Famous Food in Albania

Updated: Oct 23

Albanian Cuisine is classified as " Mediterranean food" that contains a lot of seafood, vegetables, meat, chicken and olive oil in its ingredients, Herbs are widely used as well, adding distinct and delicious flavor to the food.

Here is the most famous food in Albania you have to try while visiting Albania.







Appetizer & Starter


Byrek

Byrek is such a popular food in many Balkan countries that each country has its own version of Byrek, it is often filled with savory ingredients, like spinach, cheese and eggs, onion and tomatoes, and meat, and also sweet ingredients like pumpkin. It is cooked in a large pan in the oven and then cut into squares, triangles, or rectangles for serving.

It is served as a snack, appetizer, or breakfast and is even eaten as a late-night snack and is frequently served with Dhalle (a yogurt-based beverage) or Greek yogurt. This dish is very typical among all Balkan countries and probably originated in the Ottoman Empire.





Pispili

Pispili is usually a bread base topped with vegetables and baked, but sometimes the vegetables are layered in between the cornbread, or the two are mixed together. Feta cheese can be sprinkled on top, and pispili is best enjoyed with yogurt, which is usually served with it, or with Fërgesë, moistening the dish.






Tarator

Tarator is a delicious appetizer in Albania and Macedonia, the recipe is made of cold water, Greek yogurt, shredded cucumber, dill, salt, and garlic.

This appetizer is a great dish that usually eats before a meat-based entrée, it is usually served during the summer due to it being chilled before serving.

It has the consistency of a soup, so it is normal for this dish to be served in a bowl.


This classic dish is best served with a side of feta cheese, grilled veggies, and fresh bread. Fruits, olives, nuts, and hummus with pita bread also go well with it.

It tastes very similar to the traditional Albanian drink dhallë, a traditional drink similar to yogurt but with a thin consistency and added salt




Salcë Kosi

Salcë Kosi is similar to Tzatziki sauce (Greek cucumber yogurt sauce), it is a sour cream dip frequently blended with cucumber and garlic. It is best served with Albanian bread, a thicker variant of pita bread, and grilled meat dishes.




Ballokume

A traditional Albanian cookie made with cornflour, butter, sugar, and eggs, it is advised to use a copper bowl which will help in making the dough smooth and silky as it gets heated from kneading.

This dish was and is still made on Dita e Verës, an Albanian national holiday celebrated annually on the 14th of March.






Flija

Flija is a traditional dish, commonly known as it is a pie or a cake, flija can more accurately be described as a stack of layered pancakes.

It is famous in both Albania and Kosovo. The recipe consists of two different mixtures; one for the batter - usually consisting of flour, water, salt, and eggs, and the second mixture, used as a filling, prepared by blending together oil, butter, and yogurt or kaymak.




Main Course


Tavë Kosi*

Baked Lamb And Rice With Yogurt

Tavë Kosi is a highly loved traditional dish, commonly served at lunchtime. It is usually made with lamb but can be made with chicken (Tav Kosi Me Mish Pule), the yogurt is mixed with wheat flour, rice, eggs, and butter and then baked together with the meat.


The lamb meat is mixed with the rice and topped with the creamy flavored yogurt sauce. It’s baked in the oven till golden brown and commonly served hot with a side dish of vegetable salad.

This dish is quite famous in Turkey, Greece, and North Macedonia. This delicious meal is called Elbasan Tava in these areas, named after Elbasan city in Albania.


* Tavë in English means “casserole,” and kos is Albanian-soured milk made from goat's or ewe's milk, however, the original is made of soured milk but nowadays it is made of yogurt and eggs.





Qofte Fërguara

Albanian Meatballs

Qofte is a traditional Albanian food, these meatballs can be grilled, baked, or fried, it is made with minced meat: beef, chicken, lamb, or pork, with feta cheese, onions, garlic, mint leaves, and breadcrumbs. Salt, pepper, oregano, and cinnamon are also used to season the mixture. Other ingredients may include herbs, spices, and vegetables.

You can enjoy it in both Albania and Kosovo, it can be served as a main course, snack, with a salad, dipped in yogurt, with bread, or as a side during dinner, and usually, meatballs are eaten with tomato soup.





Jani Me Fasule

White Bean Soup

Jani me fasule is a traditional Albanian soup it is made of white beans (cannellini beans), tomatoes, capsicum, and olive oil, all these ingredients are used to make the soup’s base.

Jani Me Fasule was one of the most popular recipes during the Albanian famine since it was filling and inexpensive to prepare. When the famine was over, white bean soup remained popular.







Dolma Jabrak

Dolma Japrak or stuffed vine leaves are popular in many Balkan countries, the Middle East, and Central Asia, sometimes dolma uses cabbage instead of vine leaves

The vine leaves are stuffed with various ingredients such as minced lamb, rice, onions, cabbage, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and spices. The rolls are simmered until tender and commonly served with cold yogurt soup.







Peshk Në Zgarë

Grilled Fish

Peshk Në Zgarë is a seafood dish, the fish is simply cooked grilled or baked whole in the oven, with potatoes or tomatoes, onions, peppers, some herbs, and a generous dose of olive oil.






Peshk Dhe Perime Ne Tave

Fish And Vegetables

Peshk Dhe Perime Ne Tave is a baked fish dish paired with some veggies, then top everything with salt and olive oil.