Experiencing Struga means gazing at the lake water that whitens under the sun’s rays, breathing the wind listening to the fast waters of Drim… and enjoying fish specialties prepared in the Struga way.
Struga is a charming town on the shores of Lake Ohrid, famous for its poetry festival, cultural heritage and natural beauty. But what about its cuisine?
If you are planning to visit Struga, you might be wondering what to eat and where to find the best local dishes.
In this article, we will share with you some of the most delicious and authentic food options that you can enjoy in Struga, as well as some tips on where to eat them.
Eel is a delicacy prepared in a unique style in Struga. The city’s combination of natural beauty and cultural heritage has shaped the tradition of eel hunting, from ancient times to the present.
However, due to conservation efforts, hunting eels from Lake Ohrid is prohibited, and the specialty is prepared exclusively using eels from fish farms.
To prepare the dish, two kilograms of eel are cleaned, descaled, and salted. The eel is then defatted by cutting it horizontally in several places and placing it in a heated oven to drain the fat. This process is repeated three times. Next, the eel is arranged in a circular shape in an earthen pan, with parsley and salt in the center. Cloves of garlic are inserted into the cuts of the eel.
The eel is baked in a heated oven until a crust forms on top and the water evaporates.
The unique preparation method and the use of locally sourced eels make this dish a distinctive specialty of Struga.
Ohrid Trout on Struga way
Struga is renowned for its fish, especially the eel and the Ohrid trout, endemic species that live only in Lake Ohrid and its tributaries. These fish are considered delicacies and are prepared in various ways, but the most popular one is Ohrid Trout (Ohridka Pastrmka) the Struga way.
The Struga way involves grilling the fish over charcoal and seasoning it with salt, pepper, garlic and parsley. The fish is then served with lemon wedges, bread and salad.
The result is a tender, juicy and flavorful dish that will make you fall in love with Struga’s fish specialities.
You can find eel and Ohrid trout in many restaurants in Struga, but some of the best ones are:
- Restaurant Dva Bisera is a fish restaurant located in Radozda, a village near Struga, on the shore of Lake Ohrid. It is known for its fresh trout, salads, and panoramic view of the lake.
If you are looking for a place to enjoy fish and scenery in Radozda, Restaurant Dva Bisera might be a good option for you.
- Restaurant Oaza is a family restaurant in Struga, that offers international, European, and Eastern European cuisine. It is known for its friendly staff, cosy atmosphere, and live music. It also has vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options on its menu.
It is open every day from 1 pm to 12 am and accepts reservations and delivery orders.
- Fish Restaurant Riviera is located on the shore of Lake Ohrid and has a spacious terrace overlooking the water. The restaurant serves eel and Ohrid trout grilled or fried, as well as other fish specialities.
Gjomleze: The Traditional Bread of Struga
Gjomleze is a type of bread that is unique to Struga and is considered a part of its cultural heritage. It is made with flour, water, salt and oil and is baked in a large round pan over an open fire. The gjomleze has a thin crust and a soft interior with many layers.
Gjomleze is usually eaten for breakfast or as a side dish with cheese, yogurt or jam. It has a mild flavor and a chewy texture. It is also very filling and nutritious.
You can find gjomleze at some restaurants in Struga, such as:
- Restaurant Antika
This restaurant is located on the beach of Lake Ohrid and has a rustic and cozy ambiance. The restaurant serves traditional Macedonian dishes, including gjomleze, cheese pie, bean stew, grilled meat and fish.
- Restaurant Agape
This restaurant is located near the Drim river and has a bright and elegant interior. The restaurant serves international dishes, including gjomleze, pizza, pasta, salads, soups and desserts.
Fish Soup: The Comfort Food of Struga
Fish soup is a common dish in Struga and is often eaten for lunch or dinner. It is made with fish broth, vegetables, herbs and spices and sometimes rice or noodles.
The soup is usually served with bread and lemon wedges.
Fish soup is a warm and hearty dish that will make you feel cozy and satisfied. It is also rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. You can find fish soup in many restaurants in Struga that serve fish food, such as:
- Restaurant Vanilla Plaza
It is a comfort food restaurant in Struga, that offers Eastern European cuisine. It is located near the shore of Lake Ohrid, where you can enjoy the view and swim. It serves soup, fish, salads, pasta, and coffee, among other dishes.
