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While walking the streets of this ever-expanding capital, you will run across hundreds of ice cream parlors, cafes or street vendors. Under the scorching rays of the sun, in the hot city streets, you may be tempted to get an ice cream form any shop. We are here to remind you that not all ice creams are made equal! In fact, some ice creams in Tirana are made so well that they deserve a special trip to try them out. With these places, ice-cream becomes the protagonist of your day, rather than an after-thought!
Let us begin with the greatest contender, the crème de la crème of ice cream in Tirana. You will probably visit Cioccolatitaliani for many other reasons other than its now-famously delicious ice-cream. It serves espresso in the most creative of ways, the best crepes in town, and a great Italian lunch menu. Located at the center of Blloku, this place is recognizable from its ultra-modern design with floor-to-ceiling glass windows. In other words, perfect for people-watching. You can either take your ice-cream in a cone to go or enjoy it in the cool indoors.
Velvety and luxurious is the best way to describe the ice cream here. You even have the option of filling your cone with white dark, or milk chocolate and/or pouring nutella over your ice-cream. We prefer their nut-based ice creams such as pistachio and hazelnut, which include real nut chunks inside. But, let us say that recommending flavors is a bit beside the point here as they are all so delicious. You will become addicted!
The newest best ice-cream in town, this casual, traditional Italian parlor (its name meaning “hazelnut” in Italian) is located off-center of town. While it only takes up a small space along the busy sidewalk, it gathers the most people around it. Indeed, there is nothing showy about this wooden counter with a modest array of ice creams. When you look closer, however, you will notice the most creative names to go with the delicious and original flavors. Our favorite is Grindaveci, in Albanian denoting a capricious person, which includes a perfect mix of chocolate, berries, and cinnamon. Perfect for – you guessed it! – the person who just cannot make a decision! Farm Yogurt, Fresh Fig, and Honey Almond are three other favorites. The latter has a wonderful, inimitable salty taste to it!
Fresh and creamy is how we would describe the ice cream consistency here! There is no option to sit down here which is perfect for those who like to stroll around town while enjoying some delicious ice cream.
More than an ice-cream shop, this small boutique in the central area of town called Libri Universitar (which refers to the former university library located at the corner). You will find plenty of delicious artisanal products here, including delicious Panettone, the famous Italian flaky bread loaf, and the famous Scottish shortbread cookies from which the store gets its name. Most clients, however, absolutely rave about the ice cream here. The fruit sorbets, like cherry and strawberry, as well as chocolate and pistachio are some of the most popular flavors. Regardless of the flavor you choose, this place is famous for serving the freshest of the fresh by very friendly staff. With no sit-down option, you can take this ice cream along on a walk to the main Boulevard, Blloku, or the Grand Park of Tirana, all within equal walking distance of the shop.
Though ice-cream is not the main product of this bakery, it certainly is one of the best! Located on Elbasani St., on the busy streets behind the Pyramid of Tirana, this bakery offers some of the best packaged sweets and cakes in the city. With a modest array of about 12 ice cream flavors, this shop offers all the standard popular ones. Pistachio is our absolute favorite here! Traditional, fresh, well-made ice cream that you can either enjoy in Mon Amour’s shaded outdoor patio or take with you. Be careful, as you may be tempted to buy more than just ice-cream here!
Though not in Tirana, we thought to mention this bakery/café/ice cream mecca as it is perhaps the most iconic place in the vicinity of the capital. Located along the main promenade of the ancient coastal town of Durrës with a nice view of the sea, this place offers countless fresh ice-cream flavors. It is truly packed, day to night so be prepared for an energetic atmosphere. You can choose any flavor you like here. You can be sure this is the freshest ice cream in town with tons being freshly made and served daily!
After relocating from Torino to Tirana years ago, Anna Giulia Buonanno is an Italian who has by now settled in her new life in Albania, where she teaches Italian language and culture in some of the most important academic institutions in the country. I really like the area around arTurbina: there is ample space for [...]
Vau i Dejës has it all, the calming lake panoramas, that idyllic bucolic landscape of another time, fascinating culture, history, and places of worship as well as contemporary and delicious restaurants. The ancient city of Vau i Dejës, once called Deja or Danja, was founded around the 11th century. The ruins of this once [...]
The author of “Flight,” a collection of essays on the city, and Tirana native gives us her step-by-step perfect day around Albania’s capital while counting her favorite things. Cioccolatitaliani for the delicious coffee and drinks, people watching, and to cool off from the summer heat. Friend’s Book House to work and socialize simultaneously. The Pyramid. [...]