Albania may not have a huge food representation around the world, but that is all changing now, with the slow food movement outside Albania. In the country, you can find some great restaurants with authentic and delicious food, with influence from the Mediterranean region.
Unlike most countries in the world, Albania has managed to steer clear of the fast-rising fast food industry. So, when you are looking for breakfast in Albania, you will get to enjoy hot, hearty breakfast meals.
Food in North Albania differs significantly from the food in the south. But both are so delicious that you will want to say goodbye to burgers, nuggets, or fries.
Best Traditional Albanian breakfasts
Food from the North of Albania is usually warm and hearty to counter the cold in the region. On the other hand, the south has fresh seafood and lighter meals. So, depending on the side of Albania you are in, you can find the perfect dish to jumpstart your day.
Below is a list of the best traditional breakfasts in Albania.
If you google the most famous Albanian breakfast right now, Byrek would be the top result. The dish, which is common across the country, is a simple food you can find in the rural streets of Albania. The dish dates back to the Ottoman Era.
The pastry, which often has fillings, could have spinach, potato, yogurt, pumpkin, cabbage, courgettes, leeks, cheese, or nettles. Traditionally, byrek consists of several layers of dough thinly rolled by hand. It is then cut into smaller pieces which you can find on street carts.
To make byrek, common ingredients include olive oil, filo dough, feta cheese, chopped green onions, eggs, salt, pepper, and chopped spinach. You can enjoy some byrek with hot coffee or tea.
You can enjoy your serving of byrek when in Albania at Sofra e Aruit, Te Eda, Oda Restaurant, Era Vila, Ceren Ismet Shehu, or from Mulixhui through online orders.
Another popular dish you can enjoy for breakfast in Albania is a flija. Commonly known as flia, you can enjoy this stack of layered pancakes in the morning alongside your cup of hot tea. You can also enjoy flija with sour milk and yogurt. Alternatively, you can use jam, spicy vegetable spread, or drizzle honey and enjoy them as they are.
The recipe consists of two mixtures. One is the batter, in which you can include water, flour, salt, and eggs. The second mixture is what you use for filling the pancakes. It consists of olive oil blended with yogurt and butter.
Although the ingredients are simple, the meal is anything but simple. The flavors burst in your mouth, contrasting how it looks. The only problem is that making flia is laborious. You need to wait until every layer is ready before adding extra butter and filling.
Visit Mrizi Zanave Agriturizem or Millixhiu for the best flija you will ever have.
Nothing screams traditional Albania like fergese. The dish, which contains peppers, tomatoes, and cottage cheese, is tasty and, honestly, one of the best Albanian dishes you can ever enjoy.
Fergese comes in two main varieties in Albania. You can get Fergese e Tiranes me piperka ( this one uses peppers), or fergese me melci (uses liver). This means you can enjoy a hearty meal of fergese as a vegetarian or a meat lover.
For the pepper fergese, the ingredients include red bell peppers, onions, feta cheese, tomatoes, greek yogurt, basil, pepper, salt, flour, butter, chili flakes, and olive oil. The vegetables are then baked after sauteeing them and mixing with the flour, butter, and cheese melted in a different pan.
For the fergese me melci, chefs add chopped liver and garlic to the vegetable mixture before baking.
The fergese served at Restaurant Pireci Era Blloku is highly rated among diners.
Who says having pasta for breakfast is wrong? If you share the same thoughts, then Albania is the perfect place for you. The dish, which could be either a soup, a porridge, or compact grains, makes the best breakfast when you need a simple meal to kickstart your day.
The dish packs a lot of minerals, proteins, and organic acids. You can enjoy a simple trihana soup in the morning. You can also add some vegetables like broccoli, beans, or sugar snap peas for a full, balanced meal.
Since the meal is simple to make, it is common in many homes in Albania. So, even if you are visiting this South Europe country, you can make it in a few minutes.
Petulla is the Albanian version of fried dough. Locally known as Petulla Me Veze, the recipe includes a combination of salt, yeast, flour, milk, eggs, sugar, and vegetable oil. After baking, the dough sits for a few hours when it rises before being fried in hot oil in batches.
The fried dough is then placed on a paper towel to drain the oil before coating it with powdered sugar. You can enjoy your serving of petulla me veze with raspberry jam, feta cheese, or honey.
Bufe wine bar near Lana River serves some delicious petulla with honey. Coko Bistro & Bar in Blloku is another excellent spot for petullas with Albanian cheese.
Albania may be a small country in Europe, but its food is far from bland. The country, which is rich in heritage, has wide varieties. The food sources its ingredients from the ocean and farms, which means healthier meals. And although breakfast is not a big deal there, they still have an excellent selection of foods you can enjoy during your visit.