Best Vegan Restaurants In Albania
Despite the fact that traditional Albanian food is predominantly meat-based, there are several vegetarian choices. There are few vegetarian-only restaurants in Tirana, but most traditional restaurants, as well as those that have lately debuted in town, provide a variety of meat-free alternatives. Discover the top vegetarian eateries in Albania's capital by reading our list.
Tirana Veggies is Tirana's most well-known vegetarian and vegan restaurant. For those who are familiar with quinoa, unusual vegan salads, guacamole, vegetable noodles, couscous meals, and so on, this small café in Blloku, the nicest area in town, is the place to be. It's also the ideal spot to discover new ethnic and vegetarian flavours in town. Tirana Veggies is a little more expensive than other sites in Tirana, but it is still a fantastic spot to visit.
Mullixhiu, Albania's coolest restaurant, is located in front of Tirana's artificial lake, one of the city's most picturesque sites. Chef Bledar Kola, who formerly worked at Copenhagen's world-famous Noma, encourages diners to sample traditional Albanian flavours reinterpreted in a refined and modern style — the result is an exceptional combination of old and new.
Mrizi I Zanave
Mrizi I Zanave, a beautiful farmhouse-turned-restaurant in the town of Lezhe in the north of the nation, provided the foodstuffs. Try the pomegranate juice; it's excellent. The wine selection is also excellent, with wines from some of Albania's most renowned wineries, like Kantina Kallmeti.
Tirana's Chakra Jone
Chakra Jone is Tirana's only Indian restaurant, located in the Komuna e Parisit area near the artificial lake. Lentil soup, cauliflower cooked with cumin and ginger, and peas with cheese, to mention a few, are among the vegetarian delicacies on Chakra's extensive menu. Don't forget to order one or more of their delicious traditional Indian flatbread.
Oda is the only location to go to if you want to try traditional Albanian food. This traditional restaurant, located near the beautiful Pazari I Ri market, has recently been renovated and is one of the last places in town to eat traditional Albanian delicacies like fringes (cottage cheese with peppers), patllxhan te mbushur (eggplant cooked with spices), kukurec (lamb entrails), and more. The restaurant is tiny and mostly visited by locals looking for classic dishes.
Greeny is the place to go for delectable wraps, vegan couscous, and vegetable tortillas made with the freshest local seasonal ingredients. A broad selection of vegetarian, vegan, and carnivore alternatives is available at this pleasant, contemporary, and attractively furnished salad bar. Greeny also sells a variety of freshly squeezed juices.
Happy Belly is a vegan bar/restaurant located in the middle of the Blloku neighbourhood, near the Sky Tower, one of the city's greatest panoramic views. This little bar offers a variety of unique vegan and vegetarian alternatives, as well as delicious smoothies and juices that are ideal for hot Albanian summer days.
Before spending five months in Albania, I always said that being vegan in the south of the United States (where I grew up) was the most difficult. Albania shattered my preconceived notions of the country. Veganism is difficult to practice in Albania. Vegan cuisine is a different story.
Vegetarian food is reasonably easy to come by, but vegan food is a different thing entirely. Albanian cuisine is predominantly meat-based. Albania also has a small tourist population, therefore there hasn't been much need for eateries to adapt their menus.
Tirana Compared To Other Albanian Cities
I resided in Tirana for five months, but throughout that period I travelled to several other places in Albania. It is possible to live a completely vegan lifestyle in Tirana, albeit it is difficult. In most other Albanian cities, being completely vegan is impossible.
When I wasn't in Tirana, I just ate vegetarian cuisine. If you are allergic to dairy or eggs, I recommend only visiting Tirana or reserving Airbnbs in other places where you can make your own food. Even supermarket stores are unlikely to have vegan necessities like tofu on hand.
If you're visiting other places in Albania, check out my city guides for vegan/vegetarian cuisine recommendations:
Where Can I Get Vegan Food in Tirana?
Happy Cow is the finest app for finding vegan meals when travelling. I've taken this app with me wherever I've gone. While I did find several vegan alternatives in Tirana, I am unable to recommend this app for Albania.
