The capital city of Kosova, a small newly independent country, is around 570 km squared, with a population of approximately 400,000. This makes for a city full of love hate relationships, where you are never invisible.
To understand business in this city, one must understand the daily routines of its trendy young population. Once you’ve understood this you will evidently know that coffee and bear are on the daily to do list. Socialising is key in this town, it can be a lonely place if you have no friends, this is virtually impossible to occur with such friendly and curious people around.
I’ve been exploring this city for most of my life and am finally seeing major changes and growth occurring in Prishtina city, mentally and physically. If you ever find yourself in this city, here are some places that will amaze you, welcome you and make you laugh. Beware this review is for those that do not live in the city the rest of you are probably aware of these easily accessible places. As a tourist you will not need help finding these places.
Here’s a pallet guide to my city, the places that promise a positive vibe and just a plethora of quality drinks as well as mouth-watering unforgettable munches! I’m going to mix it up and talk about a food venue then a drink venue so in no particular order of preference, here they are:
- Papirun (No Fork)
Visit this cosy little food venue for THE best sandwiches you will ever eat! And that’s a promise. You might think ‘hmmm sandwich…boring’ ummm hell no! This place keeps it simple, which if you haven’t noticed by now I really appreciate. You will have a choice between a few sandwiches even salads (let’s stick to the sandwiches). The all-time favourite and highly recommended would be the ‘Crunch’. Order a Crunch and come back a changed human. The Crunch consists of succulent juicy chicken breast fillet deep fried and covered in crispy cornflakes… yes I just said cornflakes! Coating this immaculate chicken piece is the signature sauce that is home made, mayonnaise? Nope umm mayo and ketchup… I could spend all day trying to figure it out. All this hugged by fresh homemade flatbread soaking up some of that generously applied sauce. Yep that’s a sandwich I go back for every second day, all at the price of €2.40. Once you go Crunch, no other food will you ever Munch!
- Dit e Nat (Day and Night)
This is a place that changed the youth of the city. I know you’re asking ‘how can a café bar change generations?’ I’ll tell you how, by introducing literature! Until this place socialising did not involve intellectual talks (between teenagers that is) about books or theories or even discussion of school projects. Dit e Nat is a small self-service coffee house book shop where you can visit to have coffee reading a great book, eat a vegetarian meal from their new menu, or even come to at night and try their local draft beers. The staff is always welcoming, and how often do you visit a place where the regulars play their music and the owner socialises with you. Let’s not forget the main house member, Lule the cat. She’s a huge hit at the place, comforting all those in need. By the way if you’re having a glass of wine, try their amazing cheese cake with a cherry on top, try it with the tea too, also the coffee… just eat the cheese cake. With their new renovation Day and Night have clicked into the trendy open space interior that is popular in Prishtina at the moment within the crowd of artists and hipsters.
For someone that lives in London, getting used to the fact there is no Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Jamaican food in anyone’s daily menu is crazy. I have however found a Japanese Sushi restaurant that could beat 80% of sushi restaurants in London. Tokyo is a tacky restaurant if we’re judging interior and atmosphere however sometimes over the top is needed, particularly in a city where Asian culture is being introduced. The service is interesting to say the least, the lady of the restaurant is bubbly, polite, and always ready for action. As entertaining as she is and cheesy the interior, the food is immaculate. I highly recommend the mixed sushi platter that comes with a salad and soup for two. This would be my preferred platter not because it tastes better than the rest unfortunately but because it’s more on your plate for a little less than the rest. The prices at Tokyo are considerably higher than most restaurants in Prishtina. However for those of you that live in Europe these prices are still cheaper than back home that’s for sure. So put on your Kimono and awkward shoes and have an exotic Asian meal in the middle of the Balkans.
- Restaurant Gresa
There’s something special about Gresa, they appreciate delicate pallets, so fear not if you’re not into experimenting with your food and you want your steak to be medium-well in the middle of your plate with just enough of everything, your pasta to be not al dente, not soggy but just right! Because that’s how you like your food and it’s not too much to ask to have ingredients together how you’re used to having them and presented in a normal way no fussing around! Then Gresa is perfect for you. They really haven’t gone wrong with anything on their menu yet. More specifically the sea food platter is great, there’s a mix of fish, squid, prawns and vegetables, good for two. The restaurant shows its true spirit in Spring when they take on an Asparagus menu supporting Kosovo’s Asparagus farmers, offering you Asparagus soup, starter, main and sides.
The new comer has definitely made a statement on its arrival. This place is a bar, restaurant, café and also sells books, sound familiar? Its location is 30m from Dit e Nat. So what makes this place different to Day and Night? Soma is an industry, it’s the New York compared to Amsterdam. Both unique and appealing in their own ways however Soma is larger, flashier and louder to be in. There is not a moment where this place is empty, their cocktails are spectacular and the interior is to die for. The best part however is their garden, where you can sit with a bitter cocktail snacking on a mountain of chicken fingers under the twinkle of their lights.
Hemingway is one of the few sea food restaurants and now has a new location in an enclosed complex Marigona, on the outskirts of Prishtina. The setting is peaceful with something for everyone. Around the restaurant you have a selection of fancy shops, hairdressers and children’s play areas, all catered to a perfect evening with the family. Hemingway is a family run business and meals here are always personal and customised to your taste. The chef is great at what he does, offering his own recipes. Hemingway pays close attention to taste and presentation, providing you with the fine dining you set out for. The prices are great for sea food in a landlocked country. The mixed sea food platter is my personal favourite; this is a meal that you will thoroughly enjoy in the moment but even more when it’s over. I have had daydreams of this meal and have always had a great time at the restaurant.