January 15, 2019 Uncategorized No Comments



I arrived in the Bosnian capital to the unexpected news of sub-zero temperatures – it got as cold as -16C – and around a foot of snow covering the city in a downy blanket.

This meant that I was curtailed in my usual wanderings, but was fortunately staying at the heart of the old city in a hamam hotel within sight of where Gavrillo Princip shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sofia to precipitate the First World War.

I did, however, manage to resist the old town tourist traps and headed instead up a very slippery hill to a place called Avlija which the internet suggested was worth a look.

Through an alluring wooden door was an amazing little covered courtyard with seats dotted around. With various vintage details, this felt like a wondrous little jewel full of vibrant intrigue.

I took a seat at the bar shelf seating and perused the menu which was helpfully in dual languages. I sipped a local lager as I considered.

The cold day practically demanded soup so I ordered the veal variety. It was just the warming bowl that I was looking for, full of meaty pieces in a deeply flavourful broth.

I followed with Bosnian ravioli. The Turkish and Ottoman influence is strong in the city and this dish reflected that as it was very similar to Turkish mantı. The filling was richer than mantı’s pepperiness, though, with a real buttery softness to the meat.

Avlija served me a really good quality, enjoyable and warming lunch which was just what was required on this Baltic day in the Balkans. And it was priced incredibly reasonably with this hearty feed and watering delivered for less than £8. It’s definitely one to visit when you venture to these parts.

Blythe scores Avlija
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for service 
4.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 16/20

I ate: veal soup, Bosnian ravioli

I drank: local lager

I wore: slippy shoes

Total bill: 15.50

Address: Sumbul Avde 2, Sarajevo
Written by BKR