Best Restaurants In Skopje – And A Bar Guide maj 25, 2022 – Posted in: North Macedonia, Travel – Tags: Bars, Breweries, Holiday, North Macedonia, Restaurants, Skopje, Vacations, Weekend Breaks
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Where to eat in Skopje?
There are many wonderful restaurants in Skopje, so many that it is impossible to eat at them all. Therefore, here you get a selection of some of all the exciting and fun dining experiences you can get in Skopje. And of course there are also tips for cozy bars where you can start – or continue – a great evening.
It is worth noting that many of the good restaurants in Skopje are found in the same area, around the streets of Gjorgji Peshkov, Orce Nikolov and Zhivko Chingo. The area may be a little difficult to find if you can not read the Cyrillic road signs. It is easier to locate the large Boulevard Ilinden and follow it from the city and to the west. When you reach the start of the stadium park, where you’ll begin to get a scent of the – make af left turn.
Also be aware that in North Macedonia can must smoke in all bars and restaurants that are open to the outside world. If you don’t like smoke, choose a restaurant without a terrace or take a seat outside.
What to eat in Skopje?
The cuisine of North Macedonia is a wonderful mix of everything from the surrounding countries. You’ll recognize many dishes from Greece, Turkey and Israel. The menu’s at most restaurants are gigantic with a lot to choose from, so here you get a few suggestions for what you should definitely taste when you are in Skopje.
Macedonians are especially fond of meat: grilled meat, meat with cheese inside, cheese with meat and then kebap. If you are a vegetarian, however, you will also be happy with the large selection of green dishes. There are a few vegan restaurants in town, but at all the regular restaurants you will always be able to find different salads or, for example, deep-fried, baked squash.
As such, there is no sign of meat-free dishes, but the Macedonians like their fresh vegetables, and salads are ordered as a separate dish for every meal. As in many other countries around the Mediterranean, you order several small and large dishes, which you share among yourself, like tapas.
If you don’t know what to choose, just do as the Macedonians order a shopska salad, a pastrmalija (a mixture of pizza and tarte flambée), a meat dish as well as a pindjur, a dip made from red pepper.
The food goes well with the Macedonian Skopsko beer, which comes in several varieties. Finally, try the local red wine, preferably an Alexandria Cuvée with a full-bodied and strong taste.
The prices are as good as the food: 2 people can order 5-6 dishes, a bottle of good wine, coffee, dessert and avec at one of the good restaurants in Skopje – for €40.
About the recommendations for restaurants in Skopje
Before we take you to the good restaurants in Skopje, however, it is appropriate to tell you what dining experiences we usually go for – so you can decide if you want to follow our recommendations.
We love to eat well and restaurant visits are usually a big part of our vacations. We don’t necessarily eat at expensive restaurants, but always where the locals eat and with local ingredients. We are also always on the hunt for the great dining experiences and prefer to eat something we have never tasted before.
Good restaurants in Skopje
No matter which travel blog you read or which local resident you ask, everyone recommends Shopski Marek. There are about a hundred good reasons for this – the same number as items on their menu! It gets busy, so get there early. The restaurant is especially famous for its pastrmalijas and you will definitely have to give it a try.
Read more here: Skopski Merak
Kafana Debar Maalo
At Kafana Debar Maalo, business associates, friends and family meet. The atmosphere is cozy and loud, and the live musicians have a hard time playing over the guests. But the atmosphere is great and the food even better. Do try the fryed squash and remember to order baklava for dessert. The house makes its own yummy baklava with poppyseeds – a must try!
Read more here: Kafana Debar Maalo
Don’t be mistaken about Macedonian cuisine, because it is not excatly pretty. Sometimes you just get a plate with a piece of meat and a tassel of parsley on it, but that’s all right. For what the Macedonian cuisine lacks in sophistication in the serving, it has in turn in abundance in taste and variety.
