I was fairly astonished by the number of restaurants that are located in Tirana, despite the fact that most people do not consider Albania to be a destination for cuisine. The city of Tirana, the capital of Albania, is home to a number of hip restaurants serving cuisine from across the world as well as upscale establishments serving regional specialties with a sophisticated twist.
You may take advantage of Albania’s low cost of living and travel to experience some of the world’s best cuisine at prices that are a fraction of what they would be in other countries. The average cost of a dinner at a high-end restaurant in Tirana is anywhere between $6 and $8 USD, but you may get food on the street for less than a dollar.
I recently stayed in Tirana for a month and ate at as many different restaurants as I could during that time. My recommendations range from low-key eateries in the neighborhood to the most upscale eatery in the city, where local celebs can be seen enjoying one of the most reasonably priced tasting menus I’ve ever purchased.
During your time in Tirana, be sure not to skip out on the following activities, as they will help you get more familiar with the city (but hurry, since they are in high demand):
- Trip to Berat for the Whole Day Departing from Tirana
- Hike up Gamti Mountain for Stunning Views of Tirana’s Lakes
- Tirana Walking Tour
- 1 The best restaurants in Tirana, Albania
- 2 Which restaurants in Tirana looks best to you? Let me know in the comments section below!
Want to know more about Albanian food? Check out this post detailing my favorite local dishes!
The best restaurants in Tirana, Albania
Rruga Pjetër Bogdani // +355 69 404 1101
During my stay in Tirana, Salt quickly became one of my favorite restaurants to visit. The interior is modern, and one of the highlights is a kitchen that is open to the living area.
The sushi, seafood, and items that are designed to be shared on the menu are centered on a Mediterranean cuisine theme. Macaroni and cheese made with marscapone cheese and topped with parmesan lobster as well as a T-bone steak prepared in butter are two of the dishes that stand out most on the menu.
All of the seafood meals that I tasted there were delicious, but my absolute favorite was the giant grilled shrimp that came with a lime dipping sauce.
as well as the ravioli filled with shrimp and served with a white wine and garlic sauce.
I’m not generally enticed by sweets, but the options that were brought by my table nearly had me change my mind about ordering anything sweet.
On Mondays, the restaurant offers unlimited sushi for the price of 1,600 lek, which is equivalent to $15 USD.
à la Santè
Rruga Sami Frashëri // +355 69 851 1112
It may take a little bit of time and effort to locate à la Santé (search for it right off the main street, behind the buildings that front the street), but it is well worth it. The menu is not extensive, but each item has been crafted with careful consideration. The chef takes great delight in the fact that he is able to provide diners with nutritious options such truffled quinoa and an avocado mango salad topped with freshly grilled fish.
Be sure to give this risotto with cuttlefish a try if you have the chance to order it while it is still on the menu.
Artigiano at Vila
Rruga Papa Gjon Pali II 9 // +355 67 600 0480
Artigiano is a restaurant that you should visit whenever you have an appetite for Italian cuisine, just as I do virtually constantly. I was surprised to learn that the restaurant, which is mostly renowned for its pizza, also serves some very delicious pasta.
Make sure you look into the options they have for seafood. This octopus and potatoes dish that was roasted was cooked to perfection and packed with flavor. Just before it was presented to the customer, a fragrant olive oil had been poured over it:
Friends & Fish
Bulevardi Gjergj Fishta // +355 68 206 5272
This restaurant doesn’t seem like much from the outside, but it has some of the freshest seafood options in Tirana, amazing house wine, and the nicest waitstaff I experienced throughout my stay there. Allow the men working behind the counter to advise you on what produce is currently available, then place an order for a salad and some wine to enjoy while they cook your meal. It may be easy and uncomplicated, but it never fails to provide the desired results.
