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Sightseeing

Restaurants

Cafés

Nightlife

Wine

Hotels

Skopje
July - December 2017

Including

Ohrid & Bitola

Bang!

Our explosive first issue is
packed with essential
information about the
three cities of Skopje,
Ohrid and Bitola

Pop!

Uncork a bottle and come
with us on a journey
through the lip-smacking
world of Macedonian wine
Issue Nº1

inyourpocket.com

Contents
E S S E N TI A L
C I TY G U I D E S

arriving in Skopje

7

Happy landings

restaurants

8

From tavče gravče to кафе

cafés

15

Coffee, ice-cream and handlebar moustaches

wine

16

A connoisseur’s guide

nightlife

18

The city that seldom sleeps

Sightseeing

20

The essential guide

One of the myriad examples of Skopje 2014 project (see p. 25).

ohrid

30

Macedonia’s fabulous unofficial leisure capital

Bitola

36
Macedonia’s magnificent unofficial cultural capital

Getting around

42

Planes, trains and… London buses

directory

44

Shopping, hospitals, culture and more

where to Stay

50

Luxury spas to budget beds
Traditional gifts for sale everywhere in Ohrid (see p. 30).

July – December 2017

5

Arriving in Skopje

Foreword
A city of immense contrasts and an almost audible clashing of cultures, Skopje’s rich and diverse history dates back
at least six millennia. Home to the Romans, Bulgarians, Ottomans, Communists and other dubious colonisers over the
centuries, despite a catastrophic earthquake that flattened
huge swathes of the city as recently as 1963, Skopje retains
much of its original charm despite the best efforts of the
Japanese architect Kenzō Tange to asphyxiate the city with
concrete during its reconstruction. A city in which it’s almost
impossible to find bad food and where you’ll discover a 12thcentury church that literally (or rather figuratively) changed
the course of Western art, Skopje’s now reachable from more
locations than ever with the local airport handling not one
but two of Europe’s leading low cost airlines. Oh, and should
you ever find yourself in the unlikely situation of getting tired
of the place, we’ve also thrown in a couple of handy guides
to the spectacular leisure and culture capitals of Ohrid and
Bitola for good measure. Enjoy.

coveR StoRy
Unveiled in 2013 as part of the
city’s Skopje 2014 project, Vasil
Chekalarov Monument sits on
the roundabout opposite Skopje’s
Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral
(see p. 22). The work of Elena and
Darko Dukovski, the statue celebrates the ‘cruel but competent
general’ Vasil Chekalarov (18741913), an infamous revolutionary figure and one of the
leaders of the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organisation. Read more about Skopje 2014 on

E S S E N TI A L
C I TY G U I D E S

Publisher
Skopje in Your Pocket
Bul. K.J. Pitu 15-1/3 1000 Skopje, Macedonia
Tel. +389 75 450 250
macedonia@inyourpocket.com
macedonia.inyourpocket.com
Director Vladimir Stefanovski
vladimir.stefanovski@inyourpocket.com
Editorial
Managing Editor Sco
Contributor Jeroen van Marle
Design Mateja Štruc
Photography Richard Schofield, Stobi Winery (p.16),
Fly Ohrid (p.32)
Cover Photo Vasil Chekalarov Monument (©2017 Richard
Schofield)
Sales & Circulation
Antoanela Petrovic, Snezana Stefanovska, Ivica Slavkovic
Printed by Data Pons (www.datapons.com.mk)
Circulation 20,000 copies, two times per year
Copyright notice
Text and photographs copyright Skopje in Your Pocket. All rights
reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any
form, except brief extracts for the purpose of review, without
written permission from the publisher and copyright owner. The
brand name In Your Pocket is used under license from UAB In
Your Pocket, Bernardinų 9-4, Vilnius, Lithuania, tel. +370 5 212
29 76.

From small acorns...
In 1992 a small team published the first
In Your Pocket guide to Vilnius in Lithuania.
25 years on In Your Pocket now covers
over 100 cities throughout the world
in print, online and on mobile reaching
over 10 million readers annually.

