As we drove along the promenade into Vlora, southwest Albania, it appeared to be lined with numerous bars and restaurants. We thought “we’ll be spoilt for choice”. But as is often the case, when we started exploring, the options narrowed.
On our first night, we walked for quite a distance, until we appeared to have reached the end of the strip. So before turning around, we stopped in “Bar Kondi”:https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Bar/Kondi-Bar-1805240066221331/ for a pre-dinner G&T, interestingly served in a brandy balloon. It was still just warm enough to sit on the terrace, albeit in fleeces, but we wanted to sit inside for dinner.
We’d spotted several pizzerias: most restaurants were Italian, possibly because Vlora is only 75km across the water from Italy. The first we tried, had only red wine, and in a second, the food would have been served with a side of very loud music.
We eventually settled on “Pizzeri Bar Restorant Anchor”:https://www.facebook.com/Pizzeri-Bar-Restorant-Anchor-2052098005001806/ which caught our eye, as a bright green Vespa scooter was parked outside with the Italian flag painted on the wheel arch. Although the music seemed a little loud, we bit the bullet as we were swiftly running out of options and getting hungry. However, either they turned it down as the place got busier, or we became immune to it.
There was a huge pizza menu with a few pasta dishes more as an afterthought. We shared a diavolo pizza, and pasta arrabbiata (we’d had enough salad during our week in “Saranda”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/restaurant/201264-review-eating-out-in-saranda to last a lifetime), and a litre of ‘bulk win’, a bargain at 900 Lek/£6.60, and sparkling water. The pizza was excellent with a thin crisp base whilst lots of spicy sauce coated the pasta. Staff were friendly and our waiter spoke reasonable English, but it was the manager who fascinated us as he was around 6 foot tall and appeared to be aged 13.
As the night progressed, we enjoyed relaxing over our wine, watching the locals coming out in their finery for their Saturday night meal from around 8pm. This place had taken a little while to choose but it worked well for us and, judging by the volume of pizzas served from the pizza oven, it was obvious we’d picked well.