Albanian Food: 10 Must-Try Meals in Albania

Dariece Swift author's bio Goats On The Road

Prior to our 10 day road trip through the wild nation of Albania, we didn’t know much about the history, we were a bit unsure of the culture and customs, and we most certainly were unaware of how delicious Albanian food is!

The UNESCO town of Berat is home to some of the best food we’ve ever eaten. Anywhere.

We may have only dined at one restaurant in town (Mangalemi Restaurant), but that’s because the food was authentic Albanian, the home-cooked meals were delicious, and the prices were more than fair.

☞ SEE ALSO: 10 Best Airbnbs in Tirana, Albania and 15 Best Things To Do in Tirana

Fantastic Albanian food can be found all around the country, but the dishes that stood out for us the most were found in Berat.

travel to albania what to eat in berat

From inland Berat, we also made our way to the coast where we found some more scrumptious Albanian food, with an Italian flare.

While Albanian food isn’t known as being the most popular or the best in the world like some other well-known cuisines (Chinese, Mexican, Italian, etc.), it’s definitely unique, flavourful and delicious! 

Check out these 10 mouth-watering dishes from our travels in Albania.

1. Freshly Caught Shrimp

Being located right on the Ionian Sea, it comes as no surprise that fresh seafood is popular with tourists and locals in Saranda

The fishermen sell their catch early in the morning right along the pedestrian promenade, so if you want to take a peek at the fish on offer, head there around 9:00 and check it out. Dining seaside while feasting on freshly caught shrimp is a must.

Cost: 1500 ALL ($12) for 15 shrimp

what to eat when travelling in albania fresh shrimp

2. Fëgesë

This simple dish ended up being one of our go-to meals for lunch.

Green and red peppers, along with skinned tomatoes and onions are cooked down with cottage cheese and spices. The end product is a thick dip, which when accompanied with some bread is actually quite filling.

Cost: 300 ALL ($2.40)

what to eat in albania Fëgesë

3. Tavë Kosi

Albanian food is known for featuring lamb and veal, and the tavë kosi is one of the most beloved dishes in the country.

Lamb is baked in an earthenware dish with eggs and yogurt. The end result is a quiche-like dish, with tender meat and a light, creamy egg topping.

Cost: 500 ALL ($4.00)

Tave kosi albanian food in berat

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4. Perime Në Scarë

Grilled vegetables are a popular appetizer or accompaniment not only in Albanian food, but all of the eastern Balkans.

Typically, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, onions and peppers are the vegetables of choice, and oftentimes cheese will be crumbled on top. We ate many tasty grilled vegetable dishes during our stay in Saranda

Cost: 300-400 ALL ($2.40 – $3.20)

what to eat in saranda albania grilled vegetables

☞ SEE ALSO: 15 Best Beaches to Visit in Albania

5. Fileto Pule Me Panna Dhe Kerpudha

Translated, this is grilled chicken breast with a cream sauce and fresh mushrooms. Since lamb and veal are the most popular meats in Albania, it’s a welcomed change to see chicken on the menu!

Cost: 650 ALL ($5.25)

albanian food grilled chicken with mushrooms

6. Chocolate Delight!

The cafe culture, complete with “dolces” (sweets or desserts in Italian) are popular in Albania.

People sit in cafes while puffing on cigarettes, drinking espresso, and eating these delicious desserts. This one was basically all chocolate with a bit of cake inside. It was extremely rich and very delicious.

Cost: 150 ALL ($1.20)

desserts in albania chocolate

7. Speca me Glizë

Yellow, orange, or red peppers are stuffed with rice, cottage cheese and spices, before being baked in the oven. This was one of our favourite Albanian foods, as it was bursting with flavour, and was a healthy choice.

Cost: 250 ALL ($2.00)

stuffed peppers in albania what to eat

8. Byrek Mangalemi

A special of Mangalemi Restaurant, this is a delicious savoury pie. Topping a thin crust is a fluffy mix of pumpkin, potato, cottage cheese and a hint of lemon. Divine!

Cost: 250 ALL ($2.00)

byrek mangalemi albania food

9. Pizza

Due to the large Italian influence in Albania, there are many Italian foods on the menus — pizza, pasta, risotto, and more.

While there’s nothing quite like having pizza in Italy, the wood-fired pizzas in Albania are actually really well done and can be found all around the country.

