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September 25, 2016 Dining out

Lovac: Hunting for the taste of old Yugoslavia

Fancy a trip down memory lane? This venerable eatery does not disappoint with its evocative repertoire of game dishes and creamy pies.

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The service is typical for a renowned kafana around here - good, fast and reliable, but very old school. Photo: Facebook/Restoran Lovac Beograd

Duda&Vlada

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Our spring and early summer reviews were dedicated to new arrivals on the Belgrade restaurant scene. Most of these left us “almost satisfied”, but literally all of them went on indoors due to the rain. So, after the summer break, we were eager to make up for what we had missed. Chasing our “happy garden meal”, we went for a safe bet, which is how we ended up in the garden of Lovac, one of the best-known traditional restaurants around town, in the heart of the Vračar district.

Lovac [“Hunter” in Serbian], has occupied a prominent location on the corner of Njegoševa and Alekse Nenadovića, near the Slavija circle, for more than 50 years. It dates from the times when most kafanas were publicly owned and similar in style, as well as in what they offered on their menus. Since it opened in 1963, Lovac has stood out from the rest of the scene because of its game dishes, its beautiful garden in the heart of the urban surroundings and its bohemian atmosphere – it was famous as a gathering spot for Belgrade’s artists.

Not only we have visited it on countless occasions, it has even played a role in our family history. Back in his days, Duda’s grandfather was a regular here and this is where, in the 1970s, her parents’ wedding lunch took place. Of course, Lovac is privately owned now and has been thoroughly renovated since its glory days in the times of former Yugoslavia. However, it has kept a lot of elements of the original kafana look. The additional decoration evokes a hunter’s cabin – wooden beams cover the ceiling while the walls showcase hunting weapons and trophy antlers. The garden is furnished in a more modern, neutral manner.

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