If a restaurant sells veal, foie gras, or lamb, Happy Cow will not feature it on their app. In Albania, lamb is popular meat. Happy Cow will not list a restaurant that provides both vegan and lamb dishes.
Baboon's meal delivery app was one of my main options for finding vegan cuisine in Tirana. I'd do a Google search for “vegan” eateries and see what came up. You can check their whole menu before visiting the restaurant because it is a meal delivery app. Unfortunately, the program is only available in Albanian, so if you don't speak the language, you'll have to perform some translation.
Vegan Restaurants in Tirana: Top 3 Recommendations
Here are three of my favorite vegan eateries in Tirana. Although none of these restaurants are vegan or vegetarian, they all offer a variety of vegan alternatives. If you'd like to understand more about them and what I recommend getting, they're all mentioned and described further down in this blog article.
- Sushi Bar with Opium
Tirana, Albania has a number of vegan restaurants.
Not only in Tirana, but in Albania, there is only one entirely vegan restaurant.
Falafel House Is A Restaurant That Specializes In Falafel
Falafel House specializes in falafel (shocking, I know). A falafel wrap or a falafel salad are both options. There's no sitting inside the restaurant, so you'll have to get it on the go. If the weather is pleasant, you may carry your food to the park across the street and sit on a bench.
Tirana, Albania's Vegetarian Restaurants
In Tirana, there is only one vegetarian restaurant.
Restaurants In Tirana, Albania That Are Vegan-Friendly
This veggie burger was ordered at Artigiano, and I'm fairly sure it's vegan. The burger is devoid of cheese. It has mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach on top. The patties or bun may not be vegan, but this isn't anything I'm concerned about. In comparison to other vegetarian burgers I've had throughout the world, it wasn't that amazing. I placed an order for a burger and a glass of water. The entire cost was 521 LEK (about $4.75).
The only Indian restaurant in Albania is Chakra Jone. They offer a page on their menu dedicated to vegetarian food, however there are no vegan options. You'll have to rely on your intuition or ask the waiter which foods are vegan.
I ordered the Channa Masala and veggie spring rolls the first time I went to Chakra Jone. Chickpeas cooked with masala sauce and coriander are served with a bowl of rice in the Channa Masala. Four different dipping sauces were included with the veggie spring rolls. The waiter informed me that two of them had yogurt and the other two did not. I just ate the two that didn't have yogurt in them.
I departed feeling full and pleased after eating the Channa Masala and veggie spring rolls. It was a little pricey for Albania, but nothing out of the ordinary. Both of these meals, as well as a small bottle of sparkling water, cost $11.92.
Baboon has placed multiple orders with Chakra Jone. Vegetarian naan, vegan biryani, onion bhajia, veggie noodles, aloo kulcha, and vegetable pakora were among the meals I ordered. The majority of the meals were delicious, and this is one of the primary vegan restaurants in Tirana that I suggest.
In Albania, finding coffee with non-dairy milk is a bit of a challenge. If the restaurant or coffee shop does not have non-dairy milk, I generally have an espresso, but I prefer ordering coffee with vegan milk when it is available. Coko is one of the few businesses in Tirana that serves coffee with non-dairy milk.
Vegan meals are provided at Coko in a variety of forms. They provide vegan avocado toast for breakfast. A vegan risotto and a vegan burger are also available. The vegan burger does not resemble a burger at all, but rather resembles a wrap. The falafel and veggies were stuffed into the vegan burger/wrap.
The vegan risotto is a must-order. I ate it in Albania and it was one of my favorite vegan foods.
Eatalian's is an Italian restaurant, as you would have guessed from the name. During COVID, I was in Tirana, Albania. As a result, the menu was only accessible through QR code. Only Albanian and Italian were written on the menu. I don't speak Albanian, but I do speak Italian, so I was able to choose a vegan-friendly dinner. If you're in Tirana after COVID, you might be able to get an English menu.
My favorite part of the dinner was the bread. I didn't eat the creamy sauce that came with it. The zuppa di verdure (vegetable soup) and pasta aglio e olio were on my menu (garlic and oil spaghetti). Although neither of these things was specifically labelled as vegan, I thought they were.
