10 Things to eat in Tirana and where

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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A real culinary "tower of Babel". There gastronomy of Tirana - and Albanian in general - speaks several languages, from Greek to that of the Mediterranean areas, up to Islamic and Ottoman references, even.
A riot of courses based on meat, vegetables and feta - the evergreen Greek cheese - to which you can add special desserts, yogurt and fermented drinks, almost always served as single, substantial and enjoyable dishes. Which is ten o'clock typical dishes of Albanian cuisine and the capital? Let's find out together!


  1. Meze
  2. Shishkebab
  3. Tave dheu
  4. Baklava
  5. Byrek (or burek)
  6. Kadaif
  7. Dolma
  8. Ballokume
  9. Tasqebap
  10. Tave kosi
  11. Where to eat in Tirana: best restaurants, typical bars and street food
  12. User questions and comments

1 - Meze

A large selection of foods with different textures make up the meze, appetizer of Greek and Turkish origin designed to whet the appetite of diners before the main course. The Albanian variant includes ingredients such as olives, cheese, a particular yogurt-based sauce and various vegetable puree, such as tomatoes and broad beans.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: from € 1,80 to € 6,40
  • Main ingredients: cheese, yogurt, olives

2 - Shishkebab

Meat dish Rooted in the Arabic culinary tradition, shishkebabs are delicious skewers meat-based - in particular, they are preferred lamb e beef - flavored with any known spice, from coriander with cinnamon, before being cooked on the fire. Indispensable.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 5,00
  • Main ingredients: lamb, beef, coriander

3 - Tave dheu

Literally "terracotta meat", the tave dheu is considered a real must of Albanian cuisine. It's about a course based on meat and vegetables, enriched with gjizë, typical Albanian ricotta.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 2,30
  • Main ingredients: veal, gjizë, tomatoes, onion

4 - Baklava

E' one of the most characteristic sweets of Tirana's gastronomy baklava, made with phyllo dough (also used for savory recipes, one of the main ingredients of Albanian gastronomy). High-calorie and very sweet, it is recommended to consume it in small doses!

  • Recommended to: lunch, dinner or as a dessert between meals
  • Average cost: € 4,00
  • Main ingredients: phyllo dough, honey, chopped walnuts

5 - Byrek (or burek)

Remember ours salty cake, but byrek (also known as burek), made with a very thin puff pastry - called yufka - layered and alternated with minced meat and vegetables, such as leek and spinach.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 2,00
  • Main ingredients: yufka, minced meat, spinach

6 - Kadaif

Sweet, to say the least picturesque, typical of Albanian, Ottoman and Turkish gastronomy is the kadaif. The preparation, which owes its name to the main ingredient of the recipe, is made up of these details noodles soaked in attar, a very thick compound based on honey and sugar.

  • Recommended to: lunch, dinner, snack
  • Average cost: € 2,20
  • Main ingredients: kadaif (noodles), honey, butter, sugar

7 - Dolma

In the kitchens of Tirana it is not difficult to find a combination of very different ingredients, but which together make up a dish pleasing to the eye (and for the taste buds, of course). Dolma is an example of a successful mix of flavors and textures, rolls with meat, rice and oriental spices "wrapped" in the characteristic vine leaf.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 4,00
  • Main ingredients: vine leaf, rice, meat

8 - Ballokume

March 14 is an important date for Albanians: we celebrate the Spring day, punctuated by the inevitable taste of ballokume, cookies that combine goodness with the simplicity of ingredients and realization.

  • Recommended to: snack
  • Average cost: € 0,50
  • Main ingredients: corn flour, eggs, powdered sugar

9 - Tasqebap

Tirana also has its own stew. Made with veal, white wine and tomato pulp, tasqebap is served with a side of peppers and the inevitable slice of bread, for a substantial and delicious second course (or single course).

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 4,30
  • Main ingredients: veal, tomato, white wine

10 - Tave kosi

If you have the pleasure of staying in the charming Tirana, do not miss the opportunity to taste one of the typical dishes of the local gastronomy: the tave kosi, of Greek and Middle Eastern inspiration, based on lamb and ....yogurt!

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 6,70
  • Main ingredients: lamb, yogurt, eggs

Where to eat in Tirana: best restaurants, typical bars and street food

On your trip to Albania you will be amazed by how much traditional Albanian cuisine has to offer.
It is a seasonal cuisine, linked to the products of the land and the sea, and strongly influenced by the peoples who have invaded and dominated the country over the centuries, in fact, you can find different specialties based on the area in which you are. The main foreign influences are three: Turkish, Greek and Mediterranean culture. These have merged with the traditions of the place giving life to the delicious dishes.

You will really find many places suitable for all budgets: here you can eat excellent dishes and taste traditional cuisine for a few euros and leave completely satisfied. Among proposals of meat, fish and international cuisine, you will always be satisfied! Here are the best places to eat in Tirana:

1 - Taverna Zoto

  • Description: restaurant that offers traditional Albanian and Tirana cuisine, accompanied by traditional music and at the weekend also by dances and shows; family-run, fresh and seasonal ingredients
  • specialty: grilled meat
  • Average price: from € 10,00 per person
  • Address: Rruga George Washington - Get Directions - Facebook Page

2 - Fish Time

  • Description: one of the best fish restaurants; friendly and helpful staff, location that will make you want to sea; appetizers, first and second courses all based on fish, the tasting menu is recommended
  • specialty: tasting menu
  • Average price: from € 10,00 per person
  • Address: Rruga Don Bosko - Get directions - Facebook page

3 - Delicacies of the sea

  • Description: in the heart of Tirana with prices slightly higher than the average but once you enter you will understand why; raw materials of the highest quality, refined dishes that are eaten first with the eyes than with the mouth; the tasting menu is recommended
  • specialty: raw fish and tasting menu
  • Average price: from € 20,00 per person
  • Address: Rruga Reshit Collaku - Get directions - Facebook page

4 - Bar Restaurant Bio

  • Description: welcoming place, mainly in wood and rustic bricks; the name already announces the type of cuisine, the products used come from the owners' farm; genuine dishes, wide choice of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes
  • specialty: plates of meat
  • Average price: from € 15,00 per person
  • Address: Rruga Arben Minga - Get directions - Facebook page

5 - The Rooms Restaurant

  • Description: in the historic center of Tirana, with outdoor tables and a welcoming interior environment, polite and well-trained staff; offers traditional Albanian dishes, the meat dishes are absolutely worth trying
  • specialty: plates of meat
  • Average price: from € 15,00 per person
  • Address: Rruga Sami Frashëri - Get directions - Facebook page

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