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Food Vocabulary In Serbian

Food and drink is a reoccurring talking point, and not only while eating out on vacation. So, let’s learn the most common words and phrases to describe food vocabulary in Serbian another related vocabulary for this topic.

About Serbian Traditional Cuisine

Serbian cuisine is the cuisine of the Balkan state of Serbia, which shares the characteristics of other Balkan countries. Although turbulent historical events have also affected the nutrition of the people, each region has its own specifics and differences. Food preparation is an integral part of Serbian tradition and culture. In Serbia, it is common to eat 3 times a day “doručak, ručak i večera” (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), noting that the most important and most often the most extensive meal – lunch.

Diet is equated with the intake of nutrients (consuming food and drinks), but in a broader sense, it is the enjoyment of the table. This very complex process creates what is called “national cuisine”, which consists of the choice of food, their cultivation, preparation of meals, the environment in which food is served, as well as the way it is served. 



Food preparation is a special part of Serbian tradition and culture. In Serbian villages, the name for the kitchen was “house”, and the central part was the fireplace, which was an important, cult place, next to which everyday life took place and the whole family gathered. They sat on wooden benches, stools, and chairs, with dishes that were wooden and earthen, and in richer houses, they were also made of copper. The bread was made from wheat or cornflour.

Serbian traditional cuisine contains a diversity of tastes and smells. They owe it to the mixture of influences from various nations who were just passing through or were living in this region. As is the case with the culture in general, this fusion of different influences resulted in originality, so that today a rich Serbian table offers unforgettable tastes that can only be enjoyed in Serbia.

Serbian cuisine is well known for its high diversity, offering solid and spicy food that can be roughly described as a mixture of Greek, Turkish and Hungarian cuisine. The use of meat, dough, vegetables, and dairy products is predominant in it.

Basic Words And Phrases

Serbian Word (Cyrillic and Latin) Pronunciation English Translation
јести – jestiпојести pojesti yes-teepo-yes-tee (to) eat
храна – hrana hraa-na food
пити – piti pee-tee (to) drink
пиће – piće pee-tse drink [Sg]
пића – pića pee-tsa drinks [Pl]
гладан – gladan gla-daan hungry
глад – glad gl-aad hunger
жедан – žedan z-ee-daan thirsty
жеђ – žeđ z-ee-dy thirst
кувати – kuvati coo-vaa-tee (to) cook
пробати – probati pro-baa-tee (to) taste
укусно – ukusno oo-koo-snoo tasty
Пријатно! – Prijatno! Pr-ee-yat-no Enjoy your meal!
Наздравље! – Nazdravlje! Na-zdr-aav-leh Cheers! / To your health!
доручак – doručak do-roo-chak breakfast
ручак – ručak roo-chak lunch
вечера – večera ve-ch-er-ah dinner
ресторан – restoran re-sto-rahn restaurant [Sg]
ресторани – restorani re-sto-rah-ny restaurants [Pl]
бар – bar bar bar [Sg]
барови – barovi bar-ovy bars [Pl]
кафић – kafić kaa-fee-ts café [Sg]
кафићи – kafići kaa-fee-tsy cafés [Pl]

Basic Food And Spices

Serbian Word (Cyrillic and Latin) Pronunciation English Translation
хлеб – hleb hleb bread [Sg]
хлебови – hlebovi hle-bowee breads [Pl]
плетеница – pletenica ple-te-nee-cah roll [Sg]
плетенице – pletenice ple-te-nee-ce rolls [Pl]
путер – puter poo-ter butter
сир – sir seer cheese
мед – med med honey
џем – džem jam jam [Sg]
џемови – džemovi jam-ovee jams [Pl]
јаје – jaje ya-yeah egg [Sg]
јаја – jaja ya-ya eggs [Pl]
пиринач – pirinač pee-ree-nach rice
јогурт – jogurt yo-goo-rt yoghurt [Sg]
јогурти – jogurti yo-goo-rt-ee yoghurts [Pl]
шећер – šećer sh-ets-er sugar
со – so so salt
бибер – biber bee-ber pepper
зачин – začin zaa-ch-een spice [Sg]
зачини – začini zaa-ch-ee-nee spices [Pl]
уље – ulje oo-lye oil

