Eating and drinking in Montenegro

Montenegro’s restaurant scene is a little disappointing. In tourist areas, traditional meals have largely been pushed out by pizza and pasta, and prices have risen beyond those of neighbouring countries. Traditional restaurants are known as konoba, and can help those willing and able to escape said Italian staples. Menu items to look out for include grilled kebabs (čevapčići), cabbage leaves stuffed with mincemeat (sarma), bean soup with flecks of meat (pasulj), goulash (gulaš), and the artery-clogging karađorđe vasnicla, a breaded veal cutlet roll stuffed with cheese. Vegetarians can take refuge in the hearty salads available almost everywhere. Also ubiquitous are the Turkish snack staples of burek, pastry filled with meat, cheese, spinach and occasionally mushroom, and syrupy baklava sweets.

Coffee (kafa) is consumed with almost religious fervour, usually served Turkish-style with unfiltered grounds, but also available espresso-style. Strong-as-hell rakija remains the alcoholic drink of choice – you’ll be offered it constantly if visiting someone’s home – but travellers usually subsist on some fine local beers, most notably Nikšićko, which also comes in an excellent dark variety (tamno). There are good wines too, with Vranac an interesting local grape variety – the Plantaže label has it in their roster, and is both cheap and easy to find.

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