Unique Flavors of Montenegro: 10 Traditional Foods and Drinks You Must Try

Montenegro, the jewel of the Adriatic, is renowned not only for its natural beauty and rich history but also for one of the most captivating experiences it offers: its cuisine. Montenegrin gastronomy is a mosaic of flavors shaped by a confluence of diverse cultural influences. From the salty breezes of the Mediterranean to the dense forests of the Balkans, from high mountain peaks to fertile plains, every corner offers unique ingredients and cooking techniques. This means a diversity and richness for visitors eager to explore Montenegro’s culinary heritage.

Traditional Montenegrin dishes reflect the lifestyle and history of its people. Here, dining is more than just a necessity; it is an event where communities come together, sharing hospitality and friendship. Sitting at the table, one can hear stories of herbs grown in the Montenegrin mountains, seafood nurtured by the salty waters of the Adriatic Sea, and vegetables cultivated in its fertile lands.

In this article, we embark on a journey through the palate of Montenegro, discovering the best traditional foods and drinks this small yet impressive country has to offer. From Njeguški pršut to rakija, the flavors of Montenegrin cuisine will satisfy not just your stomach, but your soul as well.

  1. Njeguški pršut: Similar to Italian prosciutto, this dry-cured ham comes from the Njeguši region. Its unique flavor is a result of the combination of sea air and mountain breezes in its curing process.
  2. Ćevapi: A Balkan staple, these small, grilled minced meat sausages are made from a mix of beef and pork. They are often served with flatbread (somun), chopped onions, and a red pepper-based condiment called ajvar.
  3. Burek: This flaky pastry filled with cheese, meat, or spinach is often eaten for breakfast or as a snack. Burek is a delicious and filling option that can be found in bakeries and cafes across Montenegro.
  4. Crnogorska pogača: A traditional Montenegrin bread often served at the beginning of a meal. This dense, white bread pairs perfectly with local cheeses and Njeguški pršut.
  5. Raštan: A somewhat bitter, leafy green vegetable similar to collard greens, often stewed with smoked meat and served as a hearty side dish. It is a traditional dish in Montenegrin cuisine, reflecting the country’s agricultural heritage.
  6. Pljeskavica: Another popular Balkan dish, pljeskavica is a patty made from a mixture of ground meats, served in a bun like a hamburger, often with various toppings such as ajvar, onions, and cheese.
  7. Sarma: Cabbage rolls filled with minced meat and rice, cooked with smoked meat for added flavor. Sarma is a comforting dish often enjoyed in the colder months.
  8. Riblja čorba: A rich and flavorful fish soup made with freshwater fish from Montenegro’s rivers and lakes. It is seasoned with local herbs and spices, making it a warming and satisfying dish.
  9. Montenegrin wine: Montenegro has a growing wine industry, with Vranac being the most prominent red wine variety. It’s robust and full-bodied, with dark berry flavors. Krstač is a popular white wine variety, known for its crisp and refreshing taste.
  10. Rakija: No visit to Montenegro (or the Balkans) would be complete without trying rakija, a strong fruit brandy. Plum (šljivovica) and grape (lozovača) are common flavors, but many homemade varieties are also available.

If you don’t know where to eat in Montenegro, you can visit our Montenegro Restaurants page.


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