Kosovo food has been influenced by many different cultures, but more so by Turkish, Albanian, and Balkan cuisines. Here is your guide on what to eat in Kosovo (and where)!
Many different cultures have influenced local food in Kosovo, but more so by Turkish, Albanian, and Balkan cuisines.
Dairy, meat, and bread are essential staples in the Kosovo diet, as well as fruits and vegetables. Dishes vary from winter to summer, and vegetables such as the famous Kosovo tomatoes and cucumbers are consumed during the warm summers, while pickles are plated in the winter.
Traditional food in Kosovo, such as flija, pies, stuffed peppers, kebabs, bureks, and sarma, are typical across all regions, with slight variations from one region to another.
Skip Ahead To My Advice Here!
How Much Is It To Eat In Kosovo
The cost of food in Kosovo depends on what you eat, but being one of the cheapest countries in Europe, the food is correspondingly cheap. You can enjoy a meal for hardly a few Euros, a Coke or Pepsi for 1 Euro, or a beer for 1.5 Euros. A 3-course meal at a mid-range might cost you anywhere between 10 to 20 Euros.
A kilogram of apples costs around half a Euro, while a bottle of mid-range wine costs 4 or 5 Euros. Combine that with the cheap cost of traveling in Kosovo, and you have the perfect place for a budget-friendly European vacation!
What To Eat In Kosovo?
There’s a lot! Because of the influences of neighboring countries, Kosovo cuisine is familiar yet distinct. The bureks remind you a tad of Albania, but not quite. The qebapa or kebabs have traces of Turkey in them.
You sometimes get whiffs of other Balkan cuisines in the food you try in Kosovo, but all the dishes here have their own unique flavor. Here are some Kosovo food dishes you must try while visiting this country.
Byrek Or Burek
A pastry stuffed with meat, spinach, or cheese, the byrek is an all-time favorite meal. Some versions include rice and minced meat, making it a perfect all-in-one meal. The bureks in Kosovo are usually made in circular pans by alternating layers of flaky pastry with the fillings.
When you eat a Flija, you wonder how a simple alternating batter and cream dish can taste so good. But if you can watch it being made, you’ll be awed at how much work this simple Kosovo food takes. Alternating layers of batter and cream are filled into a pan and baked one layer at a time over 5 to 6 hours.
Isn’t that painstaking work? It’s probably what makes the flija taste so much sweeter.
Tavë, originating in Albania, the tave is popular in Kosovo, and you’ll find a few different varieties. Tave Kosi is made of baked lamb with yogurt and rice. Garlic and oregano are first used for seasoning lamb and rice. This is then covered with a yogurt-egg mixture and baked till golden brown.
Another variation, the Tavë Prizren, is local to Prizren, as the name denotes. In this version from Kosovo, tomato is used along with green peppers, eggplants, and onions to cook the lamb before serving.
A fish version, Tave Krapi, made with carp, is popular in Gjakova.
Brands We Use And Trust
Cevapcici Or Cevapi
Gjuvec is a dish made of meat with vegetables like Kosovo tomato, olives, mushrooms, onions, and spices baked in earthenware pots.
Ajvar or Hajvar
Whether hot or mild, red peppers are pickled to form a relish in autumn and can be eaten throughout the year.
Peppers are often stuffed with meat, vegetables, and rice. Some are also loaded with kefir and cottage cheese.
Commonly known as Shopska salad in other regions, the Shope Salad is made using tomatoes, roasted peppers, onions, tomatoes, and sirene cheese dressed with sunflower oil and vinegar.
Other Dishes To Try In Kosovo
- Pershut: A type of dried meat.
- Pljeskavica: A meat encased in a bun. Really easy to eat Kosovo food!
- Tarator: A summer salad made with yogurt, cucumbers, and garlic.
- Kos: A yogurt made from goat’s cheese.
Bread In Kosovo
- Somun: A pita bread is the most common bread in Kosovo. It’s often eaten for breakfast and is served with eggs and sausages baked right on it.
Leqenik: A cornbread is popular in Kosovo and eaten plain or stuffed with spinach and cheese.
Kifla or Kifli: bread that is cut into triangles and rolled into crescent shapes. They are sometimes made with sesame seeds and cheese.
Desserts From The Kosovo Cuisine
- Krempita: A pastry made with custard and chantilly cream
- Baklava: A decadent Balkan dessert made with layers of filo pastry and nuts and drenched with syrup or honey
- Tulumba: A pastry quite similar to churros that are deep-fried to a golden brown and then drenched in a sugar syrup
- Served cold and sometimes topped with cream and pistachios
- Tespishte: A cake-type dessert similar to Mediterranean Revani and covered with a lemon or vanilla-flavored sherbet.
What To Drink In Kosovo?
You can’t leave Kosovo without tasting Vranac. This red wine is made in Kosovo’s Rahovec region, located southwest of the capital Pristina. The Balkan grapes used for Vranac are some of the oldest in the world. Several home breweries sell other local wines.
