Dorćol is the oldest part of the city, and at the same time the downtown of Belgrade. The term Dorcol/Dortjol is defined as the crossroads in old language of Ottoman Empire. In the times bygone Dorćol was the multicultural neighborhood where different nationalities as : Turks, Serbs, Jews, Dubrovnians (people from Dubrovnik, Croatia) and Roma people lived. Before The World War II many Jewish people lived in Belgrade too. They came to Serbia in the 16th century from Spain and Western Europe. The entire Jewish quarter was destroyed in the bombing of Belgrade on the 6th of April in 1941. From 20.000 Jews living in Belgrade, after the holocaust just 2.000 people survived and moved to Western Europe. Today, there is just one street in Dorćol named “Jevrejska ulica”( the Jewish street) that is left out of the entire Jewish quarter. In this day and age, the Jewish museum is located in the well known “Kralja Petra” (King Peter) Street, in close proximity of “Jevrejska street”. Dorćol consists of two parts- Upper Dorćol and Lower Dorćol. However, Lower Dorćol is no longer multicultural neighbourhood like it was in the past, but it’s becoming a very trendy neighborhood of Belgrade due to many hip venues that were opened recently. Let’s just say that Lower Dorćol together with the new clubbing district in Cetinjska St. is becoming a new Savamala or how some locals like to call it Dorcolmala.
At the end of beautiful “Dositejeva” street there stands a fine dining restaurant Homa. The interior of the restaurant is interesting, with white colour and light prevailing that has been achieved with the help of more milky white dome shaped lamps . Black metal tables that contrast with white wooden chairs break the sterile atmosphere of the restaurant. Inside, as well as in the garden, there is a large black and white bar framed with concrete. Location of the restaurant itself is quite unique. Industrial zone is just around the corner, but customers can feel like they are sitting in the oasis of peace and tranquility. Specific menu, fusion cuisine mixed with local, South American and Thai food is another specialty of this place. Prices range from 9 to 14 euros per serving.
Location: Žorža Klemensoa 19, 11000 Belgrade
Rub is another cool place in Lower Dorćol. It is located in “Knićaninova” Street and it represents a mixture of a coffee shop, a bar and a furniture store. Rub seems to be defined by its modern interior. The entire rectangular space is dominated by white furniture, grey walls and concrete floor. One corner of the bar features cozy sofa and interesting abstract paintings, while in the other there stands a long low bar and a muddle of French magazines to do with industrial design. In the second part of Rub the furniture store is located.
The bar does not serve cocktails or any fancy beverages. But it’s a cool place to grab a coffee. Regrettably this unique and a rather promising bar seems to be popular just among the locals and there don’t seem to be any interesting upcoming events yet, nor parties happening in this place.
On the corner of “Skender Begova” and “Dobračina” street lies the Museum of Science and Technology. The main goal of the Museum of Science and Technology is the protection of the scientific and technological heritage of Serbia. Besides collecting, research and protection of technological cultural property, the purpose of the Museum is their presentation to the public in order to raise the awareness of the scientific and technological culture, as well as to popularize science and its contemporary achievements. Since its foundation, curators of the Museum collected more than 5,000 very cool, old and vintage artefacts from avid collectors such as musical instruments, the very first cameras and the first computers and the first machines from way back as if gradually falling into oblivion, which are classified through different collections.
Tuesday – Sunday from 10 A.M. – 9 P.M.
Just next to museum, at the end of “Skender Begova” street there is a nice and picturesque candy-store in vivid colours called “Mama Goca”. It’s a great place to drink a coffee, lemonade or boza or to grab a few bites of delicious cakes and cookies. In the world of globalization and chain coffee shops and ice cream and candy parlours at times we seem to forget how old-school confectionery created by independent initiatives can be really cool.
And, finally not to miss popular “Dobračina” Street, where totally hip Holesterol restaurant, Radionica bar and Pržionica stand in industrial zone.
Holesterol (Cholesterol) represents a redesigned Serbian kafana. It offers traditional specialties you can eat without hesitation. Ribs, sweetbreads, sausages, holesburger and much more ( holesburger being a blend word from cholesterol and burger. The chef most probably has a very good sense of humor to make life bearable). The restaurant always seems to be packed with people, the atmosphere is relaxed and nonchalant. The interior is minimalistic, dominated by black and white palette of colours with a combination of wood and drawing. In the summer the garden is open. The name of the restaurant has a very humorous double entendre meaning not we will cause your cholesterol level to hit the peak level but “we will satiate the most refined needs of your palates’.
Dorcol’s hidden gem, cosseted away at the far end of Dobracina Street right next to Przionica café’ and Sarlo Baker’s. Radionica represents a multi-purpose place. During the day it operates as a bar and restaurant and at night it sort of inadvertently converted into a real club, where people actually get to dance. This place can boast of a unique concept and design. It was opened two years ago, but it has been refurbished as of recent only to offer a brand new range of services . It now looks a bit like NYC. Since Lower Dorcol is basically a brownfield site, many buildings are now being reused having been converted for a new purpose. Restaurant and coffee culture seems to be picking up in this part of the city lately, thanks to rather enterprising small-scale sole proprietors. The Interior of Radionica mirrors the aesthetics of raw and bare concrete walls. The old machines-lathe incorporated in the DJ stand and a vertical drill featuring in the toilets are kept there reminiscent of the workshop which used to be there in that very same place before the present owner came to own it.
Pržionica is a micro-roaster and coffee shop. The space where it is located looks like an old workshop or a converted warehouse, giving a special flavor to this cool place in Dorćol. The furniture is made of wood & steel. Pržionica offers freshly roasted high-quality coffee. Their intention is to take care of all the stages of the preparation of coffee, from the raw beans to the perfect cup of espresso. Guests can be a part of the whole process as everything is open and accessible. The specific method of frying medium roast gives more aroma and a somewhat fuller flavor than the classic dark roast. In addition to preparing espresso, they also offer other types of coffee: French press, air press, drip coffee and others. All coffee styles can be purchased in the bar. More often than not DJs are playing music on Sunday.
Locations : Dobračina 59b, 11 000, Belgrade
Dorcol Platz appeared recently as a new culture hub blending art, music and dance. It works as a regular bar during the day but sometimes hosts events such as workshops, exhibitions, theatre plays, international events and festivals, etc. It includes playground for children as well.
Marukoshi Japanese restaurant is opened in 2015 in 37 Kapetan Misina Street. It’s an authentic Japanese restaurant offering tasty Japanese dishes such as Ramen noodles, salads, udon noodles, donburi, curry dishes and interesting desserts. It’s a very comfy place where guests can feel relaxed and they can enjoy Asian specialties in the heart of Belgrade.
Dragana Kostica is the Belgrade-based editor in chief and founder of Still in Belgrade art, culture and club scene magazine. She holds a Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management in Arts (MA of Arts) and a Bachelor degree in Archaeology.