Must-Try Local Bosnian Food That You Will Love

Finding yourself wondering what culinary delights await your taste buds in Bosnia and Herzegovina? The Bosnian menu so generously offers a rich, mouthwatering range of dishes, reflecting an exciting blend of Turkish and Mediterranean influences that can instantly be recognised in their expertly grilled meats.

Each dish is a symphony, a fusion of spices distinct yet harmonious, light to the palate but never skimping on everlasting fulfilment. This gastronomic experience ignites senses with soupy concoctions brimming with veggies - think succulent tomatoes, crisp bell peppers, hearty potatoes and luscious courgette, all generously doused with rich local dairy such as kajmak and pavlaka.

Delectable yet surprisingly affordable, this is where the real feast lies, my gourmand companion. So, breathe in the aroma, take the fork, and dive into this enticing array of Bosnian cuisine with gusto!

popular food in bosnia
Must-Try Local Bosnian Food That You Will Love

Must-Try Local Bosnian Food That You Will Love


Imagine ambling down a bustling street in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the crossroads of south-eastern Europe. Your nose catches the enticing aroma of a national gastronomic treasure: Ćevapi. These are the mouthwatering, grilled skinless sausages steeped in tradition and cultural pride. Made from lovingly-minced meat, Ćevapi embodies the spirit of Bosnian cuisine with the charming versatility of beef, lamb, and pork. When the simultaneous familiarity and exoticism of Turkish şiş köfte come to mind, think of it as an echo of culinary kinship, a distant cousin from an intertwined food history.

Now, picture yourself sitting at a rustic table, the warm, golden glow of street lamps illuminating a gastronomic masterpiece before you. Each delicately grilled sausage is presented on a bed of fluffy somun, a local flatbread that's as much a part of the experience as the Ćevapi itself. The plate crowning touch is a confetti of roughly chopped onions, a burst of freshness against the deep, savoury flavours of the meat. Then, a lush blanket of kajmak and sour cream gracing the assembly, melding textures, harmonising flavours.

Ćevapi with kajmak
Bosnian Ćevapi with onions and kajmak in a somun

Janjetina na ražnju

Venture further into the hinterlands of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and you'll stumble upon a culinary spectacle that will make your heart dance - Janjetina na ražnju. Translated as "lamb on a spit," Janjetina is an age-old tradition where whole lambs are caressed by flame, twirling gently, their juices kissing the open fire.

Picture the flames lapping at the slowly rotating lambs, smoke wafting upwards into the dusky air, making shadow puppets against the setting sun. And as the hours roll by, the fervour heightens, not only in your anticipation but in the gradually intensifying flavours of the succulent meat.

What awaits you then is the simple elegance of the Bosnian tradition - meat sold by the kilogram. Each weigh-in is a seal of freshness, a testament to the prime quality you're about to taste. The moment your teeth sink into the tender, slow-cooked Janjetina, it's as if time slows down. Each mouthful is a symphony of smoky, melt-in-the-mouth ecstasy, a flavour profile that speaks volumes of the Bosnian food culture.

lamb on a spit
Janjetina na ražnju in Bosnia

Stuffed Vegetables

As you wander through a fragrant market in the vibrant Balkans, you will stumble upon a tempting assortment of stuffed vegetables, a culinary tradition adored across this rich and variegated part of Europe. The fiery glow of the Filana Paprika bell peppers are filled with a delectable stuffing of minced meat. When you bite into the tender Sogan-dolma, onions bursting at the seams with the savoury meaty goodness. There's a whole world of indulgence waiting for you in each bouquet of flavours.

As your taste exploration continues throughout the diverse Balkans, other delights will tantalise your palate: the Sarma, pickled cabbage leaves delicately rolled around a heartening filling of meat and rice. Then you come across the Raštika, a seesaw of flavours where meat and rice are lovingly encased in kale leaves, before the journey culminates in the exquisite Japrak, grape leaves maintaining the age-old tradition of enclosing meat and rice.

Filana Paprika, Japrak, sarma
A combo platter of Filana Paprika, Japrak, and potatoes
stuffed bell pepper
Bell pepper stuffed with seasoned minced meat and rice
Sogan-dolma, or stuffed onions, is considered a specialty in the city of Mostar

Begova Čorba

Begova Čorba, or as it's endearingly known, Bey's soup, is a Bosnian stew infused with time-honoured flavours. The stars of the show, the twirling duo of okra and flour, set this concoction apart from its countryman soups. There's an art form to this magical dish, as it gently simmers away, nurturing its transformation into a tantalising, thick stew. The warm embrace of the soup greets you, accompanied by an invitation to indulge in its velvety depth.

