My awesome eighth day in Albania ended with a dinner of unique Albanian food at an Albanian villa and a flight of 15+ rakis at Old Bazaar in Korçë, Albania! Come along with me on my latest Albanian food & drink experience in Korçë, Albania!
My evening started in the car with my boy Erjan from Travel Media EU. We were driving to Korçë, the sixth-largest city in Albania. The city is located on a plateau near the Albanian/Greek border and is surrounded by the Morava Mountains. It’s sometimes referred to as “Little Paris!” I couldn’t wait to check into my hotel, have an Albanian feast, and then drink some raki!
There’s a lot of history in Korçë in the form of cathedrals, churches, mosques, and the Old Bazaar. It’s deep in the mountains and can be hard to get to, but it’s so beautiful it’s totally worth it. First, we checked into the IN Gallery Hotel & Spa, which is right in front of the gorgeous Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral of Korçë, a.k.a. Resurrection Cathedral.
Inside the hotel are a restaurant and bar, a chill lounge, 18 rooms, and an amazing spa. My boutique hotel room was super chic and sleek with a king-sized bed, hardwood floors, a wooden wardrobe, a little fridge, and a little balcony overlooking some houses. There was also a small workstation and a sleek and unique bathroom. I was so excited to stay there for the next two nights!
After I took a quick shower, I met with Irvi, the manager of IN Gallery Hotel & Spa, at the rooftop restaurant. The view from there was amazing and overlooked the entire city, including the mountains and cathedral. Their spa is insane and includes a modern, colorfully lit pool; two single massage rooms; a salt room; two saunas; a double massage room; a shower room with 12 settings; a steam room; and my favorite, the hammam, or Turkish bath!
Then, Erjan and I headed to dinner! We walked past the cathedral and lots of cafes and restaurants to Vila Cofiel, one of the best restaurants in the city. They have a beautiful terrace with lots of tables and lots of plants and greenery. I started with their house raki, which is sweet and lighter than others I’d had so far. It tastes like Jägermeister!
Next was the house reserve wine, which is 4 years old and is a very smooth and full-bodied blend of cabernet and merlot. Then, our feast arrived! Many of the dishes were exclusive to this restaurant, so you won’t find them anywhere else. They included a sort of pork with plum marmalade, red peppers stuffed with cheese, beans, a cheese byrek topped with honey, meatballs, and dips. The pork and marmalade was purple!
The byrek was crispy and phenomenal, and so sweet! The pork was rich and fatty and sweet! I loved it! Everything was so tasty and local. The beans were fire and the stuffed pepper had a cream cheese inside. The meatballs with yogurt were full of herbs and the creamy yogurt was the perfect addition.
Then I put each of the dips on some pita. They represent the four seasons and are a little spicy. As we left, the owner, Gjergji, gave me a gift: a bottle of his raki!
From there, we walked to Café-Muzeum Komiteti for some raki! We passed by the first school of Albanian language, which is from 1887 and looked like an old Ottoman building. At the time, the Turkish language was used. We continued down Bulevardi Shen Gjergji, the local pedestrian street, which is very wide and full of bars, restaurants, and markets.
We entered the Old Bazaar, which has cobblestone streets. You can feel the Ottoman history there. It’s like an open square and the buildings are different bars that sell different types of raki. They gave me a marker and told me to go upstairs to their toilet, which is inside a raki distillery! Inside is tons of graffiti on the walls. I tagged it with Davidsbeenhere!
The building is nice and cozy with lots of plates and decorations on the walls. My first raki was super sweet and syrupy. The second was nice and fruity, and the third was like strong ouzo! The next was spicy! Next was some passionfruit, which acted as a palate cleanser.
Then, we started the next round with 8 more rakis! The first was easier and the second was smooth and herbal. The next was fruity, strong, and flavorful. It burns but it feels good! My final one was strong! Then, we had some rose water as a palate cleanser. It helps you to not get drunk! You’ll feel nice, but you won’t be drunk.
Next were more shots of rakija! I started with a coffee-flavored one, followed by a wild berry one. Erjan only went for the clear ones, while I took the coloreds! They were so good! Massive thanks to Erjan for allowing me to experience this excellent Albanian food and the amazing rakis in Korçë, Albania! What a fun adventure!
I hope you liked coming with me to have unique Albanian food and rakis in Korçë, Albania! If you did, please give this video a thumbs up and leave a comment below. Also, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and click the notification bell so you don’t miss any of my travel/food adventures around the world!