Favorite 10: A Day in Tirana with Blerina Shehu - Into Albania

Favorite 10: A Day in Tirana with Blerina Shehu

The popular TV show host’s keen eye for detail and taste for the good life make this list a must-read for those who would like to know the coziest and coolest hangouts of the capital. 

Favorite Café: 

During the week, Komiteti Café Museum (or, as we like to call it among friends, “At Arbri’s”). In the weekends, Art Kafe (or, as we like to call it among friends, “At Lani’s”). The first being the most convenient stop on my way to work and the second, the most trusted spot near my house. Coffee has the power to make or break your day so I prefer to play it safe.

Café-Museum Komiteti, Tirana. Photo by IntoAlbania.

Landmark: 

An important landmark for all Albanians, the only one that dealt with any telecommunications in the country until the 90’s, the National Radio Television of Albania has been, for the last three years, the area where I spend most of my day, where I schedule meetings as well as take my breaks. I’ve discovered this gorgeous area of town fairly late and I am making sure to enjoy it every single day!

Random Spot:

From Myslym Shyri Street to the Castle of Tirana, open to the public for a while now, is my favorite walk: aimless and pleasant. It’s one of the few areas in town with no high-rises, lots of space, and is lined on both sides by linden trees. Tracing their heights as I walk gives me plenty of chances to look at the sky.

Photo courtesy: Blerina Shehu.

Go-to Lunch Restaurant:

Not only for lunch! For authentic as well as reconceptualized traditional food, “Luga e Argjendtë” (“The Silver Spoon”) is the nest where all locals who miss their mother’s food, like the famous papare (fried buttery bread with feta cheese), flock to. For tourists who would like to try trahana me hudhra (cereal-based soup) for breakfast, as well. And if you happen to run into Dhurata, the owner of this venture, you will get to learn much about Albanian gastronomy, local products, and more.

Dish in a local restaurant:

Jufka with porcini mushrooms and mishavinë cheese at Mullixhiu Restaurant.  (Jufka is a type of Albanian pasta and mishavinë belongs to the family of soft cheeses of the northern region of Albania)

Happy hour drink and place:

A glass of red or white wine at Vena by Fation Tila. The road leading there, always green and lined with trees in full bloom, mentally transports you to a small town, miles away from the chaos and noise of the capital.

Inside “Vena”. Photo source: “Vena”.

Guilty Pleasure:

The place that makes me feel the guiltiest after I have left but, at the same time, the one where I go “pray” the most often is called “Kohar.” This small clothing boutique, located near Myslym Shyri Street, is undoubtedly one of the most original and fashionable in Tirana.

Culture Spot:

“Galeria 70,” very unusual due to its location and space, and where the very best contemporary artists in the county are exhibited. As far as cultural spots, I prefer the open-air ones. Reja Festival (located by the National Gallery of Arts) has been quite unique in this regard. It became a place where you could meet local and international performers as well as dance and sing along with them in Reja’s garden. The festival has ended now, but the place continues to be an open-air cinema once a week.

Sou Fujimoto’s “Cloud”

Sou Fujimoto’s “Cloud”, Tirana, photo by IntoAlbania.

Go-to Dinner restaurant:

After the aperitif at Vena, I simply roll over to “Pa Pirunj” (“No Forks”) for a deliciously creative dinner. Black risotto with pine nuts, shrimp with pineapple – these are the kinds of dishes that make one handle wine very well! For the risk-takers, there’s the spicy livers. You’ll find the menu written on a black board, which shows that it is regularly refreshed depending on the availability of seasonal ingredients.

Bar/Klub:

I am not that into the nightlife in town and perhaps due to this I am quite demanding when it comes to the place I choose to spend my monthly night out! I expect it to be pleasant, cozy, have nice music, a variety of drinks and a social and warm atmosphere. And, the dress code? To your heart’s desire. I feel that this applies to all so this serves as an invite to enjoy life simply as it is, with a glass of rum in hand at Hemingway Bar Tirana.

By: IntoAlbania

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