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ONLINE

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6

Skopje In Your Pocket

skopje.inyourpocket.com

Arriving at Kenzō Tange’s train station

By Plane
Some 22 kilometres east of the city, Skopje Alexander the
Great Airport is small and easy to use. After disembarking
and entering the main terminal building, follow the signs
until you reach passport control where you’ll be confronted with a row of booths currently offering four options,
namely All Passports, Citizens, MK Citizens and EU Citizens.
Once you’ve figured out who you are, passport checks are
generally relaxed and friendly. The Arrivals and Departures
halls are in the same building and share a range of facilities including ATMs, currency exchange, and information
desk and a few shops and cafés. Getting to town A taxi
to the city centre should cost around 900den or €15 (payable in either currency) and the journey takes less than 30
minutes. To the right of the exit, the Vardar Ekspres bus
leaves approximately eight times a day. The fare is currently
175den and the bus stops at Capitol Mall, the bus/train station and the Holiday Inn hotel right in the centre of the city.
By BuS
All international and long-distance buses arrive at Skopje’s
reasonably central bus station just east of the centre on
the southern side of the river. Inside, find ATMs, a couple
of small shops selling sweets, drinks and cigarettes and a
handful of windows and kiosks for buying onward tickets.
Getting to town It’s possible to walk to the city centre in
about 15 minutes, or take bus N°23, which runs along Bul.
Kuzman Josifovski Pitu. Taxis (and taxi drivers) can be found
congregating outside the main entrance/exit. A ride into
the centre shouldn’t cost more than 100den. If in doubt,
negotiate a price before getting in the vehicle.
By car
Arriving in Skopje by car can be stressful and confusing for
first timers, especially for those who’ve never experienced
the miscellaneous idiosyncrasies of Balkan-style driving. Although major signs are written in both Cyrillic and
Latin, there are few visual hints as to what might be the
city centre, and the somewhat bewildering system of one-

way streets only adds to the pandemonium. The arrival of
Sat Nav has drastically improved matters, and if you’re arriving in a rental car it’s worth checking to make sure it’s
equipped with one. A couple of highways leading into
the city require a small toll fee to be paid. Accordingly, it’s
highly recommended to be carrying some cash as foreign
currency and credit cards aren’t accepted.
By train
All trains arrive at Skopje’s one and only train station, an interesting concrete construction designed by the Japanese
architect Kenzō Tange to replace the building destroyed by
the 1963 earthquake. Sadly in a state of serious disrepair
and containing almost nothing in the way of facilities, if
you need money, drink, food or cigarettes you’ll need to
use the services at the adjoining bus station. The connecting door between the two is often locked, in which case it’s
necessary to leave via the main exit and snake left around
the building. Getting to town See Arriving by bus (above).

when to go
Macedonia, a small country by anyone’s standards, can
claim a total of three very different climates, namely
changed Mediterranean, mountainous and mildly
continental. Average temperatures vary considerably
depending on where you are, with much of the country receiving blissfully long and hot summers with relatively mild and wet winters and other parts such as the
mountains suffering from long snowy winters and the
briefest of chilly summers. At an altitude of 240m, Skopje becomes unbearably hot during much of July and
August, one of the many reasons why Ohrid, at 693m,
is so popular during the summer. If you’re not coming
to ski or lay on a sun bed, we recommend visiting in
late May when the spring flowers are in full bloom and
the temperature is pleasantly warm.
July – December 2017

7

Restaurants
Dojrana
Essentially a Macedonian restaurant but with some good international choices on the menu, Dojrana’s location is a little bit
out the way but is worth the safari required to eat there. Well
known for its čiorba (sour soup), most people make the effort
to visit for the grilled meat, of which we thoroughly recommend the lamb with plenty of fresh salad, white cheese and a
decent bottle of Macedonian red wine.Q513 22, tel. +389 23
17 50 37. Open 08:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun. P­A­L­B­W

Skillets of tavče gravče in an Old Bazaar restaurant.