At Gurmet, families meet in the weekends, celebrating birthdays and other events. The menu is large, but go simple and order the grilled fish or meat as well as the baked feta.
Read more here: Restoran Gurmet
** The three restaurants are located right next to each other in the restaurant streets. **
The Ols Bazaar
In the bazaar you also eat well – and cheaply! Many restaurants serve small breakfast dishes: salad, kebap and burek. Note that kebap in Skopje is not something that rotates on a grill, but small, spicy sausages without skins.
Before you sit down and order a cold beer, check if alcohol is being served at the restaurant. Many kafanas and restaurants in the bazaar are owned by Muslims, and not everyone serves alcohol.
Read more here: The Old Bazaar
A tip for cheap breakfast and lunch
If you have breakfast at the hotel, then you may not need a big lunch. Instead, do as the Macedonians and grab a cheap and delicious snack. Burek, which is a kind of puff pastry filled with feta or meat, is sold in many places along with the sesame-covered rings.
A little tip for the best burek: If you are going up to the Millennium Cross, bring your food from below. In the street that leads up to the cross, and where bus no. 25 also runs from, are several bakeries. The best is the one on the corner of Mother Teresa and Bel Kamen, where there is always a queue on the sidewalk.
Good bars in Skopje
Macedonians love to drink, but you won’t see drunk people on the streets. Instead of drinking for a whole week at a time, they go out as often as they can to have a drink or two. The bars are full of people all day long and the atmosphere is excellent.
If you are looking for locally brewed craft beer in Skopje, visit the Old Town Brewery, located on the north side of Kale Fortress. Here you get freshly brewed craft beer, and if you want to taste both the red lager, the porter and their IPA, try a tasting set.
Read more here: Old Town Brewery
A five minute walk from the brewery and inside the bazaar is the city’s only rakija bar. Rakija is the Macedonian variant of raki, a brandy brewed on fruit, including plums. At the rakija bar Kaldrma, they have 40 different kinds, and if you are not into the spirited taste, order it with cherries.
There is generally very loud music at many bars, and if you are looking for a place to go out in the evening where you can hear yourself talking, then Kaldrma is a lovely place! There is live music every night and a great atmosphere.
Read more here: Kaldrma
Find a great hotel in Skopje
Whether you are going on holiday in Skopje or just want to visit the city on a short weekend break, there are many lovely hotels in the city. In general, it is cheap to live in Skopje, and even a tight budget will get you far. If you want to pamper yourself, you can also get a lot of luxury for your money in Skopje.
With those words comes our recommendation for a really good hotel in Skopje that can be booked directly through Booking.com. See more hotels by performing your own search here:
A recommendation: Hotel Arka
We stayed right in the middle of the old bazaar at the five star Hotel Arka. In addition to rooms and suites, the luxury hotel also has three themed rooms: one that is kept completely in white with a bathtub, another that is black and with a whirlpool and a third in classic decor, where you can take a bath overlooking the city’s roofs. As you can see on the photo, we of course chose the one with the bath in the middle of the living room and the view over the city!
The breakfast buffet is completely sumptuous and offers Macedonian specialties and freshly made omelette. On the roof terrace you will find a pool bar that is open 24 hours a day as well as the most amazing view of the city and the old bazaar. From Hotel Arka, it is only a short walk to the restaurants of the Bazaar and Macedonia Square.
Read more: Hotel Arka
How do you get to Skopje?
WizzAir is your #1 choice when flying uot to Skopje. From Skopje Airport, you can take a shuttle bus to the city during the day, and it costs 160 denars (approximately €2,5). In front of the airport there are also taxis with fixed prices. 1500 denar it costs, about €25 – and don’t save your money going in a pirate taxi. The official taxis has a sign on the roof saying ‘Park’ .
When you need to get back to the airport, the bus leaves from the train station at the eastern part of town. Buy a ticket at the train station and stand in front of ‘East Entrance’. The bus does not run in the evening, see the bus schedule here.