Where: Çka Ka Qellu
2321 Hughes Ave, The Bronx, NY 10458
Why: The most authentic and satisfying Albanian food experience in New York City
What: While the prices might 2x to 3x those of actual Albania, it’s still incredibly affordable by New York City standards — and one of the best dining experiences bar none in the entire five boroughs.
There are some great Albanian options in the Arthur Ave. area of the Bronx, but no one has nailed it quite so completely as Çka Ka Qellu. Maybe it is the endless freshly baked bread that puts it over the top, but start to finish, this is the one place I will always return to when I am in the area.
My suggestions for a perfect meal:
Starters: Sides of Tarator, Feta Cheese, Kajmak, and Shop/Shepherd’s Salad
Dishes: If you like liver/entrails, try their perfect “Tava dheut.”
Sarma – Cabbage leaves stuffed with ground veal, rice, vegetables and seasoning
Mantia – Veal dumplings
Tradita Mixed Grill Platter – Combination of qebapa (kebabs), qofte (seasoned beef patties) , sausage, chicken & veal lungs
Important — combine the qofte with the bread and yogurt. “Buk e qofte” as good as it gets back home in Albania.