Most restaurants in Skopje are excellent, affordable, and
increasingly diverse. The best way to enjoy a classic Macedonian blow-out is to employ the assistance of a local
expert to take you through the menu before loading you
into a wheelbarrow and pushing your bloated body back
to your hotel.

Macedonian
Čardak
Another quality restaurant on Skopje’s current favourite
little street, the waiters here must run the equivalent of
a marathon on Friday and Saturday evenings such is the
popularity of this place and the top notch food that’s prepared in the kitchen. The excellent grilled meat is served
on wooden boards to add to the general rustic theme of
the place and there’s regular live music featuring a range of
usually very good and entertaining musicians.QBoemska
Ulica, tel. +389 70 41 09 19, www.restorancardak.mk.
Open 10:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 01:00. P­A­B­W

Dukat
Another Skopje favourite that often involves being carried to
the car after eating here, this fine Macedonian establishment
is always busy for a good reason and is definitely worth the
trek to the western suburbs to enjoy its many pleasures. Featuring amiable waiters who wish only to bring yet another
armload of dishes to your table, if you’re on a diet (and you
might have to be after reviving yourself with an espresso), try
the čiorba (sour soup), which comes in hanging copper pots
with lashings of fresh white bread.QMitropolit Teodosij Golaganov 79, tel. +389 72 30 61 98. Open 08:00 - 24:00, Fri,
Sat 08:00 - 01:00. P­A­E­B­W
Kancelarija
On the little Debar Maalo street everyone’s currently talking
about, this is a great place to indulge in a endless supply of
small dishes of salad, grilled meat, fresh crusty bread and delicious local white cheese until, with a big greasy grin on your
face, you realise you’ve eaten enough for a week and it’s still
only Monday lunchtime. For those who need to know these
things, Kancelarija shows a lot of live European football on the
large outdoor screens.QBoemska Ulica, tel. +389 78 22 07
22. Open 08:00 - 01:00. P­A­B­W
Pivnica An
The 15th-century setting is pretty much unbeatable and the
magnificent summer terrace is stunning to the point that
you wouldn’t really be bothered if they served you a bowl of
damp cardboard. Thankfully, they’ve also got the food down
to perfection, and there’s great selection of beer (after which
the place is named) and wine too. An excellent option for a
leisurely lunch where the courses just keep coming.QKapan
An 1472 (Old Bazaar), tel. +389 23 21 21 11, www.pivnicaan.
mk. Open 09:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 24:00. P­A­B­W
Stara Kuka
Found inside a traditional merchant’s konak house dating
from 1838, this is one of the places where the locals drag foreigners to experience real Macedonian cooking. The pretty
building has beautifully carved wooden ceilings and a pleasant sheltered garden. Dig into a superb range of regional
food including grilled meat, fish, fresh salads, stuffed peppers
or courgettes, and sweet, sticky baklava for dessert.QPajko
Maalo 14, tel. +389 23 13 13 76, www.starakuka.com. Open
08:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 08:00 - 01:00. J­A­U­LB
­ ­W

For Ohrid restaurants see p. 31
For Bitola restaurants see p. 39
8

Skopje In Your Pocket

skopje.inyourpocket.com

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July – December 2017 9

Restaurants
fuLL of BeanS
A strong contender for Macedonia’s national dish,
tavče gravče (literally ‘beans in a skillet’) is served
everywhere and pairs perfectly with traditional
homemade sausage, roasted vegetables or just
about anything you can to mention. A life-saver
for vegetarians navigating the land of grilled meat,
try it with a fresh local salad and lashings of white
cheese.

