Restaurent and Bar Awards 2024

30 | LUXlife Magazine Best Traditional Serbian Restaurant 2024 National Restaurant Bela Reka is situated in the Serbian capital of Belgrade, with this establishment serving as a second home to not only its staff, but also the array of international travellers coming through its doors on a daily basis. A restaurant where great food meets equally great people, Bela Reka is the ideal place to relax, sample exceptional cuisine, and enjoy some of the best wines and rakias (fruit spirits) that this underrated gem of a country has to offer. Brimming with vibrant colours and the aromas of familiar favourites, the intimacy and warmth of this atmosphere is sure to strike patrons the minute they enter and stay with them until the moment they leave. With recipes torn from the pages of old Serbian cookbooks, the delectable food at National Restaurant Bela Reka is as authentic as it is tasty. From its fresh stone-baked bread through to its traditionally prepared charcoalgrilled, spit-, or clay-post-roasted meats and homemade cakes and pastries, every dish served in this award-winning restaurant is done so to elevate one’s dining experience, with dozens of local wines and craft beers available to wash them down in the right way. Thus, whether one craves a traditional breakfast, healthy salad, hearty soup, or tasty dessert, there is something for everyone at this home away from home. Of course, all great homes need a gracious host, and this is most certainly the case with Bela Reka, which boasts a hosting team who will go out of their way to welcome a guest, attend to their every need, entertain them well, and then send them off with a full stomach and a big smile on their face. Utilising a spacious yet cosy dining area, the serving team provide guests with a terrific menu that contains all of the best authentic and natural flavours of Serbia, topped off with unfaltering service and unique entertainment that sees the team not only set the bar for excellence, but then proceed to jump right over it. Using a meticulous blend of local recipes and ingredients and a series of traditional and modern cooking techniques, Bela Reka’s dishes serve as the embodiment of freshness, with both its goat’s and cow’s cheeses coming directly from its farmland in the nearby Homolje Mountains. More than just this, the vast majority of the meat served in the restaurant also comes from the company farm, and with as much of this cattle as possible being bought from locals in the area, this process is made as sustainable and renewable as can be. As General Manager Vojo Vuksanovic explains, “we believe that sustainability is the future of the hospitality industry.” Bela Reka has been open for more than six years now, the last three of which it has been featured in the Michelin Guide on the back of its exemplary cuisine. Throughout its tenure so far, this restaurant has proven adept in tweaking its offerings to manage industry trends, something that is particularly prominent regarding the way it interacts with diners, with recent years seeing it unveil an online booking system and improve its engagement with patrons through social channels. Despite leveraging such technologies to streamline its offerings and the customer experience, the basic business model has remained unchanged since day one, with a guest-centric service still being of the uppermost priority. To help it in achieving this ultimate aim, National Restaurant Bela Reka is comprised of a team of professionals distinguished in their craft, with knowledge, experience, creativity, and hard work being the common threads that link this team together. In order to ensure that its employees can constantly reach the incredibly high standards the business sets for itself, constant and ongoing training is a must, and with most of its employees having been with the restaurant since the beginning, Bela Reka has formed a fantastic working environment and assembled a team of consummate experts who are knowledgeable, skilled, and willing to give their all in the endless pursuit of perfection. After a challenging few years with the pandemic and all of the fallout that has followed, this team are immensely proud that of the 250 seats that line the restaurant, usually around 3040% are filled by people from other countries, cementing the international feel of this national restaurant. Such sustained success has meant that this team have a number of exciting developments lined up over the next couple of years, and although these are under wraps for now, the future of National Restaurant Bela Reka is set to be incredibly exciting. Contact: Vojo Vuksanovic Company: National Restaurant Bela Reka Web Address: