What to eat in Montenegro?
Not only beautiful mountains and the crystal sea - Montenegro also offers a wide range of delicious food. Picturesque landscapes, rich Balkan culture, and tasty traditional dishes. Do you need any more reasons to visit Montenegro? We don’t! Read our food guide and learn what to try when visiting this beautiful country!
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Montenegrin dry-cured ham reminds a bit of Italian prosciutto crudo. Its special taste is a result of the long process which takes around one year. Njeguško polje is an area located in Montenegrin mountains not far away from the sea so a mix of salty aroma and mountain fresh air is one of the reasons why this food is so special. Firstly meat has to be soaked in seawater for around three weeks and then smoked and dried close to the cool mountain stones. Njeguški pršut is a very traditional dish and is still common in almost every household in Montenegro.
Lamb in milk
Lamb meat is very common and liked in the western Balkans including Montenegro. The traditional meal with the lamb simmered in milk is a specialty of the northern region of the country. The meat should be slowly cooked in milk with the addition of vegetables like potatoes and carrots and also the spices: rosemary, garlic, fennel, and parsley. The lamb becomes very soft and tender. The dish is like no other - very delicate but also full of flavors. It’s a must-try for everyone who likes meat.
Grilled sausages with a smoky aroma and delicious taste that reminds a little of Turkish kebab. Cepavi is popular not only in Montenegro but also in other Balkan countries. The sausages are usually made from two types of meat - beef and lamb with the addition of spices. Cepavi is usually served with flatbread, minced onion, and ajvar or cream.
Sarma is a dish usually eaten during the winter months but not only. It’s filling, but not very heavy. The sauerkraut, minced meat, and rice are inside of a cabbage leaf roll. This kind of food is very common in Slavic countries
This dish is named after the region of beautiful Montenegro as well as Njeguški pršut previously mentioned in the article. The grilled steak is made from veal meat and is filled with Montenegrin kajmak cheese, prosciutto, and thyme. This dish gives a lot of pride to Montenegrins and there is nothing strange about it because it’s simply delicious.
This pastry is famous in all Balkans and was actually spread by the Turkish. Crispy phyllo dough filled with different savory stuffing like meat, cottage cheese, vegetables, or spinach. It’s oven baked and the best is eaten still warm. Burek is most often snail shape but sometimes in traditional restaurants is served as a square pie. This pastry is very famous and almost impossible to not see it in bakery shops. Be sure you try it because it’s very Balkan taste!
Small, deep-fried dough bites which however are very simple are delicious snacks similar to little salty doughnuts. It can be served with cheese, smoked ham, vegetables or sweet honey, or jam. Some of the versions of priganice contain herbs inside the dough but the most traditional version doesn’t have any addition. This very easy meal can be eaten as an appetizer, simple snack, or even for breakfast. You should eat some of them because it’s one of the old traditional Montenegrin recipes.
Traditional Balkan dish with a base of potatoes and maze porridge with the addition of kajmak white cheese. Years ago this dish was eaten mainly by farm workers and poor men because of its simplicity and the fact that the kacamak is very filling and gives a lot of energy. Nowadays it’s commonly eaten and served also in restaurants.
The famous red peppers and eggplant condiment is a pride of the Balkans, also Montenegrins. Very popular to use as a dip with bread, meat, or as an addition to salads. Beautiful red color, the sweetness of peppers, and the aroma of the herbs. Ajvar cannot be skipped and everyone who travels to Balkan countries should try it!
As Montenegro has the beautiful Adriatic coast also seafood is a very common food and worth trying. It’s a very popular kind of dish as well in households close to the sea as in restaurants. Calamari, octopus, shrimps, and fishes are served in many different ways. Some of the famous dishes containing seafood are black risotto, white or red buzara - the soup with shrimps or octopus salad. While visiting beautiful cities located by the sea what can be better than finishing the day with delicious fresh seafood?
It is simply a name for different types of cakes. Many restaurants have on their menu Kolaci and information about its ingredients because it may be very different from others Kolaci. But as different as it can be Kolaci is always a Montenegrin dessert made with local products and traditional recipes.
Do you like french crepes? Palacinke is something similar. It’s Balkan and Eastern Europe kind of pancakes. You can find them everywhere - in restaurants and street food markets. Palacinke is very easy to make and that’s why they are so popular there. Usually are served with fruit jam. They are sweet and soft - perfect for a dessert or sugary snack.
Baklava is a very famous Turkish and Greek sweet but not only! Also in Montenegro, you can find traditional Balkan baklava. Crispy layers of phyllo pastry are filled with walnuts and sugar syrup. Who tried baklava before knows how sweet and delicious it is. You can find it everywhere in Montenegro and you should definitely give it a try because it’s one of the most popular desserts there for a reason!
The old Montenegrin cake is difficult to find on restaurant menus because is reserved for family gatherings and other informal occasions. Very simple and very liked by local people. The legend says it has a Spanish influence because the children of Queen Milena after returning from their vacation in Spain wanted to eat something similar to what they tried during summer. They called it sweet bread. The chef at Petrivić’s court prepared something similar and the recipe stayed for years.
It’s not surprising that Montenegro has amazing wines but did you know that the biggest Europe vineyard is there? The grape type vranac comes from Montenegro and is used to produce rich red wine. The tradition of making wines is very long and still cultivated in this country. If you drink alcohol you should definitely try one of the local wines. Best served in Montenegro is with a beautiful view of the sea and the mountains. Purely enjoyable!
Montenegrins say the rakija is an elixir for long life. It is a strong liquor made from different fruit like plums, apricot, pear, cherry, etc. A lot of families produce their local rakija. However, as it’s very popular you can easily find it in restaurants or even buy the whole bottle as a sweet alcohol souvenir.
The most popular beer in Montenegro is definitely Niksicko. It started being brewed in 1896 when the area was Yugoslavia. It’s a light lager beer, very pleasant and famous in all country. If you like trying local beers while traveling Njksicko is the one that you have to try.
We hope the article about food made you even more excited about making the trip to Montenegro. This beautiful country offers breathtaking landscapes and great Balkan food. We suggest you read other food guides that we created - Slovenian food, Turkish food, and many more! Follow us on Instagram @thewalkingparrot to be alerted when new articles are published!