Restaurants
fast food
faSt food 7
Starting life way back in 1987, this legendary, familyrun fast food stall is based on giving its customers the
very best quality food for the very best prices. After 30
years there’s still often a long queue here, which is proof
enough in a country famed for its food that Fast Food 7 is
up there among the giants of Skopje cuisine. The menu
as you’d expect is packed with burgers, fries, chicken,
hotdogs and the like.QBorka Taleski 5, tel. +389 23 21 19
14, www.7.mk. Open 08:00 - 24:00, Thu, Fri 08:00 - 01:00.
Closed Sun. PBS

chinese

fine dininG

PekinG Garden
Full of satisfied Chinese tourists when we visited and
specialising in both Chinese and Japanese cuisine, the
chefs here are imported from China which we can assure
you makes a big difference. Tucked away in a courtyard
and big enough to feed an army, lovers of Asian food
hanging out for spring rolls, sushi and the link are in for
some good news. Their good value special lunch offers are particularly recommended.QMaksim Gorki 3,
tel. +389 23 22 11 73, www.pekinggarden.mk. Open
11:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. P A B W

four
Overseen by the Belgrade-born Konstantin Katafaj and
featuring a lively and at times entertaining open kitchen,
the menu runs the gamut of dishes from Macedonian
favourites with a twist to the kind of sophisticated food
you don’t see every day in the Balkans. With impressive
price tags considering what you get, this is the perfect
place to seal a business deal or celebrate a special occasion.Q1732 4 (Park Hotel & Spa), tel. +389 25 51 51 73,
www.parkhotel.mk. Open 10:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 10:00
- 01:00. PABW

olive
So sophisticated they decided to put it on Paris Street,
everything from the décor to the service to the impressive selection of fine international dishes make
Olive one of the top choices for the city’s hungry and
demanding elite. It’s not unusual to hear French and
Italian spoken here, which is probably praise enough
for any restaurant. If you’re in a hurry, the pizzas are
unforgettable, and the veal literally melts in the mouth.
Fabulous choice of wine too.QPariska bb, tel. +389 23
06 66 23, www.olive.mk. Open 09:00 - 23:45. Closed
Sun. P A B W
vodenica mulino
Unquestionably one of Skopje’s classiest restaurants,
this recommended diversion in the west of the city
was opened by chef Stojan Filiposki who spent decades perfecting his skills in Italy. Specialising in
Italian food including some truly outstanding pasta,
seafood and risotto dishes, Vodenica Mulino is also
home to an exclusive wine, the so-called National
Cellar and even conference facilities for the ultimate
business lunch and dinner. Find it among a row of
standout places between Intermezzo and Dukat.
QTeodosij Golaganov 69, tel. +389 23 23 28 77,
www.vodenicamulino.com.mk. Open 12:00 - 24:00,
Fri, Sat 12:00 - 01:00. P A B W
10

Skopje In Your Pocket

skopje.inyourpocket.com

international
BarBakan
A great place for club sandwiches, burgers, tapas, pizza
and a handful of exquisitely prepared larger dishes, this
popular, bistro-style aff air to the west of the centre and
close to City Park is a laid-back aff air that sees all manner
of diners including many of the city’s young professionals congregate for its quick service, good prices and famous happy hour. A relaxing summer terrace opens during the warmer part of the year and there’s occasional
live music to boot.QBul. 8-mi Septemvri 18, tel. +389
23 07 50 93. Open 08:00 - 01:00, Sun 15:00 - 01:00.
PABW
BruklinSki
Home of the epic Bruklinski Burger, Bruklinski (or Bruklynski) is a Debar Maalo bistro-style restaurant most of
the week serving a great range of food and drink including everything from poached eggs to wine to the
aforementioned house speciality, all to a background
of piped jazz music that turns live at the weekends.
Good for food and coffee anytime, the bands that play
here are varied in style and it’s definitely worth having a peep inside if you’re doing an evening tour of the
area.QOrce Nikolov 75, tel. +389 26 09 18 44. Open
09:00 - 24:00, Fri 08:00 - 01:00, Sat 09:00 - 01:00.
PAW
July – December 2017

