Oh boy, I’ll never forget the first time I tried Holy Smokes, long before their first place was actually opened. It was a game-changer and I remember thinking “even my mum doesn’t make meat this good”. Sorry, mum!
Everything started when Aleksandar, the owner, watched one of Anthony Bourdain’s shows. That inspired him to make his own smoker (wood-burning stove) after more than 6 months of research.
Holy Smokes supports a “fast casual” concept, offering immediately (just like fast food) extremely high-quality meat such as what you’d usually be served at a restaurant.
The smoker is up all night; beef is prepared for 12 hours and pork for 10. Condiments are also made from scratch — you won’t find ketchup here. My advice is to opt for a meal that includes beef, chicken or pork butt or ribs, a salad (coleslaw, corn samba, beetroot with horseradish or pickles), sides (Mac ‘n’ cheese, baked beans, Texas potatoes with pickles and mustard), a condiment (amazing barbecue sauces or garlic jam) and flatbread.
When I discovered them, they did have a store but they also used to participate at different food events around Belgrade, so it was difficult to track them down. Luckily, now I can regularly enjoy their barbecue at three locations: in Novi Beograd (Aleksinačkih rudara 16), at Cetinjska street (close to many pubs, so drop by before having some beers) and at Gvožđara 1870.