In our column Meet a local we present interesting individuals from different professional fields living in Belgrade. The idea is to get to know some locals and their favorite neighborhoods and venues in the city.

Please introduce yourself to our readers:

My name is Marija Veljanovska. I’m the owner of the Miamiam restaurant in Vracar and in addition, I have been working for French television for a long time, and I often collaborate with cultural events and festivals.

It turned out that, on the one hand, I have been consuming the finest that Belgrade has to offer for a long time, and on the other hand, I’ve created a restaurant that has its loyal audience and thus offered an authentic place.

Has there been a new project lately?

The work I do always consists of everyday mini-projects. One of the biggest in the last few months is the arrival of an Indian chef whom we met 3-4 years ago in the south of India and then suggested that he come to Belgrade one day. And so it happened.

What do you like about Belgrade?

Despite everything and all the problems we all have to live here, the warmth of people from the closest longtime friends to wonderful and very interesting, creative, and capable people I meet every day because of the nature of work I do. That’s the real wealth.

I also like to hang out with foreigners who live in Belgrade.

I love when artists from some world-famous troupe or guests of a festival come to Miamiam and have a good time – these are especially dear moments.

Where do you like to go out?

Events and parties around the festival, concerts … receptions at embassies that can be very fun. I love unplanned long evenings that occasionally just happen, by meeting some people I haven’t seen in a long time.

Name 3 of your favorite restaurants in the city?

It may sound silly, but I don’t have a favorite restaurant in Belgrade. I like to go to restaurants often and go back to the ones where I feel comfortable. Vuk traditional restaurant e.g. there is just one table on the street that always has a wonderful light…

Where do you drink coffee?

I like to drink coffee on weekends in the morning in Sansa, where I usually meet with friends and have ‘serious’ conversations, in Miamiam – the sweetest coffee when I give myself a break, just to my liking; on the big terrace of my building in Krunska Street where I see the whole city and where I hang out with the neighbors…

Where do you spend your leisure time?

Since I spend most of my time in my triangle in Vracar during the week, I like to walk by the rivers, in Zemun, I like Senjak … to dig in Kalenić’s stalls, to buy flowers, to stay in one of the bookstores, I try not to miss yoga classes, again because of the great people who come here.

Name your 3 favorite locations in Belgrade and justify your choice.

Kosancicev Venac, Dorcol – I fell in love especially during my postgraduate studies

Zemun – I don’t go often, but when I do, I feel the genuine atmosphere of another town and the mentality of the people there

Vracar – The beauty of the famous, the local.