11

Restaurants
Language
Macedonian is a South Slavic language written using a
unique variation of the Cyrillic alphabet, a letter system
originally invented in Macedonia with more than a little
help from Sts. Cyril and Methodius during the 9th century. Macedonian is the official state language of the
country, with Albanian possessing official minority rights
in areas where ethnic Albanians make up more than 25
percent of the population. Sharing many common words
with other Slavic languages including Bulgarian and Russian, Macedonian also includes a considerable amount
of loan words adopted during its long and multicultural
history and has an unusual sound when spoken in which
a distinct Turkish influence can definitely be heard. To
make life complicated, many shop, bar, restaurant and
other venue signs prefer to use variations of the Latin
alphabet and/or Albanian words, a fact that goes a long
way towards explaining the somewhat erratic spelling conventions used throughout this guide. Visitors to
Macedonia with no knowledge of Cyrillic are strongly
advised to take a crash course in the alphabet, although
it’s not that difficult to get by without it.

Distrikt Bar & Kitchen
The Skopje Marriott’s ground floor terrace bar and open
kitchen is one of the hottest locations in town, a classic
Marriott incarnation aimed at well-heeled locals, expats
and business travellers looking for great food, a terrific view
and a whole host of extras including DJs, special themed
events and the quintessential Marriott Sunday brunch. A
welcome addition to Skopje’s going out venues for all occasions.QPlostad Makedonija 7 (Skopje Marriott), tel. +389
25 10 25 35, www.distrikt.mk. Open 07:00 - 00:00, Fri, Sat
07:00 - 01:00. P­J­A­B­W
Pelister
One of our favourite places to eat on Macedonia Square,
the extensive menu focuses on Italian dishes (the pizza
comes highly recommended) but also offers a range of
Macedonian and international favourites including one or
two vegetarian specials. The outdoor summer terrace is
big, and gets very busy during the day and the evening,
but is worth a visit if you’re not in a hurry if only to get a fix
of their rocket fuel espresso.QMacedonia square bb, tel.
+389 23 11 24 82, www.pelisterhotel.com.mk. Open
08:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 08:00 - 00:00. P­J­B­W
Public Room
An interesting non-profit venture close to the Mother Teresa
Hospital just to the south of the centre, Public Room’s restaurant specialises in a range of healthy dishes that are popular
with all the family. As well as serving food, the place also acts
as an art gallery, performance space, co-working centre and
venue for all manner of different creative workshops.Q50
Divizija 22, tel. +389 26 09 26 50, www.publicroom.org.
Open 08:00 - 24:00. P­A­B­W
12

Skopje In Your Pocket

Soul Kitchen
One of a number of similar places stretched out along the
Kej, Soul Kitchen is a busy and by most accounts friendly
place to stop and eat in that prides itself on serving mostly
Macedonian favourites with lots of modern twists. We
recommend the savoury pancakes or the huge plates of
light fried snacks accompanied with one of their bottles
of Macedonian wine. The covered outdoor terrace is open
around the year and is a great place for coffee and watching
the world drift slowly by.QKej 13 Noemvri, tel. +389 78 88
77 33, www.soulkitchenbar.mk. Open 08:00 - 24:00, Fri,
Sat 08:00 - 01:00. P­A­B­W
The Loft
Just freshly opened in time for the summer season as we
were going to press, this high class rooftop restaurant and
bar with awesome views of the city is the latest place to go
and meet some of Skopje’s beautiful people, dine on quality international food, drink classy drinks and listen to music
from some of the most respected young DJs and others in
Macedonia and abroad. As night descends on the city, The
Loft becomes more of a club than a classic restaurant.QKej
13ti Noemvri (Garage Solunski Kongres), tel. +389 71 27
20 00. Open 10:00 - 01:00. P­AB­W
Trend
An excellent club, bar, lounge and restaurant in one, Trend
serves great international food from a helpfully photographic menu and features friendly waiters who remember
you the second time you visit. It’s the personal touches that
make places like this such a hit, and the location is hard to
beat too. The Trend brand is currently expanding around
the city. Keep an eye out for their other recommended venues.QPloshtad Makedonija 2/4, tel. +389 71 36 88 46,
www.caffetrend.mk. Open 08:00:23:30, Fri, Sat 08:00 01:00. P­J­A­B­W
Twins Kitchen & Wine
Located around the back of the Park Hotel & Spa and overlooking the river, this mildly experimental place draws
customers in partly thanks to the amazing salads they
make, but there’s plenty of other light bites to explore
from burgers to pizza. They also dedicate a lot of their
energy towards stocking an impressive selection of wine,
all of it for a good price and best enjoyed when the sun’s
shining on their large outdoor terrace.QKej 13 Noemvri
(Park Hotel & Spa), tel. +389 75 20 43 38, www.twins.
com.mk. Open 09:00 - 01:00. P­A­B­W