Rruga Brigada VIII // +355 4 222 3570
Otium is yet another well-liked alternative for exquisite dining in the Tirana area. There is not a predetermined menu. On the other hand, the menu emphasizes what is most recently prepared. After you have been seated, the waiter will walk you through the many selections available on that particular day. One thing that caught me off guard was that the costs were not stated at any point. If you have to inquire, it’s almost safe to assume that you can’t afford what you want. Everything else about the trip, including the meal and the service, was excellent.
In addition, the presentation was exquisite.
and each dish was presented in a flawless manner.
When I come back to the restaurant again, I’m going to order the steak since I’ve heard from several people that it’s the finest in town.
Rruga Brigada VIII // +355 69 927 7086
Duff in a sports bar decorated in the American manner. In point of fact, there is almost always a game being shown on the projector that is located outside on the patio. When I asked locals where I might get the city’s greatest burger, they all pointed me in the direction of Duff. They were absolutely correct!
Big, sloppy burgers, perfectly crisp fries, and ice cold beer – that’s what perfection looks like. Even so, Duff was pleased to accommodate my vegetarian buddy and went off-menu to produce a burger for her that she praised as being among the best she’s ever had.
Çoko Bistro Bar
Rruga Pjeter Bogdani Number 19 // +355 4 225 8411
Koko was another one of the places that I frequented often. The décor is stunning, and eating at a table on the outside terrace, where you can look down on the bustling street below, is the ideal way to spend an evening here. On the menu, you may order everything from a burger made with a poached egg to beef tongue smothered in miso sauce. In addition, the restaurant provides some of the most delicious paté I’ve ever tasted. It’s likely due in large part to the use of bacon in the dish’s preparation, as well as the cornbread that’s served with it.
The grilled octopus served over chickpeas and garnished with dill is another one of my go-to meals there.
When I requested this meal on many occasions, the octopus was always prepared to perfection, and the chickpeas were always bursting with flavor.
If you’re looking for something to eat for lunch that won’t weigh you down, I highly recommend their grilled shrimp and quinoa salad:
The quinoa is served chilled, packed with a variety of veggies, and topped with shrimp that has been freshly grilled.
In addition, oko is home to one of the city’s most delicious breakfasts. Their take on the traditional Eggs Benedict was delicious, and I highly recommend ordering it. Their version has ham and avocado topped with hollandaise sauce that they produced themselves:
Rruga Papa Gjon Pali II // +355 4 450 4913
Padam is certainly one of the most elite restaurants in all of Tirana, if not the most exclusive overall. The restaurant is located on the same floor as a luxurious hotel that shares its name. You should absolutely call ahead to make reservations, and this is particularly important if you would like to eat on the beautiful patio that is located outdoors.
On the menu are items such as pan-fried calf sweetbreads in a paprika lime sauce, risotto with stewed duck and orange marmalade, and sea bass carpaccio served with gazpacho and zucchini that has been marinated.
It was impossible to choose just one meal from the menu since there were so many delicious options. I did the only thing that made sense, which was to order the tasting menu. The tasting menu begins at an exceptionally affordable 4800 lek, which is equivalent to $45 USD. This price includes six meals but does not include wine pairings.
On this particular evening, the tasting menu included a variety of items, some of which were a poached egg with yogurt, broccoli cream, and black truffle:
Then there came the handmade hare tortellini with fennel cream and cumin, which is likely the dish that won the award for my favorite of the evening:
It is not only considered to be one of the top restaurants in all of Tirana, but it is also a wonderful location to see famous people from the area. A few of the local sports stars and television personalities that my buddy mentioned are included below.
Pjeter Bogdani 3 // +355 69 580 8447
Even though it’s just a bar and not a proper restaurant, I thought it was important to include Colonial in Tirana since we ended ourselves there virtually every night for a number of them.
Colonial is the greatest bar in all of Tirana for upscale and specialized drinks. Their wait staff is quite knowledgeable about the menu and would gladly make recommendations depending on what they know you like eating. They could even create something brand new just for you.