As a place known for its rich history, undiscovered beauty, and welcoming people, the Balkans’ is incomparable to any other part of the world.

And so is the food! Today’s bustling diverse community in Prague means that many people have moved here from Southeastern Europe, bringing their cultures and traditions with them, hoping to share them.

That’s how the story begins with Ivan Vitanov, who moved to Prague from his home in North Macedonia for his studies at FAMU about ten years ago. A little while later, his family joined him and they began their business importing fruits and vegetables from the Balkans. Then, they went even further and opened the first Balkan Food & Wine Market.

Opening their first store in the middle of the pandemic in October 2020, Ivan and his family didn’t suffer any setbacks given the reception from customers in Prague, whether it be someone from the Balkans or not. First located in Radotín (Prague 16), they decided it was best to move the market closer to the city to reach more people.

“We closed that store and opened a new one in Strašnice (Prague 10) and it turned out to be a great success. We have a lot of happy customers there, and we discovered that many Balkan people live in the area. It went really well, and then a couple of months ago we decided to expand,” said Ivan.

So for those on the other side of the Vltava, there’s now a second Balkan Food and Wine Market at Zborovská 34, Prague 5 – Smíchov, where lovers of Balkan cuisine can find more variety and options to satisfy their cravings for cevapi, ajvar, sarma, burek, and plenty others to choose from!

“Our top selling product is of course the ajvar, everybody knows ajvar. They like to pair it with cevapi, because the meat products are also really popular here, also pljeskavica and burek of course,” said Ivan.

When it comes to ajvar, there are so many to choose from in the store, and from each country comes their own version, whether it be from North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, or Croatia. In the store, you’ll also find an extensive selection of Balkan cheeses, such as Greek feta cheese, or Bulgarian cow cheese. Plus, if you know how to make burek on your own, the store has the ingredients to do so!

“Honestly, the response is amazing. People love it. I see people coming from all over, not only our usual clientele who are Balkans but also Czechs and foreigners are also showing a lot of interest as well,” said Ivan. “It is unique, it’s the only store of its kind. When we opened this, there was nothing like this, and there still isn’t.

“It’s the only place where you can find food from literally the entire Balkan region in one place,” added Ivan.

Even if you can’t go to the store yourself, there’s also the opportunity to order online on their website. So not only is it accessible in Prague, but they can deliver outside of the city as well, so the Balkans can be delivered right to your doorstep.

If you’re planning a party, their new store in Prague 5 has a great selection of every Balkan lover’s favorite drink, rakija. Not to mention renowned Balkan wines and beers, such as Vranac, Tikves, Alexandria, Jelen, Skopsko, and more.

No matter where you’re from in the Balkans or outside, there is something for everyone in the Balkan Food & Wine Market!

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