Italian
La Terrazza
This impressive restaurant does an excellent job at combining the very best of nouvelle cuisine and good oldfashioned Italian favourites. Recommended by those in
the know for their pizzas cooked in an authentic wood
oven, find it tucked away just off Plostad Makedonija.
QPloshtad Makedonija, tel. +389 23 11 33 80. Open
08:00 - 24:00. P­A­B­W
skopje.inyourpocket.com

Cafés

Restaurants
Mexican
amiGoS
By most accounts a much better attempt at a Mexican
restaurant than many in the Balkans, the menu includes
all your favourites and a few surprises plus the added
bonus of cold Mexican beer in the refrigerator. During
the warmer part of the year they open up a barbecue on
the terrace. A little bit expensive for Skopje, but worth it
anyway.QMakedonija 11, tel. +389 71 23 03 14, www.
amigos.com.mk. Open 09:00 - 01:00. PJABW

out of town
canyon matka
An unbeatable canyon-side location, bustling waiters
and an impressive menu of Macedonian fare greet visitors to Canyon Matka. In many ways a victim of its own
success, the place gets so crowded during the summer
you’ll wish you’d bought sandwiches. Their upstairs hotel
comes with some of the best views in the city.QMatka,
tel. +389 22 05 26 55, www.canyonmatka.mk. Open
08:00 - 24:00. PABW
oreov lad
Especially recommended for those travelling in large
groups and on the left of the road immediately south of
the Albanian-dominated village of Saraj on the way to
the Matka Canyon, the warmer months of the year are a

hipster cafés

keBap
deStan
A famed kebab restaurant in the Old Bazaar popular
with Westerners due to its overall cleanliness, the
barbecued food here comes highly recommended
plus there’s photographs of old Skopje on the walls
to keep you occupied whilst you wait. Those looking
for a more ‘local’ experience should shuffle across the
street to the excellent albeit less salubrious Kaj Serdarot.Q106 4 (Old Bazaar), tel. +389 23 22 40 63, www.
destan.com.mk. Open 08:00 - 23:00. ABW

ice-creaM
good time to visit this fine restaurant when the massive
garden terraces are open, the barbecues are in full swing
and the live music is playing.QSarajska 1, tel. +389 22
05 79 58, www.oreovlad.com.mk. Open 08:00 - 24:00.
PALBW

seafood
frutti di marre
An old Debar Maalo favourite, Frutti di Marre specialises in simple dishes packed with complicated tastes. We
recommend one of their popular soups at any time of
the year, especially during the summer when you can
enjoy it on their relaxing outdoor terrace. Seasoned
experts in everything they do, the wine menu has
been very carefully selected to bring out the best in
everything you try here.QRade Koncar 5, tel. +389 23
13 21 45, www.fruttidimare.mk. Open 09:00 - 24:00.
PABW
Sidro
Serving knockout fresh fish including salmon, calamari,
squid and a particular good fish stew, the interior of this
massively popular restaurant is done up to look like an
old fisherman’s cabin and the summer terrace has been
equally jollied up with plenty of fishing nets and other
similar paraphernalia. One of the better places hereabouts to get proper octopus, booking in advance at
the weekends is highly recommended.QAtinska 21, tel.
+389 23 05 16 07. Open 10:00 - 24:00. P A B W

sushi
SuShi co
The Turkish chain of restaurants specialising in Japanese,
Chinese and Thai cuisine now has a presence in Skopje,
and hallelujah to that. Everything from the décor to the
master chefs is authentic and the menu is as long as a Tokyo telephone directory. Alongside a fabulous range of
sushi are noodles, bento boxes and much, much more.
Note that their home delivery menu is different to the
one in the restaurant.QAminta Treti 29, tel. +389 23 21
78 74, www.sushico.com.mk. Open 10:00 - 24:00, Fri,
Sat 10:00 - 01:00. P A B W
14