Beer is brewed at a few local breweries in Kosovo and takes the name of the cities they’re made in. For example, Birra Prishtina from Pristina, Birra Peja made in Pec, Birra Ereniku made near the Erenik river region.
Rakia is a homemade liquor made across the Balkan region; every town or country makes it differently. Kosovo’s rakia is usually made from grapes, walnuts, quince, and other local fruits and is exceptionally strong to taste.
Other Drinks To Try In Kosovo
- Boza: A sweet malted corn drink that goes well with pastries.
- Kos: A yogurt made from goat’s milk.
- Ayran: A yogurt drink that is usually drunk as an accompaniment for pastries.
- Tursha Kafa: A thick, sweet, and strong Turkish coffee.
- Kompot: A sweet, non-alcoholic beverage made by cooking local fruit with sugar and flavored with cinnamon or vanilla. It’s served hot during autumn.
- Rasoj: A juice of fermented red cabbage that’s popular in winter.
- Slivovica: A potent plum brandy.
Best Places To Eat In Kosovo
Here are just a handful of places you can check out while you’re in Kosovo.
Pristina, Kosovo Restaurants
Soma Book Station
Soma Book Station is a favorite with locals and tourists alike. The passionate staff, centralized bar, and impressive display of books and vinyl records draw the eye. Readers can rent books for 1 Euro; vinyl records can be played or exchanged. Their collection includes the likes of Chet Baker, Sonny Rollins, John Cage, The Fall, and so on.
The drinks range from rare wines to local craft beverages that change with the seasons. And the food is simple yet tasteful. If you only go to one place in Kosovo, it has to be the Soma Book Station.
Restaurant LiburniaA short distance from the Pristina Townhall, the Restaurant Liburnia looks like something from a fairytale. Tangled vines, lamps, and folk music greet your entry to this Albanian restaurant. Must-try dishes include in-house bread and slow-cooked goat.
Tourists love the sunny terrace at Tiffany as much as they love organic food and drink here. Bread is baked fresh at the restaurant and served with the day’s choice of meats and vegetables. You can also buy some delicious in-house-made Ajvar as a memento for your Kosovo trip.
Wooden doors hide what looks like someone’s home. But the absence of a signpost does not stop visitors from finding this gem in Pristina. There is no menu, and you’ll just be brought a variety of dishes, almost like a buffet. The food and wine are perfect! It’s best to book a table in advance, though, since the place is a local favorite and tends to fill quickly.
As a vegetarian, you might find it difficult to get food in Kosovo since meat is a big part of the diet here, but things are changing. The family-run restaurant called Babaghanoush is one of the only Kosovo restaurants that serves pure vegetarian food. However, the food is more inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine, serving salads, hummus, and falafel.
The White Tree Terrace
This small oasis in the midst of a concrete city offers a great collection of local rakia and beers. And being located at The White Tree Hostel, the White Tree Terrace is budget-friendly!
Home Bar & Restaurant
If you’re looking for a change from the local food and want to try Lebanese, the Home Bar and Restaurant is for you. The restaurant is decorated with antiques and has a cozy feel, serving everything from spring rolls to fajitas to hummus and easy-to-eat wraps and burgers to finger-licking curries.
Peja or Pec, Kosovo Restaurants
Kulla e Zenel Beut
With its stone walls, the Restaurant Kulla e Zenel Beut looks like it’s come out of the 18th or 19th century. It’s also ideally located in the heart of town with a lovely terrace. Taves are the must-try item here.
One of Pec’s leading hotels, Hotel Dukagjini, is situated on the Lumi i Bardhe River in the heart of Pec and has been serving customers since 1956. Go here to try delicious local food or even spend a night here.
Best Restaurants In Kosovo, Gjakova
Hani i Haraçisë
Hani i Haraçisë is one of the oldest restaurants in Gjakova and was previously a caravanserai serving weary travelers. Wooden logs can be seen stacked neatly along the walls, and their delicious taves now delight locals and tourists.
Best Restaurants In Kosovo, Prizren
Close to the Marasahi trail, set by an old sycamore tree, the Restaurant Marasahi serves traditional Albanian dishes. However, the best part is cooking your steaks on hot stones before eating them.
The Fish House in Prizren is the best chance for a welcome break from everyday Kosovan food. Tastefully prepared dishes of fish and other seafood even delight the locals.
The name says it all. Situated close to the Prizren Fortress, just beside the river overlooking the old town, Ambient Restaurant is the perfect place for a quiet dinner. You can choose to sit indoors in winter or enjoy sitting outside on warm summer nights.
Okay, so that’s our list for Kosovo for now. If we find more of the best places to eat in Kosovo, we’ll add them to this list. But if you know of someplace that absolutely must be on this list, comment and let us know, and it’ll be up here as soon as.
T’bofte mire! (That means Bon Appetit!)