Call +44 (0)207 118 1002

Freephone 0800 177 7460

Wining and dining

Appearances can be deceiving with Montenegrin restaurants, and some of the best places to eat look like nothing from the outside.

A prime example is LM, in the Budva area, with excellent fresh sea fish and traditional side dishes, including garlic-flecked potatoes and blitva (Swiss chard). Another good fish restaurant on the coast is Tri Ribara (Three Fishermen) in Rafailovici, close to the Hotel Splend, Becici, and Budva.
Similarly unpretentious is Giardino, a delightfully informal place adorned with fishing nets, next to St Rok’s church in Donja Lastva, the stone-built village just a short walk from Porto Montenegro, Tivat. Fresh fish is sometimes available and sometimes not, but the brodet (Dalmatian fish stew) is highly recommended, while fried calamari and pizzas are decent.

On other occasions, however, appearances equate with value added. Stari Mlini (Old Mills) in Morinj, near Herceg Novi, is the definitive high-end Montenegrin eatery, catering to the political elite and foreign dignitaries with fresh fish, traditional accompaniments and rustic (but in a fancy way) decor.

In Kotor, in the old town, Cesarica is quaintly elegant and reliably delicious.
Inland cuisine is heavier, good for a hard day’s work on a windswept hillside. Kosmat, named for a nearby Austro-Hungarian fortress, serves authentic cuisine complete with homemade cheese and yoghurt, in Brajici, near Budva. But the place to go for gracamak – a filling concoction of flour, potatoes, corn, cheese and kajmak (a creamy Balkan dairy product) – is Savardak (meaning a herder’s shed in the mountains), in Kolasin.

Badanj, in Virpazar on Lake Skadar, naturally, specialises in fresh-water catches such as carp and eel. While rakija (brandy from plums or other fruits) is common as an aperitif, a traditional meal would be incomplete without wine.

Montenegro produces respectable reds and whites at reasonable prices, including Vranac, a common Balkan dry red. The Plantaze vineyards dominate the market, but smaller labels are rapidly coming into their own.