The web is heaving with restaurant recommendations for Belgrade, Serbia's capital, and rightly so – the food is beyond fabulous, with wonderfully good value fine dining and slow cooking on every street. It’s much harder, though, to get any immediate sense of which establishments might welcome children and cater for them effectively. Our four year old complicates matters further by being a very fussy eater.
We took it upon ourselves to identify five great Belgrade restaurants for kids, with the bonus thrown in of exploring several interesting different neighbourhoods in the name of “research”.
Our first stop was Guli
. We’d been informed by several sources that Guli does some of the best pizza in Belgrade and our experience there makes it hard to disagree. If you’re on the “Tom Ford pizza diet” like me (he quoted, brilliantly, when asked what his favourite food was “Pizza. But I haven’t eaten one for years”) there’s also a range of grilled meats and delicious Serbian specialities. It’s on Skadarlija, which is a beautiful, historic cobbled thoroughfare with live music in the evenings and plenty going on.
There is an awful lot of buzz around W Sushi
right now, which has two branches in Belgrade. The sushi is superb, freshly prepared, at times perhaps too meticulously as our tortuously long wait on the second occasion suggested. However, W Sushi pulled back major points for preparing “chicken tempura”, essentially their take on chicken nuggets for the four year old, creatively, off menu and from scratch. The old town branch on Vuka Karadzica has a very pleasant outdoor seating area, just off Knez Mihajlova, Belgrade’s major pedestrianized shopping street.
The lively area near the docks and cruise ship port, Karadjordjeva, plays host to the next entrant on the list, Comunale
. The informal seating arrangement on long trestle tables across two stories is well-suited to squirming small people, and the chilled out and charming waiting staff have no issue with children wandering about the place to explore it either.
The vista out to the Danube waterfront is hard to beat for distraction, and kids can count the boats going by or watch out for water fowl.
Perhaps it’s the relative proximity to Italy which makes the staggering amount of good pizza restaurants such a given in Belgrade, but there is another one tucked away on Mileshevska Street that has to go on this list too, La Piazza. Their divine Nutella pizza comes in six little pizza pockets dusted with icing sugar, and the children faced quite a tussle with me over these irresistible morsels. The outdoor seating is next to a rather busy road, but there’s space indoors too, and outside the people-watching and friendly waitering compensates for the traffic.
Ok, so maybe the last entry on the list, the formidable Kalemegdan Terrace
is more for adult enjoyment and older kids who can behave themselves. Its slow-cooked peppers are exceptional, along with many other immaculately prepared local specialities and a great wine list. It’s right in the ancient fortress walls. What it has in addition for kids is the perfect café above it with sweeping views out across the Serbian woods and countryside, and a range of imaginative and calorific shakes and smoothies to keep kids happily hyperactive. The further benefit of a location near the zoo and the lovely park surrounding the fortress makes it the perfect place to over-indulge and then walk it off.