It is open every day from 7 am to 12 am and accepts credit cards, reservations, and takeaway orders. It also has outdoor seating, Wi-Fi, and wheelchair accessibility.
- Restaurant Vila Europa
It is a hotel and restaurant, that is located near Lake Ohrid and Solferino Beach.
The restaurant specializes in steakhouse dishes and seafood, with a variety of options for the guests to choose from. The restaurant also offers traditional desserts that are rich and authentic. Restaurant Vila Europa aims to provide warm hospitality and culinary excellence to its guests.
- Restaurant Adenia
Offers Macedonian cuisine, it is located on Partizanska street, near the center of the town. It has outdoor seating, takeaway, booking, and wheelchair accessibility options.
It is open every day from 8 am to 11 pm, except on Fridays when it opens at 1:30 pm.
Struski Sarajlii: The Savory Snack of Struga
Saraјlii are a traditional pastry from Struga. They are made by preparing a soft and elastic dough, which is divided into small pieces and shaped into balls. The dough balls are then rolled out into thin ropes and formed into spiral shapes. These pastries are greased with oil and baked until they turn golden.
Once baked, they are topped with crumbled cheese and sprinkled with sesame seeds. A mixture of water, salt, and margarine is poured over the saraјlii, giving them a final touch of flavor. The end result is a delicious pastry with a flaky texture and savory cheese filling, representing the culinary heritage of Struga.
You can find saraјlii in various places in Struga, particularly bakeries, pastry shops, and local restaurants that specialize in traditional Macedonian cuisine.
- Burek Polog
- Burek Sarajevo
- Burekcilnica Miki
Desserts: The Sweet Treats of Struga
Struga has a lot of options for desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth and make you happy. Whether you are looking for cakes, pastries, ice cream or fruits, you will find something to please your palate.
Some of the most popular desserts in Struga are:
These are fried dough balls soaked in sugar syrup. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
This is a pastry made with layers of filo dough filled with chopped nuts and soaked in honey syrup. It is rich, sweet and crunchy.
This is a pastry made with shredded filo dough filled with cheese or nuts and soaked in honey syrup. It is soft, creamy and sticky.
- Tres leches
This is a cake made with sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk and cream. It is moist, fluffy and milky.
- Ice cream
Struga has many ice cream parlors that offer a variety of flavors and toppings. You can choose from classic flavors like vanilla, chocolate or strawberry or try some local ones like fig, walnut or rose.
You can find these desserts in many cafes, bakeries and restaurants in Struga, such as:
- Slatkarnica Bar Sharm
It is a bar and sweets shop, that offers drinks, desserts, and snacks.
It is located near Zenska Plaza. It has delivery, take-out, and group options. It is open every day until 12pm.
If you are looking for a place to enjoy a drink and a treat in Struga, Slatkarnica Bar Sharm might be a good option for you.
- Versus Beach Bar
This restaurant is located on the beach of Lake Ohrid and has a lively and fun atmosphere. The bar serves drinks, snacks, pizza and desserts, including ice cream and pancakes with various flavors and toppings.
You can enjoy in perfect cheescake, chocolate cake or lava cake.
- Dredheza 2
This pastry shop is located near the main square of Struga and has a small seating area. The bakery sells ice cream, cakes and desserts, including tulumba, baklava and kadaif.
You can enjoy drinking fresh lemonade, blueberry juice or traditional drink boza.
This brand has three more locals in Struga, you can find on the bank of the river, city centre or main square.
- Antep Baklava
This pastry shop is located near the main square of Struga or Nova Charsija and has a seating area and self service. The baklava place sells various kinds of Baklava, Sekerpare,Tulumbi, with more then 20 options choice.
Struga offers not only breathtaking natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage but also a delightful array of culinary delights. From the unique preparation of eel and the grilled Ohrid trout to the traditional gjomleze and savory saraјlii pastries, the local cuisine of Struga is a true reflection of its heritage and flavors.
From the local fish restaurants to the cozy bakeries and sweet shops, there are plenty of places to satisfy your cravings and immerse yourself in the culinary delights of Struga.
So, treat yourself to a memorable dining experience and savor the unique tastes that make Struga a gastronomic paradise.