Story: In the area of the capital known as New Belgrade, there are more than a few cranes and building projects. It seems fair to say that investors and city planners are re-modernizing the whole sector. But one building here resists a makeover–at least for now.
The Hotel Yugoslavia was an accomplishment for yesteryear’s Yugoslavia. It opened its doors as the largest luxury hotel in the country more than 40 years ago. Today it no longer functions as a hotel, but there is a casino on the backside of the bottom floor and a recently opened 50’s style American diner sporting a planetary theme on the front side of the hotel building. It’s a strange combo, but it makes for intriguing, budget-conscious fusion.
Vibe: The café is both fun and snarky. It is equal parts fried foods and yesterday’s rock and roll. Plug your tune requests into the dial-in jukebox. Also, enjoy the sayings on the wait staff and walls.
Recommendations: So a 50’s intergalactic theme with a twinge of snark is all well and fine, but I wanted a good burger. And the café delivered. No fillers, just real beef and fresh trimmings. The fries and onion rings were from a bag, but they went well with my burger all the same. I had a spicy western burger, fries and onion rings with a Coke for about 5 euros.
So after the burger and a decent slice of apple pie, I couldn’t squeeze in breakfast this time around without doing something unnatural, but I’ll be back. According to friends, the whole menu is good, but I was told I had to try the pancakes. This is one of the few places in the area where you can get American flapjacks.
Notes: Parking here is weird. You have all the room in the world there, but for some reason, the parking area was locked out. We parked in back and walked around. Experience tells me that this is a massive building.
Place: There are currently two locations for the diner. The other one is the original. This one has the large slice of Yugoslavia to go with your meal. I’m sure you’ll find something to like at either location if you enjoy a classic diner experience.
Plus this: So we debated whether or not to feature another spot close by for the budget category. Instead, we’re making it a brief add-on here. Pancho’s has a local take on grilled foods served up as bulging sandwiches with a range of sauces and salads that can make it bigger still. This is the spot to go for a lot of food for a little money. If you finish your meal here, you’ll be stuffed.