Albanian Food in The Bronx Gets a Spotlight

The Bronx is home to the one of the largest populations of ethnic Albanians outside of Albania.

Now, a new restaurant in our borough reflects this group’s varied cuisine.

Grub Street highlights a new addition to the Bronx food scene, Çka Ka Qëllu, located in Belmont just behind Arthur Avenue, which celebrates Albanian food with no apologies to those seeking gluten free or vegan options

The article reports:

“The bill of fare reads, “Most of our dishes contain egg, flour, and dairies,” and truer words were never spoken, or, in this case, written in a microscopic font at the bottom of a menu. The lactose intolerant and gluten free might want to think twice before reserving a table. Vegans too: The selection of grilled sausages and meats seems fairly representative of the greater Balkan peninsula. This is a bready, meaty, dairy-rich part of the world, if Çka Ka Qëllu is any indication, and during the course of an evening, a mixed-grill meat platter will inevitably make its way to every table, accompanied by baskets of puffy round loaves of warm Albanian bread. By all means, sample the skinless veal qebapa and the chile-flecked kofte, preferably with Balkan condiments like the red-pepper-based ajvar and the tzatzikilike tarator. But the real delights are things you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. Chef Afrim Podrimqaku has a knack for the type of food — long-simmered stews and labor-intensive baked dishes and savory pies — you imagine doting Albanian grandmas serve their extended families for Sunday supper.”

Needless to say we’re already salivating and will be making a special trip in the very near future.

Oh, and if you’re looking burek, you won’t find it here.

Read the full article over at Grub Street.

Header photo by Melissa Horn for Grub Street

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.