Tirana’s restaurant scene is booming, and now there are plenty of delicious places to eat in Tirana. From traditional Albanian food to international-inspired restaurants in Tirana, you’ll find plenty of places to eat your way through this fun, vibrant capital city.
Here are some of my favorite restaurants in Tirana – from the traditional to the avant-garde.
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Traditional Restaurants in Tirana
This beloved restaurant in Tirana is on everyone’s must-visit list, for its traditional Albanian decor as well as its local dishes. “Oda” means Ottoman-era guest room in Albanian and that sums up the experience of eating here perfectly.
I ate here on my first visit in Tirana in 2016, back before the Pazar I Ri renovations which made this part of town even cooler, and was impressed by the food. I didn’t get a chance to go back on my most recent trip, but a friend of mine went and highly recommended it. I remember being impressed by the stuffed peppers and baked oven casseroles, but it’s even better to go with a group and take the recommendations of the waiters who can suggest a well-rounded meal.
Address: Rruga Luigj Gurakuqi, Tirana, Albania
Hours: 11 AM to 11 PM daily
Average Cost: I’m not sure if the prices have changed drastically since I went in 2016, but I’d imagine you could have a 3-course meal for around 1000 lek / a little under $10 USD.
Located right next to Tirana’s beautiful Artificial Lake in the Grand Park of Tirana, Mullixhiu is a new favorite serving up unique but authentic Albanian recipes you won’t often find elsewhere. Far from your typical salads and grilled meats, Mullixhiu offers hand-made pastas, unique salads, and also full-scale tasting menus for a great price of about $20 USD. Unfortunately, I was too full to indulge in the tasting menu but I did try their salad and their pasta.
While their salad sounded promising – zucchini and plum – it ended up being a bit strange, more sour and lemony than sweet and tart like I had hoped. I wasn’t a huge fan, but they definitely made up for it with their excellent handmade pasta. I adored their hand-torn pasta with duck confit and mushrooms – it was simply delicious.
Their complimentary dessert of kadaifi and boza was a real unique treat and so fun to eat – served out of a pipe, you ate the kadaifi first and then sipped the boza through the pipe like a straw.
Their wine was also really fantastic, and I loved that they had an extensive selection of Albanian wines on offer. We tried the Puls i Beratit and it was really, really good! Who knew Albania made such fantastic wines? (OK, I had an inkling, but damn, this blew me away!)
Overall, despite the miss from me on the salad, they’re doing incredibly creative and unique things with food, and the atmosphere is fantastic. I’d recommend going for lunch so that you can enjoy a walk in Tirana’s gorgeous Grand Park afterwards – eating there at night as we did, we missed out on the lovely views.
Address: Shëtitorja Lasgush Poradeci, Hyrja e Parkut tek Diga e Liqenit Artificial, Tirana 1019, Albania
Hours: 12-4 PM daily for lunch; 6-10 PM daily for dinner
Average Cost: It really varies – up to 3,000 lek per person ($27 USD) for a tasting course + wine, or as little as 1,000 lek per person ($9 USD) for a pasta and one glass of wine.
Luga e Argjendte
I didn’t have time for a full meal here which is one of my regrets! I was getting a bit peckish as I wandered around the new Kalaja i Tiranës development and noticed that I was passing a place that was on my list to try, Luga e Argjendte which means Silver Spoon in Albanian.
There was no menu in English, but the waiters kindly explained the dishes to me. I ordered the meze plate, which included sausage, two kinds of cheese, olives, a sweet jam (perhaps rose-flavored?) and peppers stuffed with a salty feta-like cheese. It was really good and a great snack, but quite a bit for one person who just wanted a quick nibble!
The price was right – about 500 lek for a meze plate – and I’m sure it’d be a great deal for a larger meal if you were more hungry than I was when I went. It’s one of my friend’s recommendations, and she’s a Tirana local so I trust her judgment on it!
Address: Rruga Murat Toptani , Pedonale , Dyqani Nr.5 Tiranë AL AL, 1001, Albania (inside the ‘Tirana Castle’ complex area)
Hours: 8 AM to 10 PM daily
Average Cost: On the cheap to mid-range side. Most dishes were about 400-600 lek, ($3.50-5.50 USD).
