Are you visiting Tirana for a couple of days and you like to enjoy the food, but you don’t want to eat like a tourist
So lets start 🙂
Where and what to eat in Tirana? Usually in Tirana you can eat delicious foods and quite cheap also.
If you are looking for a quick and cheap breakfast option I would recommend you try to stop at the small places where is written “Byrek”. They are traditional Albanian byrek, usually with spinach, cheese, beans, onions, tomatoes or meat. I personally love the ones with cheese (“me gjizë” in Albanian). The triangular ones cost 30 Albanian Lek or about 20 cents. With two byreks I am done until lunch, so with less then 50 cent you can wait for lunch time :). You can also find them in bakery shops also. There they also make other foods such as Croissants, which cost about 100 Albanian Lek or about 65 cents. “Mëngjezore”s (Breakfast places) are also a very good options preferred by the locals.
Lunch? It would not be as cheap as breakfast however delicious for sure :). If you are not a vegetarian and love meat I would recommend you try the”zgarra” places (grilled albanian foods). Qofte or Kërrnacka are local meatballs. Not the healthiest
stuff you can eat, however, delicious and cheap. At zgarras you can eat a full meal for as little as 3 to 5 Euros per person.
Dinner needs to be a bit lighter after all that lunch 🙂 How about seafood? Fortunately enough eating seafoods in Albania is not as expensive as it is in most countries. In my opinion the best place to eat sea food while in Tirana would be the different fish shops you might spot around the neighborhood you are staying. Usually these fish shops or “markatë peshku”, as the locals call it, are shops that sell fresh seafood. Apart from selling the fresh foods they usually have a grill in their shop where the locals offer take away grilled fish. They would clean up the fish or other seafoods for you and also cook it in front of you for little additional cost. In some cases also they offer two or three tables in the shop where you can seat and enjoy the just cooked meal. At these places you can eat a spaghetti with seafood and a grilled fish for about 7 euros per person.
So I guess while traveling around Tirana you have noticed many coffee shops and bars, right? They are usually packed with people even during the day, and usually with youth. I guess you are asking what are these many people doing in a coffee shop during the day? Well there are several reasons.
The first and most important one is that coffee is part of everyday culture in Albania. If you want to meet some friend, you meet them in a coffee place. You have a business deal to make, you get together in the office and then you go to make important decisions in a coffee place :). You like a girl and you ask her out? Again you ask if she would have a coffee with you, even though it might be that you may order something else.
Another reason why coffee shops are so full is because there is a lot of unemployment especially for youth. Yes yes, I also think you are right in what you are thinking. If they don’t have a job, instead of being in a coffee shop they should be searching for a job. Unfortunately this is the reality in Tirana. However they have a good reason to justify themselves, the quality of coffee, maciatos and capucinos in Tirana.
I think this is just a little taste of eating like a local in Tirana, however there is much more to explore while in Tirana.
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