Expat Hidden Gems

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As a hub of business and culture in Southeast Europe, Tirana in Albania has attracted a diverse expat community. One of the ways these expats have found to connect with home is through food. In this article, we'll explore the lesser-known restaurants owned and operated by expatriates in Tirana, showcasing their diverse array of cuisines and fostering a sense of community in their new environment.

Explore Hidden Culinary Treasures

From quaint bistros to hole-in-the-wall eateries, expat-owned restaurants in Tirana offer a unique dining experience. Each establishment is a testament to their passion for food, community, and the culinary traditions of their home country. The following virtual tour will introduce you to some of these hidden culinary gems.

  • Picola Roma
  • Mama Kaladje
  • Bella Roma

Join the Culinary Conversation

Food has a way of bringing people together. Many of the expat-owned restaurants in Tirana have established a loyal following of patrons defined by their love of food and the transient nature of their lives. Their stories reflect the challenges of finding a sense of belonging in a foreign country. Here, we'll share some of these personal experiences and insights.

  • Emily (from the USA) shares her favorite dish at Picola Roma - Qebab.*"Open your chest and let the flavors wash over you, girl!" Emily says, savoring each bite.
  • Roberto (from Spain) talks about his first impression of Mama Kaladje - Cevapi."It reminds me of home on a Sunday afternoon, surrounded by family and friends."
  • Daniel (from Germany) recalls his first visit to Bella Roma - Tirana Burger, which he said "jumped to the top of my list of favorite burgers!"

From Appetizers to Desserts

Tirana's expat-owned restaurants offer a diverse array of cuisines and dishes to try. Whether it's traditional favorites or innovative fusion creations, each establishment showcases the culinary expertise and creativity of expat chefs.

  • Qebab - a staple dish from Picola Roma, featuring a savory lamb filling on a warm pita.
  • Cevapi - a traditional dish from Mama Kaladje, consisting of grilled minced meat wrapped in a semolina dough.
  • Tirana Burger - a unique fusion dish from Bella Roma, featuring a savory lamb burger inspired by local street food.


The expat-owned restaurants of Tirana's culinary scene serve as more than just places to eat. They are symbols of community and connection, fostering a sense of belonging among expats. Their unique culinary offerings play a vital role in shaping the local dining scene and enriching the gastronomic tapestry of Albania. As you embark on your own culinary adventure, remember that food