Pola Pola

Serbians have a long history not only in Budapest, but also in nearby places like Szentendre, Ráckeve, and Lórév. Many fled to Hungary centuries ago to escape the Ottoman occupation of the Balkans, and in addition to commercial skills, they brought along a rich culinary tradition. Serbian food is basically the best of Turkish, Mediterranean, and Central European cooking. Most dishes are meat heavy, and exude a whiff of smoke from their journey across the charcoal grill.

Pola Pola was opened recently (2015), and it quickly established itself as a respected option among the local Balkan population (always a good sign). The short menu sticks to classic cevap and pleskavica variations, and these traditional grilled meats are made strictly from veal here. But also be sure to give the side dishes the attention they deserve. The lepinje is a wonderfully soft and crispy flatbread, which when combined with ajvar (a chopped red pepper spread), kaymak (a creamy milk fat), and a serving of fresh onions, adds a unique complexity to the grilled sausages. The icing on the cake is that Pola Pola is situated along the one and only green space to be found in the bustling Jewish Quarter.