I didn't believe the vegetable soup was really tasty on its own. It did come with a half-lime on the side, though. I thought it was fairly nice when I squeezed the lemon into the soup and added some salt and pepper.
The pasta did not appeal to me at all. It didn't taste like the spaghetti noodles were done cooking.
While in Albania, I dined at Ejona, which was my least favorite restaurant. The server informed me that there is no set menu and that the menu varies daily. The lentil soup was the only vegan option on the menu. I also went with the vegetarian option.
I liked the lentil soup, but the vegetarian bowl was terrible.
Traditional Albanian and Mediterranean cuisine is served at ERA. Salad, soup, grilled veggies, and hummus with toast are among the vegan alternatives available. This restaurant did not excite me, and I only went there once when I was living in Albania.
Green & Protein
Green & Protein is not a vegan or vegetarian restaurant, but they do provide a wide range of vegan options such as veggie burgers, smoothie bowls, wraps, salads, chia seed pudding, oatmeal, and more! I ate there a few times. I didn't like their smoothie bowls, but the rest of their menu was excellent.
Kungfu Express is an Asian fast food joint that sells meat as well as vegan choices. I intended to try the vegan sushi at Kungfu Express, but they were sold out when I arrived. Instead, I received veg chow mein with a side of veggies. I considered ordering the miso ramen, but I was informed that it had meat. The meal I ordered was merely OK. It wasn't the finest, but it wasn't the worst lunch I had in Tirana.
Mulliri Vjeter (Mulliri Vjeter)
Mulliri Vjeter is Albania's Starbucks, only it's a lot cheaper and tastes a lot better. They also serve soy milk with their coffee.
ODA is an Albanian restaurant with a long history. Vegans may find it difficult to enjoy traditional Albanian cuisine because most recipes contain meat. Vegan options are available at ODA. I came here numerous times and always had the stuffed peppers since they were so tasty.
Greek Streetfood – OPA
OPA specializes in Greek cuisine (particularly gyros), with a few vegan choices. The meal is only alright in my opinion, and not near as delicious as Greek food in Greece.
Opium Sushi Bar
In Tirana, one of my favorite places to obtain vegan cuisine was Opium Sushi Bar. Vegan sushi, spicy edamame, asparagus, spring rolls, and vegetarian tacos were among my favorite dishes. The veggie tacos are great, although I'm not sure if they're vegan.
I'd only eaten at Pepper once, and I wasn't impressed. I went there with the intention of ordering their vegan sushi, but the server informed me that it was not available. Instead, I chose the marina pizza sans the anchovies.
The pizza containing anchovies was brought out by the server, who must have misunderstood me. I informed him that I had requested a pizza without anchovies. They pulled them off after he carried the pizza back into the kitchen. The residual anchovy flavour on the pizza was still noticeable, which creeped me out.
Sakura Sushi Bar
Sakura Sushi Bar is a Japanese restaurant that serves sushi. I'm quite sure Sakura Sushi Bar's vegetarian maki is vegan. They also have edamame for sale.
In Tirana, my favorite place to eat vegan food was Salt. Falafel, fried zucchini, vegan sushi roll, avocado tartare, and vegan spaghetti are among the vegan options on the menu. The falafel was the only meal at Salt that I didn't enjoy since they were overly salty.
The Mexican Serendipity
Serendipity the Mexican is a Mexican restaurant, as you would have guessed from the name. It's possible that it's Tirana's lone Mexican restaurant. Despite the fact that it is a Mexican restaurant, the menu included burgers and spaghetti.
I inquired about an English menu when I got to Serendipity, but the server said they didn't have one. Fortunately, the Albanian term for “vegetarian” is nearly identical to the English word. It's a “vegetarian” meal. On the menu at Serendipity, there was a vegetarian option. Because several of the terminology (fajita, burrito, taco) are similar in English, I opted to order tacos.
