian coffee culture and every time I am there, I can't wait to meet friends in Sarajevo for a coffee.

Ministry of Ćejf

The hotspot for coffee in Sarajevo - and I'm really strict in my ratings for coffee. But the atmosphere, the view, the owner's hospitality and of course the coffee itself make this place a real must! 

An explanation: Ćejf is, similar to Hygge, a word that simply cannot be translated. It is these little things that give pleasure - the joy of life, so to speak. Here you find a more detailed definition of the word.

Kovači 26, Sarajevo

Sevdah Art House

The Sevdah Art House is a little oasis in the middle of the lively old town! When the hustle and bustle get too much for me, I really like to come here for a coffee.

In this hidden, green courtyard you don't even have the feeling of being in the city anymore! 

Sevdah Art House is part of a museum dedicated to the Sevdalinka, a traditional form of Bosnian music. The old love songs also play in the café and give the place a very special atmosphere.

Halači 5, Sarajevo

Čajdžinica Džirlo

Finally something for you, tea lovers!

At Džirlo, you get really good tea beside the traditional Bosnian coffee. While you sit on cozy poufs and cushions on the floor, the owner of the shop serves you fresh, hot coffee or tea on small wooden trays. 

No place in town shows more Turkish and Ottoman heritage than this little, comfy tea shop!

Kundurdžiluk 19, Sarajevo

sweet tooth

To be honest, I am not a big fan of Bosnian sweets - too sticky, too sweet, too sugary. Nevertheless, I want to show you a few restaurants where you can satisfy your sugar cravings. I have not tested them, but my husband, who grew up in Sarajevo, recommends them, so I am sure you won't be disappointed!

Baklava Saraybosna

The place may be called after the most popular Bosnian sweet, Baklava, but their real signature dessert is the tufahija! An apple steamed in sugar water and filled with walnuts. The shop also sells hurmašice - small cakes soaked in sugar, which are traditionally eaten with Bajram, or ružica - puff pastry filled with nuts and soaked in syrup.

Those who try it can easily skip dinner.

 

Gajev trg, Sarajevo

Slastičarna Egipat

The vanilla ice-cream here is said to be the best in townas it is prepared with so-called Egyptian vanilla. It is only available from May to October.

The pastry shop is also famous for its desserts based on traditional Bosnian recipes. I haven't eaten there, but the interior alone makes the shop worth a visit:

Communist tiled walls, old pictures on the counter, and a small wooden entrance door.

Ferhadija 29, Sarajevo

Many thanks to Sarajevo Food Dictionary for the great pictures. I did not pay and was not paid to use them.
But I can highly recommend the Sarajevo Food Dictionary if you are looking for restaurants in the city!

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2 comments

Michael December 1, 2019 - 4:52 pm

absolut köstlich

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The digital nomad guide to Sarajevo - Kathi Daniela July 20, 2020 - 10:02 am

[…] Mehr gute Restaurants habe ich hier aufgelistet. […]

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