Albania is one of the most underrated and unvisited countries in Europe, which is such a crime! There are number of reasons Albania should be on your list of places to visit, such as its wonderful people, old castles, amazing beaches, but maybe the cream of the crop is the food of Albania.
Food wise you get to eat in great restaurants for a pittance, enjoy epic street food, and wash it all down with raki! I do like a raki.
Here’s our top 7 foods to try in Albania.
Oh I am like a one trick pony on this one. Raki is drunk throughout the Balkans, and Albanian raki is very much. It can be served with any meal (yes, breakfast). Raki is not vodka, it shares more in common with grappa if that helps.
Another one that can be found throughout the Balkans, Byrek is probably the most famous, and most readily available food in Albania. It is a filo pastry pie of varying sizes and styles often containing meat, feta cheese, and something like spinach. An absolute staple if you are on a road trip.
Baclava is famously from Turkey, but Albania was a long time Turkish colony, so they borrowed it. Famous all over Turkey, the Albanian varieties include pistachio nuts.
Trilece literally means cake made with milk, in this case, regular milk, cream, and concentrated milk. As cakes go, it’s pretty awesome and goes great with a coffee whilst chilling on a Tirana veranda.
This is one of the most popular dishes in Albania. Slightly spicy meatballs, although it looks more like a sausage that cost around 50 cents and is served with pretty much in every meal. A real easy choice!
2) Baked Kackavall
I freaking love this dish! This is my usual starter. It’s a cheese found in the southern Balkans that can be served fried or baked. Its naked cheese people, do I need to say more?
1) Grilled Meat
I do not care how simple this seems, but it is true! For a nation next to the sea they do meat in a big way, even the restaurants by the sea serve grilled meat. All kinds of meat are served and it’s possible to get a big mixed grill. Wash it down with Tirana beer and raki, cannot be beaten!
These are the top foods to try in Albania, did we miss anything out?
Gareth Johnson is the founder of Young Pioneer Tours, a published writer, and all round entrepreneur. He enjoys street food, and encourage others to get paid to travel the world.