Banja Luka

A guide to Food in Banja Luka

more than a year ago
Probably the most popular dish throughout the country is Cevapi. They are small grilled rolls of minced beef, lamb or mixed meat served inside a pita bread called somun. Chopped onions are served on the side, and cheese is optional.  A Cevapdzinica is an upscale fast food restaurant, which serves all varieties of cevapi.

In second place, Burek is another popular semi fast food meal. Burek is a common term to refer to a pie with a minced meat filling always eaten with a yogurt.  Other variations include a pie with cheese called a sirnica (a bit sour), with spinach called a zeljanica and with potato called a krompirusa (a bit salty).  These pies are usually sold in pekara or bakery or in a burekdzinica.

Breakfasts in Banja Luka are similar to Western variations.  Usually on offer are scrambled eggs and bread with a spread like jam, butter, and honey. Drink a strong, traditional coffee with a dash of sugar.  A soft white cheese called kajmak comes straight from the farms in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s countryside and tastes wonderful on a slice of bread.  Also prsut, an air-dried ham similar to Italian prosciutto is another breakfast treat.

Lunch is the main meal of the day and you’ll be thrilled as to what you will discover on offer.  Traditional food includes a fascinating array of soups (corba) such as the Begova corba cooked with a variety of vegetables and meat.  Most stews are slowly cooked over an open fire such as the meaty Bosanski lonac. A  great pick for a starter are the pickled cabbage leaves or onions stuffed with a rice and meat filling (sarma and dolma) or the stuffed bell peppers with minced meat (filovane paprike), not to mention the variety of cheeses on offer, the best three being Travnicki (a feta-like cheese), Vlasicki (a highland cheese with a salty taste) and Livanjski (a dry yellow cheese).  The finest choice for a mouth-watering main meal would be roasted lamb or pork on a spit (jagnetina and svinjetina) accompanied with side dishes of various sorts, such as pickled cabbage, tomato and onion salad, a creamy yoghurt called pavlaka or ajvar (a relish made of bell peppers, garlic, eggplant and chilli pepper).

The fun continues to a range of fascinating desserts often a range of fruit, pancakes, cakes and pastries.  Some to try is a flaky pastry called baklava, which is filled with nuts and drenched in sugar syrup or honey and a rice pudding called Sutlijas.

Viticulture thrives in the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina and you must get your tongue tasting on these few wines:  Stankela, Blatina, Gangas Blatina and Zilavka.   Locally-produced brandies or rakija spoil any connoisseur for choice. Take your pick from a variety of fruit flavours like plum (sljivovica) and pear (kruske).  A local beer to sample in Banja luka is Nektar, and while in Sarajevo try the Sarajevsko beer.

Check here for our complete food dictionary.

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