Centuries of Ottoman rule have left Turkish fingerprints on the nation’s cuisine. You’ll find čevapčići joints everywhere, selling grilled meat rissoles that are usually served up with somun (spongy bread) and chopped onion. Similarly hard to avoid are stands selling burek, greasy pastries filled with meat, spinach, cheese and sometimes pumpkin or potato; Sarajevo is often rated as the best burek city in the Balkans. Soups (čorba) and vegetables pop up all over the place on the country’s menus, though more often than not the latter are stuffed with mincemeat; vegetarians will often have to satisfy themselves with salads, or certain selections from the ubiquitous pizzerias. Sweeties also have a Turkish ring to them, with syrupy baklava pastries available everywhere; added to this is an artery-clogging range of creamy desserts, most notable of which is tufahije, a marinaded apple topped with walnut and cream.
The consumption of coffee (kafa) has been elevated to something approaching an art form (see Bosnian coffee). For alcohol, there are a few good domestic beers (pivo), and Herzegovina produces a lot of wine – try Blatina, a local variety of red. There’s also rakia, a potent spirit as popular by night as coffee is by day. Locals are also fond of telling guests that Bosnian tap water is safe to drink – evidently a major source of pride.