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Apr 21, 2009 10:49 AM

Serbian Restaurant Recommendations?

Hello all - I will be visiting the Windy City in April, and my boyfriend's family will be meeting us there. His dad is of Serbian heritage and grew up on the South Side before moving away. He really misses the Serbian cabbage rolls (sarma?) made with sour heads of cabbage. Can anyone recommend a restaurant where we can find them, or even a place where we can buy the sour heads on their own? It'd make me a hero to his parents, which is always good!

Thanks for any help you can provide!

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  1. Metromix lists only one sit-down restaurant in the Chicago area that is primarily Serbian:

    Sandy's Restaurant
    7021 W. Higgins Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60656
    Metromix listing:

    It's located near O'Hare.

    Sandy's is also recommended in the discussion of Eastern European restaurants at In addition to Sandy's, that discussion also mentions another Serbian restaurant called Zupa in southwest suburban Lyons. However, Zupa is not in the Metromix restaurant listings, which means it's possible it has closed (but also possible it's still there and just missing from Metromix). I recommend calling before going there, to make sure they're open. And you can ignore the warning in that topic about the cigarette smoke at Zupa; since that was posted, legislation went into effect making smoking illegal in all restaurants in the state of Illinois.

    Zupa Restaurant & Deli
    7919 Ogden Ave
    Lyons, IL 60534
    (708) 442-5057

    Metromix also lists a Serbian carry-out deli on the Northwest Side where you may be able to buy the sour heads you are looking for:

    Sandy's Bakery & Deli
    5857 W. Lawrence Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60630
    Metromix listing:

    I don't know whether or not it's affiliated with the restaurant of the same name mentioned above.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nsxtasy

      Sandy's Deli and the Restaurant are owned by the same people. Both are very good. The restaurant is a little more upscale than most of the other Serbian places in town. On most weekends they offer entertainment, and there is a buffet on Sunday. It can sometimes get crowded on weekends. I don't believe Sandy's has cabbage rolls on their menu, but the do have them as part of the weekend buffet, along with many other "homestyle" Serbian dishes (Teleca corba, Sarma, Gulas, Paprikas, Rostilj, Pecenje, Salate, Kolaci, Torte, Peciva).

      Here is a link to the website:

      I have seen the packaged pickled cabbage at Devon Market. Another Balkan market you might try is Garden Fresh, which features an amazing array of Balkan sausages and has a great in-house bakery that makes Serbian breads and pastries.

      Lalich's deli makes their own Smoked Serbian sausages and meats, including the best bacon I have ever eaten.

      Devon Market
      1440 W Devon Ave
      Chicago, IL 60660
      (773) 338-2572

      City Fresh Market
      3201 W Devon Ave,
      Chicago, IL 60659
      (773) 681-8600

    2. Both Sandy's and Zupa are great suggestions.

      Sandy's is really a deli/bakery that serves hot foot. THey have a few tables and you can order at the counter. There is a larger restaurant affiliated with Sandy's that has a buffet on Sunday's with mostly Serbian fare. It is on Northwest Hgwy in Chicago. If you call Sandy's, they should be able to tell you the name and when lunch is served.

      If you can't find the cabbage at Sandy's, you can find it at Beograd Meat Market: \
      2937 W Irving Park Rd
      Chicago, IL 60618
      (773) 478-7575
      They also have an extensive deli/bakery list.

      1. Beograd Meat Market, Bakery and Cafe started out as a Serbian deli and bakery but expanded into a casual restaurant in a second storefront. I have seen sarma in their prepared foods case.

        Boem Cafe is a fancier Serbian restaurant, which used to have a web site but let their registration expire. The place is definitely still in business. The same cannot be said for Cafe Blu, where the furniture disappeared earlier this month. Serbian Village is still in business as a bar, but the menu in the window has been gone for months.

        Three Serbian delicatessens are along Lawrence Avenue in Lincoln Square and Albany Park: George's, DSD and Lalich. My Serbian barber says DSD has the best cevapcici. I plan to check that out now that opportunities for charcoal grilling will be better. FWIW Lincoln Square also has a substantial population of Bosnian people and businesses.

        Beograd Meat Market, etc.
        2937 W. Irving Park Road
        Chicago 60618
        (773) 478-7575

        Boem Cafe
        3912 W Montrose Ave
        Chicago 60618
        (773) 463-1407

        DSD Delicatessen
        3818 W. Lawrence Ave.
        (773) 539-1499

        George's Liquor and Deli
        1964 W, Lawrence Ave.
        Chicago 60625
        (773) 728-6333

        Lalich Delicatessen
        4208 W. Lawrence Ave.
        (773) 545-3642

        1. Klopa is a unique place in the Chicago land area. Traditional methods of cooking from Serbia as well as family recipes make KLOPA stand apart from comparable places. Taste of world famous Serbian Grill will introduce you to a new element of dining. The experience brought from Serbia and other parts of Europe, combined with experience gained living in America have helped us to launch the project named KLOPA.

          Klopa = Serbian slang for Good Food

          1 Reply
          1. re: klopainc

            Small World Inn on E. 106th st and Mackinaw in the 10th Ward. They have full Serbian menu and a weekend buffet for $9.99. Most can get their money's worth in cevapci alone. Its an old corner bar with a back room...OUTSTANDING.