Have you been to Ohrid? The Pearl city? The city of gjomleze, homemade garlic “mayo”, Church of St. John at Kaneo, beautiful Ohrid lake, historical churches (365 churches for each day of the year), breathtaking Samuel’s Fortress that watches the city from above, the top visited city in Macedonia during the summer? Let me introduce you with the city of Ohrid seen through my eyes.
Because I love my country, Macedonia (only the nature, food and good childhood memories are involved here), I always try to take advantage of what is near to me. Because I like to be present in the moment and enjoy the beauty that this homeland of mine can offer, I go to Ohrid twice every year. For me, Ohrid is the best to be seen and enjoyed during the low seasons – May, start of June and September. It is so calm, peaceful, not very much crowded with tourists, and people in Ohrid during these periods of the season are different, too. They are more polite, cheerful, willing to help and answer to your questions. I’ve visited Ohrid during the high season, last year and I was so nervous and disappointed, so I decided that June is my favorite time to enjoy Ohrid. Here is a list of yummy things to eat and taste next time (or for the first time) you visit Ohrid.
Breakfast: Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day (at least when I am on a vacation, because I try to eat mostly fruit every other regular day for brekkie). I am always so excited when I visit Ohrid just because of the tradition to have my breakfast on the Farmers market. Gjomleze and pitulica are my personal choices. Especially pitulica. Gjomleze is a pie like dish, made plain, with no filling with crunch crust on top. It’s a traditional dish that is baked under the sach (large metal or ceramic lid over which ashes or coals are placed). Pitulica is the same as gjomleze, only filled with cheese (my personal favorite!). On the farmers market, there are many middle aged women who wake up early in the morning (4 am), prepare these dishes plus some more like pies, fried dough (mekica) and bring them on the market where they sell them. Mrs. Nada makes (in my opinion) the best pitulici on the market. Also, I tried some other stuff she made that day. Try: pitulica, gjomleze. Pro tip: One piece of each is enough for one person.
Traditional Macedonian food aka Food in kafana: Kafana or taverna is a institution in Macedonia or anywhere on the Balkan. A place where you drink rakia, eat shopska salad and grilled meat, listen to traditional Macedonian folk songs and just relax and enjoy. I deeply care for all these things. There are few good places in Ohrid where you can have proper shopska salad, grilled meat, dips and all those stuff, but mostly they are either overpriced (because of the lake view) or the food is just average. There are also few places in the Turkish quart, too. If you want to sit in the centre of Ohrid and have some decent (and affordable) lunch, try out a place called “Tomato“. Street: “Tsar Samoil” 6000 Ohrid | Directions: @41.1125511,20.7987656,21 They really can deliver tasty meat on grill, tavche gravche (baked beans), shopska salad (small in size, but tasty!) and rakia. Staff is polite, atmosphere is good and you can enjoy the view from city square and Ohrid lake. Try: Baked beans, shopska salad, pleskavica (spiced meat patty / Balkan burger type) or kebabs, garlicky hot peppers (this is A MUST) and of course, grilled or fried trout. Pro tip: You have to ask them for onions in the shopska salad. Ask them without extra fries if you order grilled meat and you have already ordered fries on the side).
Pizza: Because I am a HUGE foodie and I LOVE pizza very much, it was difficult for me to find a proper, tasty and delicious pizza in Ohrid. Everyone goes to the fancy pizza places near the lake, but they do not deliver a good pizza, let me tell you that. Thin crust, poor filling and small in size pizza its what you’ll get if you decide to sit in the restaurants near the lake. Actually, you are paying for the view that should be free, right? Instead of ordering something from the food menu, order a beer, ice cold juice or a cup of coffee, sit outside and enjoy the view for much less price. Now, when the pizza o’clock will come, go to a small pizzeria called “La Piazza“ | Street: “Petar Caulev” 38, 6000 Ohrid | Directions: @41.1129339,20.7988623,21 They make one hell of a pizza! When I found this family-run pizzeria and tried their pizza, I was so happy! Genuinely happy! I taught to myself: YEEE! Finally, a proper pizza! Staff is great, it’s cozy, you can sit on the small terrace outside or inside and you can enjoy Italian music. Try: Pizza Stelato, white pizza, Siciliana, Quattro formaggi or Cream Pizza . Pro tip: If you ask for extra garlic (like I did), they will put some garlic mayo (pure garlic paste) on top of the pizza. They usually do not have fresh garlic, which is a bummer!
Ice cream: For those with some sweet tooth, ice cream is the way to go, especially during the hot summer nights in Ohrid. There are few places where you can buy ice cream, pastries and cakes, but in my onion, Malaga is the best place for ice cream. They have few flavours, but all the right ones. Location: On the city square, where the pedestrian street starts. Try: Every flavour, really 🙂
Coffee or beer: I don’t like the popular places where ever I go. I like to explore the city and choose a place that suits me and my personality and have a drink, meal or whatever. Not many places in Ohrid can give you that sense of calmness and enjoyment while you sit and enjoy the view of the beautiful lake. Lotos Cafe is a wonderful place to visit and a rare gem. Sit down, order a coffee of ice cold beer, relax and just breath. The staff is very nice and polite, coffee is served with a cookie and beer is served with some chips. It’s a cozy place with a extraordinary view. Everything is with normal and reasonable prices. Street: “Kosta Abrash” 1, 6000 Ohrid. Directions: @41.1118442,20.7975005,20.25 Try: Anything refreshing (coffee, beer). Pro tip: If you are a regular guest, there will be some discounts or extras.
(the usual tourist stuff)
- Church of St. Sophia
- Church of St. John at Kaneo
- Tsar Samuel’s Fortress
- Museum on water – Bay of the Bones Museum
- Robevci House – National museum
- Monastery of Saint Naum
- Biljana Springs (Biljanini izvori)
- National Workshop for Handmade Paper
- Just wander around and you will find your way 🙂
Have you ever been to Ohrid? What was your favorite place to visit? What did you ate? Did you tried something special? Where the locals nice and polite with you? I want to know! 🙂 Leave your comments down below.