A trek to suburbia is worth it for Prishtina’s best fish restaurant

by Faith Bailey02/11/2017 - 14:19


Hemingway, with its intimate, date-night interior and its small, fish-focused menu offers some of the best sea bass and fish pastas around Prishtina.

I live in a landlocked country. And by God, as often as I can I happily take the several-hour drive to the northern Albanian seaside just for silky platters of crudo, brothy bowls of mussels, and beautifully simple clam pastas.

I have yet to find a place in Prishtina that has solved the conundrum of importing and serving fresh, raw shrimps and thinly sliced white fish to a level that could compete with Albania’s cuisine. But twenty minutes outside of Prishtina’s city center, there is one fish restaurant that really excels in serving delicious saltwater fish brought in from abroad and local fish from Kosovo’s freshwaters.

Octopus salad at Hemingway.

Hemingway Fish Restaurant, located in the Marigona Residence, has a small outdoor area and a clean, bright interior. The menu is small and centered on seafood appetizers, a few pasta dishes, and fish entrees, and it’s one of my go-tos for birthdays and special date nights.

The neighborhood itself is pleasantly quiet, albeit a little strange. Rows of modern, boxy white townhomes line residential streets named after US states. Every time I drive through I can’t help but get Malvina Reynolds’ “Little Boxes” stuck in my head. The restaurant is located in the outlet shopping strip, which could easily be mistaken for the closest suburb to my rural American hometown.

Although Marigona itself is a ‘gated neighborhood’ and caters to Prishtina’s upper-middle class, Hemingway’s, which used to be located in downtown Dardania, is still affordable. Appetizers range from seven to 10 euros; pasta dishes from four to nine euros; and individual fish from seven to 12 euros.

It is a wholesome experience: the meal starts with a basket full of freshly toasted bread rubbed in spices – always a nice touch. The primi that follow are just as good.

Sea bass and seafood pasta at Hemingway. 

Though I typically prefer fish pasta to be dressed with lemon, butter, and parsley, Hemingway’s tomato-parmesan seafood pasta is delicious. The calamari isn’t my favorite in the area—I prefer the calamari at Casa Rita, another nice fish option—but it is good, and served alongside a very nice salad with grated beets and soft cheese.

But saltwater fish are the stars of the menu. Their sea bass is bone-suckingly delicious, some of the best I’ve had. The white meat is delicate yet succulent, savory yet subtle.

The fish comes with a fresh salad instead of the mixed grilled veggies that are served at almost every other fish place in Prishtina, and the food is made all the better with a friendly family-run staff.

I have yet to order a krudo platter at Hemingway, but with the high quality of the rest of the dishes, I plan to give this Kosovo restaurant a chance.

Feature image: courtesy of Hemingway’s Facebook page. 

02 November 2017 - 14:19


Marigona Residence


Daily, 11:00 am - 11:00 pm


Phone: +386 49 212 300
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Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosovo, an independent, non-governmental organisation. To find out more about the organization please visit the official website. Copyright © 2016 BIRN Kosovo.