Albania doesn’t really have a traditional pub culture like you see in some western countries. When we say pub food, live sports on big screens and occasional live music, all in a cosy atmosphere you probably know what we mean.
Albanians like their coffee or raki over a good chat with family or friends in the quiet environment of a simple bar or they like to go out to a modern style club or beach bar to get their vibes moved up by a live dj.
Saranda has long been no different with many of the bars and restaurants in similar styles, some more modern than others, but a lot has been same-same until recently. Over the past years being different has become the norm as more distinguishing places have opened their doors in Saranda.
Three of these bars have introduced some traditional Anglo-Irish-American pub culture to Saranda, each of them in their own unique way.
1. American Blue
After spending some years throughout the Balkans, New-Yorker Bob landed in Saranda and immediately saw what was missing and opened up American Blue. Starting off as a co-working space with proper wifi and airconditioning, the bar soon turned into a true American-style pub with big screens to watch live sports and events aimed at the rapidly growing expat community of Saranda started to be organized.
The bar has its regular karaoke nights, game nights and occasional live performances and even hosts movie nights as Saranda lacks the presence of a cinema. Sports fans are also in the right place here as they broadcast a variety of matches, including American Football, Premier League and Champions League matches. Expats also come together during occasional food nights, like “Taco Tuesdays” or “Dogs ‘n Drafts” nights, charity events or even birthday parties.
Not surprisingly American Blue has become the meeting place for expats, nomads and other international crowds so if you’re new in town it’s the best place to make new friends. The bar is open all year round and, unlike other bars, American Blue is actually busier outside the tourist season as many other places are then closed.
UPDATE: American Blue has closed down permanently.
2. Tek’Un & Ted’s Bar
Tek’Un & Ted’s Bar is the first and only Irish pub in Saranda. After living abroad and traveling to many countries the French-Albanian owners noticed the Irish bars everywhere and fell in love with the pub-style concept. Destined to bring the Irish pub culture to Saranda they opened up their own bar, making Saranda finally count on the international map.
The owners have done an amazing job to create a real Irish pub atmosphere, making the interior really stand out from other bars in Saranda. They have created a large woorden bar with stools in the middle of the pub and a lot of attention has been paid to even the small details and decorations, including some musical instruments and other objects. Occasionally there is live music as well.
Tek’Un & Ted’s Bar serves the largest selection of beers in Saranda, including some German and Czech pilsners, some stronger Belgian beers and not surprisingly, Guinness from Ireland. They have some pub food to fill your belly and if you crave for a coffee, make sure to order an Irish Coffee!
3. Rock Cafe Saranda
With its location right on Saranda’s beachfront boulevard, Rock Cafe Saranda is the most bustling of the three pubs on this list. This means it can get crowded on summer evenings, but if you like rock music and prefer the atmosphere of the promenade this is definitely your pick.
As the name already suggests this is a rock bar and for this reason already a distringuishing place between all the cocktail bars in Saranda. Rock Cafe Saranda regularly has live (rock) music and the bar is nicely decorated in rock music style, with a big guitar and vinyl records on the walls and drums sets used as tables.
Looking for more places to eat or have a drink? In our Food & Drinks directory you can search for bars, restaurants and cafes.