16 Best Restaurants In Tirana, Albania

Last Updated on March 30, 2024

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If you’re visiting the big city, and are looking at where to eat in Tirana then I have got just the guide for you.

Albania’s capital offers an outstanding selection of fantastic restaurants serving international and traditional Albanian cuisine.

In this article, I’ve outlined the best restaurants in Tirana that you have to visit while you visit.

Tasty traditional Albania dishes to eat at the best restaurants in Tirana, baked dish with golden top covered in green spice leaves inside brown ceramic baking pot

The list includes low-cost and high-end Tirana restaurants, a few wonderful locations to taste typical Albanian foods, top-quality seafood, pizza, and my favourite zgara (grill restaurant).

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There appears to be a new restaurant opening here almost every week, and the standards are generally pretty great.

Albanian cuisine is just one of the many reasons why you should come to Albania.

Food in Albania

The combination of abundantly productive soil, proximity to the sea, and muddled cultural lines with their neighbours has resulted in a good quality ingredients and a diverse range of food.

Greece, Italy, and Turkey are contemporary inspirations for a lot of food in Albania.

The staples are meat and vegetables, as well as hearty stews, pickled cabbage, feta cheese, breads, grains, and smoked meat.

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The most common vegetables planted are eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives (which go with almost every meal), and legumes. Definitely Mediterranean!

If you’re a vegetarians or vegan, you won’t find much outside of salads, however because their ingredients are mostly organic and high-quality even a simple salad is delicious.

16 Best Restaurants In Tirana

The best restaurants in Tirana (and Albania) are inexpensive, so you can eat to your heart’s content without breaking the bank.

Indulging in the delicious Albanian cuisine, is just one of many great things to do in Tirana when you visit.

Below you will find my recommendations for the best places to eat in Tirana.

where to eat in Tirana Albania, Photo of an Albania dish with cheese and peppers

1. Zgara Te Pazari

“Zgara” means “grill” in Albanian. Tirana is home to various zgaras, or little grill restaurants, that provide modest, freshly prepared meals cooked over charcoal.

I’ve been to many of these around town, but my favourite is Zgara Te Pazari.

This establishment is near the New Bazaar, on a main street with several other zgaras in a row (it’s one of the best restaurants in Tirana), and it’s often crowded.

When you come here, it’s generally packed with locals (a good sign), and the smells that float down the street are fantastic.

The menu is straightforward, with only a few meat items (chicken kebabs, qofte, sausages) served with fries or rice, bread, salad, and/or pickles.

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But everything is perfectly cooked – the qofte (labelled on the menu as “meatballs”) is hands down the best I’ve ever had – and the prices are more than reasonable.

The food and the atmosphere are both excellent. They also serve draught beer, and the crew is always cheerful and upbeat.

Zgara Te Pazari is the place to go in Tirana if you want good food and an inexpensive, delicious, and authentic local dinner. I am not lying when I say this is one of the best restaurants in Tirana!

2. Padam

If you want to reward yourself or celebrate a particular event, visit one of the best restaurants in Tirana; I recommend visiting Padam. It’s housed within the same-named fancy boutique hotel.

Padam is one of Tirana’s top upscale restaurants, providing a world-class fine dining experience.

Here you can also have the best breakfast in Tirana and maybe bump into an Albanian celebrity once or twice.

It’s on a tree-lined lane near Tirana’s massive Pyramid, just south of the city centre, approximately a 10-minute walk south of Et’hem Bej Mosque and Skanderbeg Square.

The structure is a local icon, a gorgeous restored 1930s home with a modern interior and a pleasant ambiance.

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Fundim Gjepali, Padam’s award-winning head chef, also runs Antico Arco, one of Rome’s greatest restaurants.

The menu is primarily Mediterranean, and the chef takes pride in using only the best quality fresh seasonal ingredients to create truly exceptional and imaginative cuisine.

This is named consistently the best restaurant in Tirana: fancy, chic, and a pleasant environment.

Delicious Tirana restaurants, Photo of fergese which is a traditionally Albanian dish of stew prepared with cheese, peppers, and tomatoes

3. Oda Restaurant

Oda Restaurant is one of Tirana’s most famous restaurants and a great spot to try authentic Albanian cuisine. It’s hidden in an ancient house in a narrow alleyway near the New Bazaar.

The space is incredibly atmospheric, with dark oak beams and whitewashed walls filled with vintage portraits and traditional souvenirs.