We had a couple while we were staying along the Ionian Sea. 

Cost: 550 ALL ($4.45) for a large pepperoni pizza

italian influence in albania pizza

10. Shëndetli

This honey nut cake is a typical Albanian dessert and is also a very popular one.

It’s made with all of the usual cake suspects – baking soda, flour, sugar, eggs – but what sets it apart is the addition of honey and walnuts.

Also, when the cake is ready, a hot syrup made with vanilla, sugar, water and cloves is poured over the cake and left to soak overnight. This dessert is delicious and isn’t too sweet either.

Cost: 150 ALL ($1.20)

albanian dessert food

Enjoy all of the tasty food in Albania!

Sometimes when travelling, we tend to get a bit tired of having the same cuisine day after day. However, Albanian food had enough of a variety to satisfy all of our food cravings while travelling around the country.

We loved the fact that practically everything that we ordered from the menu would be not only delicious, but inexpensive as well. Let us know which tasty Albanian dishes you’d add to this list!

Read more: Acclimatizing to Albania: Our 10 Days of Travel

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“10 Tasty Albanian MealsThe Best Albanian Foods To Try“10 Must-Try Albanian Dishes


Dariece Swift author's bio Goats On The Road

Written by

Dariece Swift

Dariece is a co-founder of Goats On The Road, and an expert in saving money, finance management, building an online business and of course... travel. She loves meeting new people, trying new cuisines, and learning about the unique cultures of our world. She has over 12 years of experience helping others to realize their travel dreams and has worked in numerous jobs all over the world to help pay for travel.

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13 thoughts on “Albanian Food: 10 Must-Try Meals in Albania”

  1. All those comments over in the How to Blog article, but this is where the real action is!

    Look at that Fegese! My mouth is watering na kha! Why stop at 10? With food looking that good, consider updating this post to 20! hahaha

  2. Yummy! I’m currently working on my own recipe book, based on my favourite recipes from around the world. I’ve never been to Albania, but I’d love to try some of these for myself!

  3. Great post! Living abroad I regularly go online and try to find recipees of what my mom and grandmothers used to cook for me when I was younger. I agree, food is never boring in Albania because of the variety.

    PS: there is a mistake though in the Speca me Glizë (which should actually be gjizë*, a kind of dairy by product similar to Ricotta) is a fermented food and not the one on the picture. The dish described is commonly called Filled Peppers ( Speca të mbushur), usually with rice mixed with spices, herbs and tomatoes.

  4. Albanian food was such a revelation to me. They’re not on your list, but stuffed eggplants were my absolute favourite thing. To. Die. For!

  5. Hey guys! Did you really eat Albanian or you just went to pizzerias and touristy places with “safe” menus (not that there are many)? I mean, you have fërgesë and tavë kosi (at least), but pizza? Chocolate delight? Chicken with mushrooms and cream? Seriously? There are more than 10 Albanian dishes you can find easily (without counting desserts) that you didn’t mention and should be in such a list: stuffed peppers (speca të mbushur), sarma, stuffed vine leaves (japrak), qofte, roasted lamb or goatling, pershesh, fasullë plaqi, pispili, qifqi (if you go to Gjirokastër)…

    I think that a blog with so many followers should be more serious. Also, Albanian spelling is hard, but you could check it, because nearly all dishes are not correctly spelled wrong.

  6. Hey Marco,

    Thanks for the comment and I’m sorry you were so offended by our article. This is a list of 10 dishes that we tried during our trip to Albania that we really enjoyed. Fresh seafood is common all along the coast of the country. As you said, we sampled fërgesë and tavë kosi and as you mentioned, we should try stuffed peppers, well, they are listed at #7. I don’t eat goat so that wouldn’t make my list. We’ve had stuffed vine leaves numerous times in other countries so we didn’t have them in Albania. We only stopped in for an hour in Gjirokastër, so we dind’t have have food there.

    Any country could have more than 10 dishes listed, you’re right! Regarding the spelling, we don’t speak Albanian, but this is how the food was spelled on the menus and is spelled online when I searched for the dishes names. Finally, no, we didn’t just eat at “safe” restaurants and actually, we were in Albania in the winter of 2016 so there weren’t any “touristy” places open.

    Have a great day.

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