Skopje In Your Pocket

mad kitchen & Bar
The lovely young gentleman who served us in this recommended Debar Maalo venue came with all the prerequisite
hipster trappings including a handlebar moustache of such
epic proportions that we weren’t sure whether to ask him for
an espresso or get on him and ride him back to the hotel. Not
only is this Skopje’s current premiere hipster haunt, it’s also a
great café to spend time in if you’re in the vicinity.QNaum
Naumovski Borce 62, tel. +389 77 65 15 57. Open 09:00 24:00, Fri, Sat 09:00 - 01:00. PABW

skopje.inyourpocket.com

radoSt
Despite only selling chocolate and vanilla flavours here,
Radost is still the most popular place to come for icecream and for good reason. It’s the best, and the choice
of toppings more than makes up for everything. This is
also a great place to drop by for a decent cup of coffee when you need one.QMaksim Gorki 21, tel. +389
75 36 55 24. Open 10:00 - 23:00, Sun 17:00 - 23:00.
PAW

pÂtisseries
cakeS & BakeS
From the profiterole to the cheesecake, everything in this top
quality Turkish café has been made with the best ingredients
and is prepared with that magic touch that the Turks seem
so masterly at. Find muffins, brownies, tiramisu and all your
favourite desserts waiting to be devoured and washed down
with some extremely memorable coffee.QSkopje Airport,
tel. +389 22 58 09 22. Open 24hrs. PAW

traditional cafés
mekicite od Straza
An extremely versatile café popular with the locals that
not only serves great coffee and passable burgers but that
somewhat bizarrely also sells their own branded bags of
flour. There’s a good reason for this, and readers are encouraged to pop along to discover the logic behind the
madness. A great place to unwind in the middle of the day,
Mekicite od Straza also has a place half way along the road
to Ohrid that attracts visitors in the same way a holy relic
attracts pilgrims on the road to Jerusalem.QMakedonija
41, tel. +389 75 21 38 98, www.mekiciteodstraza.com.
Open 07:00 - 12:00, Fri, Sat 07:00 - 01:00. P­J­A­
BW
vinyl
One of Skopje’s more pleasant surprises, Vinyl was started
by a couple of friends who as so often happens opened
the kind of place they wanted to hang out in but that
didn’t exist at the time. Found in a convenient location
for those who find themselves walking regularly between
the city centre and Debar Maalo, this classic, industrial-

Sticky desserts to go with your coffee.

feel café serves a cracking coffee, offers a few snacks and
hosts regular DJs who try to blend with rather than dominate the environment.QPartizanski Odredi 14, tel. +389
23 10 78 78. Open 08:00 - 01:00, Sat 09:00 - 01:00, Sun
10:00 - 12:00. PABW

wacky cafés
miG 21
Founded by a member of the popular Macedonian band
of the same name and pulling in a large percentage of
Debar Maalo’s arty bohemian crowd, this is a highly recommended place to spend a few hours sipping coffee or
something a little stronger and generally getting to know
some of the city’s more colourful eccentrics. The music
policy is better than most other places, and DJs are known
to come and liven the place up a bit on a regular basis.
QMakedonija bb, tel. +389 77 90 22 20. Open 08:00 24:00, Fri, Sat 08:00 - 01:00. PABW
Sindikat
Another Debar Maalo favourite, Sindikat is a five-star,
tongue-in-cheek parody of Yugoslav communism mixed
together with an 80s hip-hop attitude of peace and
brotherhood with just a dash of Macedonian irony. At
least we think it is. It’s hard to say really. Hypothesis aside,
this is a welcome addition to going out in Skopje and a
genuinely eccentric place to meet like-minded souls. Surplus to the colourful clientele is the usual roll call of good
coffee, alcohol, light snacks and DJs.QOrce Nikolov 97,
tel. +389 76 45 45 15. Open 08:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 08:00 01:00. PABW
July – December 2017

