I met a lot of tourists when I was in Berat last year. Most of them would spend one or two nights in Albania’s historic city and they all loved exploring Berat’s castle and wandering around the Ottoman style old town. But many of them struggled to find a good place to eat and they often asked me for recommendations.
Having visited Berat many times I think I’ve tried just about every cafe and restaurant in the city so I thought I’d share my favourites.
The number one restaurant in Berat in my eyes is the Greenhouse. It’s a little out of the centre on Rruga Antipatrea but a taxi would cost less than 2 euros if you don’t have a car. The Greenhouse has a few vegetarian options and I loved the grilled vege plate and garlic pizza bread.
They have pizza and grilled meats too if you like that kind of thing.
I also love that the Greenhouse has free wifi so you can catch up on what’s happening in the outside world while you’re there.
The most popular restaurant in Berat is definitely the Whitehouse which is right in the centre of the city by the river in an Ottoman style building.
This place is always busy with businessmen, tourists and the occasional couple out on a date. They have the ‘Balkan Menu’ so there’s grilled meat, fish, pizza and pasta but not much in the way of traditional Albanian cuisine unfortunately. I would always get a mixture of vegetarian plates like pickled vegetables and deep fried local cheese. There are plenty of meaty dishes but be aware that Albanians like their meat very well done.
There are a few hotel restaurants to choose from too and if you’re staying at Hotel Berati you can eat there for around 3 euros for a basic meal.
Albanians are not big on dessert and a meal is usually followed by fresh fruit but if you can try zupa which is like Italian zuppa inglese or English trifle.
Every second person in Albania owns a cafe so there’s no shortage of places to sit to watch the world go by. The only problem is many of them don’t welcome women so it’s best to follow the younger generation to see where it’s acceptable to go. I loved the cafe on the rooftop of the Hotel Palma as it overlooks Mangalem (the old town) but be prepared to be engulfed in cigarette smoke even though there’s a ban on smoking in Albania.
Unfortunately there aren’t many other options of where to eat in Berat but for those passing through the city, these will give you an idea of Albanian cuisine and culture.