Albania food and culture

Tips in Albania: how does it work?

Usually, you leave a tip by rounding the bill to the nearest higher digit. Usually, 10% of the account is more than enough. Both hotel doormen, restaurants, and taxi drivers often expect to receive it.

What are the typical Albanian dishes?

Albanian byrek

Albanian food has been strongly influenced by Turkish food. Among the most popular dishes are shishqebap (shish kebab), romsteak (minced meat pie) and qofte (meatballs). Typical dishes are çonlek (meat and onion stew), fërges (a very rich beef stew), rosto me salcë kosi (roast with sour cream) and tave kosi (mutton with yoghurt). The main meal is lunch, although today in Tirana the habit of dining out is becoming more and more popular. Ice cream (akullore) is very popular and coffee can be found as kafe turke (strong enough to reach your table alone) or as kafe ekspres (espresso). White wine is usually better than red, which often tastes like vinegar; other typical alcoholic beverages are raki (brandy), konjak (cognac). If you are invited to the bar, offer to pay. It will be difficult for your Albanian guest to allow it, but your gesture will increase your reputation among those present. Among the various typical dishes, remember:

Byrek: puff pastry filled with cheese or meat;
Fergese: eggs, cheese, and baked peppers;
Qofta: minced meat croquettes of flat or cylindrical shape;
Tave: baked meat with eggs and cheese;
Midhje: wild mussels often served fried;
Raki: popular brandy;
Raki mani: mulberry-based varieties of Raki.