The restaurant, “Taverna Kuka,”:https://www.facebook.com/tavernakuka/ was recommended in the Lonely Planet for Eastern Europe, but strangely not in our more detailed Bradt guide to Albania. It was also very close to our “hotel”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/accommodation/200961-review-hotel-gjirokastra in Gjirokastra and as the streets are cobbled and steep, this was handy and the after dinner climb back, helped work off excess calories.
Although there was a small inside restaurant, the large garden terrace with two covered areas was obviously the focus with tables set around the outside. A couple arrived immediately in front of us, but as they wanted to check out the menu before deciding whether to stay, we beat them to the best table. They sat next to us, in the second-best table, and as they were Italian, and the lady had to translate the menu (Albanian and English), we ordered before them. They had an extensive and expensive wine list, the cheapest bottle was 2,000 Lek, which at nearly £15 may not seem dear by English standards but was by Albanian ones. However, they had half litre of house white for 350 Lek/£2.60 which turned out to be the best wine we’d had during our three weeks in Albania.
Although we had to wait a while to get menus, it became clear why, as the young man in his blue and white striped top was running around dealing with everyone (around six tables were occupied and there was a little turnover). We chose a green salad which was large and well dressed with a lemon dressing and pieces of lemon and onions for crunch and a main of a shared moussaka. The latter wasn’t the biggest portion but with complimentary bread, it was perfect, particularly after lunchtime chips. We had a bottle of sparkling water and finished with two cappuccino which brought the bill to 1650 Lek/£12.20.
Because the wine was so good and incredibly cheap, we had pre-dinner drinks there on our second night, when we ate elsewhere.