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What to eat in Albania, between byrek and baklava

The traditional Albanian food revealed, discover the local cuisine

Albanian traditional food

A professional traveler never forgets to try the local cuisine.  

Especially when traveling within Albania. You will quickly forget the long road, the fatigue, the stops, maybe even the enchant of the landscape, but your stomach will never forget the taste of a freshly baked byrek right from the oven. Albania seems small considering its territory, but it is a gastronomic encyclopaedia, it takes your heart with the traditional dishes, especially made with local bio ingredients.  

We cant’t tell you enough about the flavours and variety but we can guide you to find the best traditional food throughout Albania. You can thank us later!  

Here is what you can eat if you visit these Albanian cities: 

Tirana: Fërgesa, tavë dheu me mëlçi, speca me ajkë, gjeli i detit me përshesh, bamje me mish viçi, tavë kungulli me mish dhe oriz, grosh

Tirana offers the mix of the north and south of Albania even in its kitchen. You will be able to find a lot of traditional food restaurants offering different areas dishes almost everywhere. But you can’t miss the true Tirana taste with its fërgesa. Fërgesa is veal stew, served hot and sometimes chilly.  Something else you will notice throughout Albania is that the bread is present everywhere. Ask for the homemade bread because that’s the one you be crazy for.

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Dibra: Pulë me qull, jufka me pulë, speca me gjizë 

Dibra area has meat based dishes as everywhere in Albania and you will find it easily. Make sure to try its speciality – jufka – which seems like pasta, its fried, boiled and with a lot of butter. It comes with chicken meat or with duck/ wild duck meat very often.

Shkodra: Tava e krapit, patëllxhanë me djathë, Laknur me purri , Mish jahni, Tespixhe shkodrane, Patlixhana me djathe, Pite me kos, çorbe shkodrane.

Thanks to the Lake of Shkodra, carp dishes are the main course to be ordered when you visit the city. You can also try other kinds of fish dishes which come always fresh from the lake and will never dissapoint you.


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Tropoja: Flia e Tropojës, petulla me mjaltë, revani, qervish pule, byrek me petë, çorba, maza e zier (ajkë qumështi) 

Flia (flija) is most likely the most popular dish in the Northern Albania and Kosovo too. The real one takes hours to be prepared but the wait is totally worth it. It is prepared with multiple layers brushed with cream. The significance of the name is “sacrifice” and it also has a national day, the 17th of March.

Gjirokastra: Local wine, rehania, simitja e bardhë si qumësht, pogaçja e pjekur në shpuzë and muscat grape, qifqi

Everywhere in Albania you will find fresh products and feel the true taste of the fruit and vegetables. There’s no compromise in that. Especially when it comes to the traditional dishes which Albanians are always careful to choose the best ingredients.

In Gjirokastra you should try the local grape wine and the special meatboll shaped called qifqi. It is a vegan dish prepared with rice, eggs and herbs and you will be able to find it in almost every restaurant of Gjirokastra, a UNESCO world heritage site.


Përmeti:  Palanik me djathë në saç, byrek me kroçkulla, qull me dhallë, fasule me pastërma, dollma, kole, trahanik, pacar me presh, shëndetli, pekmez

You should definitely try dolma in Permet, which is a stuffed grape leaf or vegetable shell. It usually comes only with rise inside but it can have meat and other vegetables and herbs too. As per desert, try shendetlie, prepared with flour, eggs, sugar and walnuts, as is one of the most favourite deserts in Albania.

Korça: Petanik me fasule, petka , dromka, lakror, oshmar me gjalpë, petulla te fshira, trahanë e ëmbël dhe e thartë, hallvë, turshi, raki e pjekur

Korça is an oasis of the good food and the host will make sure you try a bit of every local flavour. You shouln’t miss “fasule me pasterma” and turshi, the salted conservated veggies and if you visit the villages nearby like Voskopoja, Dardha or Boboshtica, make sure to try lakror, which is the local type of byrek. It comes with meat, eggs, cottage cheese, tomatoes and other vegetables. Many restaurants offer the special “baked rakia” which is sweet and not so strong so keep that in mind when you visit the southeastern Albania.

Berat: Local olive oil, Berati steak ( meat, kaçkavall, nuts), gliko fiku, ftoi, japrak, different kinds of rakia

Last time I visited Berat, I tried a few of the marmalades they offer and i was amazed. They are for sure too sweet but they are a perfect desert if you travel to Berat, a UNESCO world heritage site. They will also offer the local rakia and will invite you to buy the local olive oil, which is indeed one of the best I’ve tried.


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Elbasan: Tave kosi, pogaçe, ballokume 

Tave kosi is roast beef in fermented milk sauce and it is very popular in the central Albania, especially in Elbasan. Pogaçe and ballokume represent the city well too, as most of the people cook them at home very often. Ballokume is the typical desert of “Dita e Veres”, the pagan celebration day of spring on the 14th of March.


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Durrës: Byrek me presh, qumësht dhe oriz 

Durrës is located by the Adriatik city and it might sound strange why its main typical menu doesn’t include the seafood. Well, now it does, but going back in time, during the communism period, it was not much appreciated. However, nowdays, seafood its the base of the menu in different cities like Durres, Vlora, Saranda, Himara etc.


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Himara: Qofte Juvarllaqe, turshi, moussaka

One of the most beautiful coastal cities will provide a lot of seafood for you, but you should also try its moussaka, perfect for the cold winter days. It is potato based often including ground meat. Himara has a Greek influenced cuisine, thanks to its geographical position, so you will also find there a lot of greek food.


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Skrapar: Local Raki, mishi i qengjit i pjekur në hell, kukurec (sheep pluck stuffed with meat and vegetables)

Skrapar is widely knows for its strong rakia made of grape, pllums or other fruit. But the stronger the rakia, the bigger the meat based meal. That’s how you know you had a proper dinner in order to be able to sing along with the locals their traditional songs about girls and their beauty.

Myzeqe: Yshmer (qumështor me petë të pjekura) 

Myzeqe (also Musachia) is the largest and widest Albanian plain and it produces a lot of fruits and vegetables distributed throughout the country. If you visit the nearby area, like Mallakaster, Fier, Lushnje, where once bloomed Apollonia, the ancient city, you can find a lot of history through food too. It is also influenced by the Greek and Ottoman culture. Amongst the rest, you can try yshmer, a kind of Byrek made with layers and often with meat.


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Kosovo: Fli me miell misri dhe presh,  Sarma (cabbage rolls), burjan, pingjur, ajvar, kaçamak, mantia, krelan me duqe, Hasude e pjekur, Hurmashica

Kosovo has mostly Turkish influence dishes, salty and sweet. Gjakova is one of the cities famous for its suxhuk (sausage type) and deserts like the local kasata. You can also try fli, which is widely cooked all around Kosovo and the famous ajvar, as the best pepper based sauce.


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Let us know in the comments below if you ever tried these dishes and how did you like them!

We would love to know your impressions. 🙂

What to do in Boboshtica, Korce