Amaro: the perfect winter hideout

by Eve-anne Travers17/01/2020 - 17:03


A delightfully cosy eating spot with a few culinary surprises, restaurant Amaro offers the Mexican-Albanian cuisine you didn’t know you were looking for.

If you are trying to find respite from the cold during this foggy January, warm and cosy lunch spots can sometimes feel few and far between in Prishtina. But down a small pedestrian alley across from the University of Prishtina’s Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences is Amaro, sandwiched between an array of small cafes populated by students and academics. 

This busy spot is easy to miss (the name of the restaurant can be found in small red letters on the glass door as you enter) but worth searching for. If, like me, you are constantly in a quandary over whether you are looking for some traditional Albanian food or some spicy Mexican fare, look no further: in a surprising discovery, and for reasons unknown, Amaro has a menu incorporating both cuisines, giving you the best of both worlds if you can’t make up your mind.

Nothing about this space says ‘Mexican cantina,’ really: walking through the small cafe-bar on the ground floor of the building, follow a spiral set of stairs down into the basement and you can find a warm, cosy Albanian-style restaurant with low-ceilings, a fireplace and an appealing open-brick and mahogany furnished interior.

The homey feel to Amaro is completed by the red and blue checkered curtains and the soft orange armchairs you can sink into, enjoying the array of Kosovo-related nick-nacks and black and white photos littered across the walls as you wait for your meal. 

Photo: Eve-anne Travers.

First, to the Albanian section of the menu: Amaro serves up fantastic pogaqe, a huge wheel of Albanian bread that is somehow light, fluffy, dense and rich all at the same time. Ask for some of their own homemade leng, a dip consisting of green peppers and yoghurt for two euros, the perfect accompaniment to any meal. Additionally, Amaro’s pogaqe is also only two euros, half the price asked for at many restaurants around the city and twice the quality. 

On top of the usual choices of pasta, pizza, soups, sandwiches, omelettes and risotto seen in most restaurants, Amaro has a large selection of grilled meats, qebabi and ushtipka ranging in price from four to seven euros. 

Worth a special mention is Amaro’s vegetarian plate: for only 3.5 euros, a delicious rainbow heap of roasted vegetables is served with rice and a creamy potato cake, similar to the French gratin dauphinois, alongside spicy pickled peppers and olives. 

To accompany your lunch, the restaurant also serves up a huge basket of bruschetta with homemade leng and pinxhur, a tomato-based spicy dipping sauce, for no extra charge. 

Amaro’s extensive ‘Meny Meksikane’ is something to behold. The restaurant offers a choice of tacos, tortillas, fajitas or flautas filled with either vegetables, chicken or veal. Our recommendation is to try the chimichanga, two tortillas filled with herbs, sauce and the meat of your choice, wrapped and deep-fried until golden and crispy and served with a side salad. 

Perhaps steer clear of the fajitas, however: although beautifully served in a cast-iron frying pan with a side of tortillas, rice, cheese, salad, salsa and sour cream (and perfect for sharing), the filling itself leaves a little to be desired if you have tried the dish in Prishtina’s other Mexican establishments. 

Generous portions sizes demand an after-dinner treat to settle the stomach. While the namesake of the restaurant is Amaro (a common after-dinner Italian digestif), we recommend the caj rusi, black tea with lemon, to help you recharge and be ready once again to face the winter weather. 

17 January 2020 - 17:03



Street: Eqrem Qabej, 10000 Prishtina


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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.