11 Delicious Food to Try in Albania

Baklava is one of the traditional pies of the Balkans
Baklava is one of the traditional pies of the Balkans | © Michael Miranda / Flickr
Francesca Masotti

One of the best reasons why everyone should include Albania in his or her bucket list’s places to see is the food. Albanian gastronomy is excellent, fresh and tasty. You can eat gorgeous dishes in the fanciest restaurants as well as amazing street foods. Here’s a list of 11 delicious food to try in the Land of the Eagles.

Byrek

The most famous food in Albania (and in the rest of the Balkans too) is byrek, a tasty salty pie made with filo pastry. You will find it everywhere in the country, in different sizes and types. One of the most famous is byrek with spinach, but the bars, trucks, pastry shops also sell byrek, often with gjize cheese or meat. All versions are just delicious!

Byrek with Spinach

Fërgesë verore me speca dhe domate

Fërgesë is one of the tastier and best Albanian foods made with peppers, tomatoes and cottage cheese. You’ll find it mostly in Tirana and surrounding areas, because it is a typical dish of the central region of Albania. The fresh products are cooked together and form a cream; it’s perfectly accompanied by homemade bread.

Tavë Kosi

Another not-to-miss food to try in Albania is Tavë Kosi, one of the most beloved dishes by locals. It is typical of Elbasan, a city near Tirana, but you will find it everywhere in the country, from the mountain hamlets to the coastal towns. Tavë Kosi is a tasty quiche-like dish made with lamb, eggs and yogurt.

Tavë Kosi

Speça me gjize

Speça me gjize is one of the most colorful and tasty foods of the country, made with yellow, orange, green and red peppers stuffed with rice, cottage cheese and spices before being baked in the oven. It is a healthy choice and a great vegetarian dish too (Albanian gastronomy has plenty of veggie options, as you can see).

Fried Kaçkavall

Kaçkavall is a typical cheese used in the south of the Balkans as well as in the south of Italy. It is a yellow salty cheese usually served as entrée in the restaurants. The menus offer various options, such as kaçkavall salad and baked kaçkavall, but the best is fried kaçkavall, one of the most delicious dishes in the region.

Kaçkavall cheese

Baklava

Baklava is the star of Turkey as well as of Balkan Peninsula: you will find it everywhere while visiting Albania and in various sizes and kinds. The typical Albanian variety of this famous cake is made with nuts, but in the bakeries and pastries there is the pistachio version, which is even tastier.

Baklava with nuts

Trilece

Another excellent cake well known in Albania is trilece. The word comes from Spanish and means “cake made with three milks”; indeed, trilece is prepared with milk, cream and concentrated milk. Calling it “delicious” is not enough. Trilece is a pleasure for the palate and a fresh cake perfect for the warm Albanian days.

Qofte

Qofte, or grilled meatballs, is one of the most popular meat dishes of Albania. Generally qofte are seasoned with spices and mint and served with raw onion and salad. A variant of qofte is kernaçka, a different kind of meatball typical of Korça, one of the most important towns of Albania.

Albanian Qofte

Grilled meat

Across Albania, one of the most famous meals is the grilled meat, mostly known as zgara. You’ll find it everywhere, even in the restaurants located in front of the sea, but mostly in the typical grill houses. Order a big plate of mixed grilled meat with a salad and a local beer and enjoy!

Mix of Grilled Meat

Perime ne Zgare

Grilled vegetables are popular in Albania as well as in the rest of the Balkan countries. Eggplants, zucchini, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and so on, used as appetizer or accompaniment of main dishes. If you love to eat vegetarian, don’t worry, even in the grill houses you’ll find perime ne zgare.

Grilled Vegetables

Fish

Located right on the Sea, Albania is famous for its seafood. In the restaurants located along the coast and in the main towns through the Riviera, such as Vlora and Saranda, you can eat fresh, excellent fish for less than €10 ($12). Eating fresh seafood while in Albania admiring the fabulous sea panoramas from the terraces of restaurants is a must.

Grilled Fish

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