…Fast food, Bosnian style…
Ćevapi is a popular grilled dish made of minced meat, usually beef or a mixture of beef and lamb, shaped into sausage-like portions. The meat is seasoned with various spices, such as paprika, garlic, and onion, and then grilled until crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. It is traditionally served with somun, a type of Bosnian bread, and usually accompanied by chopped onions, kajmak (a type of clotted cream), and ajvar (a roasted red pepper spread). Ćevapi is a beloved food in Bosnia and Herzegovina and can be found in many restaurants and street food stands.
The eternal dilemma with cevapi is where to find the best ones in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Some argue that the finest can be savored in Banja Luka, while others claim Travnik, Sarajevo or Tuzla as the ultimate destinations. Each region has its own slight variation in the recipe and preparation method, adding to the debate and excitement surrounding these delicious minced meat sausages.
Banjalučki ćevap is prepared in the form of flat patties, served in a lepinja bread, and made from beef and lamb.
Sarajevski ćevapi are crafted as individual cylindrical shapes, served in somun bread, and made from beef.
Travnički ćevapi are shaped as individual cylinders, served in pita bread, and made from veal, beef, lamb, and mutton.
Tuzlanski ćevapi are also shaped as individual cylinders, served in lepinja bread, and made from beef, veal, and lamb.
Whether you prefer the a meat tile typically consisting of four ćevapi connected in a row in Banja Luka, the seasoned perfection of Travnik, or the smoky flavor of Sarajevo, exploring the cevapi scene in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a culinary adventure worth embarking on.
Ćevapi are traditionally eaten with hands, often served without cutlery and only with a toothpick. In Ćevabdžinicas (ćevapi restaurants), it is common to have water available for customers to wash their hands before the meal.
There are many places in Bosnia and Herzegovina that are famous for their ćevapi. Here are some of the most popular places to try:
Keep in mind that there are many other great places to try ćevapi throughout the country, and it’s worth asking locals for their recommendations as well!