I assumed the tacos would be topped with something like cheese or sour cream. I inquired as to what was on the tacos, but his English was poor, and he was unable to provide an answer. I chose to get the tacos as is, with sour cream on the side. I'm not sure what the Albanian term for sour cream is, but I'm sure the tacos could be ordered without it.
The tacos were quite tasty. My total bill amounted to 690 LEK since I also purchased sparkling water.
Someg is a bakery that has a number of sites. While they don't have vegan sweets, they do have some of the most amazing bread I've ever had.
Sushi Dragon does sell vegetarian sushi (which I believe is vegan), but it was not my favorite sushi in Tirana. If you're searching for decent vegan sushi, Salt and MIA Bistro provide far better selections.
Yamato is a meat-focused Asian restaurant. Because the vegan and vegetarian meals aren't labelled, you'll have to guess or ask the server.
I ordered the Miso, which had seaweed and tofu, and the Yaki Soba, which consisted of sautéed veggies and noodles.
Yamato is a little on the pricier side for Albania. The total cost of this dinner, including a huge bottle of water, was 2,050 LEK ($18.67).
Vegan Grocery Shopping in Tirana, Albania
Pasta, rice, beans, and other vegan essentials will be available in all Albanian supermarkets. You'll need to go to one of the two businesses listed below if you want vegan specialty goods like tofu, vegan cheese, vegan meat, or vegan snacks.
Living in Albania is rather affordable, especially if you have a Western wage. Grocery shopping is the one area where you will have to spend extra money. The vegan specialty goods are rather pricey, even when compared to what you would spend if you weren't vegan.
When I lived in Tirana, Albania, Baronesha was my major shopping destination. Vegan cheese, vegan meat, vegan snacks, vegan cosmetic items, and other vegan products are available. While residing in Tirana, Baronesha was also the only grocery shop where I could purchase plain tofu.
Apart from the expensive costs, the one thing I didn't enjoy about Baronesha was that they didn't have a constant supply. You could buy vegan cheese for a couple of weeks and then it wouldn't be available for another two months.
Tofu is an important part of my vegan diet. I went to Baronesha to buy tofu one week and was told that the tofu wasn't in their system, therefore I couldn't buy it (even though it was on their shelves). When I returned the next week, I was told the same thing.
In the third week, I returned and inquired about the tofu that I had inquired about when I originally came. They said it wasn't in their system yet, but they'd put it in while I was out shopping so I could get the tofu.
The staff still hadn't entered the tofu into the system by the time I finished shopping, and they informed me I wouldn't be able to buy it for a few days. When I returned to Baronesha, the tofu completely disappeared, and they wouldn't have any more for another month.
That's just the reality of veganism in Albania, but I'm hoping that will change soon.
BioJu provides similar things to Baronesha, although I believe Baronesha has a greater vegan product selection. One advantage of BioJu is that their inventory remained quite stable, and I knew I could always buy vegan cheese and vegan meat here.
Travelling To Albania: The Best Resources
- RentalCars.com is the most comprehensive website for automobile rentals.
- TripAdvisor is the greatest place to go to find out about hotels, restaurants, and things to do in the city you're visiting.
- Expedia.com allows you to book flights, vehicle rentals, and hotel reservations.
- The greatest website for locating hostels is HostelWorld.
- My favorite website for finding guided tours is Viator.
- Nomads of the World – You'll be covered for illness, injury, theft, and cancellations with travel insurance. It's crucial to have in case something goes wrong.
- Express VPN – Using free wifi in coffee shops, hotels, and airports is common when travelling. You may be vulnerable to hackers as a result of this. When I travel, I always use a VPN to keep my personal information secret and safe. You can also access information that isn't available in the nation you're visiting by using a VPN. (Take, for example, streaming Netflix in the United States while in Albania.)
- Italki is a language-learning platform that allows you to take courses from native speakers. Before visiting a new place, I usually attempt to take at least one class.
- Albania in the Modern Era: From Dictatorship to Democracy in Europe – This is a fascinating book to read before your travel to Albania to help you grasp some of the country's history.
I trust you enjoyed this article about the Best Vegan Restaurants In Albania. Please stay tuned for more blog posts to come shortly. Take care!
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