If I had to pick one place in the Balkans that has the best cafe culture, it’d be hard to pick but ultimately, I think I’d have to give the edge to Tirana.
This funky Albanian capital city probably has more cafes per capita than anywhere else I’ve ever been: it seems like virtually every block has at least one cafe, if not several. And no matter what the time of day – morning, noon, or night – you can find locals sipping on their drinks of choice, typically espressos or macchiatos.
I spent four incredibly caffeinated days in Tirana trying to discover the best cafes in Tirana. While there’s no way I’ve even come close to writing a comprehensive Tirana cafe guide, this should definitely assist you if you are visiting Tirana for a short period of time and want to ensure you sip of the best coffee in Tirana without running all over the city.
The highest concentration of excellent coffee shops in Tirana are in the hipster mecca of Blloku, where you’ll also find plenty of fantastic bars and restaurants (guides on those to come, as well!)
In no particular order, here are my favorite places to drink coffee in Tirana!
The Best Cafes in Tirana
This was actually my first coffee shop in Tirana, out of pure luck. I arrived after taking the bus from Ohrid to Tirana at 10:30 AM, desperate for a good cup of coffee after dropping off my bag at my hotel. And, luckily enough, I found probably the best cup of coffee during my entire stay in Tirana at Small on my first try – no kidding!
Whereas ordering cappuccinos in Albania and Kosovo can be a bit of a gamble sometimes – weirdly enough, a lot of the time there is inexplicably chocolate syrup drizzled on top? – I forgot this quirk and happily ordered a cappuccino and got exactly what I was looking for. The pretty latté art was the icing on the cake!
The coffee shop indeed is small, and it looks like it’d be a fun bar at night – the downstairs area is really cute, with a vintage aesthetic, and has a fully-stocked bar. I didn’t pop back in to see what the nightlife was like here, but I think it’d be well-worth a peek during the day and at night.
At least, go by day for the excellent coffee, good WiFi, and decent seating arrangements. While I didn’t try working remotely there, it seemed like it would be conducive to that as it was quiet, not smoky, and the WiFi was really speedy.
Address: AL, Rruga Pjetër Bogdani, 1001, Albania
Hours: 8 AM – 2 AM every day except Sunday, where it’s open 4 PM – 2 AM
Another lucky find, I didn’t have City Art on my list of Tirana cafes to check out but when I stumbled across it, I felt I had to go in and take a look. It ended up being one of my favorite finds in Tirana – a lovely outdoor (but covered) area, a funky indoor area that looked like it’d be a great place for drinks in the evening, and just an overall excellent vibe.
I ordered an espresso macchiato here (which would become my drink of course in Albania, mostly because it almost always cost a mere 80 lek, about 75 cents) and it was done perfectly: plenty of creamy milk, but not too much to overwhelm the espresso underneath. Plus, it came with a cookie!
As you can probably guess from the interior, it’s also a popular place for drinks at night and does double-duty like many cafes in Tirana.
Address: Rruga Mustafa Matohiti, Tiranë, Albania
Hours: 7 AM to midnight Sunday through Wednesday; 7 AM to 2 AM Thursday through Saturday
One of the cutest cafés in Tirana has got to be Café Komiteti! With traditional Ottoman-inspired furnishings inside, a funky painted exterior, and delicious coffee, it’s the kind of place that inspires you to think creatively.
It calls itself a café museum and that’s just about right: full of historical knickknacks, it’s a true relic of times past that gives you an insight into Albanian life and culture.
Address: Rruga Fatmir Haxhiu, Tiranë, Albania
Hours: Daily 8 AM to midnight
Coko Bar & Bistro
One of the best places in Tirana to get a delicious brunch, I love Coko Bar & Bistro in the hip neighborhood of Blloku – I had a perfect eggs benedict with smoked salmon there.
Their cappuccinos are fantastic and the food is excellent, and the outdoor garden is an inspiring place to sit and work or meet a friend for a coffee.
Address: Rr. Pjetër Bogdani Nr 7 Tiranë AL, 1010, Albania
Hours: 8 AM to midnight on weeknights; 8 AM until 1 AM on Fridays & Saturdays
More Albania Resources
First, start by reading our post on planning a trip to Albania. It covers everything from visas to vaccinations to what to pack, so it’s a great jumping-off point for your travel plans.
If you’re curious about the currency used in Albania and how tipping works, we recommend our Balkan currency guide to learn all about the Albanian lek and tipping culture. We also have a post on Albanian cuisine!
If you’re looking for even more places to add to your Albania itinerary, we have a bunch of ideas for you from us and other bloggers in this collaborative post about the 15 best places to visit in Albania!
Finally, Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance!
I’m sure you’re aware that travel insurance is a great idea for Albania and for travel in general! This is especially true when you’re talking about hiking in remote areas where help is far away, or relaxing on the beach or traveling around cities where you can be a potential target for theft.
Stephanie and I have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption.
While Albania is perfectly safe to travel around, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel, so it’s better to play it safe.
Originally from California, Allison has been living in Bulgaria for the last two years and is obsessed with traveling around the Balkans. She has been published in National Geographic, CNN Arabic, Matador Network, and the Huffington Post. She loves befriending dogs, drinking coffee, geeking out about wine, and cooking food from around the world.