Restaurant Kulla e Shqiponjes: A village oasis on the edge of Prishtina

Construction on Restaurant Kulla e Shqiponjes in Zllatar began in 2007, but was inspired by masonry from centuries before that. It is located on the former site of a 400 year-old stone kulla and is built in the traditional style, taking its cues from age-old Balkan craftsmanship.

The recreated kulla is encircled by an inviting garden, its stone paths surrounded by nature – tall trees, grassy mounds, and birds chirping away while you enjoy your meal. The tables in the garden are thoughtfully spaced apart providing diners with both privacy and intimacy, while the waiting staff offer a friendly and hospitable welcome. 

Although this outside dining area is perfect for the summer months, make sure to step inside and have a look around as well. There are a series of dining rooms, each designed with a slightly different character. 

Photo: Chlesea Charles.

The qilim (handmade carpets) adorning the walls add to the traditional ambience, while the charming stone fireplaces mean that Kulla e Shqiponjes can also lure you in on a snowy night in winter. 

The menu focuses on traditional Kosovo Albanian favourites, all prepared and presented with care. 

Each dish is served with long (a white, creamy dip with peppers) and a homemade pogaqe bread to mop it up that comes hot, fresh and ready to be devoured. The family also makes their own homemade turshi (pickled vegetables), available to order as a side dish or appetiser when in season. 

Meanwhile, the house tave (a casserole baked in a clay dish) consists of tender beef, peppers, carrots and cheese. It has full, rich flavours that implore you to dip your bread into the dish’s crevices and scrape up every last drop. 

Photo: Chelsea Charles.

The archetypal northern Albanian dish, flija, is also on the menu, served with a cooked pepper, cheese, and chopped tomatoes and cucumber. The layers of batter in Kulla e Shqiponjes’ flija pull apart nicely, with layers of mazë hidden in the folds, while the accompanying vegetables taste as though they’re fresh from the garden.  

The menu also includes a range of pastas, pizzas, and more traditional meat dishes, with lamb the house speciality. Appetisers and sides range from 2-4 euros, while meat dishes stretch from 4.50 up to 22 euros for those seeking to splash out.

As dinner progresses and the sun sets, Kulla e Shqiponjes offers a range of rakis to drink as a digestif. For those with a spot of room left, there is also a house dessert, a layered chocolate cake with coconut shavings and a chocolate sauce drizzled on top. 

Photo: Chelsea Charles.

With its amazing stone work, tranquil garden and traditional menu, Kulla e Shqiponjes is a perfect afternoon getaway from Prishtina. It’s even accessible by public transport by taking the number 4 bus to one of its final stops in Matiqan (Xhamia ne Mat). From there, you can continue on foot and enjoy a roughly 35 minute walk through Matiqan and Zllatar, with the restaurant being the final house in the village.

Once there, the garden’s beautiful, fresh surroundings and the impressively recreated kulla offer the perfect opportunity to experience a touch of village hospitality without venturing too far from the city.

The post Restaurant Kulla e Shqiponjes: A village oasis on the edge of Prishtina appeared first on Prishtina Insight.

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