Begova Čorba
Begova Čorba, a traditional Bosnian soup dish


Essentially, these are appetising meatballs, but not just any meatballs. They are a showcase of savoury lamb or beef, boldly seasoned, then bound together with a mix of egg and flour. The result is an opus of rich, hearty flavours, a bite that pays homage to Bosnian culinary heritage. Indulge in the gastronomic ballet as each Ćufte performs a pas de deux with your tastebuds, underscoring the depth of the seasoned meat coupled with the subtle binding flavours of egg and flour.

Lavish in the delightful company of a tantalising egg and yogurt sauce. The sauce plays a symphony of textures and flavours upon your palate, elevating the Ćufte experience to an epicurean delight.

Ćufte bosnian meatballs
Ćufte, or Bosnian meatballs as shown at the top

Klepe sa Mesom

Klepe Sa Mesom is a regional favourite that has earned its rightful title as the crown jewel of Balkan cuisine. With a lineage tracing back to the Ottoman Empire, this notable dish serves as a culinary bridge between the Balkans, Italy, and Turkey, holding a striking resemblance to the familiar Italian Ravioli and the Turkish dumpling - 'mantis'.

Each bite of the Klepe Sa Mesom draws you further into the rich tapestry of Balkan culture. Imagine the juicy, minced meat nestled within a cocoon of soft, tender dough, eloquently echoing the union of cultures and traditions. Savour the exotic medley of spices that add warmth and character to the dish.

Klepe sa Mesom
Klepe sa Mesom in Bosnia

Grilled Meats

While the divinely tempting Ćevapi may initially draw your attention, be prepared to delve deeper into the country's rich landscape of grilled delicacies. Venture further and you'll find the unparalleled magnificence of Pljeskavica, an exquisite union of minced pork, beef, and lamb. Spiced with precision and seasoned to perfection, this mouth-watering meat patty tantalises your senses, capturing the very essence of Bosnian craftsmanship, and inviting you into an unforgettable culinary affair.

As the smoky tendrils of the grill continue to beckon you, your journey extends into the realm of the majestic Sudžukice – a tantalising offering of long beef sausages, handcrafted with an artisan's care and expertise. Warm spices are skilfully woven into a symphony of flavours that leaps from the grill, having an almost hypnotic effect on your taste buds. When you bite into the perfectly seared Sudžukice, you are instantly transported through time, evoking memories of feasts enjoyed by royalty and patrons of the Mediterranean in ages gone by.

Pljeskavica (top) and Sudžukice (bottom) served with warm, crispy bread

Bosanska Kahva

As you nestle into the warm embrace of a centuries-old Bosnian café, a quaint džezva gleaming with promise catches your eye. You're about to explore the ritualistic world of Bosanska Kahva – not just a coffee, but a cultural experience steeped in rich tradition. While its flavours may echo the familiar notes of Turkish coffee, the Bosnian preparation is a subtle art form of its own. With each careful pour from the džezva into a delicate ceramic cup, the coffee tells a story – one of history, of legacy, and of a nation's pride.

On the side, as if a chorus to the kahva's lead melody, awaits a round iron tray. It's an array that speaks of the Bosnian way of life – a glass of water to cleanse your palate, sugar cubes lying in wait to balance the robust bitterness, and a succulent Bosnian candy offering an exquisite sweet contrast to the deep brew.

As you take your first, reverent sip, savour not only the rich, complex taste of the coffee but also the ceremonious way it unites the elements of liquid, sweet, and conversation – a harmonious blend that has the power to turn a simple coffee break into an adventure in itself.

bosnian coffee
Bosanska Kahva is served on an iron tray with a glass of water, sugar cubes and rahat lokum
bosnian coffee
Bosnian coffee


Find solace in a cup of Salep - a rich, frothy elixir, crafted from a unique flour extracted from the tubers of the exquisite Orchis genus. This unique ingredient transforms a seemingly ordinary drink into a nutritive delight, a wholesome indulgence that ties you to the history of the region with every warming sip. As you hold the cup, feel the heat seeping through, promising a flavour steeped in tradition and immensely satisfying to the inquisitive palate.

And then comes the first sip - hot yet soothing, with a silky texture that caresses your taste buds, the magic of Salep unfolds. Rosewater, a siren in itself, perfumes the drink, lending it an enchanting fragrance that sparks memories of Ottoman courtyards lined with blooming roses. The garnish of cinnamon whispers an invitation to warmth, adding a layer of spice-induced comfort to the smoothly frothy Salep.

salep drink
Salep in Bosnia

The list of must-try local Bosnian food is long, but listed above are a few of the best. Highly similar to popular Turkish food and traditional Albanian cuisines, Bosnian dishes are delicious, rich, and will leave you craving for more!

Don't forget to share your travel & dining moments with us on Instagram by tagging @rollinggrace or #RollingGrace. Happy travelling!


  1. I dint know that bosnian foods are that much rich and having so much varieties. All the mentioned dishes look so tempting. Now I really want to try bosnian cuisine.

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