Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Sun August 21 2016

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  • Worldwide Scott | August 21, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    Belgrade’s Secret Burger Joints

    Belgrade’s Secret Burger Joints

    Photo by Worldwide Scott

    I find myself battling a hungry crowd at a humble butcher’s shop in the heart of Belgrade, Serbia. The scene is a tad chaotic as the throng beside me barks out orders in Serbian for steaks, chops, bacon and dozens of other raw cuts I’ve never seen before in my life.

    I stay composed though, and prepare for my turn, repeating in my head my soon-to-be-said order. Then, the eyes of the butcher made contact with mine, and it’s time to shine:

    “Two burgers with fries, please.”

    While I wouldn’t call myself a “foodie,” I won’t deny for a second that food is the sole reason why I have gone to some of the spots that I have. In fact, I will typically show up somewhere with a list of specialties they are famous for and a collection of kitchens who are firing out fine versions of said dishes.

    Belgrade was not one of those places.

    It was a completely blank menu page to me, but I ended up leaving town obsessed with the Serbian capital's bevy of deliciously secret burgers joints.

    READ MORE: A Bevy of Reasons Why Belgrade is a Must See

    Now, when I say ‘secret’, I’m not necessarily talking speakeasy-style venues where you have to whisper a secret word to “Big Vladi” at the front door to gain entry. While those places may very well exist, I am talking about burger joints hiding in plain sight on the street under unassuming and sometimes slightly unappetizing signs that just simply say “fast food” or like my friends above, operate inside butcher’s shops.

    They’re there, and you may not like they way they look from the outside, but trust me, you’re going to want to go inside and give them a try.

    The official name of these burgers is Pljeskavica, and they are a Serbian street food pastime. A patty of beef, pork and sometimes lamb, grilled to sizzling perfection, placed inside an airy bun called a lepinja (think pita with slightly more bread than air), then slathered with sauces and toppings like cabbage, peppers, sour cream, and creamy garlic.

    Once I started paying attention, these little burger joints were everywhere, and here are a few of the best to try, bearing in mind that any butcher you walk by on the street is also likely to whip up a mean burger as well.

    READ MORE: Why Are US Legacy Carriers So Worried About Air Serbia's New York Flight?

    Loki - Gospodar Jovanova 27  

    The most famous of the “hidden” burger joints in Belgrade, Loki does a roaring business — especially late at night as they are open 24 hours. The nondescript red sign hides the magic happening on its grills, as every night, hungry crowds gather on the sidewalks and stuff their buns with a dizzying array of sauces.

    Mikan - Marsala Birjuzova 14

    A revered traditional Serbian sit-down restaurant in the center of the city, on the outside there is an unassuming kiosk selling “fast food.” This is the one you want, as it will give you the full flavor and ambiance of the Serbian street burger scene.

    Prava Pljeskavica - Corner of Takovska and Cvijieve in Central Belgrade  

    From an unassuming yellow stand, the veteran grillmaster of Prava Pljeskavica has been setting the city’s taste buds on fire for years. He personally seasons every burger with onions before it hits the grill and has become legendary in the process. 

More Belgrade


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Worldwide Scott The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

Worldwide Scott Born in the U.S.A like Springsteen but trying to see the world like Pitbull, Worldwide Scott is the voice behind the hard-hitting travel site of the same name. Employing a groundbreaking strategy of visiting destinations, coming home, and then writing things about them on the internet, Worldwide Scott only tackles the tough questions that other writers wouldn't dare touch: Is travelling fun? Are there pretty places in the world? Do people in other countries wear clothes? Does Europe really exist? And if so, what's the beer like there? Stick around, he's going places.
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