If you visit or live in Albania for any amount of time, where to go for your morning coffee will soon become one of the most important decisions you make all day. As a freelance writer, I have to force myself to get up and get out of the house at a reasonable hour, and discovering new places to take a coffee is as good a motivation as any.
Tirana is quite literally full to the brim of quirky little coffee shops, each with a distinct personality, atmosphere, and vibe. In the almost six months I have been here, these are my top picks.
Bufe is tucked away on the opposite side of the river from the fashionable Blloku area and it is a wonderful spot to take an early morning coffee and an eggs benedict if you are feeling peckish. I hear the food is excellent for lunches and evening meals, but for a coffee morning with friends, it has the perfect laid back vibe and shabby-chic decoration which makes for a few great Instagram shots. Also, the coffee is excellent, which if you are a connoisseur like myself, is a very important factor.
I absolutely love this place. Located not far from the ETC building, E7E is a library, café, and great outdoor space complete with lots of resident cats just dying for a cuddle. The food is delicious and extremely well priced, I particularly recommend the bruschetta or salads. They also have Turkish tea which I haven’t found in many other places. The numerous electricity outlet and special tables that you can put over your lap mean it is the perfect place to work.
Ok, so I am a little biased here as this is the closest coffee shop to my house, but Shamrock is one of my favourites. The staff are super friendly, and they have a nice range of juices as well which is great for a little pick-me-up in the morning. I like to sit there and watch the world go by, as well as some of the creative parking and driving that occurs in the street outside. They usually have live music on a Saturday night, which goes down particularly well with one of their cocktails.
One of the coolest bars on our list, Dada is famous for its DJs and live music of an evening, but it is also a nice place to get a coffee during the day. With a maze of indoor and outdoor interconnected spaces, all punctuated with brightly coloured and wacky designs features, it is the place to be for the cool kids of Tirana. I might even not be cool enough to go there, I’m not quite sure.
Libraria Tirana Times
I happened upon this café earlier this week when I met there for a business meeting. It is the perfect little oasis of calm in the middle of Blloku and it boasts big, comfy, plush chairs and cushions, and plenty of plugs for your laptop- which is great when you are working on the go. The coffee was delicious and it is right next to, in fact almost a part of the Tirana Times library. I will be visiting again when I am looking for somewhere comfy and cosy to spend a few hours working, and I suggest you do too.
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