Macedonian Cuisine: From Traditional Bites to Sweet Delights in Skopje

As you explore Skopje, the capital’s streets and markets reveal the essence of Macedonian culinary delights.

From the savory layers of Burek and Zelnik to the sweet indulgence of Tulumbi and Baklava, each dish showcases the local love for hearty, flavorful, and diverse cuisine.

For those seeking an authentic taste of Macedonia, below is your guide to discovering traditional snacks, sweet treats, and the perfect dishes to pair with local wines or beers.

Whether it’s enjoying a rooftop dinner with views of the city or grabbing a bite at a bustling street market, Macedonian cuisine promises to enhance your Skopje experience with unforgettable flavors and memories.

Join us as we explore the best of what Skopje has to offer, guiding you through a culinary landscape rich in history, taste, and innovation.

Discover the soul of Macedonia through its food, one bite at a time.

TLDR/What you should know about Macedonian Cuisine:

  • Macedonian cuisine is a blend of Balkan, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern influences.
  • Macedonian snacks include a variety of savory and sweet options, perfect for satisfying your hunger on the go.
  • You can easily make traditional Macedonian snacks at home with our easy-to-follow recipes.

macedonian cuisine

Exploring Macedonian Cuisine

If you’re looking for a unique culinary experience, Macedonian cuisine is definitely worth trying.

Macedonian snacks are a great way to explore the flavors and ingredients of this Balkan country.

Macedonian food is heavily influenced by its neighbors, including Greece, Turkey, and Serbia.

As a result, the cuisine is a blend of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Eastern European flavors.

One of the most popular Macedonian snacks is Burek, a savory pastry made with phyllo dough and typically filled with cheese, meat, or vegetables.

Another popular snack is Zelnik, which is similar to Burek but made with spinach and feta cheese.

If you’re looking for a sweet snack, try Tulumbi, a fried dough pastry soaked in syrup.

Another sweet treat is Baklava, a layered pastry made with phyllo dough, honey, and nuts.

Macedonian cuisine also features a variety of dips and spreads.

Ajvar is a roasted red pepper, and eggplant spread often served with bread or as a condiment for meat dishes.

Tzatziki, a yogurt and cucumber dip, is also popular in Macedonia.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try Rakija, a traditional Macedonian brandy made from fruit.

It’s often served as an aperitif or digestif and is a popular drink during celebrations.

The Best of Traditional Macedonian Cusine

If you’re looking for a taste of Macedonia, you can’t go wrong with their traditional snacks.

These snacks are easy to make and perfect for any occasion.

Here are a few traditional (the best of the best) Macedonian delights you should definitely try.

Ajvar (with Bread)

Ajvar with bread

Ajvar is a popular dip made from roasted red peppers, eggplant, garlic, and oil.

It’s a perfect snack to have with some bread or crackers.

You can also use it as a condiment for sandwiches or grilled meats.

To make ajvar, you’ll need to roast the peppers and eggplant until they’re soft, then blend them together with garlic and oil until you get a smooth consistency. You can add salt and pepper to taste.



Burek is a savory pastry made from phyllo dough and filled with cheese, spinach, or meat.

It’s a popular snack in Macedonia and can be found in bakeries and cafes across the country.

You can make burek at home by layering phyllo dough with your choice of filling and baking it in the oven until it’s golden brown and crispy.

Simit Pogaca

simit pogaca skopje

Simit-pogaca is a delightful fusion of two beloved Turkish and Balkan classics: simit and pogaca.

This savory snack marries the sesame-crusted crunch of simit with the soft, fluffy interior of pogaca, creating a perfect balance of textures and flavors.

Often filled with feta cheese, olives, or minced meat, simit-pogaca is a versatile treat that caters to a variety of taste preferences.

It’s a popular choice for breakfast, tea time, or as a quick snack on the go, embodying the warmth and hospitality of the regions’ culinary traditions.

Ideal for those who love to explore different cultures through their palate, simit-pogaca offers a taste of tradition with every bite.

Tavche Gravche

Tavche Gravche

Tavche Gravche is a traditional Macedonian dish made from baked beans, onions, and paprika.

It’s a hearty meal that’s perfect for cold winter days.

To make Tavche Gravche, you’ll need to soak the beans overnight, then cook them with onions and paprika until they’re soft and creamy.

You can serve Tavche Gravche with some bread on the side.



Pindjur is a spicy pepper spread made from roasted peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant.

It’s a perfect snack to have with some bread or crackers.

To make Pindjur, you’ll need to roast the peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant until they’re soft, then blend them together with garlic and oil until you get a smooth consistency. You can also add salt and pepper to taste.

My Favourite Macedonian Desserts

If you have a sweet tooth, you are in for a treat in Macedonia.

Macedonian cuisine is famous for its delicious desserts, many of which are sweet and syrupy.

Here are a few Macedonian sweet delights that you should try when you visit Macedonia.


Trilece macedonian dessert

Trilece is a popular Macedonian dessert that is similar to a tres leches cake.

The name “trilece” means “three milks” in Macedonian, and the dessert is made with three different types of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and regular milk.

The cake is soaked in the milk mixture, which makes it incredibly moist and flavorful.

It’s then topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce.

Trilece is a must-try dessert in Macedonia, and you can easily make it at home with this recipe.



Tulumbi is a popular sweet pastry in Macedonia that is similar to a churro.

It is made by frying dough in hot oil until it’s crispy and golden brown.

The pastry is then soaked in a sweet syrup made with sugar, water, and lemon juice.

Tulumbi is often served with whipped cream or ice cream.

It’s a delicious and indulgent dessert that you won’t be able to resist.

You can make tulumbi at home with this recipe.



Baklava is a sweet pastry that is popular throughout the Balkans, including Macedonia.

It is made with layers of phyllo pastry, chopped nuts, and honey syrup.

The pastry is then baked until it’s crispy and golden brown.

Baklava is a rich and decadent dessert that is perfect for special occasions.

What are some popular Macedonian street foods?

Macedonia has a variety of street foods that are popular among locals and tourists alike.

One of the most popular is kebapi, grilled meat served in a pita with onions and ajvar.

Another popular street food is pleskavica, a grilled meat patty served in a pita with cheese, onions, and ajvar.

If you’re looking for something sweet, try lokum, a type of Turkish delight that is popular in Macedonia.

What are some savory Macedonian dishes that pair well with wine or beer?

If you’re looking for a savory dish to pair with your favorite wine, beer, or Rakija, there are a few Macedonian options to try.

One popular dish is tarator, a cold soup made with yogurt, cucumbers, and garlic.

It’s refreshing and pairs well with white wine or light beer.

Another option is meze, a selection of small dishes that can include cheese, olives, cured meats, and vegetables.

It’s perfect for sharing and pairs well with red wine or dark beer.

the best of macedonian cuisine

This guide was first published on February 23, 2024 and was last updated on February 23, 2024. For more information, please contact us at