Meals are meant to be shared, as is customary in Albania, and I recommend ordering two servings per person.

Fergese (a type of stew prepared with cheese, peppers, and tomatoes), Patllxhan (stuffed aubergine), and spinach pie are also wonderful dishes.

You will enjoy all the traditional dishes because this is the best restaurant in Tirana for authentic Albanian food. And there are no doubts about that, you can read the reviews.

There’s also a lush outside patio which is also a lovely place to sit, especially in the summer.

Musicians perform from time to time beneath the trees, with fairy lights draped above them.

The cuisine is a fusion of traditional and modern Albanian fare. Everything is high-quality, and the servers are always willing to recommend their favourite local specialities.

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4. Mullixhiu

Tirana’s Grand Park is a big (290-hectare/700-acre) public park in the city’s south that is one of my favourite areas.

The park contains a lake, important forestland, and a few modest Albania restaurants along the perimeter.

Several of these are outstanding, but Mullixhiu stands out as one of the best restaurants in Tirana. This farm-to-table eatery is popular among residents and visitors alike.

Bledar Kola, the restaurant’s head chef, sources most of his ingredients from a limited network of local farmers and suppliers.

Kola previously worked at Copenhagen’s famous Noma restaurant and has designed an exceptional menu.

The recipes are a fusion of “Albanian grandma’s home cuisine” and modern interpretations of classic Albanian dishes.

Enjoy the saffron soup and the polenta-stuffed handmade sausages. The lasagna is also delicious.

best places to eat in Tirana Albania, pizza with onion, peppers and pepperoni

5. Artigiano At Vila  

While writing this, I couldn’t decide if Eatalian’s or Artigiano at Vila was the best Italian restaurant in Tirana. As a result, I recommend them both.

Artigiano at Vila specialises in fresh pasta (made daily) and wood-fired pizza; they do both well. The portions are big, and everything tastes fresh and wonderful, like excellent Italian food.

The handcrafted truffle ravioli, freshly grilled salmon and shrimp strozzapreti, linguine with tiger prawns, and pappardelle with salmon and asparagus are among the menu’s highlights.

The structure comes from the 1940s and is designed to look like an old Tuscan home, complete with evocative wooden beams and colourful tiles.

6. Eatalian

Eatalian is also a top pick for Italian food in Tirana. The truffle prawn ravioli and seafood linguine come highly recommended!

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7. Otium

Otium is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in Tirana’s centre. The design is light and airy, with lace curtains and blooming plants to create a welcoming atmosphere.

French meals such as Gallic Onion Soup and Chicken Terrine are served accurately and gracefully.

Otium is an excellent choice and one of the best restaurants in Tirana for a meal with friends or family. It also has an extensive wine list.

The most Incredible restaurants in Tirana, salad with lettuce, red peppers, goats cheese, red onions, olives and crutons

8. A La Santé

This one-of-a-kind restaurant is the definition of a ‘hidden gem,’ with a difficult-to-discover, private atmosphere that also functions as an art gallery.

It is also a pioneer in Tirana’s culinary scene, presenting the notion of superfoods to hungry people.

The facility comprises two indoor rooms and a tiny outdoor terrace with about 15-20 tables.

The walls are covered in artwork for sale, and the restaurant also serves as an art gallery. Dining is made more peaceful by the soft lighting and cosy furnishings.

The menu here features a variety of nutritious dishes, including superb salads, quinoa, and fish. Pasta, risottos, and steaks are also excellent.

The cuisine is contemporary European in style.

My top recommendations are the prawns (shrimp) in cognac sauce, the A La Sante salad, the fish with mango saffron curry, and the risotto with salmon and asparagus. Check out their specials as well!

9. Pizzeria Saporita

Come here for a break and enjoy nicely cooked pizza, pork, and salads. This cuisine will make you fall in love with it.

Among the best drinks to order is delicious beer or good wine.

Pizzeria Saporita offers food delivery too if you really just don’t feel like leaving your house.

10. Bella Napoli

The best pizza ingredients in Tirana! The crust is “soft and crispy” in true Neapolitan fashion.

The price and quality are both reasonable. Costs are a little pricier than other pizza joints, but I’d rather eat one good pizza than two and a half lousy pizzas.

If you like pizza, this is the best spot to go in Tirana, period.

The namesake meal is highly recommended, a hybrid between a pizza and a calzone. The dough, in particular, was quite tasty.