Cafés with Food in Tirana
Noor Fine Food & Coffee
If you’re looking for a place to grab a healthy lunch and a coffee, NOOR Fine Foods and Coffee is a fabulous place. I got a delicious dijon-sauce chicken with arugula and finished off with a coffee and all of it was so good!
It was also a nice atmosphere to work in, quiet, super Instagrammable and aesthetically pleasing, and with good internet. I’d definitely recommend it for people who want to do some work and eat a nice lunch while they do so.
Address: Rruga Abdi Toptani, Tiranë, Albania
Hours: 7 AM to midnight
Prices: For a main dish, bread, and coffee, I spent 690 lek or about $6 USD.
Fine Dining in Tirana
If you’re looking for a fancy restaurant in Tirana to take a loved one out to (or, you know, just treat yourself like I did), SALT is a fantastic choice. The menu is a bit all over the place, but everything I ordered I found they did extremely well. My one quibble with them is that they didn’t have a few of the options on the menu at lunch – at least two of the things I asked about weren’t being served until dinner, which was a bummer.
However, the food I did get was fantastic. I settled on the tempura-battered avocado with spicy mayo (yummmmm) and some of their sushi.
I ordered one roll, but they let me know that I could do a half-and-half order and try two different rolls for no extra charge (they’d just be charged as a half order). I loved that they were able to be flexible like that and I was able to try two different rolls as a result. Especially as a solo diner, I get a lot of FOMO on not being able to try as much as I’d like to and then I end up over-ordering… but not here.
If you’re craving sushi while you’re in Tirana, I can definitely recommend SALT. I tried both the Salt Roll with salmon and the Hot Night Roll with tempura shrimp and both were excellent, fresh, and tasty. While it was a little expensive for Tirana, I didn’t feel like it was out of place with what I ordered. For an appetizer and 8 pieces of sushi, I paid about 2,000 lek ($18) which is pretty much what I expect for sushi. However, I understand that for locals this is quite pricy.
Also, can we just talk about how sleek and beautiful this restaurant is? One day, I too want a floor-to-ceiling bar that I have to access with a rolling ladder, Beauty-in-the-Beast style.
Address: Rruga Pjetër Bogdani, Tiranë 1001, Albania
Hours: 12 PM to midnight daily
Average Cost: On the pricy side. I paid 2,000 lek ($18 USD) for an appetizer and sushi with no drinks. There are certainly more and less expensive things on the menu. I think 1,000-4,000 lek ($9-$36) is the range that you can expect to pay, depending on how many course, what beverages you order, etc.
A La Santé
One of the most beloved restaurants in Tirana by locals and tourists alike, A La Santé combines international and Albanian favorites seamlessly. Meaning “to health” in French, the focus is on healthy cuisine and seasonal cooking.
It’s consistently been voted one of the five best restaurants in Tirana and is always creatively plated. I thoroughly enjoyed my leek and avocado soup as a starter, and then followed it up with a seafood rice dish paired with a delicious Albanian white wine.
Address: Rruga Sami Frashëri, Tirana, Albania (It’s a little hard to find – look for Baronesha Premium Food on the map and then it’s in the courtyard/parking lot behind it)
Hours: 8 AM to 11 PM
Prices: Average and a great value for the quality. For a soup, main dish, and glass of white wine I paid 1180 lek, about $11 USD.
Artigiano at Vila
For the best Italian restaurant in Tirana, look no further than Artigiano at Vila. I had an incredible lunch there that would seriously rival anything in Italy — and I’m saying this as someone raised by an Italian grandmother, so you know I’m serious.
I enjoyed a dish of homemade ricotta ravioli with a wild boar ragu with porcini mushrooms, dressed with parmesan shavings and a green emulsion to add contrast.
They have a great selection of Italian wines and I enjoyed a glass of red with my meal – it was delicious and less than $3 USD.
Location: Rruga Papa Gjon Pali II 9, Tirana 1001, Albania
Hours: Daily from 11:30 AM to midnight
Average Prices: For my main dish, bread, and a glass of wine, I paid 1030 lek before tip, just under $10 USD — a fantastic price for the quality.
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.