In the smells and aromas of the Montenegrin cuisine first and most of all you will enjoy in Cetinje. In almost every tourist compound you will be offered a domestic wheat or corn bread, just taken out from the oven, whose smell and freshness will attract you so much that you will have to try out that very simple and so tasty specialty. Domestic bread is especially tasteful when it is just taken out from the stony oven, in which it is baked, and it is called “sac” (iron pan for baking bread). If you stroll down the Cetinje’s market, especially on Friday when it’s a market day, on the majority of the stands you will be able to try out, free of charge, various dried half fat and fat cheeses, but also cheese from oil which is counted for the best specialty. You shouldn’t be too surprised that the sales people will offer you to try out the characteristic cheese from Njegusi, which irresistibly attracts you with its pale yellow color, regular round shape, as well as with its moderate toughness, but even more with its natural smell and taste.
If you are a guest of Cetinje for the first time, we recommend to you to try out all of these products, because that is the best way to decide to by them immediately. Also, don’t miss a chance to try our the well dried smoked ham from Njegusi, which got its name by the village Njegusi, 10 km away from Cetinje. With its reddish look, thinly sliced vertical pieces of the well dried salty pork meat, it will immediately provoke a real thirst in you, which is best satisfied with the red Montenegrin wine, which you can also find in many retail trade shops and markets, but it is best to try them out in restaurants in Cetinje.
Indeed, a true enjoyment in the Montenegrin cuisine under Lovcen, will be offered to you by hotel keepers and restaurant managers, who will truly try to welcome you as hospitable as possible, offering you from the entrance honey and fritter (a round sweet cookie).
In the center of Cetinje there is only one famous hotel “Grand” which offers to its guests exquisite food and even better service, and by visiting that compound you will make a best choice for the enjoyment in meals and specialties of the Cetinje cuisine. Beside the smoked ham, cheese and various kinds of meat, and specialties made of meat: cooked, roasted, stewed, or barbecue meals, hotel keepers of the hotel “Grand” will offer you a freshly prepared lake, river or sea fish, but also all the typically Montenegrin specialties that are often eaten in the north parts of Montenegro. Such meals are: polenta, dish made out of flower, eggs, butter, and cheese, or unusual cooked meal that is typical only areas around Cetinje the so – called “green cabbage with kneepad”.
Namely, “rastan” (green cabbage) is one kind of vegetables (cabbage) of dark green color that is raised in Montenegro, right in the areas around Cetinje. When this meal is being prepared, it is important to follow the receipt to the end and in it, it is said that “rastan’ should be first well washed under the stream of running water. Than the stalks, that are at the bottom of the leaf should be removed. After that “rastan” should be shaken up a little bit and torn with hand into smaller pieces. While you prepare that, on the stove you should put in larger pot water, which needs to get boiling. Then you put “rastan” in the water to boil it a little bit. At the same time in another dish, you should put a dried pork kneepad, to boil. You can add pieces of dried bacon or a piece of dried pork had (in the case that the pork kneepad is too dry, you have to put it in water the previous night to remain in it over the night). When all of that is well boiled, together with “rastan”, all of that needs to be put together in a larger pot, in order to be boiled further together. When the meal is half cooked, you should put several halves of potato in “rastan”. As the meat, with which “rastan” is boiling, is pretty dry, and because of that it is salty, the meal should be tasted from time to time, or if it is not salty enough to add some salt in it.
If the “rastan” is being prepared in a traditional way, in the village or in the country households, than the meal is being boiled in a kettle (boiler) (a copper dish), that is put above the hearthstone with fire, where it is boiled. Whenever it is being prepared it should be paid attention not to over boil it. When the meal is over “rastan” is being put in plates and it is being eaten as a nice boiled meal, while the meat that we cooked with it is separated on a plate or put in a separate dish. Meat prepared in such a way is served with “rastan”, or it is being served to guests to try it out separately. Not only “rastan”, but all other Montenegrin meals, for whose preparation you use groceries that have inside themselves fats and calories, are often eaten during the winter period of the year, though when ordered, thiese meals are gladly prepared in other periods of the year. If the guests order in time, they can try out those meals in all bigger restaurants in or close to Cetinje. For those tourists or visitors of Cetinje, for whom a justified reason for the restricted import of fats in their organism doesn’t exist, at disposal they have numerous pizzerias, taverns, restaurants in which they will be able to find something that is at their taste and desire.
So, the story about cooking specialties of Cetinje continues. As in other towns of Montenegro, in Cetinje also exists a great number of cafes, among which café – bars excel, where you can feel nice, drinking cocktails or other refreshing drinks and spending the day resting in nice shade, while the sun beams that fall through oak or linden branches, are easily stirred with the pleasant breeze. That is why in Cetinje you should visit tavern – pizzeria “Hogar Strasni” (Hogar the Mighty), which is situated only 100 meters from the castle Petrovic. Beside the national meals of the Mediterranean cuisine, in the pleasant ambience of the center of Cetinje, if you got tired of trying out of Montenegrin traditional specialties, during the day or for dinner you can order a pizza prepared by the Italian receipts, a piroski or some other salty and not to caloric meal. In Njegos’s street in Cetinje there is also a café – bar “Korzo”, with a terrace in the open air, from which you can always hear the sounds of an interesting music. Well known by nice and pleasant atmosphere, restaurant “Korzo” offers you refreshing drinks, all kinds of coffees, hard liquor, Montenegrin and foreign wines but also terrific Italian pastas with over 30 different sauces which you simply have to try. If you come by in “Korzo” in the morning you can order an easy or quick breakfast, also you can enjoy in a business lunch or dinner, and all of that for very favorable prices.
Well known for their very good and tastefully prepared Montenegrin specialties are also restaurants “Belveder” (on the way out from Podgorica towards Cetinje) and restaurant “Konak” (4 kilometers away from Cetinje, on way to Budva). Restaurant “Belveder” has a big open air restaurant with a stunning view at River Crnojevic and Skadar Lake. That object is considered to be a place extraordinarily traditional and hospital for the tourists. With two beautiful parking lots that are situated in the pine forest, there is also a spacious terrace of the restaurant. The harmony of the pines and stone, with a suitable dinner, as for e.g. it is “njegusi steak” for two, along with red wine and pleasant ballads, are a recommendation, that directs you in the restaurant “Belveder”. Also, if you are a fish fan, in the same restaurant you can order fresh – almost always lake fish (carp, bleak, and trout).
Very nicely and for favorable prices you can also dine or have lunch in restaurant “Konak”. Except the Montenegrin national and traditional cuisine, in that restaurant they prepare vegetarian meals or ordered meals. Also, they organize business lunches, dinners, weddings and birthdays. The suitability for tourists and visitors is a 24 hour a day working time of this object.
Surely other meals will sound great, especially Mediterranean ones, which can be tasted in Cetinje restaurants. Nice smell and even nicer taste have various fish chowders, dried (smoked) carp or bleak, a combined meal of roasted carp and trout, salads like mixed salad, or mangle or many other specialties.
In the very Cetinje, mostly in downtown there is a great number of objects like: pastry shop, pie shop (burek shop), dairy mini – restaurants, cafeterias… where you can also order some tasty fast meal: pizza, pancake, hot – dog, burek (pie), sweet and salty rolls, flaky dough, ice cream, or some tasty fruit or chocolate cake. Considering the fact that Cetinje is more and more a transit tourist town, such places are, especially in summer, visited very well. The products are always fresh, so the frequent crowds in those objects especially in early morning hours are usual.