Not only do they serve pizza, but they also serve the tastiest mozzarella di buffalo. It is undeniably a traditional Neapolitan pizza joint.

Discover famous Albanian food at Tirana Restaurants, plate containing three large dumpling balls on top of bed of lettuce with creamy white dip

11. Birrai Ke Tori

An excellent ‘zgare’ (barbecue/grill house) will appeal to everyone on a budget, whether local or foreigner.

Many locals will tell you that such a spot does not exist in the Bllok, yet they must be corrected!

Birrari ke Tori is well recognised, but it is frequently disregarded for some reason unknown to me.

The cuisine is fantastic value for money and quite flavourful, plus it is served in a more traditional Albanian environment. The restaurant is a family-run establishment.

Everything you’d expect from a local joint, including qofte, suxhuk, and plenty of grilled meat, is on the menu. The real draw here, though, is their very delicious chicken wings.

A huge bowl of these wonderful ‘krahe pule’ served in a honey mustard sauce costs only 350 lek. Those are the best chicken wings in Tirana!

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12. Duff Bar

Excellent location and it’s a fun place to hang out. The staff is friendly and helpful when you need them, but they don’t disturb you when you don’t.

Duff bar is one of the best bars in Tirana but also it has delicious America food. If you’re craving a burger or some chicken wings, then definitely make a stop here.

13. Happy Belly – Vegan Restaurant

This restaurant serves only vegetarian and healthy foods and beverages.

They get fresh fruits and veggies daily and create healthy dishes with them, which are always different daily and entirely dependent on the ingredients they have on hand!

They have a fantastic breakfast, such as delicious hot muesli with fresh fruits. The only drawback is that there is little seating.

You may have to wait a little longer, particularly during peak hours, but it’s worthwhile! Happy Belly is definitely some of the best vegan food Tirana has to offer!

14. Fiore

Tasty meals for an Albanian dinner in Tirana restaurants, two cooked shrimps on a black plate with slices of lime and mint leaves

Fiore is a great restaurant with a nice view of Qemal Stafa Stadium. Explore the Italian and Mediterranean menus.

Fiore serves perfectly prepared prawns, sea bass, and risotto. Come here for the tastiest cuisine if you’re hungry. As many visitors have noticed, the house wine is excellent.

This establishment’s pleasant atmosphere helps clients unwind after a long day at work or travelling.

The staff are super friendly and provide spectacular service. This place has delicious food at a reasonable price.

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15. Tribe

When planning your vacation, keep this restaurant in mind because you HAVE to visit this place.

The chefs here produce delicious meals. Some consider it Tirana’s best restaurant for good beef and well-cooked steaks.

At TRIBE Urban Gastronomy Tirana, the Mediterranean food menu is highly praised. You can taste great wine along with a juicy steak.

Vegans and vegetarians may not like this place too much as it’s quite meat heavy but if you’re a meat-lover then you’re in luck.

best restaurants in Tirana, four different poke bowls with assorted ingredients
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

16. Aloha Poke

Aloha Poke is the ONLY poke restaurant in Tirana and comes highly recommended.

Here you can find delicious bowls with raw fish, or meat alongside fresh salads and delicious appetisers.

Aloha Poke gives poke a Hawaiian twist with fresh flavours that leave you satisfied.

If you’re looking for a break from grilled meat and want something that makes you feel energized to see more of the city then opt to eat here!

These are my top picks of the best restaurants in Tirana. It’s a great city, and the restaurant and food scene there are the best in the country.

I hope you enjoy trying out some of these delicious places to dine out in the city.

Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, you are spoilt for choice, with many excellent and authentic Albania restaurants.

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Café culture thrives in Albania, and the country’s pleasant climate means that most places offer outside dining throughout the year.

One of my favourite aspects of Tirana is how inexpensive everything is. Eating out is frequently less expensive than buying all the supplies and cooking for yourself.

Whatever your budget, you may eat out frequently and visit various restaurants throughout your time in the city without breaking the bank.

That cannot be said for many other European capital cities!

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ Are there any vegan restaurants in Tirana?

Yes! Tirana is actually one of the few cities – currently – in Albania that offers vegan-specific restaurants. However, options are still pretty limited (more options are available for vegetarians). My favourite vegan restaurant in Tirana is Happy Belly.

✅ Are there any famous restaurants in Tirana?

Some of the Tirana restaurants are are very popular and famous locally are Oda Restaurant and Mullixhiu. These are both great places to get traditional Albanian food and even the locals love them!

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