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Starving in Tirana

Residents of Tirana and those who know the city might enjoy this travel piece by Neil Woodburn. Apparently, poor Neil came to Tirana and could only find half-a-dozen restaurants, even with the help of guidebooks. On the basis of this experience he kindly shares his expert opinion with us:
The reality is that Albanians don't go out to eat very often and the city doesn't have enough tourists to maintain the few restaurants that try to survive in this climate.
Evidently, all those places I've been going out to eat at don't exist, or are so well hidden that they are beyond the investigative capacities of Neil.


ra said…
maybe he was eating at the wrong time, i.e. too early/too late?! i certainly never struggled to find anywhere to eat, and it was always excellent, and there were always people everywhere! how bizarre!
sexy mf said…
here, here.
i've written two comments to neil...concerning his claims regarding the lack of decent restaurants, and the "dead" atmosphere at club living room. he's chosen not to print either of my comments (which were more or less along the lines of "ra" concerning the correct timing to eat or party in tirana). pity he didn't have a better guide.
MĂ«rgimtari said…
Shkreti -- he spent all that time in Albania and couldn't enjoy the food, which is one of the main reasons I go back to the Balkans!

Something tells me that guy is the type that would have a hard time finding his way out of a paper bag.
Neil said…
Sorry to disappoint so much on my restaurant review of Tirana. You guys are all expats/locals. As a tourist wandering the streets, believe me, it’s not easy finding a restaurant in your town. If I wanted to eat Italian food, it would not have been much of a problem, but I didn’t travel all the way to Albania to eat pizza. I spent a long time walking the streets of the Bllok and found only Bacchus, Era, and some (Indian?) place across the road from Era. Unless I’m completely blind, that about does it for the Bllok – rather slim pickin’s for the center of Tirana. I’m happy to be proven wrong, however… (oh, and the Albanian food I did eat was delicious. You’ve got it good over there).
As for the Living Room, I’m dying to know why such a cool place was so dead. If you posted comments about this, they never went through the system. I post all my comments, no matter how critical (unless they’re obscene).
I’m merely a traveler and although I try my best to get my facts correct, I often defer to the local experts who chime in with their comments to set the record straight. Please shoot through another comment if you get the chance so our readers can be informed about the Living Room.
And by the way, cool blog yourself. Wish I had found it before I left on my trip (but then again, apparently I can’t find my way out of a paper bag). Har har har.
Anonymous said…
Hi Neil,
I'm sorry you couldn't find the restaurants that you would like in Tirana. However, next time you visit Tirana, come and visit the Municipality Toursit Information Office at Ded Gjo Luli Str., right behind the National Museum at Scanderbeg Squere and you will get all the information you need.

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Welcome to Our Man in Tirana. I moved to Tirana, capital of Albania, in October 2005 and left in October 2007. This blog is a mix of photographs, reports, links, impressions and, undoubtedly, prejudices relating to the city and the country.

Since I am no longer in Tirana I am no longer updating this blog. However, there are over 300 posts covering this two year period and I hope that they are still of some interest.

So if you are curious about Albania or if you are planning to visit I hope this blog will be of value.

Petrela Castle

This is Petrela Castle near Tirana. The site has been fortified since the 4th century, but the oldest surviving parts are from the 13th century. Today the castle is a restaurant where you can enjoy lunch while taking in the views.