15

Restaurants
Wine

Wine
Macedonia boasts a near-perfect climate for growing wine
grapes and produces some 100,000 tonnes of them annually in vineyards covering a total area of over 30,000 hectares.
Add to these statistics the fact that the country’s also responsible for some of the best food in Southern Europe and you’ll
start to understand why wine is such an important part of
the culture and why the local stuff is so good. Around 80 percent of the wine produced in the country is red, with nearly
all of both the red and white originating from the vineyards
of Povardarie, Pčinja-Osogovo and Pelagonija-Polog. With
both its long history and popularity in the country, wine is a
subject that many people know a lot about, including most
of the waiters working in the vast majority of the restaurants
mentioned in this guide. If you need any help, there’s plenty
around. Personally we’re a bit traditional and prefer to drink
Vranec, a dry red made from the grape of the same name
that’s among the most popular in the country. We’re no
experts, it just happens to go down very well with grilled
meat, fresh salad, white bread and white cheese. The following producers all come highly recommended. As you’ll see,
some of them also offer wine tours which are a great way to
get to know the country, its culture and its drinking habits.

Bovin
Macedonia’s first privately built winery was established in 1998 and has a capacity of 1.5 million bottles
a year split between around 70% red and 30% white.
Aimed at high-end consumers, their wines, including
Vranec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir
are exported all over the world. Bovin also produces
rakija and the company offers special wine-tasting
events for groups of between 10 and 60 people.QIndustriska bb, tel. +389 43 36 53 22, www.bovin.
com.mk.

More wine online
macedonia.inyourpocket.com

SoPot
A small boutique winery founded just over a decade
ago that focuses on exclusive wines that are available
only in high class restaurants and hotels in Macedonia
and abroad, Sopot prioritises quality over quantity and
produces an impressive range of reds, whites and rosés
including Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay
and Temjanika. Visiting their vineyard for wine-tasting
events and cellar tours is available by appointment
only.QMunicipality of Veles, tel. +389 78 36 31 67,
www.chateausopot.mk.

Vineyards as far as the eye can see

kamnik
Founded in 2004, Kamnik produces a number of reds,
whites, sparkling wines and a cheeky rosé sold under the name Sexy. Their 15 hectares of vineyards
form part of an estate that produces everything
from Syrah, to Vranec to Chardonnay to Sauvignon
Blanc. Particularly active in the tourist industry, Kamnik offers several opportunities to taste their wines
and it’s also possible to get a complete tour of their
vineyard.QKamnik bb, tel. +389 22 52 35 22, www.
chateaukamnik.com.

StoBi
New kid on the block Stobi is already turning out an
impressive 4.5 million litres of wine in four distinct
categories of which their Premium varieties include
Syrah Barrique, Merlot Barrique, Aminta and Vranec
Veritas. Dedicated to sharing their love and experiences with the rest of the world, Stobi, that also
features a restaurant on its territory, organises a
wide range of events including tours and corporate
functions.QAvtopat 2, tel. +389 78 36 31 67, www.
stobiwinery.mk.
tikveš
The history of this classic winery dates back to the
second half of the19th century and a time when the
organised production and sale of wine in Macedonia
is first recognised to have started. Producing a staggering array of products from high-end wine to table
wines to rakija, organised wine tours here involve a
history of the company and several different options
for groups and individuals in their lovely wine cellar.
Q29-ti Noemvri 5, tel. +389 23 17 59 66, www.tikves.
com.mk.
16

Skopje In Your Pocket

skopje.inyourpocket.com

July – December 2017

17


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