Food Vocabulary In Serbian: Cutlery

Serbian Word (Cyrillic and Latin) Pronunciation English Translation
есцајг – escajg es-tsaa-jg cutlery
виљушка – viljuška wee-lioo-sh-kah fork
кашика – kašika ca-shee-ca spoon
кашикица – kašikica ca-shee-cee-tsa tee spoon
нож – nož no-zh knife
тањир – tanjir ta-neer plate
чаша – čaša ch-aa-sh-ah glass
шољица – šoljica sh-oli-tsa cup
шоља – šolja sh-oli-ah mug

Food Vocabulary In Serbian: Dishes

Serbian Word (Cyrilliy and Latin) Pronunciation English Translation
супа – supa soop soup [Sg]
супе – supe soope soups [Pl]
салата – salata saa-laa-taa salad [Sg]
салате – salate saa-laa-te salads [Pl]
помфрит – pomfrit pom-freet french fries 
чипс – čips ch-ee-ps chips
бурек – burek   boo-rec Between the layers of dough can be found cheese, minced meat and greens, or it can be baked without any stuffing at all
гибаница – gibanica gee-ba-nee-ts-ah a cheese pie
печено месо – pečeno meso peche-no-meso grilled meat
Карађорђева шницла – Karađorđeva šnicla Caa-ra-dyor-dye-vaah  sh-nee-ts-la           Karađorđeva steak
гулаш – gulaš goo-lash goulash
сармаsarma sar-mah cabbage rolls,
ђувеч – đuveč dy-oo-ve-ch a type of a stew
мусака – musaka moo-sa-kah moussaka
мућкалица – mućkalica moo-ts-ca-lee-tsa a mixture of different types of meat and vegetables in the form of a stew
чварци – čvarci ch-vaa-rts-ee similar to pork rinds
кајмак – kajmak caa-ymaac milk cream
пршута – pršuta pr-sh-oo-tah dry-cured ham, similar to Prosciutto

Food Vocabulary In Serbian: Drinks

Serbian Word (Cyrillic and Latin) Pronunciation English Translation
вода – voda wo-dah water
минерална вода – mineralna voda mee-neral-nah  wo-dah mineral water
газирана вода – gazirana voda gaa-zee-raa-nah wo-dah sparkling water
дестилована вода – destilovana voda wo-dah still water
сок – sok sok juice [Sg]
сокови – sokovi sok-ovi juices [Pl]
пивo – pivo pee-voh beer
вино – vino wee-noh wine
шампањац – šampanjac sham-pani-aa-ts champagne
коктел – koktel coc-tel cocktail
млеко – mleko mle-co milk
какао – kakao ca-cao cocoa
кафа – kafa caa-fah coffee
чај – čaj ch-ay tea

Food Vocabulary In Serbian: Flavours

Serbian Word (Cyrillic and Latin) Pronunciation English Translation
слатко – slatko sl-aat-coh sweet
кисело – kiselo cee-se-loh sour
љуто – ljuto ly-oo-toh spicy
слано – slano sl-aa-noh salty
горко – gorko gohr-coh bitter
umami – умами um-aa-mee savoriness

Final Thoughts 

For many of the Serbian national cuisine specialties, there isn’t a right word in the foreign language dictionaries. What’s more important, there isn’t a taste they can be compared to. Trust me, it is best that you come and taste them yourself. But, before that, you can find stories about Serbian dishes you want to taste on many web pages, as well as the recipes for them, because who knows, you might wish to prepare them yourselves somewhere, miles away from Serbia!

I hope I helped you learn food vocabulary in Serbian. If you want to find out how to say cheers, the most common words and phrases for traveling or how to introduce yourself in Serbian, you should try using Ling App and learn this beautiful language in an easy and fun way.

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